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Returning To What Wasn’t Being Asked

, , , , , , | Right | April 10, 2018

(I work at the customer service desk of a hardware store. The returns registers are located behind the desk. There are two returns registers, but there is usually only one cashier stationed there since it doesn’t get super busy. If a line does start forming at returns, a service desk associate will step over to help out. At this specific time, I’m working the service desk alone, as the mid-shift hasn’t arrived yet. A few customers show up to make returns at the same time, so I step over to help the cashier out. The cashier and I are each in the middle of a transaction when a customer waiting in line — a customer who’s well-known, and not for good reasons — speaks up. The customer I’m currently helping is only returning a single item, and the well-known customer is the very next person in line.)

Customer: “Hey! Are you open over there for returns?”

Cashier: *looking up from her current customer* “Excuse me, sir?”

Customer: “Ugh. Are you open over there?”

Cashier: “Sir, I’m open right here, but I’m with a customer.”

Customer: “I didn’t ask that! Hey!” *I realize he’s now trying to get my attention* “Are you taking returns over there?” *pointing to my desk that has no one standing near it*

Me: “We’re taking returns right here, sir, but please give me a moment. I’m still helping this customer.”

Customer: “Ugh! That’s not what I asked you! Are you open over there for returns?”

(I look behind me at my still empty desk.)

Me: “No. I’m open right here taking returns. It will only be a moment.”

Customer: “That’s not what I asked!”

My Current Customer: “Unbelievable. I really feel for you. I worked retail for way too long, so I understand!”

Customer: *talking to himself but loud enough for us to hear* “This is just f****** bulls***.”

(The transaction that the customer was complaining through took maybe two minutes. Luckily, I was needed at the desk, and a different associate showed up to relieve me just as I called the rude customer to my register.)

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