Ringing Some Alarm Bells

, , , , , , , | Right | July 19, 2018

(I work for a retail company specializing in high-quality body jewelry. We operate out of stores and kiosks located in malls. This customer browses our kiosk on a relatively quiet Wednesday night, about 15 minutes before closing. NOTE: she has no visible piercings, and is dressed in jeans and a t-shirt.)

Me: *specific but friendly company greeting* “How are you tonight?”

Customer: “I need a new ring.” *playing on phone*

Me: “Great! Were you looking for a ring for a piercing, or a finger ring?”

Customer: *seemingly disinterested* “I don’t know! Just a ring!”

Me: “Okay, unfortunately we don’t carry finger rings here but—”

Customer: *slams phone on counter* “Why do you keep talking about finger rings?! I obviously need piercing rings!”

Me: “I apologize for the confusion. All right then, what gauge—” *girth of jewelry* “—are you looking for?”

Customer: “Uh… I don’t remember.”

Me: “No worries; that happens all the time. If you have a spare piece of jewelry, you can always bring it in and we can measure that one. Or you can remove your current piece in the bathroom and bring it to us.”

Customer: “I only have the one piece of jewelry! I don’t want to take it out unless I know I have a new one. Can’t you just measure it yourself?”

Me: *reluctant because it’s not recommended* “I can try, but only if it’s a clearly accessible piercing. There’s a lot of kids in here, and anything we show must be kid-friendly.”

(I turn to grab my callipers and hear a zipper unzip loudly. I spin back around to find my customer sitting on the floor, attempting to take off her skinny jeans in the middle of the mall hallway.)

Me: *alarmed* “Ma’am, please don’t take your pants off!”

Customer: “But you need to see the piercing!!”

Me: “Ma’am, where exactly is this piercing?”

Customer: “Well, obviously, one of those!” *points into her jeans*

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I told you it has to be easily accessible and basically child-appropriate. I can’t have you remove or show that piercing in the mall.”

Customer: “Oh, please! They’ll all know what it is soon enough. Just measure this!” *begins unzipping again*

Me: *firmly* “Ma’am, I need you to stop. I cannot help you with this today. You can either take the piece out and bring it inside a sealed ziplock bag, or you can phone your piercer and ask if he knows the gauge.”

Customer: *pleading* “Please? Just this once? I’m so excited for a new piece!”

Me: “I’m genuinely sorry, but those are your only options.”

Customer: *disappointed* “Oh, man, okay. I guess I’ll just come back tomorrow, and then you can put the new piece in for me!”

(She turned and walked away before I could point out that we were in the middle of a hallway next to the food court, and beside a number of children’s stores. There was no way we could do jewelry changes at my location. It was now twelve minutes AFTER closing. She returned again three separate times more to argue the point with managers.)

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