Sew Cheap!

, , , , , , | Working | October 19, 2017

(I am a shift leader at a craft and fabric store. Towards the end of my shift, the assistant store manager arrives to take over for the rest of the day, and joins me at the registers. I am cashing out a customer and making small talk before I give the ASM my report for the shift.)

Customer: “I was so surprised to see these [Sewing Machine]s on display! None of your other stores have anything like them.”

Me: “Well, we are a pretty large chain, so different locations will often have very different merchandise. Do you have your membership card with you today?”

(I scan through all of the customer’s fabric and notions before I scan the sewing machine sitting in her cart. My ASM has been watching my screen the whole time, looking worried, and as soon as I scan the sewing machine, she swears under her breath and bolts for the back of the store like someone lit her hair on fire.)

Customer: *confused and slightly offended* “Well, that was rude.”

Me: *equally confused, since the ASM is usually extremely cool-headed* “Yeah, I’m not sure what that was.”

(I turn to look at the screen and realize the problem: the sewing machine rang up at $0.01.)

Me: “Well, lucky you. That machine is only ringing up at a penny. Your total is [amount less than $20].”

Customer: “What?! Can I go buy the rest of the display?”

Me: “I’m afraid not; I think that’s why my manager just ran off like that. But since this one is already through the system, you’re welcome to take it.”

Customer: *no longer offended, and actually quite cheerful, she pays and takes her receipt* “Any wonder. Well, have a nice day!”

(Since there were no other customers to cash out, I hurried to the back to help my ASM pull the sewing machines off the floor. There were over a dozen of that model. It turns out that our general manager hadn’t read an email memo earlier in the week, which said to remove that line of sewing machines from display, as they had been discontinued and were slated to be returned to the manufacturer. They were meant to go out with the shipment truck’s return trip the day this occurred, but no one had informed me. Somehow, the GM saw the email title with the model number, and thought it was a memo to put them on display. They’d been sitting on the floor all week as a result. When the system deleted the merchandise from our database earlier in the day, it converted the price of the machines to one penny. Fortunately, after checking with other staff, we’d only sold two of the machines since the price change. The first time, either the cashier and customer hadn’t noticed the discrepancy, or hadn’t cared to report it to me.)

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