Skirting Around The Definition Of “Nice”

, , , | Right | July 31, 2020

I work at a retail chain. My location has a non-standard layout, and we have signs everywhere, but that doesn’t stop people from barging in and looking lost. I routinely ask, “Can I help you find anything today?” which covers all the bases, which is how it started with a lost-looking customer.

Customer: “Where did you move the nice skirts?”

Me: “I’m sorry, we get new clothing in all the time so the old stuff gets shuffled around. Do you remember what brand it was?”

Customer: “Just show me where the skirts are; I’ll be able to pick out the nice ones.”

Me: “Our store is sorted by brand, not by style of clothing. I can show you to a few brands that still have skirts if you would like.”

I lead her over to the closest brand.

Me: “Well, here is what [Brand] has for skirts right now; is this something like what you were looking for?”

Customer: “NO. I JUST WANT A NICE SKIRT.”

Me: “Sorry, ‘nice’ means different things to different people. This one is actually my favorite one in stock. Can you be more specific? Is there a certain color, length, cut, style, or fabric you are looking for?”

She never gets any more specific about the “nice skirt.” I lead her around the store showing her what each brand is offering with no luck. She keeps repeating the nice skirt line, stressing the “NICE.”

Customer: “I JUST WANT TO GET A NICE SKIRT FOR MY NEW NINETEEN-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER-IN-LAW. WHY IS THAT SO HARD FOR YOU?”

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, that is all we have for our late summer and early fall styles. Feel free to browse clearance to see if any of our old skirts are what you had in mind. If that doesn’t work out, you can always get a gift card at the registers and she can come in to pick out an outfit.”

Customer: “NO! I WANT TO FIND HER A NICE SKIRT!”

She began browsing through our bountiful clearance racks where we had stopped. I backed away slowly, never getting to know the “true” meaning of “nice.”

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