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Some Managers Have Expectations That Don’t Fit

, , , , | Working | November 4, 2021

My best friend works for an upscale department store. The store seems to have a policy of appeasing the customer at staff’s expense, and staff get written up for the slightest issue.

A woman who likely wears a size 24 to 30 comes to [Friend]’s department’s fitting room with a dress in a size 14, the largest size left.

Friend: “I can radio the stockroom and see if they have a larger size, if you want.”

Woman: *Upset* “No! I’m a size 14, you fat-ist!”

Friend: “I’m sorry, ma’am.”

And she allows her into the changing room. After several long moments, she calls my friend in.

Woman: “Oi, you, girl! Get in here! Help me!”

She has managed to get the dress over one arm and her head and is wedged into the dress. 

[Friend] offers to help, but the woman has wedged herself tight and the dress is starting to rip. My friend calls her department manager to advise.

Woman: *Shouting* “How dare you mislabel a dress like this? You’re discriminating against me!”

Eventually, with two other staff members, they managed to remove the dress, which was now ripped, sweat-stained, and unsellable. The customer complained to a manager that my friend had “tricked her” by mislabelling the dress and was given a £50 gift card.

My friend was written up and told that, in future, she needed to be more empathetic to customers and anticipate situations like these. But the manager refused to explain what exactly she could have done or how she could anticipate future events.

My friend now works as a prison guard. Whilst the job is stressful, she finds it less soul-destroying than retail. She’s known for being unflappable.

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What is the absolute most stupid thing you’ve heard a customer say?

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