A Cardboard Cut-Out Cashier Would Have Been Better

, , , , | Working | June 20, 2017

(I own a prepaid phone and have to purchase a top-up card every month in order to keep my service active. A couple of days before my minutes are due, I decide to go to the grocery store that is close to my work to pick up my top-up card. I have never been to this grocery store before but I am able to find the top-up card quickly and have no trouble until I get to the register to check out. I hand the card to one of the two associates standing there.)

Cashier #1: *looks at the card and sighs in frustration* “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I’m afraid you cannot purchase this.”

Me: “Oh, why not? I have bought the same exact card at [Other Location] and never had any trouble before.”

Cashier #1: “I’m afraid this isn’t a legitimate card you can buy. You see, it’s a piece of cardboard and it doesn’t come with an actual gift card. I think you might’ve picked up an advertisement for the card.”

Me: *patiently* “This isn’t a gift card. It is a top up card for [Cellphone Carrier]. If you look on the back, you will see there is a—”

Cashier #1: *interrupts* “No, this isn’t a legitimate card. You can’t buy it. Let me show you where the right card is.”

(Before I can reply she walks away from the register and I follow her over back to the gift card section. She quickly picks up a card, shoves it into my hand, and rips the prepaid card I was holding out of my other hand.)

Cashier #1: “There you go! That’s the right card you needed.”

(I look at the card she gave me and realize that this not only is the wrong one but it is a top-up card to a completely different company.)

Me: “No, this isn’t the right card. This is a card to a different phone company. I need to buy the card you are holding in your hand.”

Cashier #1: *sighs in annoyance and says very slowly as if she was speaking to a child* “This… is… a… piece… of… cardboard… You… can’t… buy… this.”

(I look at my watch and realize that I am already late for work. I have worked in a customer service environment before so the whole time I am interacting with her, I am trying to keep my patience, but am slowly beginning to lose it.)

Me: “This is the card I need. I am in a hurry to get to work so please, just scan the card. I am positive this is the legitimate card and it will scan.”

Cashier #1: “You can’t buy this. What part of it don’t you understand?”

Me: *finally losing my patience* “Can I speak to a manager?”

Cashier #1: *groans and throws her head back* “Fine, but she is going to tell you the exact same thing.”

(We walk back to the register and she angrily walks over to the other cashier standing there.)

Cashier #1: “This customer wants to buy this card but she isn’t understanding this is a piece of cardboard and is not legitimate. She is insisting this is the right card.”

Me: “It is the right card. Your cashier is not listening to me and keeps interrupting me when I try explaining this is a top-up card for [Cellphone Carrier]. It isn’t a gift card and there is no actual card attached to it because it has a scratch off code on the back of the card.”

Cashier #2: *looks at [Cashier #1]* “Did you try scanning this card, [Cashier #1]?”

Cashier #1: “No! It is a piece of cardboard! It will not scan! Why isn’t anyone listening to me?”

Cashier #2: “Well, let’s just try it.” *she scans the card and the amount comes up on the register*

Cashier #1: “No, that’s impossible! It’s a f****** piece of cardboard. It’s not legitimate!”

Cashier #2: “Obviously it’s legitimate if it scans. I will ask you not to swear in front of our loyal customers. Finish ringing up this purchase and after you’re done I will like a word with you in the back. It seems like you need a little more training if you can’t tell the difference between an actual top-up card and a piece of cardboard.”

(Cashier #2 apologizes profusely for the service I received, offers a discount on my next purchase, then walks away to the back room while shaking her head. Cashier #1 stomps her feet, groans, and quietly finishes the transaction. She puts the card in a bag and slams it down in front of me.)

Cashier #1: *coldly* “Have a fantastic day.”

Me: “Thank you; I intend to.”

(As I walked away, I heard her muttered ‘It’s a stupid piece of cardboard’ and when I turned around, she was stomping her feet as she walked to the manager’s office.)

A Thief With Baggage

, , , , , | Right | June 20, 2017

(I am at a small-chain grocery store on one of their busiest days because they run significant discounts. I pick up a loaf of artisan bread, put it in my cart next to my reusable bags (in California, people often bring our own because store bags are at least 10 cents each), and take a number at the deli. While I am being served at the deli, somebody walks away with my cart. It happens sometimes when the store is crowded, so I don’t make a fuss about it, take another cart, and hope that my bags will be returned at the cash register when the erring customer discovers they took somebody else’s cart by mistake. About 20 minutes into my shopping, I hear angry screeching at the cash register, so, curious, I go to see what’s going on. Here is what I observe:)

Customer: “You are making me pay for things I did not put in the cart! You are trying to sell me this expensive bread, and I didn’t take it!”

Cashier: “I am sorry, ma’am. As I said, if you don’t want it, we can return it to the bakery. I already took it off.”

Customer: “You tried to cheat me! You tried to pass this bread on me! Who the h*** charges $4.99 for a loaf of bread?!”

Cashier: “This is artisan bread made fresh every couple of hours, but you do not have to pay for it, ma’am. We are going to take it back to the bakery.”

Customer: “You are thieves! I did not put this bread into my cart! You put it there!”

Cashier: “Ma’am, I am not saying you put it there. Maybe another customer did it by mistake, thinking it was their cart. We are not charging you for it. Can I process your payment now, please?”

Customer: “It’s enough that you are charging for bags now! Anything to make profit! Thieves!”

Cashier: “Ma’am, I have no control over the bag charge. It’s the state law. We are not charging you for the bread. Can you please pay for your order now?”

Customer: *suddenly calm* “Yes. And I don’t want any of your overpriced store bags. I have my own.”

(Too stunned to say anything, I saw the hag hand her MY reusable bags. They are quite distinctive because several of them are from the conferences I have attended in my profession over the past years, and one is from a fundraiser from my children’s school. It would be quite a bizarre coincidence for somebody else to have the exact same set of assorted reusable bags. Unfortunately, I was too flabbergasted to claim them, and the pilferer walked out of the store with them.)

Their Receipt Has An Attention Deficit

, , , , | Right | June 19, 2017

(Working at a chain convenience store, we accept bottle returns, recently raised to 10 cents each, on any product we sell in the store. A man has come in with two empty cans, which we accept, and his two children. He purchases four beverages with bottle deposits on them, and rather than giving him the 20 cents for his bottles, I just added that amount to his charge as a payment. This shows up on our receipts as a separate payment, very clearly. With four people still in line, he comes back into the store.)

Customer #1: “I brought in two cans.”

Me: “Yes, sir. I added the deposit amount as a payment on your charge.”

Customer #1: “But you charged me for four bottle deposits. You overcharged me.”

Me: “No, sir, you bought four drinks with bottle deposit on them. ”

Customer #1: “Right, but I brought to empties back.”

Me: “Yes, sir. Right here it shows where I credited you those two cans.”

Customer #1: “But you charged me for FOUR deposits!”

(As this conversation is going, two more people have joined the line, and since I’m the only one working, I rush through an explanation of how we handle bottle returns, and how being owed 20 cents doesn’t make the till take off 20 cents. He leaves shortly, but obviously still isn’t quite satisfied with the answer.)

Customer #2: “Wow.”

Me: “Sometimes people pay exactly the wrong amount of attention.”

Taxed Ten Cents Too Much

, , , , | Right | June 19, 2017

Me: “Okay, your total is [total].”

Customer: “I have this five dollar off coupon.”

Me: “Oh, sorry, as it says on the coupon, the five dollars off are only for purchases of $25.00 or above, excluding tax.”

Customer: “But I have $25.00.”

Me: “Yes, but that’s including the tax. Your total before tax is $24.90 which is what the coupon counts. You can grab a candy or something to make it enough.”

(The lady stands there for ages angrily reading all the exclusions on the coupon.)

Me: “Uh… so did you want to grab a candy or…?”


Me: “It’s a law that coupons can’t be used on tax, not store policy, so they wouldn’t write it on the coupon—”


(She then throws the coupon and storms out, leaving her purchases. All right, lady. If they printed every single consumer and business law on a coupon, it would go out the door!)

Burn Your Return

, , , , , | Right | June 18, 2017

Customer: “I would like to return these pants.”

Me: “Okay, do you have your receipt?”

Customer: “Yes, I do.” *hands the receipt to me* “I’m returning them because the girl blew her nose and picked up a receipt off the floor and didn’t wash her hands. I think they are contaminated.  They are dirty now. You need to train your employees to be sanitary.”

Me: “Aren’t you the woman who used to come in the dry cleaners I used to work at and always complain and try to get a free order? Then I went to working at [Local Drug Store] and you had issues there, too. Let me tell you something. We are sales associates who try to do our jobs and make other people happy. But you are one customer who I know well, and nothing satisfies you.”

Customer: “I want to see a manager.”

(Manager comes up to the register.)

Manager: “How may I help you?”

Customer: “This employee is back-talking me.”

Manager: *holding up the pants* “What is your reason for returning this now? Let me tell you something, miss. Every week, you are in here returning something, sometimes more than once a week.”

Customer: “Well, your sales associates are disrespectful and this item was touched by someone who didn’t wash their hands after they rang me up and they blew their nose. They also picked up a slip off the floor. I can’t shop in a store so dirty.”

Manager: “I can return the pants, but honestly, I don’t like to lose customers. In your case, however, your returns are far outweighing your purchases and we feel you are abusing our return policy. This is the last return we are processing for you. I am asking you to not come back in this store, as you’ve had a history of harassing associates.”

(The customer took the completed return and left, clearly in shock. That’s the last time I saw the Watertown Retail Bully ever around my area.)

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