Rocking On Through Your Shift

, , , | Right | September 21, 2017

(I am working the register. A woman approaches to return two items: ribbon and a five-pound bag of decor rocks. I scan the slip, and it says that I cannot return the rocks, as they were purchased as a clearance item.)

Me: “I’m sorry; I can return the ribbon, but I cannot return the rocks because they were bought on clearance.”

Customer: “But I don’t need them.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but the register will not let me.”

Customer: *incoherent mumble*

(I process the return of the ribbon as normal, with no other issues.)

Me: “Here you are.” *hands her the bag with her return slip and the non-returnable rocks*

Customer: *throws the bag back at me, hitting me in the chest and chin with five pounds of rocks* “UGH! I said throw them away! I don’t want them, and I am not taking it home!”

(She stomps off.)

Me: *to next customer* “Want a bag of rocks?”

The Card Reader Is Antique

, , , , | Working | September 21, 2017

(I’m visiting my sister in Idaho, and she takes me to what’s essentially an antiques flea market – a long building crammed with rows and rows of assorted antiques, separated into booths. It looks like a very established place [and I know my sister has been going there for years], but when I go up to the checkout with a $3 trinket, this happens:)

Me: “Just this, please.”

Cashier: “Okay. And how will you be paying?”

Me: “Debit.” *I get out my debit card, and the cashier’s eyes go wide*

Cashier: “Oh, please don’t. You don’t have cash? Or a check?” *she hesitantly pulls out a tiny, outdated-looking card-reader, not quite bringing it out, like she’s praying I’ll change my mind*

Me: “Uh… I have a $50 that I haven’t been able to break yet. I don’t want to clear out your register.”

Cashier: *lighting up and throwing the card-reader back under the counter* “Cash is great! Please just break your $50. That’ll be best.”

Me: “Okay. That’s fine with me.”

Cashier: *counts out my change* “Would you like a receipt?”

Me: “No, that’s all right.”

Cashier: “Oh, it’s already printing. Here you go!”

(She hands me the receipt, which is a full 8.5 x 11 sheet of printer paper, with my tiny $3 purchase filling one line at the very top.)

Requires More Than “Regular” Skills

, , , | Right | September 19, 2017

(I work at a local bookstore in a city with a large transit center, which means we get a lot of “interesting” visitors and regulars. One regular, a Yosemite fanatic and quite the talker, comes into the store a little more hyper than usual. I am helping another customer, a middle-aged woman, while the regular cracks jokes and sings to my coworker at the register next to me.)

Female Customer: *to me* “That man is so annoying.”

(She tells me this in a voice loud enough for the regular to hear, but he doesn’t seem to notice. I remain professional.)

Me: “Well, ma’am, he’s a very nice regular.”

Female Customer: “I understand, but… he was in the travel section with me, just singing and talking to himself… and I just couldn’t… ugh!”

Me: “We do get some interesting people in this store.”

Female Customer: “I’m sure. You know what? If I had your job, I wouldn’t last two minutes.”

Me: “It takes some guts, ma’am.”

(It is only after I rang up her things and sent her on her way that I realized that this just might be the first time the customer actually acknowledged that my retail, low-wage job takes some skills, rather than acting high and mighty and like I was doing something wrong!)

Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Argue

, , | Right | September 19, 2017

(Every once in a while, we get an item that has the incorrect price tag on it. It’s store policy to honor it, but we still need to check with our managers.)

Me: “Hey, [Manager], this is ringing up at $12 but has a $5 tag.”

Manager: “Okay, you can just honor it.”

Customer: “Well, why don’t you do it?”

Manager: “Ma’am, I just said to honor it.”

Customer: “Yeah, but why wouldn’t you?”

Manager: “We’re giving it to you at the discounted price.”

Customer: “Okay, but why would it be an issue?”

Manager: “Ma’am, just…” *at this point my manager just turns away and ignores the customer*

(After the customer leaves:)

Me: “Well, she was a bit rude.”

Manager: “I hate people like that. Why does it matter that you have to ask if I’m giving her the discount anyway? She just wanted to start an argument.”

Potty Training Isn’t The Only Training Required Around Here

, , , , | Working | September 18, 2017

(I am buying baby supplies.)

Cashier: “Wipes, diapers, powder. What does a man need all this for?”

Me: “My daughter isn’t old enough to be potty trained yet.”

Cashier: “Surely it’s a wife’s job to handle the baby. Where’s your wife? Why aren’t you working?”

Me: “He’s at home with our daughter, and I’m on paternity leave.”

Cashier: “He? Your wife is a HE?!”

Me: “My husband is a he.”

(The cashier practically jumped away from me, sneering, and crossed her heart. She then refused to sell me anything, and I asked for a manager. When he came, she spoke directly to him, completely ignoring my existence. After she was finished, the manager “queer high-fived” me and gave me an employee discount. The cashier looked like she was about to collapse and asked to be excused. When I dropped by a few weeks, I was told she decided to leave due to a “conflict of interest”.)

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