When You DON’T Want The Juicy Details

, , , , | Right | July 28, 2020

I am twenty, working as a cashier. It is early in the morning when things are slow. This is usually when the elderly shoppers come in because they like to have the time to chat with the cashiers. I have grown accustomed to this and often engage in friendly chat with them.

Looking up from my previous customer, I see that the next one in line is an elderly gentleman.

Me: “Good morning, sir!”

I started scanning his products.

Customer: “Good morning, dearie. I have cancer!”

Me: “Oh, dear, I’m so sorry to hear that.”

I’m blanking; what just happened? Did he really just say this?

Customer: “…”

Me: “Well, uh, what kind of cancer?”

I am sensing he wants to talk about it as he is looking at me expectantly.

Customer: “Oh, well, it’s taken over almost all of my kidney and the doctors want to remove it completely, but I don’t want them to take my kidney! I need two!”

Me: “Oh, actually, you only need—”

Customer: “—so that is why I asked my son to teach me how to use ‘the Google’ and you will not believe what I found! Pomegranate juice cures cancer!”

Me: “Um… well… I don’t know about that… Wouldn’t everyone know about that, then?”

I am not equipped for these types of conversations! The customer completely glosses over my expressed doubts.

Customer: “So, how much do I owe you, dearie?”

I look at what I have been scanning and see over eight bottles of pomegranate juice.

Me: “Your total is €28.96.”

Customer: “Here you go. Have a lovely day; you are a sweetheart.”

He left with a big smile on his face. I took a break after that to deal with my heart that had been shattered into a million pieces.

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Refunder Blunder, Part 46

, , , , | Right | July 27, 2020

Our store has instituted a policy that all supervisors are required to either call for assistance or help the guests themselves if a “line” of two or more people starts to form anywhere in the store. While it is a great idea, this can lead to some interesting interactions.

I see a line forming in one of my areas, so I jump onto the register next to the associate and offer to help the next person in line. I have seen this particular guest in the store many times and know my associates dread her coming in but I have never actually dealt with her directly.

Me: “I can help you right here, ma’am.”

Dreaded Customer: “I want to get a price adjustment. These baby clothes are on a much better sale now than when I bought them.”

This is totally allowed by our policy, but it has to be within ten days of the original purchase for it to work. If it’s within ten days, we only need the receipt. I explain that and ask her if she has her receipt. She pulls out a stack of them from her purse, shuffles through, and hands me one, leaving the rest to the side. I check the date and see no notations about any items being returned or exchanged written on it.

Me: “Thank you, I’ll get started on that for you.”

As I start the process, the register kicks back an error message saying all the items on the original purchase have been returned. All associates are supposed to circle and date on the receipt if something like that happens and staple the old receipt to the new one. Since I find no evidence of that, I am understandably confused.

Me: “I do apologize, ma’am, but it appears all the items on this receipt have been returned so I’m not able to do an adjustment for you.”

Dreaded Customer: “I know.”

She is dripping with attitude; she might as well have said, “Obviously,” with a valley girl lilt. I try to save the situation.

Me: “Well, let’s take a look and see if it’s on another receipt.”

With no help from her, I find another receipt for the same items from the same day, just timed later. I start the adjustment process with no problem.

Me: “There we go; just needed the right one!”

Dreaded Customer: “You know, I don’t like your attitude. You should have known it was the wrong receipt right away. I’m going to tell everyone I know about you and your poor customer service. I work for the school district so I have a lot of influence. Where is your manager? I want to speak to them about you!”

Me: “I am sorry, ma’am, but there was no way for me to know that this receipt wouldn’t take.”

I show her that there are no pen marks or notes on the receipt she gave me.

Me: “I actually am the manager for this department and my supervisor is the store manager, [Boss]. I’d be happy to call her over for you if you don’t mind waiting.”

Dreaded Customer: “Oh, I know her; we go way back. I don’t have time today, but I will call her about your rudeness.”

I apologize and finish out her transaction, doing my best to make her happy, but to no end. She grabs all of her receipts and saunters off. By this time, we have no one in line and I turn to the sales associate on the register next to me who was there for this whole thing.

Me: “Did she seriously just blame me because she gave me the wrong receipt?”

Associate: “Don’t worry; she’s always been like that. And don’t worry; she doesn’t work in the district offices. She’s a crossing guard. Next time, I’ll take care of her or call someone else over so she doesn’t bother you.”

We shake our heads and continue about our day. A week later, she is back in the same area with the same sales associate and a line. It’s a very busy day, so with no one else available, I offer my services, using my best over-the-top customer service voice.

Me: “I can help you over here, miss.”

She speaks with her nose in the air, making a point not to make eye contact with me.

Dreaded Customer: “No, thank you, ma’am. I’ll wait for her to help me.”

She indicates my associate, who is in the middle of placing an order for someone.

Me: “If you’re sure. She is placing an order and may take a while. We don’t want you to have to wait.”

Dreaded Customer: “I don’t mind waiting. I’d prefer if she helps me. You can take whoever is next.”

The customer behind her is confused but puts her things on the counter and I help her, continuing to be perfectly pleasant and professional. My customer has a large purchase, so we are still going through her items when the associate finishes the order, helps the dreaded customer, and moves onto the next. My customer watches to make sure she is gone and whispers to me:

Nice Customer: “Can I ask what that was about?”

Me: “Oh, it’s nothing. She blames me because she gave me the wrong receipt one time.”

The nice customer is obviously confused, so the associate and I explain what happened.

Nice Customer: “I can’t believe this! Is there someone I can talk to? Because you both have been absolutely wonderful. This is my first time shopping here and I don’t want you to get in trouble over something so silly.”

I happened to have a company tablet and I pulled up the customer review page for her. She typed up a note about the experience she had and made sure to include our names. Since then, she has been a loyal customer and is nice to all the associates. Thankfully, I no longer work there, but I still smile about how ridiculous the whole thing was.

Refunder Blunder, Part 45
Refunder Blunder, Part 44
Refunder Blunder, Part 43
Refunder Blunder, Part 42
Refunder Blunder, Part 41

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The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 15

, , , , , | Right | July 27, 2020

At our store, when purchasing a gift card, you are given a separate, smaller receipt to show that the gift card has been activated. This smaller receipt also has all the information about that individual gift card on it, just in case it doesn’t work for whatever reason and you need to contact the company about it.

A customer has just purchased a gift card and I have handed him his regular receipt and his additional gift card receipt.

Customer: “What’s this other receipt for?”

Me: “That’s just to show that the gift card’s been activated.”

Customer: “I don’t understand.”

Me: “It has all the information about that individual gift card just in case, for whatever reason, the gift card doesn’t work.”

Customer: “What? Doesn’t work? I don’t want it if it doesn’t work.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “You just said that this gift card doesn’t work. I don’t want it.”

Me: “It should work, sir. I just meant hang onto that receipt on the very unlikely chance that it doesn’t.”

Customer: “This is supposed to be a gift for someone. I don’t want to give them a gift card that doesn’t work. Why would you even sell this? I want a refund.”

Me: “Sorry, sir, we can’t do refunds for gift cards once they’re activated. But I promise the gift card will work.”

The customer stares me down with intense fury as he backs out of the store.

Customer: “It had better work.”

The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 14
The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 13
The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 12
The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 11
The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 10

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The Couponator 18: The Digital Revolution

, , , , , , , | Right | July 26, 2020

I work at a bulk membership club. The club is taking extra steps to ensure the health and safety of employees and customers during the current health crisis.

One of these steps is making all coupons digital-only: use the membership app and load them onto the card. However, some customers are so entrenched in the old way of physically clipping coupons that every day we get some variation of, “Well, I wasn’t informed…”

Me: “All right, that will be [amount].”

Customer: “Oh, wait. I have all these coupons.”

Me: “Ma’am, due to the outbreak, all of our coupons are done digitally now.”

Customer: “What? Since f****** when?”

Me: “Since the beginning of March, ma’am.”

Customer: “Well, nobody ever told me that.”

Me: “Ma’am, it says so on the first page of the coupon book, on the large sign at the front of the store, on the TVs that you passed by on your way in, and on the PA system every half-hour.”

Customer: “Well, I didn’t see or hear any of that, so you have to take my coupons.”

As I’m about to call a manager, the PA system starts the prerecorded spiel about digital coupons. I watch as the customer claps her hands over her ears.

Customer: *Very loudly* “This is age discrimination, you know. I’m too old to know how to use these app things and if you keep this s*** up, I’m going to complain to the State about this!”

My manager arrives and she says the following:

Manager: “Ma’am, first of all, I won’t have you swear at my cashier. He has tried to help you. And in reference to your last statement, I see you’re not carrying a flip phone, so your [Expensive Smartphone] should be able to handle our app.”

Customer: “No! This policy is f****** stupid, and I won’t download your stupid app just to use my coupons!”

Manager: *To me* “Void her transaction and ring up the next person in line.”

Customer: “How dare you?! I’m a f****** paying customer!”

Manager: “You’re verbally abusing my cashier because you’re unwilling to learn new things, so he’s going to ring the next person in line while I show you how to use the app. Then, you’re going to apologize to him for swearing at him for something that is out of his hands. Then, and only then, will he ring you out, and then you will be a ‘paying customer.’ Do I make myself clear?”

The customer was at least five inches taller than the manager, but the sternness in her voice made the customer back down and move out of the line. Ten minutes later, she very meekly apologized and checked out, not making eye contact with me. A small victory for essential workers, but it felt good.

The Couponator 17: Attack Of The “Programmer”
The Couponator 16: Enter The Entree
The Couponator 15: The Transaction Void
The Couponator 14: Multiple Attack
The Couponator 13: Coupons Of Purchases Past

This story is part of our July 2020 Roundup – the best stories of the month!

Read the next July 2020 Roundup story!

Read the July 2020 Roundup!

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The Weight Of Responsibility

, , , , , | Working | July 23, 2020

My sister works in a supermarket. One day, my sister is next to the self-checkout operator. 

Self-Checkout Operator: “There’s a problem with self-checkout; I have the impression that it no longer takes into account the weight of the items.”

When my sister doesn’t have any customers, she glances at the self-checkout and she notices a couple with five items scan one and put all five on the scale.

Although it doesn’t beep, the self-checkout operator notices it. 

After dealing with the customers, she comes back 

Sister: “You’re right; it didn’t beep to warn of a problem.  Call [Check-Out/Front Desk Manager].”

The manager arrives.

Self-Checkout Operator: *Whispering* “There’s a problem with the machine at self-checkout. It doesn’t take the weight into account anymore.”

The manager glances around the store and notices that there are few people around.

Manager: “It’s voluntary; I took off the parameter ‘weight of the items’.”

Self-Checkout Operator & Sister: “But why?”

Manager: “So that you are more vigilant instead of waiting for the beep to go and see if there is a problem!”

Sister: “But if you’re busy with other customers, others may pass by without you being able to stop them.”

Manager: “It’s not my problem! The store manager approved my idea! Employees who are not vigilant enough will be punished.”

It didn’t take long for customers to notice and for people to come in two groups, one group simulating a problem for the self-checkout operator to come and see, allowing others to steal items.

The rate of shoplifting has skyrocketed and store management has not sanctioned anyone; otherwise, all cashiers who had at least one shift at the self-checkout should have been sanctioned.

Three weeks later, the self-checkouts were taking into account the weight of the items.

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