To Complaining, And Beyond!

, , , , | Right | January 26, 2020

(I am ringing up a customer. As always, I ask how she’s doing.)

Customer: “I hate [Store].”

Me: *wondering why she’s here if she hates it* “Oh. Okay.”

Customer: “With a passion.”

Me: “Okay.”

(I expect her to explain why she hates it, but she doesn’t.)

Me: *lighthearted* “I assume you don’t have a [rewards card], then?”

Customer: “Oh, no, I have one.” *gives it to me*

Me: “???”

(I finish ringing her up.)

Customer: “This place is just beyond.” *leaves*

(She wasn’t exactly rude, but I’m not really sure why she felt a need to tell me she hates our store, why she didn’t make some specific complaint so we could try to help, and why she still shops there often enough to justify having a rewards card.)

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The Coupons Are Coup-off

, , , , , | Right | January 25, 2020

About a year ago, the store I work at got remodeled with all new self-checkout machines and registers at the front end. We have two kinds of self-checkouts: the traditional compact scanners that most people associate with the term and a smaller number of belted registers where customers with larger purchases can ring themselves up. 

The other day, when I was assigned to monitor and help people at the belted self-checkouts, a couple came up with a basket of items and a handful of coupons. Our register systems, even for self-checkout, are actually pretty smart. If someone tries to cheat the system with a fake coupon, it’s detected and someone is supposed to go verify whether the coupons are, in fact, genuine. The couple in question had dumped out their basket onto the belt and split it into two piles. Basically their “haul” consisted of about ten scented wax candle melts, ten yogurts, and a $50 store gift card… each. 

Even before we’re put on a register, we’re trained on coupons: how to scan them, which ones are valid, what to do if we can’t get a coupon to scan, etc. 

Right away, I could tell the coupons were invalid. Our wax melts are maybe $2 and each coupon they had was supposed to take $5 off… Same with the yogurts. They’re normally priced at $1 and each coupon took $3 off. Riiiiight…

I informed them as politely as I could that the coupons were invalid, saying that the register wouldn’t let them scan — which was partially true. Immediately, the woman got very defensive, saying they were sent to them straight from the manufacturer. 

In the past, we’ve had a lot of problems with fake coupons so, fortunately, I knew how to handle the situation. I paged my manager over so I would be free to help other customers and the couple grabbed their coupons, storming out of the store and cursing.

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Nipple Size Matters

, , , , , | Working | January 24, 2020

(I have been a handyman for many decades. I go to one home improvement store — now out of business — to get a short piece of pipe for a job I am working on. I find the item, but it does not have a SKU tag on it. I take it to the checkstand where a young lady is waiting to check me out.)

Cashier: *looks at the pipe* “What’s this?”

Me: “That is a 1⁄2-inch-by-4-inch galvanized nipple.” *short pieces of pipe are called nipples*

Cashier: *indignant!* “Don’t talk dirty to me! And that is not ½-inch!” *takes out a tape measure* “It’s 3/4!”

Me: “Pipes are measured by the inside diameter, not the outside diameter; it is 1⁄2-inch.”

Cashier: *glares at me, rings it up as 3/4 X 4″ black pipe*

(I just paid and left; for the few cents difference, I wasn’t going to argue with her.)

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The One Thing They Should Have Been Looking For Today Is Some Patience  

, , , , | Right | January 24, 2020

(I am a cashier at a large chain hobby store. It is truck day, and as we are not very busy at the moment, I am the only person on a register while the backup cashiers are helping to put out the impulse items stock. I am just finishing up with a customer when two other people come and get in line. On truck days, we only call up backup cashiers if there are more than two people in line, or if a person gets in line with a large number of items. I can see that each of these customers only has a small basket and neither basket is even remotely close to being full so I choose to not bother calling backup. I hand the receipt to the customer I am now done with and get started ringing in the next customer’s items. I’m attempting to ask the customer I’m working with the standard questions we ask customers.)

Me: “How are you? Did you find everything you need?”

(But before I can even get finished with the first question, the next customer in line interrupts me:)

Impatient Customer: “Isn’t there anyone you can call to help you check people out so we don’t have to wait so long?”

(Only about thirty seconds have passed since she got into my line, so I’m caught a little off guard for a minute. The customer I am with now sort of glances behind her before smirking and shaking her head slightly in disbelief.)

Me: *looking at the five items the lady in front of her has, that I’m now done ringing in, and already bagging* “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I’m the only available cashier at the moment. Our truck is here at the moment so a lot of our staff is tied up trying to make sure everything gets put onto the floor in a timely manner.”

(It irritates me that I have not been able to really interact with my current customer other than barely managing to get out part of our standard greeting, as at this point I’m just waiting for her to pay. I hear the impatient customer sigh several times. I am starting to notice several other customers hovering around the front area, browsing the impulse items, but no one has gotten in line yet. I finally finish up with the customer I was working with and get started on Ms. Impatient; she has only two items. As I’m checking out the impatient woman, three people come up and get in my line, one right after the other, and as she is handing me her money, another two people come up to get in my line. I finish out the transaction, and as I’m handing Ms. Impatient her receipt and change, I decide to pick up my phone and proceed to call for cashier backup over the intercom, before saying one last thing to the customer.)

Me: “Have a nice day today, ma’am, and thank you for shopping at [Store].”

(She just huffed and walked out without saying anything. Her total time in line was less than three minutes, and if she hadn’t been so rude and disruptive to my other customers, I would not have been so snarky with her.)

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Has Some Baggage Over The Bagging

, , , , , | Right | January 23, 2020

(I work at a “budget” grocery store, where customers are expected to bag their own items. My customer and I bond over the fact that she works as a cashier at [Way More Expensive Grocery Store] and we casually make fun of bad customers as I ring her up.)

Customer: “Yeah, customers can be awful. But, I mean, you know, at least at [Expensive Store] we actually do our jobs and bag groceries, unlike here where they don’t understand customer service.”

(Her tone has quickly switched from happy and friendly to quite nasty, and I’m rather taken aback at the change.)

Me: “I… I’m sorry?”

Customer: “Yeah. We just work way harder than you. You just stand there.”

Me: “I can assure you, ma’am, we work very hard here.”

Customer: “Not as hard as we work at [Expensive Store]. I actually do more than stand around and scan things. It’s just ridiculous that we have to bag our own things! It’s not right! We’d never treat a customer like that at [Expensive Store]!”

Me: “That’s not really called for. We all work hard here, and—”

Customer: “Ridiculous!”

Me: “I’m sorry you’re frustrated, but not paying for baggers is how we keep our prices so low. [Expensive Store] is almost twice the price for almost everything, and their prices are higher specifically because they have more luxuries, like paying to have enough staff on hand that you have time to bag between customers.”

Customer: “Oh, my God, I looooove how cheap you guys are compared to [Expensive Store], nowhere near as expensive as my work. That’s why I love coming here! You just need to learn to do your job properly and bag things!”

Me: *sigh*

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