Disproportionately Cents-less

, , , , | Right | April 11, 2018

(I am the manager of a chain bookstore location. Customers who purchase items on our website can return online purchases to any store location; we simply enter the order number into the register and the computer takes care of the rest by processing the refund amount to the original method of payment — credit card, gift card, etc. The customer gets a print-out to show that the return has been processed. On this particular day, I am on the floor when a cashier at the cash desk has just processed an online return for a customer.)

Cashier: “[My Name], can you help out with this?”

(I approach the cash desk.)

Me: “What can I help with?”

Customer: “I returned this online order, but the computer isn’t refunding the correct amount!”

(I look at the return print-out and see that the original purchase was $53.21, and the refund amount processed is $53.20. Starting to wonder if the customer is really upset over a difference of ONE CENT, I speak with the customer.)

Me: “I apologize. The computer must have rounded off the tax differently when it did the original purchase to when it calculated the refund amount.”

Customer: “So? It charged the one cent to my credit card! What are you going to do about it?!”

(Canada stopped using pennies a few years ago, so now our lowest coin in circulation is five cents. Realizing it’s pointless to even begin to argue with a customer over ONE CENT, I open the till and give the customer a nickel.)

Me: “Here’s five cents.”

Customer: *suddenly happy* “Thank you!” *she walks off*

(Over 15 years in retail and over five years as a manager, and that was the first time I ever had somebody upset over ONE PENNY!)

Please Do Not Microwave The Babies

, , , , | Right | April 7, 2018

(We have stuffed animals filled with “beans” on display at the register. I am ringing up one customer when he picks one up. He starts to massage it almost aggressively, then sniffs it, before putting it back down.)

Customer: “Do you microwave these?”

(I am so taken aback, I assume I have misheard him and that he must have said “manufacture.”)

Me: “Um, no. We just sell them.”

Customer: “I have some bean bags at home; I microwave them and put them on my shoulders to help with pain. Can I do that with these?”

Me: “No, these are kids’ toys. They would probably get burnt.”

Customer: “Oh, okay. Thank you.”

Put That As A Death Note On His Resume

, , , , , , , | Working | April 6, 2018

(I work in a small brick-and-mortar bookstore in my town. We hire a new guy, who only lasts for three days because enough staff complain about him. I only work one day with him, but he gets fired the next day after exchanges like this.)

New Guy: “I seriously don’t understand why people buy books anymore.”

Me: “Then why do you work in a bookstore?”

New Guy: “No, no, no. I like books; I just don’t see why other people like them.”

Me: “Are you kidding?”

New Guy: “Well, when [Manager] asked me in my interview if I read books, I told her lots, but I think the last physical book I read was Death Note back in 2003.”

Me:Death Note didn’t get published in North America until 2005.”

New Guy: “Huh. It was more recently than I thought; 2005 is pretty good.”

Me: “That was 12 years ago.”

New Guy: “Well, do you read all the time, then? When did you last finish a book?”

Me: “I am currently reading Universal Harvester—” *which is in my hands* “—and I just finished reading Misery by Stephen King a week or two ago.”

New Guy: “So, is, like, everyone here book people?”


New Guy: “Oh. I’m just here because I need money, and it looked like you guys didn’t do anything. I played video games professionally for the last seven years, so I like not having to work that much.”

Me: “You are in the wrong place, then, man.”

New Guy: “That’s what they told me when I flunked out of computer science. I still told them all to go eff themselves.”

What Not To Wear Versus How Not To Act

, , , , | Right | March 30, 2018

(Many years ago, there was a TV show called “What Not To Wear,” which consisted of two “fashion stylists” getting members of the public with “poor” dress sense and outfitting them with clothes that suited their shape, colouring, etc., with the usual big reveal to friends and family at the end. Predictably, there’s a whole series of books based on the series to enable the average person to better style themselves. I work in a book shop. It’s a very quiet morning, and there’s only a few customers in the store. There’s a middle-aged gentleman and one of the regular customers — a slightly crazy lady — waiting to be served.)

Me: “Hello, sir, how can I help?”

Customer #1: “Could I have a copy of ‘What Not To Wear’?”

Customer #2: “Well, those trainers for a start!”

Me: *determined not to react* “Certainly, sir. I’ll go fetch you a copy.”

(I dash off quickly to grab the book, resisting the urge to look at the guy’s trainers when I leave the counter. In the meantime, the man is having a blazing row with the crazy regular. I bring the book back, only to be dragged into the argument. The crazy customer disappears, leaving me to try and pacify the irate man. After spending ten minutes with him somehow blaming me for the woman’s critique of his outfit, he buys the book, while continuing to rant to me. Finally, he leaves and the crazy woman comes back.)

Me: *trying very hard not to shout at her* “How can I help?”

Customer #2: “I only meant it as a joke. Can’t he take a joke?”

Me: *through gritted teeth* “I’m afraid he took it quite personally. How can I help?”

Customer #2: “Honestly, I was only having a joke.” *thinks for a moment* “They were awful trainers, though.”

Me: “I couldn’t possibly say, not being able to see them from behind the counter. Do you need any help?”

Customer #2: *starts wandering off muttering* “Can’t take a joke…”

(No apology or anything, despite hearing the guy ranting for ages to me. We did all have a laugh about it in the staff room, but I never saw him again to see if he upgraded his dress sense.)

Slick Parenting

, , , , | Right | March 12, 2018

(We sell a certain brand of collectible stuffed animals that are very popular with kids. It’s a very common occurrence to see kids asking their parents for these. A dad and his little girl come to the cash with one of the stuffed animals, and the girl is very excited.)

Me: “Good choice! He’s one of my favorites!”

Girl: “What’s his name?

(They come with names printed in the tags.)

Me: “Slick.”

Girl: “Slick. He’s so cute! Slick, Slick, Slick.” *matter of fact* “It’s a good thing we can use the credit card. You should always keep your credit card on you, in case you need it to buy things!”

Me: *trying not to laugh* “That’s… very good advice.”

Dad: “Especially when you have children.”

(I couldn’t stop laughing after that; they made my day!)

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