This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 58

| Iowa City, IA, USA | Extra Stupid, Money

(I am working at a popular book store chain which has a membership card. This particular customer, hands me her card, but I see that it is expired.)

Me: “I’m sorry, it looks like your card is expired. Would you like to renew it?”

Customer: “It can’t be expired. I signed up for automatic renewal.”

Me: “That’s odd. Let me call member services and see what’s going on.”

(I call member services and they confirm that the customer was signed up for automatic renewal, but that her credit card was expired, so the renewal didn’t go through. I explain this to the customer.)

Customer: “That’s impossible. Credit cards don’t expire.”

Me: “Well, I can show you the expiration date on your card. It’s right here.”

Customer: “Right, but the bank sent me a new card. It has the same number and everything.”

Me: “But member services didn’t have your new card’s expiration date, so they weren’t able to charge you.”

Customer: “CREDIT CARDS DON’T EXPIRE!”

(We go back and forth like this, with the customer shouting at both me and a manager, until another customer offers to let the first customer borrow her membership card.)

Me: *to the manager, after both customers leave* “That was nice, but now the same thing is going to happen the next time she comes in.”

Related:
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 57
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 56
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 55

Not Very Closed Minded, Part 22

| PA, USA | Bad Behavior, Time

(The store closes at 10:00 pm, and it’s 9:59. I am straightening while my coworker rings up customers. Two women are the last customers in line.)

Customer #1: “Oh, look, clearance items!”

Customer #2: “I love a good sale!”

(They walk away and start browsing through the clearance bins. The “We are closed” announcement is made. Five minutes later…)

Customer #1: “I’ll take these books, and this item from clearance. Make sure to ring it up as 75% off!”

Cashier: “Ma’am, clearance items are currently 50% off.”

Customer #2: “Really? That’s not much of a deal. Maybe you shouldn’t get it.”

Customer #1: “Hmm. I don’t know… How much will it be with my discount card?

(My coworker totals up her savings, then the total cost without her card, then the cost if the customer “waited till the clearance was better.” It is now ten after, and the manager has come out to see why the register’s still on.)

Customer #1: “Okay, I guess I’ll take it.”

(They are rung up, and walking towards the door. Her hand is on the knob.)

Customer #1: “You know what? I’ve changed my mind. I don’t think I want this after all. Can I return it?”

Manager: “Let me get that done quickly for you, seeing as how we are CLOSED.”

Customer #2: “Oh, you guys have chocolate!”

(The manager rings the return lightning-fast, while Customer #2 looks at the chocolate.)

Manager: “There, you’re set. Have a lovely ni—”

Customer #1: “Is your cafe still open?”

Manager: “No, as we have been closed for twenty minutes.”

Customer #1: “Dang, I wanted some coffee. Well, I have to go to the bathroom. Just a minute.”

(She meanders towards the restrooms, pausing every few steps to look at a display. Customer #2 stays at the registers, studying the chocolate. Manager and Cashier quickly close out the register.)

Customer #2: “How much would these candy bars be, if I wanted one?”

Manager: “Ma’am, the prices are on the display sign. And we couldn’t sell you one anyway, because we are CLOSED.”

Customer #2: *huffs as [Customer #1] returns from the restroom* “Come on, they don’t want our money! He won’t even sell me a d*** candy bar!”

(They finally left, a half-hour after we closed, having spent a grand total (post-return) of $3.75.)

Related:

Not Very Closed Minded, Part 21

Not Very Closed Minded, Part 20

Not Very Closed Minded, Part 19

Children Act Off-The-Cuff

| Iowa City, IA, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Rude & Risque

(I am working as a cashier at a bookstore when a customer approaches me to pay for her items. Her son is touching everything and messing up all of the nearby display, and doesn’t listen when she tells him to keep his hands to himself.)

Customer: *finally growing frustrated* “Don’t make me put your cuffs on!”

(Her son immediately calms down and starts behaving himself. I think I must have misheard what she said, but I can’t help but notice something round and furry sticking out from her purse. Later, I’m talking with a coworker.)

Coworker: “Did you see that woman earlier who had her kid in fuzzy fetish handcuffs?”

Closing In On Copying

| Victoria, BC, Canada | Bad Behavior, Books & Reading, Time

(I am working the closing shift during the summer season when we are open quite late, and it is basically time to go home. The lights are all off, and mere seconds before the door is locked, a woman runs in. I approach her.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but the store is closing now.”

Customer: “Oh, that’s fine! Don’t worry, I know exactly what I’m looking for.”

(We are known for being very polite in this situation, and seeing as she seems to know where she is going I let her search. Sure enough, she comes up to the counter with a book about 20 seconds later, which is a pleasant surprise.)

Me: “Wow, that was quick! Okay, I just need to scan the book—”

Customer: “Hold on a second, I just need to take a look at something.”

(I sigh inwardly, but I know I like to give books a quick scan before I buy them, so I let her do it. My coworkers are a bit jumpy and want to go home, but we all remain silent. After about a minute, the woman pulls out a pad of paper and a pen and actually starts copying part of the book onto it.)

Me: “Umm… ma’am, perhaps you could do that after you’ve bought the book? it’s just that we’re past closing and we need to lock the door.”

Customer: “Oh, no, I’m not buying it. I just need to get this information. Just give me some time.”

Me: *shocked* “I’m so sorry, but I can’t let you do that. I might suggest going to the library for this book as you can take it out for free. If you do need to come back tomorrow, we are open at nine, but I’m going to have to ask you to leave so we can lock the door.”

(The customer sighed sharply, jammed her paper and pen into her purse, and stomped out. I have no idea if she came back for her all-important information.)

You Won’t Believe This Story

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

(It is the early 1990s, before online shopping has become the norm. The customer appears to be a student, maybe in her early twenties. She’s standing at the information desk at the front of what’s literally one of the world’s largest bookstores: 100,000 titles and counting.

Customer: “Uh, hi… I’m looking for a book?”

Me: *grinning appreciatively at what I think MUST be a little joke* “Great! What did you have in mind?”

Customer: “Uh… I dunno… Just something to read.”

Me: *notices she’s not smiling* “Oh, okay. So what subject were you thinking of?”

Customer: *shrugs, turns to boyfriend, who mutters something unintelligible, turns back* “Well, you know, a good story. You know, like my grandma reads.”

Me: *noticing a line forming behind her* “Right-oh! Fiction! So, let’s see…” *all while anxiously scanning her face for a reaction* “These are our bestsellers over here…” *blank face* “We have romance, horror, sci-fi, comedy…” *blank face* “…uh, Canadiana, historical…” *even blanker face*

Customer: “I dunno, just a good story. I’m going on a trip and I need something to read.” *starting to look really annoyed* “Can’t you just recommend something?”

Me: *gushing a little with relief* “Not from here, but I know who can.” *picks up pager* Fiction staff to the front desk, please…”

(Later I ask the poor Fiction staffer who rescued me how it went.)

Fiction Staffer: “I dunno. Every book I showed her, she just shook her head and said she wanted a ‘good’ story…”

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