It’s A Dog’s Life (And Death) In Charity Retail

, , , , | Right | October 3, 2018

(I am a volunteer at a local charity shop. We get a few odd customers in who try to get reductions for no reason, but this guy really sticks out in my mind.)

Customer: “Excuse me. How much is this statue?”

(I walk over to where he’s pointing. We sell stock which was donated, along with stock from manufacturers. This customer is interested in a cheetah statue. It is beautiful and rightly priced at £39.99.)

Me: “That is £39.99, sir.”

Customer: “Well, that’s ridiculous! Why is it that expensive? This is a charity shop!”

Me: “We do often stock expensive items, sir, along with our cheaper clothes and ornaments. In this case, this statue has come straight from the manufacturers. It is new, made especially for our charity stores, so the price reflects that.”

Customer: “Oh, right. Well, can I have it for free?”

Me: “Sorry?”

Customer: “My dog just died. It was to cheer me up. Can I get it for free?”

Me: “I’m sorry; I can’t do that.”

(A little later, at the end of my shift, I was talking to the manager and let her know what the guy said. She said she was going to go to Bentley to try the same thing to get a free car.)

Not Very Charitable Expectations

, , | Right | October 1, 2018

(I work in a charity shop. A customer approaches me and simply says the name of a band that I’ve never heard of.)

Me: “Pardon?”

Customer: “Do you have any [Band] CDs?”

Me: “I don’t think so.”

Customer: “But it’s Wednesday.”

Me: *pause* “Yes, it is.”

Customer: “You said you were getting some more in on Wednesday.”

Me: “We do get new stock in on Wednesdays, but we’ve just finished sorting through this week’s delivery, and I definitely don’t remember seeing anything by them.”

(Again, I work in a charity shop. Our only stock is from donations and deliveries from other shops. I’d never seen him before, and I’ve no idea which of my colleagues told him about our Wednesday deliveries, but he seemed completely baffled by the fact that we don’t control what people choose to donate to us.)

Can’t Claw That Back

, , , | Working | July 31, 2018

(Two elderly ladies are browsing the assorted jewellery in a display cabinet on the counter.)

Me: “If there’s anything you want to look at, just ask.”

Customer #1: “Yes, can we see that pink brooch at the back?”

Me: “Certainly.”

(I get the brooch out and hand it over; it’s an enamelled brooch in the shape of a crab.)

Me: “There you go.”

Customer #2: “It’s a crab.”

Me: “Well, we are a seaside town.”

Customer #1: “Ah, it must be for the star-sign Cancer.”

Me: “That works, too.”

Customer #2: “You could get it for [Relative]; she’s a Cancer.”

Me: “So’s my wife.”

Customer #1: “Oh?”

Me: “And, come to think of it, so were three previous girlfriends.”

Customer #2: “Really?”

Me: “Yes. How come I always get the crabs?”


Me: “Ahem, perhaps I could have phrased that better.”

Customer #1: “Yes, perhaps you could have!”

(Fortunately, they both then burst out laughing. At least they bought the brooch.)

What A Space Oddity

, , , , | Right | July 10, 2018

(In this charity shop, we have a CD player, but a fairly limited collection of decent CDs — those get sold, usually. One thing we have is a promotional David Bowie CD which was given away with a paper at some point. As a fan of David Bowie, I tend to put this on fairly regularly when I am in.)

Customer: *seemingly jokingly* “Why do you have this music on?”

Me: “It’s David Bowie!”

Customer: *still apparently jokingly* “Well, it’s going to drive customers away!”

Me: “Actually, I usually get people saying how they like that we chose to play this CD.”

Customer: “Well, it’s awful!”

(I chuckle and jokingly point at the door.)

Customer: *tone of voice suddenly very serious* “Well, if you’re going to be that rude, then I will leave.”

(Cue me and another volunteer frantically trying to explain we were joking as she left. Apparently, she wasn’t joking.)

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Change-ing Perceptions

, , , , | | Right | May 31, 2018

(I’m the customer, paying for a £1.49 pack of greetings cards. I hand my coins, £1 + 50p + 5p + 2p + 1p + 1p, to the cashier.)

Me: “Here’s £1.59.”

Another Customer: *in a tone that says, “You moron!”* “He said £1.49. Why are you giving him £1.59?”

Me: *answering factually, as if it were a genuine question* “He’ll give me 10p change. I’ll have fewer coins in my pocket, and he’ll have some change for other customers.”

Cashier: *handing me 10p* “I wish more customers were like you.”

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