Customers Are Watching The Watchers

, , , | Right | November 9, 2018

(Being a charity shop, our store is pretty casual about where we sort and price stock. Quite often we’ll put the prices on at the front counter, where we also serve customers. On this occasion, my coworker is pricing some books, standing on the “customer” side of the counter so it’s easier for her to go back and forth between the counter and the bookshelves. For the record, my coworker is a slightly grumpy woman in her 60s, and I’m a woman in my mid-twenties. A customer comes up and waits, as she thinks my coworker is a customer being served.)

Coworker: “Oh, sorry. You can go; I work here.” *walks away to shelve some books*

(The customer comes up and I ring up her purchases.)

Customer: *in a hushed whisper* “Does she work here?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: *points to my coworker* “Her. Does she really work here?”

(I look to where my coworker is putting books away, obviously working.)

Me: “Um… yes?”

Customer: “Oh, I thought she was lying so she could watch you.”

Me: “No, she definitely works here.”

(She kept shooting suspicious glances at my coworker until she left. I still have no idea what she was worried about; if someone wants to come in the shop and do work for us, they can “watch me” all they like!)

If The Shoe Doesn’t Fit, Throw A Tantrum

, , , , | Right | October 24, 2018

(I work in a charity shop. We can only sell items that have been donated to us. An elderly customer walks in and starts looking at our shoe display.)

Customer: *holds up a shoe* “What’s the size of these?”

Me: *busy with a line of customers waiting to pay* “I don’t know, I’m afraid, if you look in the other shoe there will be a tag with its size.”

Customer: “You work here; you should know.”

(Another customer from the other end of the shop goes to help the lady as I cannot leave the till in the middle of a transaction. He tells her the shoe is a size 8. She huffs and puts the shoe back. She appears right beside me, almost behind the till, as I’m still serving other customers and thrusts another shoe in my face.)

Customer: “Size?”

Me: “I’m really sorry but I am busy with other customers. If you can just wait while I finish here I’ll be happy to help you with looking for shoes.”

Customer: “Fine.”

(She walks off. About ten seconds pass and I am still serving a line of people.)

Customer: “These. What are their size?”

Me: “I am really sorry but I am busy here and cannot help you right this moment. If you’re struggling to read the sizes, why don’t you pick out some that you like and I’ll help you in just a moment.”

(She appears in my face again and thrusts another shoe at me, almost hitting me.)

Customer: “Size. Now.”.

Me: *gently pushes the shoe away from my face* “As I have said, I am busy. Please wait and I will help you when I can.”

(By now, the customers waiting to be served have been waiting a lot longer than they would usually have to because of this woman and are now, like me, starting to get annoyed.)

Customer In Line: “For god’s sake, wait! She’s told you she is busy. And stop putting shoes in her face.”

Customer: “This is none of your business. I need to know shoe sizes. I will wait by the shoes.”

(I smile at the customer who stood up for me and thank her. She tells me I am an asset to the shop for putting up with the woman so well, and then leaves.)

Me: *walks out from behind the counter and to the shoes* “What size are you looking for?”

Customer: “Six.”

(I look at all the shoes after establishing she wants a lace up pair and find we have none that fit her.)

Customer: “Go look in the back. You always have more in the back.”

Me: “Ok, then.”

(At this point I am grateful for the opportunity to get away from her for a minute and tell the manager for the day what has happened.)

Manager: “Well, the only lace up shoes we have back here are too big or too small.”

Me: *smiles* “What a shame!”

(I go back out to the shop and tell the customer we have no shoes to fit her.)

Customer: “This is ridiculous! I need shoes!”

Me: “Unfortunately, as s a charity shop, we can only put out and sell what’s donated to us so if someone with size six feet who likes lace up shoes doesn’t donate their old shoes we can’t sell any.”

Customer: *throws shoe she is holding* “For f*** sake!” *starts walking out of shop*

Me: “Have a wonderful day!”

Customer: “F*** you!”

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.)

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