Got Her Quirkiness Down Pat

, , , , , | | Right | May 22, 2019

(I am assisting one of our regular elderly customers in trying to find a product for her pet.)

Me: “I don’t think we have any more of these pet wipes, but it can’t hurt to check…”

Regular: “Oh, hello, doggie! Aren’t you handsome!”

(Our charity shop is pet-friendly, but there is an assistance dog working beside his owner, complete with a harness emblazoned with, “ASSISTANCE DOG — DO NOT PET.” The owner, another regular customer, looks a bit uncomfortable and sick of this kind of thing, so I jump in to prevent a dispute.)

Me: “You know, [Regular], that dog’s working, so you basically just did the same as going up to a police officer and patting him on the head!”

Regular: “Oh, I have no problems doing that all the time, love!”

Me: “You know, [Regular], I believe that. I really do.”

Haggle Is A Hassle

, , , , , | | Right | May 16, 2019

(I am working in a shop where all profits go to a local charity. Unlike other charity shops, we buy brand-new stock to sell, as well as accepting donations. None of the staff are paid; we all donate our time.)

Customer: *comes up to the counter with a brand new skirt* “£5.”

Me: “Pardon?”

Customer: “£5.”

Me: *suddenly realising she’s trying to haggle* “Oh, no, ma’am, that item is labelled as £6.99, but I can give it to you for £6, if you like?”

Customer: “No. £5.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, £6 is the best offer I can make. Our manager is on lunch and we can only take small amounts off new stock.”

Customer: “But I’m not sure if I like it.”

Me: “We do have a changing room, if you’d like to try it on.”

Customer: “£5 because I’m not sure I like it.”

Me: “The best I can do is £6, ma’am.”

Customer: *violently grabs the skirt and bunches it up in her fists* “But it’s creased! £5.”

Me: “Ma’am, it would be creased if you grabbed it like that. Now, you can have it for £6 or £6.99, or I can hang it back on the rail. What would you like me to do?”

Customer: “Oh, FINE!” *throws £10 at me* “But I get 28 days for a refund if I don’t like it?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we don’t accept refunds. We can do an exchange, provided you keep your receipt, though.”

Customer: “NO REFUNDS?! £5 because you won’t refund.”

(I start reaching over to take the skirt back to hang up.)


Me: *after cashing the customer up* “Thank you, ma’am. Have a wonderful day.”

(The customer storms out with her new skirt and my coworker turns to me.)

Coworker: “That just happened, right?”

In The Age Of Streaming, DVDs Now Cost Negative Money

, , , | Right | April 17, 2019

(It is my very first day of working in a charity shop and I’ve never worked in retail until now. A customer approaches me with a DVD in hand; it has an old sticker on it saying, “£5 off.”)

Customer: “Does this have £5 off?”

(The price clearly states it is £4.49, so it is impossible to have £5 off.)

Me: “No, I believe it is £4.49.” *points to the sticker above which says, “£4.49”*

Customer: “But it says, ‘£5 off.’” *points to the sticker which clearly states a different store*

Me: *to coworker* “Does this have £5 off?”

Coworker: “No.” *looks at the customer* “It says, ‘£4.49,’ there.”

Customer: “Oh. Then it’s too expensive.” *to coworker* “Would you like me to put it back?”

Coworker: “It’s all right; I can do it.”

Customer: *hands over a jacket that is £4.49*

Me: *mentally face-palms as the customer hands me a £10 note*

Charity Isn’t Just For The Products

, , , , | Hopeless | March 14, 2019

(Our charity shop has a café in it, so people are extra sociable — even non-regulars — and so am I. On this particular morning, the shop is empty except for me and an occasional customer.)

Me: “Good morning. I hope you’re having fun today! Let me know if there’s anything I can help you find, okay?”

Elderly Man: *looking shocked, eyes brimming with tears* “You have no idea how much I needed to hear a happy voice; the lady at the shop down the road was so rude and cruel to me just now!” *blows his nose on a handkerchief*

Me: “Oh, no! Do you need a hug?”

Elderly Man: *after a pause* “Yes.”

(I gave him one. He stayed for a cuppa, and he comes in to put a few quid in the donation bucket from time to time.)

Your Knowledge Knit His Brow

, , , , | Right | March 12, 2019

(An elderly gentleman is looking around the products near where I’m standing at the register. I’m twenty-five, but I look much younger and could be mistaken for one of the teenagers out of school for summer holidays.)

Customer: *picks up a set of crochet hooks* “What are these for?”

Me: “They’re crochet hooks.”

Customer: “That’s like knitting, right?”

Me: “That’s right! Instead of two needles, you use one hook, but a bit like knitting, yeah.”

(I crochet in my spare time, so I’m quite happy to talk about the hooks, since I know my stuff.)

Customer: “You know, a lot of girls your age don’t know things like that anymore. They don’t know how to sew or knit or anything; they just don’t care.”

(I just stood there, a little dumbfounded, until he wandered off, thinking to myself that HE didn’t know that, either. A little later, I could hear him asking my — much older than me — coworker questions about some of the electronics we had further into the shop, and making snide comments when she didn’t know all the answers. I guess I really disappointed him by proving that “kids these days” do still know about crafts. For the record, I sew, as well, but he’s right that I can’t knit!)

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