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!)

It’s Time They Accepted How Obnoxious They Are

, , , , , , | Right | February 23, 2019

(This conversation happens at our till point.)

Customer: “I’ll just try these on; do you have the time?”

Volunteer: *glancing at digital display on till* “It’s ten forty-seven.”

Customer: *silent and expectant*

Volunteer: *thinking the customer hadn’t heard* “Ten forty-seven.”

Customer: “Oh, I heard; I just wanted it in English. Ten to eleven, then.” *trots off to try on garment, leaving my volunteer gaping*

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!”

Page 1/712345...Last