The Trolley Folly

, , , , | Right | February 26, 2019

(I’m working on the shop floor on this particular day, putting out stock. A woman comes up to me with a basket full of shopping.)

Woman: “I need a trolley. Can you get one for me? They usually let me borrow a trolley token from the tills.”

Me: “Of course. I’ll go and see if they have any.”

(In the past, we did indeed let people borrow trolley tokens sometimes; these were ones we usually sold for £1. We’d let the customers borrow them, ask them to return them, and then put them back in the packaging again afterward. But we stopped eventually because, as you can imagine, customers didn’t bother returning them. We did sometimes get tokens that customers had left behind, too, but eventually these, too, went wandering. Still, I go to the tills to confirm that we still don’t have any.)

Me: “We don’t have any trolley tokens a customer could borrow, do we?”

Colleague: “Not anymore, no. Just tell her there’s some for sale if she wants one.”

(I go back to the customer:)

Me: “Sorry, we don’t let customers borrow them anymore, unfortunately. But on the tills, at the moment, we do have an offer where you can buy two for £1.50.”

Woman: “No, I don’t want to pay for them! What else am I supposed to do?! This is heavy!”

Me: “I am sorry. I don’t know what else to suggest, but we can’t give any change or trolley tokens anymore.”

Woman: “Fine. I’ll just leave my shopping here, then!”

(She walked away, muttering under her breath, but didn’t leave her shopping as she’d threatened. A few minutes later, I was called to the tills to help get rid of a queue, and I saw her getting served by a colleague. She had gotten a trolley, and it was one of the store’s older, more battered trolleys which are usually kept in the warehouse to use for stock. I could only guess that she’d taken it when whichever member of staff had been using it had gone elsewhere for a moment. Sure enough, not long after getting back onto the shop floor, I walked past a colleague who had lost their trolley. The cardboard which had been in it had been lifted out and put onto the floor.)

Not In The Market For That Kind Of Talk

, , , , | Right | February 2, 2019

(I work in the complaints section of a call centre for a very well-known supermarket chain.)

Me: “Hello, and thank you for calling [Supermarket Chain]. How may I help you?”

Male Caller: “Hey there, baby girl. I was wondering if you could help me—“

(CLICK. Don’t get that kind of call often in my type of call centre.)

You Go In, Out, In, Out, And Shake It All About

, , , , | Right | October 12, 2018

(It’s my day off, but I go to the shop where I normally work with my dad to pick up a few bits. He’s looking for coffee of a specific brand and can’t find any on the shelves. I know we sell it, so I go to check the “Manager’s Specials” near the front of the store. Sure enough, the coffee is there. I take it back to my dad, who’s waiting in another aisle, when a woman stops me)

Customer: “Ooh, I’ve been looking for that coffee everywhere! Where is it?”

Me: “It’s in the Manager’s Specials at the front of the store.”

Customer: “Where’s that?”

Me: “It’s just the other side of the Pick’n’Mix.”

Customer: “Where?”

Me: “Just as you come through the doors, it’s on your right.”

Customer: “So, I go out of the store, come back in, and turn right? Thank you!

(Before I could say another word, the woman bustled off. I went to my dad and we queued up. Sure enough, the woman went out of the store, came back in, and looked to the right where the Manager’s Specials were. I’ve never known someone to take directions that literally!)

Evenly Scratch That

, , , , , | Right | October 12, 2018

(I’m on the till with the lottery and scratchcards. I ring up a customer and she takes a while counting out her money for me. I put it through the till.)

Customer: “I’ll have a scratchcard, as well.”

Me: “Of course. Which one would you like?”

Customer: “Erm… number three.”

(I look at the scratchcards and realise number three and four contain the same scratchcards, but number three only has one left. Instead of emptying one container and having to move over a scratchcard, I decide to take one from number four.)

Customer: “No. I said number three.”

Me: “They’re the same kind. There is only one left in three, so I thought—”

Customer: “No! I must only go by even numbers! I need number three!”

(I didn’t bother to point out that three is an odd number!)

Needs To Check Him-Selfie

, , , , , , | Right | October 5, 2018

(It’s a busy but fairly normal shift. After a mad rush of customers it quietens down, and a man in his twenties comes to my till with a “selfie phone case.”)

Me: “That’s £12.99 for that, please.”

(He places two £1 coins and a few 20p coins on the counter. I count them out and look at him expectantly. After a few moments I realise he isn’t going to get out an extra £10.)

Me: “Sorry, it’s £12.99.”

(He still looks gone-out, and then seems to realise he hasn’t got enough.)

Customer: “What am I supposed to do, then?”

Me: “Do you have any extra cash or a debit card?”

(The man ignores me and turns instead to a customer just passing.)

Customer: “Have you got 10p?”

Passing Customer: “What?”

Customer: “I need 10p!”

Passing Customer: “Sorry.”

(The customer leaves, looking baffled.)

Me: “It’s ten pounds, sir.”

(An elderly lady has just joined the queue. He turns to her, instead.)

Customer: “Got £10?”

Elderly Lady: “Pardon?”

Customer: “Can I have £10?”

(Understandably, the lady is looking a little intimidated and confused.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, you can’t ask other customers to give you the cash. I can save the item for you behind the till until you do have the money, if you prefer.”

Customer: “Okay. I’ll sort something out.”

(He went, and I apologised to the elderly lady. The man returned about fifteen minutes later, but went to a colleague, and this time he bought a pack of chocolate. I still don’t know why he expected other customers to give him the money, and I don’t know why he thought £3 was enough to pay for something worth £12.99 in the first place. It was clearly labelled on the product and the shelf!)

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