Leave Them All Hanging In The Line

| Racine, WI, USA | Right | January 4, 2017

(A new store has just opened in the local mall, and is still working on being fully staffed. As a result, the place is pretty busy. I am there as a customer, waiting in line to purchase a few items. There are only two registers open at the moment, so the line is getting quite long. Near the line are a couple racks with hangers on them, and a sign.)

Sign: “In order to get your purchases home faster, please remove your hangers and leave them here.”

(Despite the sign, no one pays much attention to it except me, and my items don’t come with hangers, so it doesn’t apply. I am currently standing between two customers, Customer #1 in front of me and Customer #2 behind.)

Cashier: *calling out for the whole line to hear* “Hi, everyone! If you’re buying any clothing items, if you could please remove your hangers and hang them on the racks beside you in line, it would be a big help!”

Customer #1: “Isn’t that their job?”

Customer #2: “Yeah. I don’t think I got a job here without anyone telling me.”

Me: *speaking out loud, but as if talking to myself* “Maybe they’re just trying to get the line through faster.”

(Neither of the other customers said anything after that, but when Customer #1 was called to the next register, I watched her start removing the hangers herself, leaving them on the counter for the cashier to remove when she could have just as easily removed them while she was still in line.)

Doing A Decent Job

| Birmingham, AL, USA | Right | December 6, 2016

(I’m a customer in this story. I’ve just gotten off of work at a local fast food restaurant, but I’ve got my jacket over my clothes and I’m carrying a purse. I’m killing time before meeting a friend, so I’ve decided to check out the sales at the clothing store in the same strip mall as my restaurant. I’m looking at some ugly sweaters, opening them up and then folding them back. There’s about 20 different sweaters on this display.)

Voice Behind Me: “Ma’am, excuse me?”

(I turn around, and there’s a customer and her son standing there.)

Customer: “Could you help me find—”

Me: “Sorry, I don’t work here.”

Customer: *blinks* “But you’re folding the clothes.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. I find that it really makes an employee’s day when they don’t have to go back and refold everything you’ve wrecked. Makes you a decent person.”

(The customer blinked a few more times while watching me stand there with a Darth Vader Christmas sweater in my hand, then ushered her son away in the other direction, still clearly confused. I continued to unfold the sweaters, check them out, then fold them back up. Two more confused me for workers while I did so, and the above conversation was repeated yet again, to more disoriented looks.)

Will Make You See Red

| UK | Right | November 24, 2016

Customer: “Excuse me; can you help me find this, please? It was on the fitting room discard rack.”

Me: “I can certainly try, madam, but perhaps—”

Customer: “Great!” *grabs me and drags me to the women’s section*

(I spend the next twenty minutes trying to find the right shirt for her, but I’m having difficulty discerning one from another.)

Customer: “What the f*** is wrong with you?! That’s green! What are you, colour-blind?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “Oh!”

(The customer walked away and found a worker who had been on the department the entire time, looking over at me sympathetically without bothering to help. They found the right shirt within thirty seconds.)

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

| Stoneham, MA, USA | Right | November 22, 2016

A woman comes in with a gift card. I scan it and inform her she has $80 to spend. Thrilled, she goes off to shop. About a half hour later she returns with a large pile of clothes. I scan it, and I inform her that the total is $30 after the gift-card. Thrilled again, she goes off to do more shopping in the sales racks, and I void out her transaction, as I can’t suspend a transaction that’s using a gift card.

A bit later, she comes back with even more clothes. I scan it all again and tell her that her total is now $70 after the gift card. She seems even more thrilled, and I realize that she hasn’t understood that she OWES $70, not that she has $70 left to spend. I attempt to explain it to her, but she runs off, and as there’s a line, I can’t leave the register to chase after her. I void it again, hoping that she’ll understand the next time around. I try to get her attention whenever she comes near the register, but she ignores me.

Finally, she comes back with more clothes and her husband. She tells me to scan her now huge pile. Diligently I do, reminding her that her gift card is only $80. I inform her of her total before I use the gift card, then tell her the new total after, which is over $100.

Once again she’s thrilled and turns around to do more shopping, but her husband catches her by the arm. He asks me to repeat the total, and I do, explaining clearly that this is the price after the gift card. The husband firmly tells her they’re not spending that much on clothes.

Finally, the woman seems to understand that the gift card won’t cover it all, and spends close to 20 minutes picking and choosing which items she is keeping, holding up the line because she refuses to move aside for anyone.

Finally, she leaves with her $80 worth of merchandise, frowning at me like I had been trying to trick her, while the husband shakes his head in exasperation.

Not Exactly Snowed Under With Customers

| Stoneham, MA, USA | Working | November 21, 2016

(It’s Valentine’s Day 2014 and a massive blizzard has struck, with snow coming down and the streets becoming increasingly dangerous. I’m supposed to work from one pm to close, but my manager gives me a call around noon.)

Manager: “The roads are pretty slick and there aren’t many customers in, so don’t bother coming in right now. I’m sure corporate is going to let us close early because of the snow, but I’ll give you a call around four to let you know.”

Me: “Sure thing. I’ll be ready if you need me. Stay safe.”

(At four, my manager calls again.)

Manager: *annoyed* “So, despite the storm, every other store in the plaza closing early, and us having virtually no customers for the past three hours, corporate is insisting we stay open. I’m really sorry. Could you come in at five so I can have a dinner break? It’s going to be just the two of us tonight. I told [Coworker] to stay home, but I need another person, and you live much closer than her.”

Me: “I understand. It sucks, but what can you do? I’ll be in in an hour.”

(I leave early due to the slick roads, but even though I only live 15 minutes away, it takes at least twice that time to get there. For the next four hours, my manager and I putter around an empty store, only having two customers the whole night. After we officially close, I’m leaning on the counter while my manager counts the registers. We haven’t even made $100 for the whole day.)

Manager: “So, think it was worth corporate dragging you in here?”

Me: “I work barely more than minimum wage, and they paid me more for four hours work than we made in that time. The only two customers we had were heading out to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and were only here because her dress ripped. Add in your salary, heat, and electricity, and I’m pretty sure they would have been better off setting a bag of cash on fire.”

Manager: “At least you got paid?”

Me: “Not enough to cover my funeral if I die getting home.”

Manager: “Yeah, I know. Considering corporate HQ is in New Jersey, you’d think they’d understand no one in their right mind shops for clothes during a New England blizzard.”

(That winter ending up being one of the worst, with over a foot of snow coming down every week. Thankfully, corporate wised up and let us close, but I’ll never forget their initial idiocy.)

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