An Alarming Lack Of Parenting

, | Bucks County, PA, USA | Bad Behavior, Criminal & Illegal, Family & Kids

(We share a building with a popular candle store that is notorious for setting the fire alarms off. I have been working with a customer who is amassing a rather large pile of clothing, lingerie, and makeup. She is letting her ten-year-old son run all over the store and not stopping him from pulling the pants down on all of the mannequins in the store, picking up handfuls of underpants and throwing them, and spraying the employees with a bottle of tester perfume. I am being a good sport and putting up with it because she is going to spend a lot of money and she is being pleasant with me. All of a sudden, the fire alarm goes off.)

Me: “Oh, no, [Candle Store] must have set off the fire alarms again. We are going to have to vacate the building. I’m sorry, ma’am. If you want me to hold the clothes at the register, I can finish your transaction as soon as they give us the all clear to come back in.”

Customer: “No, that won’t be necessary. There’s no fire, so we can stay in the shop.”

Me: “I’m sorry ma’am, I know you cannot see a fire, but since we share this building with a candle store, there may very well be a fire in the building and it just has not spread to this shop. It’s a potentially dangerous situation, and we need to vacate the building for our safety until the fire company arrives and says it’s okay.”

Customer: *now getting annoyed* “I told you there’s no fire! Do you see a fire? No! That’s because there’s no fire! My son was annoyed that I was taking so long, so he pulled the fire alarm. He does that sometimes to let me know it’s time to go.”

(My store manager comes up to us as we are the only ones left in the store. She tries to shoo us out but the customer repeats her story to my manager.)

Manager: “Wait, wait, wait. Your son pulled the fire alarm because he was bored?”

Customer: “Yes, I saw him heading toward it and I said “[Kid], don’t you dare!” and he smiled and did it anyway and ran off. I don’t know where he is now.”

(My manager and I stand there in shocked silence as the firemen burst through the doors.)

Fireman #1: “Wow, for once it wasn’t the candle shop!”

Fireman #2: *noticing us* “What are you guys doing in here? You need to get out of the building!”

Customer: *now exasperated* “No, it’s okay. My son pulled the alarm. Now can we please finish ringing up my stuff so I can pay and leave before he does something else?”

Firefighter #2: “Ma’am, pulling a fire alarm for no reason is punishable by a fine.”

(The customer dropped all her stuff as if it was on fire and proceeded to sprint out of the store and head to the parking lot. Her son popped out of a display rack and went after her with Fireman #1 chasing them down. I’m not sure what happened to her after he caught her.)

Has Some Holiday Daddy Issues

| ON, Canada | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

(The store I work at has multiple signs advertising for Father’s Day promotions, which is next week.)

Customer: “Is tomorrow Father’s Day? I don’t want to miss it.”

Me: “No, I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure it’s next week, but I’m not 100% sure.”

Customer: “You don’t know?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry, but I can check for you if you’d like?”

Customer: *very snidely* “How can you not know? What, don’t you have a father?”

Me: “No. Actually, I don’t.”

(He blushed, apologized, and left quickly.)

A Service To Customer Service

, | Roseville, CA, USA | Awesome Customers

(It is my last day of work because I am leaving in order to attend an out-of-state university. One of my regular customers knows this and has promised to come and see me before I leave, but my shift is about to end and I still haven’t seen her. About a half hour before I have to leave she comes in carrying a large shopping bag.)

Customer: “[My Name]! I’m glad I caught you.”

Me: “Same here! I was hoping you’d come in and was worried when you didn’t.”

Customer: “I can’t stay very long but I wanted to give you this.”

(She reaches into the bag, pulls out a box of chocolates from a well known candy store, and hands it to me.)

Customer: “You’ve always been so nice to me and given me the greatest customer service. I’m going to miss you! Here, take my phone number and call me when you come back.”

(I thanked her profusely, took the candy, and gave her my number. There were tears in my eyes the whole time. I’ve had many customers throughout my work experience – some especially good and some especially terrible – but she will always stick in my mind as one of the best.)

All Dressed Up With Nothing To Wear

| Austria | Bizarre, Crazy Requests

(I work at a store that is part of a large shopping centre. An energy drink company is having a promotion in the centre, letting men in neon-green full body suits hand out flyers. Their face and head is covered, too. It’s deep winter. I work the checkout-counter at our store, when one of the neon-green men comes up with a heap of clothing. His face is still covered.)

Customer: “Do you work until closing time today?”

Me: “Um, yeah. Why?”

Customer: “I don’t know where to put this stuff while I am working, so I wondered if you would keep them for me and bring them out when you are done.”

Me: “Don’t you have a room where you keep your regular clothes and stuff?”

Customer: “No, I came from home dressed like this, and it was freezing. That’s why I am buying some clothes now.”

Me: *trying not to laugh* “All right. I have to clear that with my manager, but I’ll be out by 19:30.”

(The manager agreed to this, laughing. When I came out he was waiting, still in full costume, at the employee door, thanked me profusely, and disappeared into a men’s room nearby. I never saw him again.)

Not Gifted In The Art Of Returns

| CO, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

(While starting up my medical program, I am working at an outdoor style clothing store, which is a person’s name and not just initials or a place, in the mall. We are pretty busy, resulting in me being stuck on the register since I am the fastest at it.  I am the team leader for the current shift when this guy comes in with a hand full of socks, two shirts, and a pair of jeans. With him is a reasonably attractive blond, who I believe is his wife, since they have matching wedding bands on.)

Me: “Hey, how are you? What can I do for you?”

Him: “Well, my secretary got me all this stuff for my birthday and none of it is my style. I have never shopped at [Store] before and I don’t intend to. Not to mention none of these fit.”

Me: “Oh, no problem. Do you happen to have the receipt or gift receipt?”

(The man sighs, tapping the jeans with the palm of his hands.)

Him: “No, why would I? It was a gift. I told you that.”

Me: “Which is why I asked if you had a gift receipt. It’s all good, though. I can still get these returned for you. I don’t remember any of these having a sale outside of our coupons.”

(I ring everything up, coming up with a decent amount, and let him know.)

Me: “So, no, nothing was on sale, so I can give you the full price of it all. However, I can only do a gift card or a merchandise credit.”

Him: “WHAT?! Just give me the cash!”

Me: “I cannot do that. The register doesn’t even give me the option to do that. I will, unfortunately, also need your driver license to finalize the return.”

Him: “This is absolutely uncalled for! I am NOT giving your my license! I am NOT taking store credit! I told you I NEVER SHOP HERE! There is NOTHING you have that I want! I want to talk to who’s in charge!”

Me: “Hello, that’s me.”

(I smile and wave at him like an anime character.)

Him: “This is absolute bull-s***! You are an a**-hole! I can’t believe you don’t want to help me!”

Me: “I am helping you. You just don’t want the help.”

(At this point he grabs everything, while still screaming about how the ‘Return Anything Without A Receipt’ sign is a lie, so I point out where it says ‘Store Credit.’ As he’s screaming profanities at this point, I tell him he needs to leave or I’m having the police escort him out, since they have officers walking the mall. He hands the items to his arm candy, and he can’t help but scream one more time.)

Him: “I am NEVER shopping here again!

Me: “According to you, you never shopped here to begin with! You’re kind of like a vegetarian boycotting KFC: It doesn’t matter.”

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