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.)

‘Perks’ Of The Job

| Germany | Friendly | November 9, 2016

(I am studying abroad in Germany. The international students get to go on an organized trip to Munich’s Oktoberfest. I already bought a dirndl (Bavarian traditional dress for women), and one of the new friends I make prior to Oktoberfest wants to shop for one too. I accompany her to the store for traditional clothing. We look at the different dresses, and my friend picks out a few to try on. She exits the dressing room with each new dress to get some feedback. Each dirndl typically has a jumper, an apron, and a blouse. The blouses are designed so that they have a drawstring at the bosom that you pull tight to make the breasts look perkier. My friend is a rather modest individual, so she leaves the drawstring alone and comes out of the dressing room.)

Friend:” [My Name], what do you think?”

Me: “That looks great! The longer skirt looks great on you because you’re so tall!”

(In the meantime, the elderly female owner of the shop is monitoring the dressing rooms and helping the customers adjust the outfits properly. She takes a cursory glance at my friend and me, drops what she is doing and marches over to my friend.)

Owner: “You don’t have that tight enough!”

(Without even asking for permission, the lady digs her hands into my friend’s blouse, pulls out the drawstring, and yanks it tight. My friend and I are looking at each other, at a loss for words. The lady steps back and admires her handiwork.)

Owner: “There! Much better!”

(She then turns to help the next customer.)

Me: *after a short pause* “Wow. That was invasive. I am glad my dirndl fitting went NOTHING like that.”

Friend: “She didn’t even ask! I may be scarred.”

(Needless to say, my friend still bought the dress, the very same one the owner tampered with, and we left the shop. We made sure to warn our other friends to be wary if they decided to shop there!)

Parental Misguidance, Part 3

| ON, Canada | Related | November 5, 2016

I work at a kids’ clothing store. One of our regular customers typically comes in with her four kids, usually during our slow hours, thankfully.

Her kids always tear the store apart. They somehow get behind the TV and unplug it. Once they almost knocked it over (thankfully, it’s the only breakable thing in the store). They knock over every display, they run into displays and hurt themselves, they throw whatever they can reach at each other or on the ground.

The entire store has to be straightened when they leave, despite my best attempts to follow them along and clean up, all the while saying things like “That’s ok” and “Good thing we don’t sell breakables” with my best customer service smile.

The customer typically spends two hours in the store. While shopping, she’ll occasionally say things like “Guys stop,” “I’m not going to buy you anything,” “[Child], why did you do that?” in the most monotone, uninterested voice I’ve ever heard from a parent addressing a child. She never really looks at them, never interrupts her shopping, never physically intervenes, and she always buys $200-$500 worth of kids clothing, after repeatedly telling her kids she won’t buy them anything.


That’s Rich Coming From You

| Brampton, ON, USA | Right | October 28, 2016

(I work as a sales associate at a very popular children’s store in a very busy mall. As we are cashing out a customer we are supposed to capture their email so we can send them coupons and promotions. A customer returned $300 worth of clothes and is now making a purchase.)

Me: “Would you like to leave your email so we can send you a 20% coupon for your next purchase?”

Customer: “No, I am rich.”

(I look at her with a little look of shock and she points around the store.)

Customer: “I make more money than any of you!”

(After working a full shift during ‘back to school,’ I lose my patience.)

Me: “With all due respect, if you really are as rich as you say, don’t you think it would have made more sense to donate the $300 worth of children’s clothes to a charity?”

(Customer finished the transaction, grabbed her purse, and left – flipping me off!)

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