The Receipt Is Empty

, , , | Right | February 22, 2020

Customer: “I bought this lighter yesterday and it doesn’t work. Can I just switch it out?”

Me: “It doesn’t have the sticker on it.”

Customer: “It didn’t have one when I bought it.”

Me: *picks it up* “The residue is right here. And this lighter is empty as h***. I’m not going to accept this.”

Customer: “I have a receipt in my car.”

Me: “Well, all right. If you have the receipt…”

Customer: *walks out and drives away*

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Calling Is Sadly Her Calling

, , , , | Right | February 22, 2020

(The library has several regular callers: senior citizens who are lonely and just want to talk, sometimes for half to three-quarters of an hour. These folks are really good at ignoring any and all hints that we need to get on with our jobs. This lady is one of these customers. She calls once or twice a week to ask about famous celebrities’ biographies or about something she has seen on TV and wants to know more about. She’s very sweet but terribly chatty and “no” just isn’t in her vocabulary.)

Caller: “I am calling you because I am concerned.”

Me: “What are you concerned about, [Caller]?”

Caller: “There’s the cutest little corner store a block from me and I call over there now and then to talk to the owner and his wife.”

(She continues on in a lengthy, rapid-fire description of the husband and wife, their ethnicity, their business, and how she got to know them, before taking a breath to add:)

Caller:Anyway, I have been trying to call them all morning and there’s no answer. I know they are open because I called and spoke to [Wife] earlier.”

Me: “Okay.”

Caller: “But now they aren’t picking up and I am really worried because they are—” *another long explanation about their ethnicity, how long they have been in the country, and how innocent they are* “—and they might have been held up and robbed or killed!”

(I know exactly where this is going because my colleagues and I go through stuff like this with her constantly.)

Me: “I am sure things are fine, [Caller]. Maybe they are on the phone or maybe someone knocked it off and—”

Caller: “No, no. I am not getting a busy signal. I know something has happened. Please, can’t you call the restaurant next to them and have them check? I don’t know the number for the store or I would call myself.”

(From experience, I know that getting her the number for the next-door restaurant is not going to resolve the issue. I know the area — it’s not far from where I live — so I tell her I will call the store and ask them to check and get back to her. So, I call the restaurant and explain the situation; I can hear the owner rolling her eyes and laughing.)

Owner: “Oh, we know her. She only thinks she doesn’t know our number, but I can understand why you called. She gets confused. Hang on a minute.”

(There’s silence for a few minutes and then the owner picks up again. She is cracking up.)

Owner: “Oh, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried! They are there. They haven’t been mugged. The store is actually closed today for inventory. They took the phone off the hook. Want to know why?”

Me: “I can guess, but tell me anyway.”

Owner: “They took the phone off the hook because they cannot get the inventory done with [Caller] calling them every half-hour to chat. Those two kids are losing their minds.”

(We talk a few minutes more and hang up. I call the lady back and tell her the following:)

Me: “Everything is okay, [Caller]. They are closed for inventory today and they took the phone off the hook because too many people were calling and interrupting them from getting their job done.”

Caller: *in righteous indignation* “That’s terrible! Those poor young people are trying to make their business work and people just won’t leave them alone!”

(I wish I could say this was the only over-the-top request. She made us jump through hoops at least once a week. The day of the Boston Marathon Bombing, I found myself searching for the name of her nephew in California. His mother, the caller’s sister, lived in Boston at the time and the caller was upset because she couldn’t get her sister on the phone to find out if she was okay. The sister, as it turned out, was three states away and her home was nowhere near where the marathon was being run! We got the number of the caller’s nephew and she called him and he told her everything was fine and to quit worrying!)

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Extra Thick Medicine

, , , , , | Right | February 20, 2020

(In high school, I contract mono. The worst of it for me is the sore throat; my tonsils are so swollen I haven’t really eaten in days. My dad and I are on the way home from the doctor, and we stop at the local ice cream place. They aren’t quite open yet, but I am getting weak and faint from the lack of food.)

Me: *somewhat hoarsely* “Hello?”

Owner: “Sorry, hon, we’re not quite open yet.”

Me: “I know, and I’m sorry, but I’m really sick and I haven’t had any real food in forever. Is there any way I could get a milkshake? I hate to be a bother, but I’m just really dying for some calories, and this is the only thing I’ll be able to get down.”

Owner: *backs up jokingly* “Whoa, whatever you want, hon. Just don’t breathe on me!”

(The owner pulls over one of the workers, a girl a little older than me, to make the shake, and then goes back to setting up the shop.)

Girl: “Here’s your shake.” *whispers* “I made it extra-thick, okay?”

Me: “Thank you so much; I really appreciate it.”

(They both said they hoped I’d feel better, and we left. Sadly, the shop has since closed due to some chicanery with the land lease, and everyone bemoans the loss of the nicest ice cream shop in the county.)

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Unfiltered Story #186866

, , | Unfiltered | February 13, 2020

I work in the self-checkouts a lot. This is an all too common occurrence…

Customer: Excuse me, Miss, I put in [Amount] and the machine didn’t give me a receipt!

Me: *checks screen* …Um, according to the machine, you still owe [Other Amount]

This is sometimes followed by a brief reminder for the customer that sales tax exists. Their total is displayed on the payment screen, as well as the card reader. Learn to read people!

When There Is A Long Line-Of-Duty

, , , , , , | Working | January 23, 2020

(I work at a lumber box store as a cashier. I’m ringing at the returns desk and the line is almost out the door; the whole store is packed. If you have returned high-theft items to the store too many times, your license will be flagged, at which point the register will prompt for a manager approval. We have two head cashiers and two managers working, all of whom are able to do manager approvals. First, I try to call the head cashiers over the walkie and get no response. I try again. Nothing. Usually, the next step is to call for them on the speaker system, but it’s very busy and I’m trying to hurry so I start to call [Manager #1]. He is awesome and very quick, but as I’m about to call him I hear him say over the walkie that he is headed to another department to assist a customer, so I don’t bother. I call [Manager #2]. I’m already wary of doing this because she has a reputation for refusing to help because she says:)

Manager: #2: “I am not the manager on duty.”

(I guess when there are two managers, one is supposed to be off-duty doing paperwork. However, she is the only one to ever say that out of five managers because, at the end of the day, the customers are supposed to come first. Even the store manager will come help if he can. I call her office on the phone:)

Me: “Hey, [Manager #2], can you please come to returns for a manager approval?”

Manager: #2: “Did you call a head cashier?”

Me: “Yes, but they’re not answering.”

Manager: #2: “Did you call [Manager #1]?”

Me: “He’s helping a customer.”

(She sighs, hangs up, and comes to do the approval. A minute later, when I’m finally about to get in a fifteen-minute break, she asks me to come to her office. Mind you, it’s still super busy, and now she wants to take up time talking to me, and I sure as h*** am not going to dock that time from my break after hours and hours of ringing. I go to her office and she is there with another manager: [Manager #3], who I like. He is there as a witness to a “counseling.”)

Manager: #2: “I talked to your head cashier and they said they never received any calls.”

Me: “Okay…”

(I know she is waiting for an explanation but I’m not going to defend myself yet. Them not receiving the calls does not mean I didn’t make them. In my head, I’m saying, “If you’re going to call me a liar, then say it.”)

Manager: #2: “Did you really call them?”

Me: “Yes.”

Manager: #2: “And I spoke with [Manager #1] and he says you never called him, either.”

Me: “I didn’t say I called him. I said he was with a customer. I heard him say he was heading back to mill work over the walkie.”

Manager: #2: “Well, I’m not the manager on duty—” *I have to physically resist rolling my eyes* “—and protocol is that you go over the speaker system when you can’t get your head cashier, and then you call for a manager on duty. I have a lot of paperwork to do and I don’t have time for this.”

Manager #3: *trying not to laugh in the background because he knows me*

Me: *hungry, and taught by my father to not just back down* “[Manager #2], I was taught and trained that the customers come first. I’m not going to page, walkie, and call the same person over and over again with a customer waiting and a long line of people when there is a manager who can help immediately. And honestly, this conversation has taken a lot more time than walking to the front, punching in your numbers, and walking back. It’s very busy today and they need me up front as soon as possible, so I’d like to go on my break now.”

(Her eyes get a little beady but she lets me leave. She also has an attitude with every request I make of her EVER until she transfers from the store a few months later. Funny enough, her attitude made it more enjoyable for me to call her. I think she hated that she couldn’t write me up that day. What would she have said? How dare I call a manager to do a MANAGER approval?! Gasp! [Manager #3] never stops picking on me, either, but in the fun way. If I call him for an approval, he’ll ask me:)

Manager #3: “Did you call another manager? Did you call corporate first? Have you tried paging the CEO? Because I’m busy.”

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