The Nightmare Immediately After Halloween

, , , , | Right | November 14, 2017

(I work at a seasonal pop-up store that sells Halloween decor and costumes. Because we don’t want everyone to return their costumes right after their parties, we only accept returns up until the 20th of October and exchanges up until Halloween. However, managers can override the return policy at their discretion, such as if an item was marked down for damage, or the customer was being super nice. An older woman walks in.)

Customer #1: “Hello, I’d like to return this costume. I bought it for my granddaughter and it didn’t fit her.” *the costume she bought was $45*

Assistant Manager: “We can’t do returns, only exchanges. We do have that costume in a larger size if you’d like to exchange it.”

Customer #1: “No, I want to return it. Why can’t you do it?”

Assistant Manager: “Well, as it says on your receipt—” *she picks up the receipt and points right under our logo* “—we can only process exchanges past the 20th. It’s the 26th.”

Customer #1: “Well, I didn’t see that.”

Assistant Manager: *points to a placard on the register* “It’s also posted at all three registers.”

Customer #1: “You really can’t do a return? I need a return.”

Assistant Manager: “Sorry, we can’t.”

Customer #1: *looks to me, a lowly minimum wage cashier, for pity*

Me: “Sorry, all we can do is exchanges. Why don’t you look around the store and see if there’s something else you want?”

Customer #1: “No, I want my money back.”

(The customer huffs, shoves the costume back in her bag, and walks out. This part of the story is pretty normal, as people come in ALL the time trying to return things. The story gets a little more interesting though when another customer comes in… with the same costume and goal.)

Customer #2: “My wife came in and purchased this lovely, lovely costume for our granddaughter. And sadly, it didn’t fit at all. So, I want our money back.”

Assistant Manager: *once again goes over our policy, slowly and in detail*

Customer #2: “I don’t care. Give me my money back.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, we can’t. Like she said, our policy states—”

Customer #2: “I don’t give a d*** what your policy states. I. Want. My. Money. Back.”

Me: “We can only do exchanges, not returns. You can buy anything of equal or greater value in the store and get what you paid taken off.”

Customer #2: “I want my money back. It’s illegal not to give me my money back. I ought to call the police; it’s illegal to do this. I want to speak to a manager.”

Me: “Certainly, sir, I’ll page her right now.” *I pull out my walkie* “Could I get [District Manager] to the front, please?”

Customer #2: “That better be the d***ed manager. I don’t want another cashier telling me I can’t have my money back!”

Me: “She’s the district manager, sir.”

Customer #2: “Good. She’ll give me my d***ed money back.”

District Manager: *with the store manager in tow* “What’s up?”

Customer #2: *points a finger at both myself and the assistant manager, recounting his story and demanding his money back, again*

District Manager: *explains the store policy to him a third time*

Customer #2: “You cannot do that. It’s illegal to keep my money when I want it back. How about I call the cops right now?”

District Manager: *without missing a beat* “You go right ahead and do that. Our policy—”

Customer #2: *pulls out his cell-phone* “I’m calling the police. Your policy is illegal.”

District Manager: “All I ask is you step aside so [My Name] can ring up other customers.”

([Customer #2] obliges, grabbing his costume and walking outside to, I assume, get better reception and wait for the police. We never find out what the police think of our “illegal” practices though, because the next time we look outside he and his wife have disappeared.)

District Manager: “You know, I would have given him his return just to get him out of the store until he threatened to call the cops.”

Me: “You have more patience than I do, because the first time he threatened that I was going to tell him I was refusing him service and he was trespassing on private property.”

(The kicker? He left his receipt, meaning that if he came back or went to the store across town that’s in our chain, he couldn’t get an exchange or return at all. I wonder if that policy is illegal, too.)

Found Yourself A True Renaissance Man

, , , , , , | Romantic | September 27, 2017

(This is the second year I’ve gone to the local Renaissance fair with my boyfriend, and the first year I’ve had any kind of money to spend, so I’m quite eager to head to one of the major costume shops along the main street. The capes from this shop are STUNNING, and I have been wanting one for years, so I’ve made sure I’ve got what I think is enough money to buy one. I drag my boyfriend over to the stall to look over which ones he thinks look best on me.)

Me: “Excuse me, how much are these emerald cloaks over here?”

Shop Lady: “Oh, the unpainted ones are [price way higher than I expected], but if you want one of the painted ones, it’s [higher price].”

Me: *heart sinking a good bit* “Oh, okay. Thanks!” *I sigh and whisper to my boyfriend* “Oh, well. I can always get it next year.”

Boyfriend: *smiling as he squeezes my hand* “You sure? I can lend you the money or something.”

Me: *awkwardly blushing, wondering if it sounded like I was guilt-tripping him to pay* “Nah, it’s fine; I don’t need it, and I don’t know when I could pay you back. Thank you so much for offering, though. It means a lot to me.”

(I go back to admiring the painted capes, making sure I knew which cape I’d want the next year when I could get one for myself. My boyfriend excuses himself for a moment and one of the shopkeepers chats with me for a bit. Next thing I know, my boyfriend is back with one of the bags the store puts purchases in. I stare at him for a moment before it clicks.)

Me: “Did you…?”

Boyfriend: *with a smile that I swear lit up the whole park as he hands me the bag* “Don’t worry about paying me back. Consider it a two-week-early birthday present.”

(I’m ready to cry, I am so touched! My whole face warms up as I blush, and I can’t stop grinning. He takes my hand and gives it a gentle kiss, looking at me adorably.)

Shop Lady: *winks* “Just so you know, those capes are waterproof if you ever wanna wear yours after a shower. Say, after he’s gotten home and you’ve got nothing else to greet him in…”

(Now it was his turn to blush as I giggled uncontrollably.)

This Is Complete Bull

, , , , | Right | August 14, 2017

Customer: “Hey, I’m looking for a cow costume.”

Me: “Yes, sir, I actually have several cows. I’ll bring one right out.”

Customer: “You have several? Good, I actually want two: a male and a female.”

Me: “Okay, sir, I’ll be right back with both.”

(A short time later.)

Me: “Here is the cow, and this is one of our bulls. I actually have him in three colors: black, white, or brown. Do you have a preference?”

Customer: “A bull? That’s your male cow?”

Me: “Uh, yes. A bull is a male cow.”

Customer: *skeptically* “I don’t know about that.” *leaves without getting anything*

The Devil Wears Costumes

| WV, USA | Right | October 31, 2016

(My best friend works in a seasonal Halloween store in our town. Since it’s only open for a little over a month each year, and the sister store is a 45 minute drive away, they can get a lot of business most days. A mutual friend and I go to her work to hang out and look around while we wait for her to get off. The staff is small, but we’re all very close. One of her coworkers has just gotten off the phone and huffs, noticeably irritated.)

Mutual Friend: “Angry customer?”

Worker: “It’s this woman I’ve been trying to contact about a costume. She needed a size for it we didn’t have, so we had to get it from our store in [Town 45 minutes away] and she didn’t answer our call yesterday so I left a message, except she never called back. So I called her again when we opened this morning and she’s just now getting to me demanding why I’m bothering her. I say, if you want the costume you need to get it today or I have to put it on the shelves for others to look at. It’s a very popular costume this year, and she says she’ll stop by when she’s ready.”

Owner: “You can’t please everyone. We have policies like this for a reason. I can’t tell you how many people want us to hold items but never get them.”

(Fast forward about an hour. The store closes in twenty minutes at nine pm when a pair of young women walk in and head straight for the service counter. It’s obvious this is the woman on the phone and we watch her snatch the costume bag from the coworker’s hands. Our friend is manning the changing rooms and walks over.)

Friend Working: “Ma’am? Can I suggest you try the costume real quick before checking out? Just to make sure everything fits comfortably?”

Woman: *snottily* “Well, why? Like, I already know it fits me.”

Coworker: “It’s just that our policy states all sales are final. We don’t do any returns or exchanges so if something is wrong or missing from the outfit, we need to know now so you’re getting everything you wanted.”

Woman: “Ugh, FINE!” *stomps over to the fitting rooms*

(I’m sitting on the floor with our mutual friend watching the exchange. We’ve made our purchases, most of the lights in the store are off, and other workers are sweeping or unplugging their props for the night. The woman and her friend then spend the remaining time in the front mirror outside the changing rooms loudly gossiping and complaining.)

Woman: “I don’t see why I have to do this. If I don’t like it, I’ll get my money back. It’s just a cheap costume anyway.”

Woman’s Friend: “Like, yeah! As if we weren’t already busy. Whatever.”

(Almost fifteen minutes after the store should have closed for the night, the woman finally gets dressed, buys the outfit and leaves in a huff. My friend grabs her jacket, clocks out, and practically RUNS to our car.)

Me: “Wow, [Friend], I thought I got all the horrible people at my job!”

Friend Working: “That’s not even the half of it. We get people like that ALL the time. Even people who try to come in December and call [Owner] as if he should even be open then to sell Halloween stuff!”

Mutual Friend: “They were some straight up b****es.”

Friend Working: “I would have said something if they weren’t going to buy it, but whatever. That’s not even the worst part. When she went to the counter to pay, she demanded a discount for the trouble we caused HER. She said we owed her for ruining her day-off by having to come in and pick up her order.”

Makes You Just Go ‘Powwow’ Wow

| Coeur d'Alene, ID, USA | Right | July 22, 2016

(There’s a few Reservations around the region, and there’s an annual powwow that takes place in June. We run into this issue every year, and this is usually how it goes:)

Me: “Did you find everything okay?”

Customer: “Could you find me one that sits on my head right?”

(He holds up an “Indian headdress” – the kind that’s a bunch of dyed multicolored feathers strapped to a band.)

Me: “Uh… are you going to the powwow?”

Customer: “Yep! I wanted to go, and I wanted to be authentic.”

Me: “I would highly suggest you do NOT wear that to the powwow.”

Customer: “What? Why? Isn’t this traditional?”

Me: “No, it’s not. For one, it looks nothing like a real war bonnet, and secondly, in most tribes a real headdress is reserved for great leaders and warriors, and are considered sacred.”

Customer: *blank look*

Me: “It’s considered offensive.”

Customer: “Oh…”

(Usually most customers would put it back, but it happens every year.)

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