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Specificity Is Not Their Craft

, , | Right | August 18, 2021

I work in a craft store. Our policy is to greet every customer we see. I’m working at the front of the store and a woman comes in.

Me: “Good morning. Is there anything I can help you with?”

Customer: “Yes, can you direct me to the craft department?”

Me: “Could you be a little more specific?”

She looks at me like I’M the idiot.

Customer: “General crafts.”

Time To “Face” The Customers

, , , | Right | August 12, 2021

Due to sickness and other circumstances, our fabric department lead has been out since Saturday. It’s Monday, and I’m trying to price and put away her freight for her. I’m not thrilled about it, and other things have made the day stressful, as well.

I know very little about fabric — basically just how to cut it and where most of it is — and the other coworker who would be able to answer fabric questions better than me has been out sick, also.

I tend to make faces that display my feelings. Masks don’t help the face thing, though most customers understand that I can’t help them.

I have a customer come up to ask me a question. 

Customer: “I’m making a rag quilt.”

I know nothing about quilting except what my mom has mentioned from when she quilted years ago. I make a face that says, “Oh, shoot, I know nothing.”

Me: “I don’t know much about quilting. The two ladies who do aren’t here today.”

Customer: “Is there someone I can call?”

My immediate thought is, “I can’t give out personal phone numbers.” Also, literally no one else in the building is going to know anything more about quilting than I do.

Me: “Um, no. Hopefully, [Fabric Lead] will be here tomorrow.”

At this point, I’m trying to help another customer who needs fabric cut. The first customer makes a point of checking my name tag and saying my name out loud as she walks away as I try to suggest that she call tomorrow.

A few minutes later, I hear the code called for a manager up front but don’t think much of it. My co-manager comes over to me a little after that to ask me about the customer.

Co-Manager: “Did you help a lady making a raincoat?”

Me: “A raincoat? No. But I did have a lady who wasn’t happy with me.”

Co-Manager: “The lady I just talked to? Yeah, she said you rolled your eyes at her.”

Me: “I didn’t roll my eyes. I made a face because I couldn’t help her.”

Co-Manager: “Yeah, I didn’t really believe her. Your customer service is usually pretty good. I just wanted to let you know. She said she was going to take her business to [Nearby Town].”

Me: *Making a face* “Good for her. We probably didn’t want her business anyway.”

A little bit later, I’m whining about the issue to a coworker.

Me: “Yeah, this customer told [Co-Manager] I rolled my eyes at her. I just made a panicked face because I couldn’t answer her question.”

Coworker: “I know that face!”

Sigh. Apparently, I have to work on not making faces when I answer questions.

The Price Of Assuming

, , , | Right | August 3, 2021

I work at a craft store. One day, I overhear a customer complaining to her friend that she prefers to buy online because it’s cheaper. Her friend says that she prefers to shop.

Customer #1: *Smugly* “I’ll prove it to you; I got this on eBay the other day.” *Leans down to choose a product* “Oh, s***!”

Customer #2: “What’s wrong?”

Customer #1: “It’s only [Price]. I paid double that and extra for delivery.”

I had to bite my lip to stop myself from laughing.

Speaking Flatly

, , , , | Right | July 29, 2021

One evening, I’m returning items from the front to their shelves when I pass by sewing notions and am stopped by an older woman. As a note, I’ve been blessed with — or cursed with, depending on your perspective — large breasts.

Customer: “Excuse me. Can you help me with something?”

Me: “Oh, yeah, absolutely! What did you need help with?”

Customer: “I’m altering a dress for my granddaughter, but she doesn’t really have a lot going on up top.”

She places her hands over her own breasts to make it clear I know what she means.

Customer: “So, I know I have to use some kind of insert, but I’m not sure which to use. What do you recommend?”

I look down at my own chest and then look back up.

Me: “Ma’am, I’ve never had to worry about that, but—”

She looks down at my chest while I start speaking and then cuts me off before I can finish my offer to ask a coworker for her.

Customer: *Cutting me off* “Oh! I’m sorry! I’ll go ask someone flatter!”

She wandered off without giving me a chance to say anything else.

Sew Not Doing Business With You

, , , , , | Working | July 15, 2021

My daughter and I have discovered a shop that sells handmade items and offers designer party decorating. As crafters, we are interested to find out whether they take in items that we make to sell on commissions. I approach the owner and she greets me nicely.

Owner: “Is there anything I can help you with?”

Me: “Yes, I was just wondering if you take in handmade pieces to be sold?”

The owner instantly changes tone from sweet to harsh, bordering on angry, and snaps at me.

Owner: “I just don’t take anything. I expect the best quality. What do you do?”

Me: *Taken aback* “My daughter and I both crochet. I also sew.”

Owner: *Still in the harsh tone* “Well, as I said, it has to be the best quality. I also want only original designs; I won’t have any stolen designs. And I want exclusive rights. You can’t sell anywhere else.”

She stalks off back to the counter where a customer has arrived. My daughter and I look around before we decide to leave. I hear her talking sweetly to the customer, who is asking about having wedding decorations made.

Customer: “Do you have any photos or designs we can choose from?”

Owner: “No, I don’t, but you can search on the Internet and bring me photos of what you want. I can copy anything you want.”

Needless to say, we did not do any business there, and within a couple of months, the store had gone out of business.