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A Customer That Doesn’t Blame The Employee?!

, , , | Right | June 18, 2021

It’s a Friday evening, and I’m on the registers for the last few hours of my shift. I get a woman in my line who has several things, most of them related to sewing. I begin ringing her up when she pauses, looking through her purse.

Customer: “I think I need you to pause. I can’t find my card. I hope it’s in my car.”

Me: “Oh, no! I can suspend the transaction for a minute if you’d like to go look for it.”

She goes out to her car, and I leave her items on my counter so I don’t lose them. In the meantime, I ring up a few other customers. She comes back a few minutes later and waits in my line again because the coworker I’ve paged to the front hasn’t come up to help yet.

Customer: “Do you take checks?”

Me: “We do. Do you have your ID with you?”

I suspect the answer and try not to cringe.

Customer: “No. It’s with my debit card. I only have [amount] in cash with me.”

I begin voiding things off the transaction based on what she needs and what the total comes to. She ends up with three of the items and insists that she can come back for the rest. I end up giving her something like sixty cents in change.

Me: “I’m sorry about that. Thank you for your patience through all of that. Have a nice evening.”

She wished me a good evening, too, and I left my register feeling mildly defeated but grateful that she didn’t yell at me or worse! Hopefully, she came in the next day for the items she wasn’t able to purchase.

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This Is One Heck Of A Yarn

, , , | Right | CREDIT: SomeSonance | June 18, 2021

I work at a craft store chain with several stores in the area. I’m a cashier, but since we have so many cashiers, I often work on the floor when we aren’t as busy. Thanks to the health crisis, we’ve been having slow incomes of stock, piled on top of customers buying more supplies than usual since they are stuck at home having to do crafts.

I am returning items to the shelves when I get stopped by an interesting customer.

Customer: “Hello, do you have this style of yarn in stock?”

Me: “Let me check!”

The customer shows me her phone and I find the item that’s on our app. There’s a SKU there, which I look up, and it shows that we are out.

Me: “I’m sorry, it looks like we are out of that yarn.”

Customer: “Do you have any in overstock?”

Me: “No, we do not. Our list of stock details all stock, including overstock.”

Customer: *Sighs* “When will you be getting more?!”

I need to emphasize that processing is not my field of study in this job, as I am normally a cashier. I do know that we get new shipments in on Mondays, but yarn has been coming in increasingly sparingly and we haven’t gotten many new shipments in a while due to low supply.

Me: “Due to delays and low stock thanks to the health crisis, we are not able to tell when any new shipments of that yarn will arrive.”

Customer: *Beginning to look frustrated* “Are you sure there isn’t any in overstock?!”

Me: “I’m positive. We do not even have an overstock location set for this type of yarn, as we haven’t had overstock for it yet.”

The customer’s kids pop up out of nowhere.

Kid #1: “Mommmmm, I need to go to the bathroom.”

Customer: “Have [Kid #2] take you!”

Kid #2: “But I don’t know where the bathroom is.”

These two children are young. [Kid #2] looks to be maybe five years old, while [Kid #1] is about three years old or so.

Me: “The bathroom is right around this corner!” *Points*

Customer: *Shooing her kids off* “Yeah, yeah, go.” *To me* “Are there any other stores that may have the yarn?!”

Me: “I can check. Can you please give me a moment?”

I check my scan gun for other store availability.

Me: “It looks like nearly every single store in the nearby vicinity is out, as well. Though there is [Location] across the city which may have a few—”

Customer: “But that’s so far! I don’t want to drive out that far!”

I’m trying to stay as silent as I can. I’m not very confrontational at all and try to let the situation calm down as much as I can. The customer is beginning to look really infuriated from such a small thing, and I’m not one to fuel the flames.

Me: “I understand your frustrations, but I’ve checked every single store that could possibly be nearby, and every single one is out of stock except for [Location].”

Customer: “Fiiiiine, but I’m going to call them to make sure they have it.”

I help her set up a call with the other store. She insists that I stay and help her call, even though I have many other things I could do instead. During this time, her children return and are clearly desperate for their mother’s attention, but the customer physically shoos them off because this call is apparently more important. Eventually, she gets on the phone with the other store after calling three times.

Customer: “Hello. Can you check if you have this specific yarn in stock? I have the SKU number here.”

Employee: “Sorry, we aren’t able to do that since we are busy right now and don’t have anyone available on the floor to check.”

Customer: “But I need to see if you have this yarn before I drive all the way out there!”

Employee: “There isn’t anyone available to check for you right now.”

Customer: *Frustrated* “Can I speak to the manager?!”

Employee: “I’m gonna put you on hold.”

While she’s on hold, the customer addresses me.

Customer: “[Craft Store] has terrible customer service!”

I am baffled. This customer has now just addressed me, a customer service member of said craft store, complaining about the customer service of said craft store. I have no clue how to respond and simply awkwardly nod. What kind of response am I supposed to give?! I want nothing more than to get out of this. For five agonizing minutes on hold, I sit with the customer and her energetic children begging for attention. Eventually, though, the other location’s manager picks up the call.

Manager: “Hello?”

Customer: “Hi there. Can you check if you have this item in stock?”

Manager: *Checks* “I’m sorry, we do not have any of that yarn in stock.”

Customer: “But I’m at a different store and it says you do have it in stock!”

Manager: “Sometimes the system incorrectly puts in the number in stock when mixing up returns. Our apologies.”

Customer: “Are you sure?!

Manager: “Yes, I’m sure.”

The customer hangs up and turns back to me. I manage to negotiate and look at other yarn she may also need for her project and see if she can get that yarn first. It takes many more grueling minutes of sifting through every single aisle of yarn we have, but I eventually help her get a cart full of yarn for her project. As soon as we finish, I am called up to the register to assist with the line. It is extremely hard to hide the visible relief on my face.

This is not the end of [Customer]’s story. Even though we have three cashiers at the registers, I am (un)lucky enough to get [Customer] back at my register when she comes up to pay. Her kids are still running around but she doesn’t even look in their direction. I am desperate never to see her face again, so I quickly ring her up.

Near the end of the transaction, she shows me a coupon.

Me: “I’m sorry, we no longer accept competitors’ coupons.”

Customer: “Since when?!”

Me: “Since last March. There are several signs placed around the registers.” *Points*

Customer: “Do you have any other coupons?”

Me: “We have a 20%-off coupon on our website!”

Customer: “Do you have anything better than that?!”

I explain all the possible options we have for discounts at our store.

Customer: “Can I just… Can I… AUGH!” *Grabs her purse and kids* “Can you put it on hold?”

Me: “Uh… sure… Wait—”

Before I could stop her, the customer nearly ran out of the store with her kids in tow. I tried to stop her to let her know that I needed a name and phone number to put her order on hold, but she was gone before I knew it.

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Not A Picture-Perfect Request

, , , | Right | May 9, 2021

I answer the phone and speak to a woman looking for a particular type of wreath we carry. I find the largest ones and tell her their sizes and prices, and she asks if she can pay for them over the phone. We don’t take payment over the phone, and I tell her so. We hang up.

A little while later, I answer the phone again.

Customer: “Did I talk to you about the wreaths?”

Me: “Yes, that was me.”

Customer: “Can you send me a picture of what they look like?”

Me: “I don’t believe I’m allowed to do that. I’m not allowed to have my cell phone on me on the sale floor.”

Customer: “How am I supposed to know what they look like?”

Me: “They’re probably on our website. You can try there.”

I apologize, and she sounds kind of grumpy but says she’ll check the website as we hang up.

Coworker: “What was that about?”

Me: “I spoke to that lady earlier about wreaths. She wanted me to send her a picture of them and I told her I couldn’t.”

Coworker: “Then we have a customer’s personal information, and they have ours. No.”

I get that you live some distance from the store and don’t want to drive here if we don’t have something, but if you want a picture of something, go on the store’s website. It should all be on there. Employees aren’t allowed to just send you pictures of things.

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Trying To Make A Clean Break

, , , , | Right | May 5, 2021

It’s our second week open after being closed for two months and I’m on the main register for the first hour of my shift, which means I’m the first person a customer sees when they come in the building. We’ve been sanitizing carts, counters, and things, and employees are all wearing masks. One of the very first customers to walk in the door stands right next to our sign that says, “Clean carts,” and looks at me.

Customer: “Do you sanitize your carts every night?”

Me: “Yes, every day. We just sanitized most of those.”

After she walked away, I said to myself, “No, we leave that for you to do yourself. What? Of course we’re sanitizing carts.”

This lady took a cart and, an hour later, she returned it to the clean cart corral after paying for her items. I didn’t see which line of clean carts she put it in, since I was ringing up another customer, so when I was free, I grabbed the first cart in each line to sanitize just in case. What I should have said was, “Yes, after every use,” but even then, I’m not sure she would have gotten the hint, since she missed the “clean carts” sign twice.

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It’s A Very Bad Signs, Part 4

, , , , , | Right | May 4, 2021

It’s our second week open after two months of being closed. We’ve implemented new procedures such as enter-only and exit-only doors, disinfecting carts after each use, and employees wearing masks. I have just rung up [Customer #1] and begun ringing up the man who was behind her in line. She turns around as she reaches the doors.

Customer #1: “How do I get out?”

Me: “That door right there.”

Customer #2: “Go left.”

Admittedly, our signs are only standard printer paper with bold capital letters, so they’re not the most eye-catching thing, but she was standing a foot or two from the “EXIT ONLY” sign. I would have thought that, plus the furniture displayed in the lobby — not to mention other customers coming and going — would have indicated there was only one direction to go. Apparently, this customer found it confusing.

Related:
It’s A Very Bad Signs, Part 3
It’s A Very Bad Signs, Part 2
It’s A Very Bad Signs

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