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Not All Customers Are Equal

, , , | Right | February 15, 2021

I am working in a shop that sells sewing machines inside of a large store. I am taking in a customer’s machine for service. We’re talking while I type her information into the computer. It’s nothing new to get asked for help within the larger store as my shop is right in the middle; however, I draw the line at neglecting my customers.

As I’m working with this (very lovely) customer, I can see an older man out of the corner of my eye. I ignore him and carry on with my customer. I can hear him getting huffy as the work order takes a few minutes and I am not giving him my attention. He finally taps me on the shoulder.

Old Man: “I want to know where the stick-on letters are.”

Me: “Sir, I am in the middle of something; please excuse me.”

I turn back to my customer as he storms off. 

Several minutes later, I finish with my customer and sit down at my computer. The old man walks by me.

Old Man: “When a customer who is going to buy something that pays your salary asks you a question, you answer it. That’s good customer service.”

I don’t have a chance to respond that he was interrupting my customer and that I wouldn’t have been able to answer his question anyway. I am later relaying this incident to the manager of the larger store.

Manager: “You know what I say to those people? ‘Good customers get good customer service.’”

Crafty Ways To Get Craft Sales

, , , | Right | February 1, 2021

I’m attempting to call a customer about an appointment they’ve missed. It rings and someone picks up, but it’s not who I’m attempting to call.

Me: “Hi, this is [My Name] with [Store]. Can I speak to [Customer]?”

Person: “Uh, I don’t know a [Customer].”

Me: “Is your number [phone number]?”

Person: “Yeah, I got it recently, so they may have changed their number.”

Me: “Oh, all right! Thank you for letting us know!” *Pauses* “Would you like to sign up for a learn-to class for $20?”

The person got a kick out of it but declined.

Racism: The T-Shirt

, , , , , | Right | January 22, 2021

My coworker pages me to the front to answer a question pertaining to my department, so I walk over and ask what’s up. The T-shirts in my department range in price, starting from about $4 and going up to closer to $12. It depends on style, brand, etc.

Coworker: “These T-shirts have a $3.99 sticker, but they look like the more expensive ones. Is that price right?”

The customer looks annoyed at my coworker asking for help, and I take one look at the T-shirt and decide:

Me: “Yeah, that should be right.”

I go to fix the mess of carts in the front corrals that always seems to happen when we’re busy, so I’m nearby when the customer finishes her transaction and walks out the door.

Customer: *Talking about my coworker* “Like I’d switch price tags or something. White b****.”

I give the customer an annoyed, shocked look as I walk back over to my coworker and we talk about the transaction for a minute.

Coworker: “I just wanted to make sure! All I said was, ‘I want to double-check one thing quick.’ And she thought I was being racist or something, but I’d do that for anybody. Those shirts seemed like the more expensive ones. The price tags are different!”

Me: “I really didn’t want to deal with her. But just in case, I’ll go check the T-shirt section.”

Sometimes I hate people. We’re not saying you’re the one who switched the price tags, if they got switched, but when you make a giant deal out of it like that, it looks strange. We’d question it if a white person came up with those shirts, too. Sigh.

You Met The Scissor Sisters

, , , | Right | January 22, 2021

It’s our truck day, which is usually interesting, and the coworker who usually covers fabric has gone on lunch. I answer a customer service page at the fabric desk where two ladies have fabric already measured out. I greet them cheerfully and ask what I can help them with.

Customer: “I’ve got a hundred inches. I just need a scissor.”

There’s a pair of scissors on the opposite side of the desk from her, but she’s made no move to come get it.

Me: “Oh, I actually have to cut the fabric for you.”

I stay where I am, because that’s how I typically cut fabric: on the opposite side of the desk from the customer.

Customer: “Well, can’t you just come on this side?”

I ignore that and choose to reach for her fabric, which is a plaid-like one that I’ll have to cut in a particular way. I re-measure it, unfolding it in the process because my brain isn’t processing the math how it should be today, and the lady makes another annoyed comment that I ignore for the moment.

Her friend consults her about the amount of fabric they need for their projects. The customer slides over the other bolt she wants cut after she figures the measurements and then says:

Customer: “I guess I’ll let you re-measure it since I don’t know what I’m doing.”

That irks me, but I reply as politely as possible.

Me: “It’s not that I doubt that you know what you’re doing; I just prefer to measure and cut the way I’ve been taught. We’re kind of finicky about how we cut these patterns. I’d rather give you more fabric than you need than not enough.”

Sure enough, I re-measured and it was a bit more than they needed, but I’d rather be over than under. The rest of my interaction with them went okay, but I was annoyed by the time I finished and went to vent to a coworker.

The first woman had apparently worked at another fabric store years ago. I’m pretty sure ANY fabric store has to have an employee cut fabric for the customer, which she should have known. Why she thought I’d give her my scissor, I’ll never know. Truck days seem to bring out the weird in people.

What A Frustrating Yarn

, , , , | Working | December 30, 2020

I’m at a craft store to buy some yarn for a project. To my pleasant surprise, the yarn I want is on a really good sale. I was only planning to buy one skein with a coupon that’s good for one item and the others I need for the project later, but with the sale, I can get them all at once. I happily proceed to the register, but they ring up at the normal price.

Me: “The sign on the display says they’re on sale; they should be ringing up cheaper.”

Cashier: “Well, they’re not.”

Me: “But the sign says they should be [sale price], not [regular price].”

Cashier: *Literally rolling her eyes* “Yeah, I’m just sure there’s a sign that says that. They’re not on sale now. [Regular price].”

I’m mad at the implication that I’m lying.

Me: “It’s a couple of aisles from here. There’s no line; follow me.”

She does, and I emphatically point to the sign.

Me: “There it is, with the yarn brand written on it, and [sale price]. That’s the price I’m paying.”

Cashier: “Fine. I’ll have to change it manually.”

Me: “Good. Do that.”

She and I didn’t speak another word while I bought the yarn. I know some people lie, but why not err on the side of diplomacy? I wouldn’t have minded showing her the sign if she’d asked, but I did mind her attitude.