This Conversation Is Going Down The Drain

, , , , , , , | Right | October 20, 2017

(I am working with a customer to find a drain that will fit his custom-made sink. It’s going slowly, but smoothly enough.)

Me: “Okay, I have found one that will work. What finish will you need it in?”

Customer: “One that will match my faucet.”

Me: “Okay, what color is your faucet?”

Customer: “Brown-ish.”

Me: “Um, okay. So… oil-rubbed bronze? A dark brown?”

Customer: “No… Like a light brown.”

Me: “Do you know the brand? That might help narrow this down so that we get a matching drain for you.”

Customer: “Um… I don’t know. I think it starts with a ‘D’ or something.”

(I manage to narrow down the brands and find the color.)

Me: “Well, I will have to order the drain in that color, but I am positive this is the right one. It should be here in the next two to four days. Will that be all right?”

Customer: “What does that mean?”

Me: “What does what mean?”

Customer: “Order.”

Me: “Well, sometimes we don’t have the right thing in stock. We have to reach out to the manufacture and have them send one to us.”

Customer: “So, you don’t make these things?”

Me: “No, sir. Each brand is in charge of making their products. We are in charge of selling them.”

Customer: “Well, how lazy! You should make them!”

Me: “We are not a brand. We are a home improvement store. If we made all the brands, they would just be one big brand.”

Customer: “That does not even make sense! All these things are made by some big corporation!”

Me: “I can assure you that is not the case. This brand is made in Indiana, this one in California, several are made overseas in Japan or China, and I have a few that are made in Mexico. And that is just in faucets.”

Customer: “Whatever. Order that part, since you don’t want to make me one.”

Me: “Okay, we can do that! I will need at least a half payment down. That would be $25. A ten dollar handling charge will be added when the part comes in.”

Customer: “You don’t need money down! Just order it!”

Me: “I am afraid I cannot do that. Money is put down to ensure that the ordered part will be fully purchased after it comes in.”

Customer: “What if I decide I don’t want it?”

Me: “Then you pay the handling free, but the rest of the money will be refunded.”

Customer: “You would keep part of my money?”

Me: “The item costs money to be ordered; therefore, the handling fee money stays with the store. It’s like a shipping fee when you order something online.”

Customer: “That is such a lie! Why are you trying to take my money?”

Me: “I can promise no one is trying to take your money. All you have to do is put half down, and then pick up the item when it comes in, with the other half of the money.”

Customer: “And I would get the handling free back?”

Me: “No. That is part of the total price of the item.”

Customer: “I want a manager!”

(My manager comes over after a minute or two of awkward silence.)

Manager: “Is there a problem?”

Customer: “Yes, this lady is trying to swindle me! She refused to make me a drain, lied to me about where this stuff is made, and is now trying to swindle me with fees!”

Manager: “So, what you are really saying is that she found what you needed, but we are out of stock, and you have to order this part with a standard handling fee?”

Customer: “Yes! Just go to the back and make me a drain!”

Manager: “I am sure it’s been explained to you that each brand makes its own parts? Each brand is unique with coloring, style, and manufacturing process.” *customer tightly nods* “I cannot go to the back and magically make one out of a pallet. Now, would you like to order the part you need, or do I have to escort you out for accusing my employee of theft?”

(The customer threw down $25 dollars and stormed out. We ordered the part, but since the customer stormed out, we never got into contact information. Two weeks later:)

Customer: “WHERE IS MY DRAIN?”

Manager: *who saw him come in* “We ordered it, but since you left without giving us any contact information, we had no way of informing you. If you would like to pay the remaining balance, I will happily send my associate to get it from the back.”

Customer: “This is such terrible customer service. You just didn’t want to call me!”

Manager: “I am supposed to know how to call you when you left no name, number, or any sort of identification to get a hold of you?”
Customer: “Yes!”

Order Once, Shame On You

, , , , , | Working | October 20, 2017

(I’m the assistant manager, and part of my job involves stocking branded supplies: shopping bags, flyers, etc. The district manager and the regional manager are doing a store inspection, and they aren’t happy.)

Regional Manager: “You barely have any branded supplies in stock! You need to be ordering these to keep up with demand.”

Me: “I submitted an order three weeks ago, but they didn’t come in. I followed up with a few emails last week and didn’t hear anything, so I submitted a new order four days ago. Here: I can show you on the computer.”

District Manager: “Why don’t you call and get to the bottom of this?”

Me: “There’s only the email contact listed.”

Regional Manager: “Well, I will call and find out.”

(She gets on her cell phone and puts it on speaker.)

Regional Manager: “[Person in charge of branded supplies]! How are you?”

Branded Supplies Manager: “Oh, it’s good to hear from you!”

(They chit chat for a few minutes about personal lives before getting to the purpose of the call.)

Regional Manager: “So, I have an ASM here who said she ordered some branded supplies from you. I was just calling to see what’s going on?”

Branded Supplies Manager: “Which store? I swear I’m getting emails from everywhere.”

Me: “I haven’t heard back from you about my initial order three weeks ago.”

Branded Supplies Manager: “Ugh. Yeah, I was on vacation. I came back and there’s this huge pile of supply orders that all the ASMs kept sending me, so I just threw them out to clear my desk.”

Me: “You threw them out?”

Branded Supplies Manager: “Well, I’m obviously not going to fill them if I’m on vacation! They sent me so many when they were gone.”

Me: “How was I supposed to know you were on vacation?”

(The RM is shooting me dirty looks.)

Regional Manager: “Well, she posted pictures all over Facebook; it should have been obvious.”

Me: “I don’t know her! I’m not friends with her on Facebook!”

Regional Manager: “Well, isn’t that convenient! Look, [Branded Supplies Manager], she said she submitted a new order. Do you think that will be coming in now?”

Branded Supplies Manager: “I’m looking now. Oh, no, that is coming up as an error in the system as a duplicate from three weeks ago, so I can’t process it.”

Me: “The one you threw away?”

Branded Supplies Manager: “I’ll look at it, but I’ve done all I can.” *sniffling* “Don’t be angry at me!”

Regional Manager: “Oh, [Branded Supplies Manager], don’t stress yourself more; you’ve been through so much lately. I’d just appreciate it if you could fix this.”

(After she hung up, the DM and RM ripped into me for making someone from corporate office “fix my mistakes.” When I pointed out that I had no way of knowing the manager was on vacation, they said I should call anyone first to make sure that they are in office before actually contacting them as my “due diligence.” My contact list had no phone numbers, only email addresses. I ended up being written up for having a bad attitude. I’ve been putting in applications elsewhere for the last week. I still haven’t gotten supplies in the mail, and neither have several other stores.)

Paging Strange Requests

, , , , , | Right | October 19, 2017

(I am an associate manager, and I have just answered a call. There is an elderly woman on the line.)

Me: “Good afternoon. Thank you for calling [Restaurant]. This is [My Name] speaking. How can I help you?”

Customer: *raspy voice* “I understand your restaurant doesn’t have a paging service. I am looking to get in touch with my friend, [Friend]. She should be in the dining room with her son. She has grey hair and wears glasses.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but the restaurant seats almost 300 people, and we are full and busy. I am unable to go and find your friend. Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

Customer: “No, I guess not.” *hangs up*

(About 30 minutes go by and another associate manager tells me about the strangest call.)

Coworker: “Yes, it was so strange. She wanted me to go out into the dining room and find some woman with glasses. I wasn’t sure what to do. So, I indulged her for a minute and put her on hold while I went to ‘look.’ I came back to the phone to tell her I couldn’t find her friend. Once I told her the news she became a bit upset and said, ‘Today is a very unlucky day for you. Upon connection to my friend I was going to give you $1,000.’ Then, she hung up. How strange.”

The Prices Are Not Going Down Under

, , , , | Right | October 19, 2017

(I am a customer in a nail salon in Singapore, along with another lady who’s Asian but not local.)

Lady: “I would like to remove the gel manicure and get a new one done.”

Manicurist: *in simple English because she’s from Vietnam* “To remove gel, $30. Classic mani at $26 and classic pedi at $36.”

Lady: “I’m sorry; I don’t understand you.”

Manicurist: “To remove gel is $30.”

Lady: “Why are you charging me so much? In Sydney, they don’t charge me to remove the gel, and for mani and pedi it’s only $65. I don’t understand; it’s dollar to dollar now. How come you need to charge me to remove the gel?”

Me: “This is how the service is here.”

Lady: “This is ridiculously expensive. I don’t understand. It’s dollar to dollar now. How come they are charging me so much compared to Sydney?”

Me: “Well, you’re not in Thailand or Indonesia, where their services are really cheap. At the same time, you’ll never know the quality rendered to you with that kind of price. Whereas here, their services are excellent and their products are good. I’m really happy with my service and I’ve been with them for many years now.”

Lady: “If I knew it was going to be this expensive, I would have done it in Sydney!”

Scoring An Eight On The Does-Not-Listen Scale

, , , , , | Right | October 18, 2017

(At our shoe store, we have five aisles. Each aisle has signs that tell the sizes. A customer walks in the store and looks at a display shoe, and then comes up to me asking me if we have it in size eight.)

Me: “Here’s everything we have in size eight. Go ahead and look around and let me know if you have any questions.”

Customer: “Do you have that shoe in size eight?”

Me: “We don’t have it in size eight, but we have some other shoes that looks similar to it right here on this wall.”

(Five minutes later, she gets shoes from size seven-and-a-half.)

Customer: “Excuse me; I have a question.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, go ahead.”

Customer: “Do you have this one in size eight?”

Me: “Ma’am, everything we have in size eight is on the size eight’s wall. We don’t have anything in the back room!”

Customer: “So, you don’t have it in size eight?”

Me: “We don’t.”

Customer: “Can you double-check if you have it in the back?”

Me: “…”

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