What Price Listening?

, , , , , , | Right | November 22, 2017

(I work at an office supply store as a cashier. Since there is a phone next to the register, I am usually the first to answer when it rings. This particular call is on a slow evening.)

Me: “Thank you for calling your downtown [Store]. My name is [My Name]. How can I take care of your business?”

Customer: “Hi! How are you tonight?”

Me: “Well, I’m doing great! What can I do for you?”

Customer: “I was wondering if you could tell me your prices.”

(After a few moments, I realize she’s not going to give me anything specific.)

Me: “Are you looking for something specific, ma’am?”

Customer: “No, just your prices.”

(At this point, I know where this is going. Customers often call with these kinds of questions, and our answer is always the same: We have centers for supplies, furniture, copy, and technology in-store, plus our extensive website. This means there is no way to give a price without any specifics. I try to politely explain this to the customer, who is only getting more frustrated.)

Me: “Ma’am, this is [Store]. We sell crayons for three cents and can order you a thermal transfer machine to make T-Shirt logos. I cannot fathom what kind of estimate to give you!”


Me: “On what?”


Me: *pause* “Mini-golf, ma’am?”

Customer: “YES!”

Me: “Ma’am… This is [Store].”

Customer: “Oh! Well, why didn’t you just say that?!” *hangs up*

Easter: The Least-Known Jewish Holiday

, , , | Right | November 22, 2017

(At the grocery store where I work, we sell a number of specialty items around various holidays, including two varieties of round challah bread for Rosh Hashana. The rest of the year, we sell the traditional braided style, instead.)

Customer: “Where’s your challah bread with raisins in it? Why don’t you carry that one anymore? It makes the best French toast!”

Me: “Do you mean the round challah? I’m sorry. It’s one of our holiday items, so we don’t carry it right now.”

Customer: “But it is a holiday! It’s Easter!”

Pizza Parlor Tricks

, , , , , | Right | November 22, 2017

(It’s fairly late in the evening, just a couple hours before close, when a guy walks in and I go up to the counter to help him. He kind of mumbles and talks really fast at some points, but otherwise nothing really seems off.)

Me: “Welcome to [Pizza Shop]. What can I do for you?”

Customer: “Hey, I need to pick up some pizzas.”

Me: “Okay.” *starts looking for his order in the computer, but none pop up as awaiting payment* “Have they already been paid for?”

Customer: “Yeah, we paid for ’em yesterday, but we never came and picked ’em up.”

(It’s already weird that someone would order pizza and then come in to try and pick it up the next day, but I figure it’s not a big deal to simply retake his order. Carryout orders get canceled or simply never get picked up for various reasons all the time; if something has been sitting on our heating racks for more than two or three hours, we always cancel the order and just eat it ourselves, since we would have to remake it if they eventually showed up, anyway. Usually this just happens when someone calls ahead or orders online, so if they have already paid for it, it was on a card, and the transaction is canceled, and if they chose cash, we haven’t received it yet, so everything works out.)

Me: “You ordered them yesterday? So, you want to replace the order right now, then?”

Customer: “Yeah, unless you’ve still got them around, but I kind of doubt that.”

Me: “No, I’m sure that we don’t. What did you have?”

(He orders two pizzas using a special that makes them almost half price, and for the second one he has to call someone to get the toppings. While he is on the phone, I call over the manager in charge, an assistant manager, to ask if we can access yesterday’s orders in case I need to prove to him that his previous transaction was voided. He says only the general manager can access that information, but he stays near the counter anyway. The guy comes back and orders his second pizza.)

Me: “All right, your total is $19.02, and I know you said it was paid for yesterday, but don’t worry; we would have canceled the order and the payment, so we’ll just take a new one right now.”

Customer: “But we paid cash.”

Me: “Oh. You paid cash? In the store? And then left, even though we would most likely have quoted you like ten minutes?”

Customer: “Yeah! I had a receipt. I would have brought it, but I don’t have it, unfortunately.”

Me: “Uhh…” *to manager* “Do you know if we were over, like, 19 bucks last night?”

Manager: *to me* “We definitely weren’t. I closed last night.” *to the guy* “Do you remember what time you came in?”

Customer: “Sometime between two and six.”

([Manager] and I look at each other, as that’s not much more helpful than saying he was here yesterday at some point while we were open.)

Customer: “I can call the manager guy! The one who was here yesterday! I can talk to him!”

Manager: “I was here last night. I don’t remember an order like this sitting around. I’m sorry, but if you don’t have a receipt, there’s not really anything we can do.”

Me: “You could pay for it with a card today, and when the GM comes in tomorrow, if we can find your previous order paid in our system, we can cancel the card transaction.”

Customer: “I only have cash, and only… $11! Can you at least make on of the pizzas?”

(Individually, without the special, his pizzas are about $14 or $15 each.)

Manager: “Sorry, but I can’t.”

Customer: “Darn. Okay, I need to go get some more cash; I’ll be right back.” *walks out*

Manager: “That was sketchy. Who pays cash for something and then leaves without it and forgets about it until the next day? Something tells me he’s not coming back.”

(He didn’t.)

Time To Start Taking Time Seriously

, , , , , , | Right | November 22, 2017

(This is a conversation between my sister and a customer who is calling to inquire about picking up a car he just bought via auction.)

Customer: “What’s the latest time I can pick up a car?”

Sister: “Last load out is at 4:15 pm.”

Customer: “So, if I get there at 4:30 or 4:45, will they still load me?”

Sister: “No, sir. Last load out is at 4:15 pm.”

Customer: “Wow, so, you’re, like, serious about that.”

Return Of The Returner: Jeans Of Justice

, , , , , | Right | November 21, 2017

(My mother is a department manager for a large retail chain that has just closed 146 locations in the last year. They recently had a return policy change that states if you are returning something without a receipt, they can only give you the lowest selling price in their system. My mom is called up to the register to help a pair of customers with their return.)

Mom: “Hello, sir. What can I do for you?”

Customer: “Yeah, I’m trying to return these jeans, but I don’t have my receipt.”

Mom: “Okay, sir, let me see what I can do to help you. Did you pay for these with cash or a card?”

Customer: “One of them was with cash, and the other was with a card.”

Mom: “We can look up your receipt in our system to give you the full refund for the one pair, but with the other one I can only give you what they are worth in our store.”

Customer: “That’s not necessary. I paid $45 for them. Just give me that.”

Mom: “I’m sorry, sir; our policy is that we have to give you what it’s worth.”

(She looks up the jeans at the register, and they are only worth $0.78 in the store on this particular day.)

Mom: “For this pair, I can give you $0.78.”

Customer: “$0.78?! That’s it?! But I paid $45!”

Mom: “Well, if you had the receipt, I’d be able to give you the full refund. But considering that you don’t, this is all I’m allowed to give you, sir.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! Why can you only give me $0.78?”

Mom: “That’s just our policy, sir,”

(This goes on for quite some time, asking why he can only get $0.78 for the jeans, and with her trying to give him several different answers, until…)

Customer: “How does it feel to work for a company that can’t back up its managers?!”

Mom: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “You’re working for a company that can’t even tell its employees why certain policies are put into place. No wonder this place is going down the tubes!”

Mom: “Well, sir, that’s matter of opinion.”

Customer: “A matter of opinion?! Are you f***ing kidding me?! This place is a s***-show! This is horrible customer service!”

Mom: “Once again, that’s a matter of opinion.”

Customer: “Oh, yeah? How many sites have you closed down this year? Huh?”

Mom: “146.”

Customer: “Yeah, and that’s a FACT!”

Mom: “If you say so, sir.”

Customer: “You must be embarrassed! You must be so embarrassed to work here! You must go home every night, look at yourself in the mirror, and hate yourself because you work here! Are you embarrassed?! Huh?!”

(She has finally had enough of this man’s harassment. By now there are about 25 to 30 people that have fallen silent and are watching this man scream at her.)

Mom: “No, I don’t! Sir, I am trying to help you as best as I can. You can either stop this conversation right now and accept the help I am giving you, or you can walk out that door right now, and never come back to this store, since you hate it so much!”

(He instantly shuts up. My mom gives him the cash refund of $0.78 for the one pair of jeans, and then looks up his receipt for the other pair, which is the exact same pair as the one for which he paid cash. The receipt she pulls up says he paid the full price of $14.95 on his card, which she refunds him as well. As she is finishing up with him, he decides to get a final jab in.)

Customer: “See you in the unemployment line!”

Mom: “Why? Is that where you live?”

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