A Very Personal Emergency

, , , , | Right | May 13, 2018

(I work in a tiny, independent, local charity shop in a small market town. Nearly all our customers live in the town and are regulars. Our manager also lives locally and has small children. On this day, she is at a school event for the afternoon and has left us volunteers in charge.)

Customer: “Who is your manager?”

Me: “[Manager].”

Customer: “I want to speak to her.”

Me: “I’m sorry; she’s not in this afternoon. She’ll be here tomorrow. Can I help with anything?”

Customer: “No, I want to speak to a manager.”

Me: “Okay, I can take your number and she can ring you, or you can pop in any day later this week.”

Customer: “I want to speak to her now. Where is she?”

Me: “Er, she’s not here. All I can do is get her to call you, but it won’t be today.”

Customer: “Well, give me her phone number.”

Me: “I can give you the shop number, but she’s not here to answer it today. I’d be the one answering it.”

Customer: “Give me her number. She’s got a phone, hasn’t she?”

Me: “I can’t do that. I can only give out the shop number.”

Customer: *getting angry* “Why not?”

Me: *pause* “Because it’s her personal number for personal calls; anything shop-related comes through the shop. I can give you the shop number, or get her to call you tomorrow.”

Customer: “That’s not good enough! I want to speak to her now. You ring her! Ring her and tell her I want to speak to her!”

Me: “Sorry, I can’t. She’s not available this afternoon.”

Customer: *shouting* “WHAT IF THERE’S AN EMERGENCY?”

Me: “Um. Is this an emergency?”


That’s Not How Price Match Works

, , , | Right | May 12, 2018

(It is mid-December. I work at a big box store in the photo department, located right next to the electronics department. First thing when the store opens this morning, a woman comes up to me and asks for help with the tablets, so I page the guy in electronics to the display case. He later tells me that their interaction went like this:)

Woman: *holding receipt* “I bought this tablet here a few weeks ago, and I want to buy another one for this price.”

Coworker: “That was part of our Black Friday sale, so it’s back to regular price now.”

Woman: “Well, isn’t there anything you can do for me? Don’t you price-match?”

Coworker: “We don’t price-match our own prices from an outdated sale.”

Woman: “Can I speak to your manager?”

(We spent the rest of the day laughing at how ridiculous it was.)

The Director Is A Bad Apple

, , , , , | Working | May 11, 2018

(I am working as a prep cook in a cafeteria that serves over 1000 people daily. For some reason, I am occasionally asked to recycle old food from other stations through my station. For example, I was once asked to make breakfast yogurt parfaits using crushed stale cookies and fruit that was starting to turn. I refused. I am at my station when the director comes walking through the kitchen:)

Director: “Hey, [My Name], can you do something with this?”

(He sets a single apple — rotten on one end — down on my cutting board.)

Me: “Yes, sir, I can!”

(I wait until he has left the kitchen, and then I nudge the apple off my cutting board into the wastebasket.)

Me: “Done. Easy.”

(No one ever came back to check what salad I made for over 1000 people with a single half-rotten apple.)

Crazy Prices Attract The Crazies

, , , , | Friendly | May 10, 2018

I just organized a garage sale for the first time in six years. I moved homes a year ago and had a baby two years ago, so I had a lot of stuff to get rid of. Hoping to reach out to as many people as possible, I posted pictures of things for sale online. While it did increase the foot traffic, it also invited the crazies.

First, I had a gentleman come and ask to look at the 1960s Schwinn bike I was selling. He told me his sister would love it for her art project, and then moved to take it from me. My husband blocked him with his arm and told him that the bike was for sale, not free. The man interjected with, “There was no price listed online!” My husband replied, “It’s a garage sale; everything is for sale.” The man left without buying the bike.

Then, we had a lady come by while it was dead, and struck up a nice enough conversation with her. She didn’t see anything that she wanted to buy, but that’s how it goes. As we were talking about moving a year ago, she shifted gears and asked, “Do you know if you’re getting into heaven?” My eyes went wide, and I looked at my husband to confirm if she really just asked that. I replied, “I hope so!” and my husband agreed. The woman dug through her purse and handed us a flyer about being saved, turning to Jesus, yada yada yada. She then left, and my husband and I confirmed that that was weird.

Next, two women came by while my husband was taking a break. They mentioned that they shopped for a local church group, creating Christmas boxes for kids, trying to keep the cost of the boxes around $5. I said that was cool, and showed them the table with the cheapest things, $1 and under. They then said that they typically try to buy things at ten cents a piece. I said I might be able to do that on some of these items. They both then turned to me and asked if I’d be willing to do that on everything in the sale. I’d get a receipt for taxes and everything. I told them no, I wouldn’t be able to do a deal like that. They pushed that it was for a church and deserving children. I told them that was nice, but anything we didn’t sell was going into a sale for a church mission trip already. They got annoyed looks on their faces, and turned and left.

Thankfully, the good customers outweighed the bad, and we got rid of a lot of our junk. But I’m glad I won’t need to have another garage sale for another six years or so.

Olive Foil

, , , , , | Right | May 10, 2018

(As a general, one of my duties is to return items that customers no longer want at checkout to their proper places throughout the store. I have a cart full of such items and am working on returning it all. Halfway done, I am stopped by a customer who needs assistance.)

Customer: “Excuse me. Do you know where the olives are?”

Me: “Sure thing!”

(I lead him to the aisle with the olives, returning a can of olives in my cart to its proper place on the shelf. As I am about to leave, the customer stops me again.)

Customer: “Excuse me, but you don’t seem to have any of the olives I want.”

Me: “What kind of olives do you want?”

Customer: “I want the olives without the pits.”

Me: *pointing to jars on the shelf* “These do not have pits in them. They are actually filled with—”

Customer: “I want the ones without the holes.”

Me: “Okay…” *I point out other jars to him* “These ones do not have holes in them.”

Customer: “But those have pits in them.”

Me: “So you want olives without the pits, but without the holes.”

Customer: “Yes.”

(After standing there with him in frustrated and confused silence for another minute, I directed him to the olive bar upstairs so he could choose whichever olives he desired. As soon as he started to leave, I bolted out of the aisle with my shopping cart, hoping to avoid him until he left the store.)

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