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Due To Subsidence, It’s Now In The Basement…

, , , , | Right | October 22, 2020

I’m walking past the main entrance of a multi-level store, and I hear a customer drop this gem.

Customer: *To an employee* “Excuse me. Is your third floor upstairs?”

Your Frustration Is Totally Validated

, , , , , | Right | October 13, 2020

Our store offers free parking for two hours, after which time we do not validate. These and all other parking-related facts are posted on several large signs in each of our two parking lots. 

Today, we’re in the middle of a sale period, on a Saturday, during the summer.

Incident #1:

A customer comes up to me on the sales floor.

Customer #1: “Excuse me, we’re about to leave, and it’s our first time here. What do we have to do for the parking?”

Me: “We don’t validate the parking. It’s free for two hours; just put your ticket in on the way out.”

Incident #2:

A customer grabs my arm as I’m pushing a restock cart.

Customer #2: “Can you validate this?”

I don’t take the ticket they’re waving in my face.

Me: “It’s automatically validated for two hours.”

Incident #3:

A customer finishes checking out.

Customer #3: “Oh, and I forgot to give you my ticket to validate—”

Me: *Quickly* “No, we don’t validate it. Just put it in, and if you’re under two hours, it’s free.”

Incident #4:

A customer silently slides me their ticket while checking out. I silently slide it back.

Customer #4: “Oh, did you validate it already?”

Incident #5:

Customer #5: “So, we’re going to be just over the two-hour limit. Can you validate the parking?”

Me: “We don’t own the meters, only the lots. The two hours are free, but we can’t validate after that, so there’ll be a $5 charge for the third hour.”

They show me a ticket with a time from four hours ago.

Customer #5: “But we’re just over the limit!”

Incident #6:

A customer starts waving a receipt for a small item.

Customer #6: “But I spend so much money here. Can’t you make an exception and validate my ticket?”

Incident #7:

A customer thinks they’re being clever, but is in for a nasty shock.

Customer #7: “Excuse me. I lost my ticket. Can you validate my parking? I’ve been here for under two hours, I promise.”

Me: *Sighing* “We don’t have any spare tickets for the lots. If you’ve lost yours, there’s a kiosk by the elevators where you can get another ticket, but you’ll have to pay a $20 lost ticket fee.”

Customer #7: “What?! But… you should have a sign or something! This is ridiculous!”

Incident #8:

After waiting politely in the slow-moving customer service line, a customer approaches.

Customer #8: “Excuse me. I’m so sorry to do this; I know how irritating it is. I just checked out with my husband, and we’re just over the limit—”

Me: *Tiredly* “It’ll be $5 for the third hour, ma’am.”

Customer #8: “Right, that’s what the sign said. I just figured I’d ask. Sorry about that!”

The customer turns to walk away.

My coworker and I pull out validation tickets and speak in unison.

Coworker & Me: “Wait!”

A Big Bag Of Haggling

, , , , , , | Right | September 30, 2020

The store I work at has a huge holiday sale at the start of the summer. Because of the discounts, we offer the sale prices for any items purchased less than two weeks before the sale. There’s also a coupon for the sale: 20% off one full-priced item. The deals are good, and the store’s overrun with customers. And some of them, apparently, want to try out their haggling skills.

I’m running returns when a woman steps up to the register next to me, holding a backpacking pack with the tags reattached. My coworker is training a new hire at that register, so they talk to her first, but I still hear most of the conversation.

Customer: “I bought this backpack a few months ago, and I haven’t used it, but it’s on sale now and I want to buy it at that price.”

Trainee: “Uh… a couple of months ago, you said?”

Coworker: *Taking over* “Unfortunately, ma’am, that is outside of our window for price adjustments for this sale, so we won’t be able to readjust that price for you.”

Customer: “But it isn’t used, and the tags are still on it, see?”

Coworker: “It’s outside our adjustment window. It doesn’t matter if it’s used or not; we can’t give you the refund.”

Customer: “But it isn’t used! I’ve been saving it for the sale, to fix this price!”

The customer keeps arguing with both coworkers, until eventually a supervisor — notoriously the most patient and understanding one we have — comes up to talk to her as well.

Customer: “Thank God! Finally, someone who knows what the f*** they’re doing! It isn’t used, and I want the sale price!”

Supervisor: “That’s a price adjustment, ma’am. Both of my coworkers have already told you we are not able to do that. You’re welcome to keep shopping, but since you want to keep the bag I’m afraid you no longer have business here at customer service. Please take your pack and leave.”

The customer throws up her hands and storms back toward the sales floor, while the trainee stares open-mouthed at all three of them.

Trainee: “[Supervisor]… I’ve never seen you that mad before.”

But it doesn’t end there. A full hour later, just after my supervisor’s gone on break, a woman comes up to my register and throws down a pile of small items and a backpack. I didn’t catch a good look at her when she was behind me, but I recognize her voice right away.

Customer: “I want to return this backpack.”

Me: “All right, ma’am, when did you buy it?”

Customer: “Three months ago. I want you to give me a refund, and then I’m going to take it back over to the checkout line and get it over there. Don’t worry—” *Sarcastically* “—it’s not a price adjustment or anything.”

I freeze, physically holding the bag from where she’d tossed it at me, more stunned by her brazenness than anything else.

Me: “…and you understand I can’t process that, right?”

Customer: “But it isn’t a price adjustment!”

Me: “No, it is, because you brought up those specific words. You’re out of our adjustment period by two months, and you’ve just told me you’re planning to get around our policies by repurchasing the bag. So no, you cannot return this bag.”

Customer: “Are you kidding me? This is f****** ridiculous! It’s not even used! So what, just because some policy says I can’t return it and rebuy it here, you think I can’t just return it and then go home and order myself a new one? It’ll take a few more days, that’s all, and then I still get the price without doing your price adjustment thing. All I want is to buy the bag here, instead.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, but we have a very specific store policy for that. And to answer your question, I’d be in violation of that policy if I even let you return the bag here, because you just told me what you’re planning to do. Even if, as you say, it isn’t used.”

Customer: “But I can just do it myself!”

She points to the cashier section.

Customer:They don’t know about that… that store policy thing!”

Me: “They don’t have to. You still can’t do the price adjustment.”

Customer: “Fine. Then I want to return the bag.”

I take the bag from her. She’s not wrong; it isn’t used, so my plan is to return the pack, and then immediately throw it into the restock bin and refuse her the resale. I scan the bag, process the refund, and ring her up for her other purchases.

Me: “Your total price is on the screen there.”

Customer: “But where’s the bag?”

Me: “I am refusing the sale. You cannot buy this bag.”

The customer lurches forward like she’s going to grab me, thrusts her face close to mine, and screams. My coworkers and all the other customers in the store are now openly staring at the entire mess. I give up.

Me: *Tightly* “Fine. I will do this for you once, do you understand? This is a one-time exception.”

Customer: “Of course, whatever. Until the next time your stupid policy puts us here again.”

I scan the bag and she pays for it. Between the bag and her purchases, she spends nearly four times the “refund” I just gave her.

Customer: “That wasn’t so hard, was it?”

She takes the bag and flounces away. I turn around, pissed, to find another coworker staring at me.

Coworker #2: “Jesus. That wasn’t the woman [Supervisor] yelled at earlier, was it?”

Me: “Yeah. I’m going to go in the back and scream for a bit.”

I step past him, take a healthy swig of my coffee, and prepare to go back to facing customers. I turn back to the line to see the same customer, again, barreling past the waiting line, storming straight up to my register and slamming the backpack down.

Customer: “You forgot to give me the 20% coupon!”

Me: “No, I didn’t. First, that was a one-time exception, and your one time is up. I’m not touching that receipt, or the bag, again. Second, the coupon can only be applied to items that are full price. You know this bag is discounted, since you threw a fit to get it that way. Finally, you have been refused service by four employees, so you can either leave now or I will call security to have them escort you out. Next customer, please!”

She stood there for five more minutes while I talked to customers around her, sneering the whole time. Surprise, surprise — not a single other person tried to help her the whole time she was there. If a customer doesn’t take the hint the first time, maybe they’re just dumb. But the fourth?! Come on, lady.

There Is Merit In Them To-Going Away

, , , , | Right | September 16, 2020

It’s a busy Sunday morning and we’re understaffed, so my manager has told me, the hostess, that neither the kitchen nor the servers have time for to-go orders.

Customer: “Hi, I need an order to-go.”

Me: “I’m sorry sir, we’re currently too busy to take to-go orders.”

Customer: “What? But I can see open tables!”

There are some open tables because we’re on a pager wait and I’m waiting for people to come back in.

Me: “These tables are for people who were here earlier and are on my pagers.”

Customer: “Well, fine, what if I sit down and order to-go?”

Me: “I’m very sorry, sir, but the kitchen is too busy to bag up a to-go order.”

Customer: “Then what if I sit down, order, and bag it up myself?”

Me: *Giving up* “Sir, if you’d like to wait fifteen to twenty minutes for a table, sit down, wait another fifteen minutes for your food, and bag it yourself, I’d be happy to get you a pager for your to-go order.”

Customer: “What?! All that for a to-go order?! That’s the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever heard!”

Me: “Sir, you suggested it.”

A Catalog Of Errors, Part 8

, , , , , | Right | September 3, 2020

I am working at a large national chain that has been in the process of closing most of its stores for some time. A woman comes in with a large printed catalog, the kind which hasn’t been printed for many years. She proceeds to give me this long, drawn-out story about coming to an aunt’s funeral and helping to go through her belongings and running across this old catalog.

Customer: “…and when I saw this in the catalog, I knew it was just what I wanted, and the price is so reasonable!”

Me: “Ma’am, that catalog is from the early 1960s, and almost nothing in that catalog would even be available at all anymore, and if it is, it certainly would not be at those prices.”

Customer: *Suddenly irate* “Yes, you do have this. It’s in the housewares section; it’s a very common item — a kind of toaster. I want it and I want it at this price.”

She shoves the catalog in my face.

Me: “Well, I can take you over to housewares and you can see if it is available, but again, it certainly wouldn’t be at that price even if we have it. That catalog is almost fifty years old and prices have gone up considerably since it was printed.”

Customer: “Then that’s false advertising. You will sell it to me at that price. I want to see your manager!”

The manager for that department comes over; he is a quite elderly gentleman himself. I explain the situation to him, with constant interruptions from the woman.

Manager: “Ma’am, as I recall, having worked at this particular store since the early sixties, this item had many safety issues, there was a national recall because it would overheat, and there were several fires started because of it. It ceased production in about 1965 or so; I can’t remember exactly when. So, no, that item is no longer available, nor will it ever be available. We do have several new models with similar features, but also with newer prices.”

Customer: “That’s false advertising! It’s in the catalog! You must give it to me, and give it to me at this price!”

Manager: “Ma’am, I will let you look for it on the shelves, and if you can find it, i will let you have it at that advertised price.”

Customer: “Oh, like that’s going to happen, I know your kind; you keep all the good stuff in the back for yourself. No wonder this store is going down the hole! I’ll be glad when all of you are out of a job and this store folds up just like [Former Competitor] did!”

With that, she quickly glances at the toaster products on the shelf, muttering about the lack of quality of each and the high prices. She storms out of the store.

Manager: “I wonder where she has been for the past fifty years?”

A Catalog Of Errors, Part 7
A Catalog Of Errors, Part 6
A Catalog Of Errors, Part 5
A Catalog Of Errors, Part 4
A Catalog Of Errors, Part 3