Eating With The Tongs Of Honesty

| Right | January 2, 2013

(I work in a department store in the kitchenware and electrical department. The shop is famous for its open returns policy; i.e. a customer can pretty much return anything. As I’m in charge of returns, so this is usually a big headache.)

Customer: “Hi, I need this to bring these items in. It’s a bit of long story.”

Me: “Uh sure, is there a fault with them?”

Customer: “Oh no, it’s just that I ordered a pair of cooking tongs from your website, and my receipt just says one. I only get the amount for one debited from my account.”

Me: “Okay?”

Customer: “Well, I only wanted one, but I had six sent to me and I called your helpline and they said post it in, but I wanted to bring it in to make sure it gets here.”

Me: “Just so I’ve got this right: you only paid for one, receipted for one, you got six, and you’re bringing the other five back here?”

Customer: “Yup! Do you need to check my order or something?”

Me: “No! Sorry if I seem confused; this just never happens. I’ll take those and we’ll just add them. Thank you for your honesty, and here, have these tokens or some free coffee and cake from one of our cafe bars!”

Customer: “Oh, no! Don’t give me those for being honest; have nice day!”

(I told my line manager what happened. She said it wasn’t uncommon for the wrong amount of items to be sent, but we never usually get honest customers coming back!)

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Doing Customer Service A Disservice

| Right | January 1, 2013

(I am called up to do a price check on an item from my department. There is a long line of customers, but several serving staff. One of them is a lovely young girl wearing a Muslim headscarf who is trying to help a cranky looking old woman. My coworker is visibly upset.)

Me: *to my coworker* “Hi! What do you need a price che—”

Customer: “That [racial slur] is trying to rip me off! This [very expensive crystal decanter set] was meant to be $30. There’s a sign over there!”

Me: “Okay, look, you’re going to need to use appropriate language in this store if you want any of us to continue serving you. Now, I know for a fact that this set should be around the $200 mark. See, it has the original price here of $299? There is no way it would be $30.”

(The customer argues with me a bit until I ask her to show me the sign. She grumbles all the way about me being unable to do my job and making a poor old woman walk to the back of the store. We get to the crystal section, and she points triumphantly to a large sign on top of the stand.)

Me: “That says 30% off the marked price of all crystal-ware.”

Customer: “Exactly! You’d better give it to me for free because it scanned wrong. I’ve been dreadfully inconvenienced by you. What terrible customer service!”

(She continues in this manner all the way back to the register, where she again begins making loud racial comments about my Muslim coworker, who I see walking away from the registers. The other customers in line are clearly uncomfortable. I agree to call my manager down, but for different reasons than what she thinks.)

Customer: *spots the manager* “A-ha! I’ve been waiting for you! I want you—”

Manager: “Get out.”

Customer:Excuse me?”

Manager: “[Coworker] just came out to me in tears because you were making disgusting comments about her. We don’t tolerate your type in this store. Now get out before I call security.”

Customer: “Well, I never—”

(The other customers in line begin clapping or adding their own comments. She eventually storms out, but we had to have her removed from the store twice later that day!)

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Best Put That Topic To Bed

| Right | December 14, 2012

(I work in the bedroom department. My job is to approach passers-by and ask about what they’re looking for. A couple I ask takes an interest in a headboard.)

Husband: “That’s no good for us, sweetie.”

Wife: “Why not?”

Husband: “Well…” *looks at me directly* “…there’s nowhere to put the handcuffs!”

(I worked in Ann Summers for a year, and whilst I was unemployed did paid reviews on BDSM and other such toys.)

Me: *smiling sweetly* “To be honest, the under-bed cuffing systems work so much better, especially the German makes. Plus they’re a lot more discreet. But if you’re infrequent users you may want to try bondage tape, it’s a lot cheaper in the long run, and it doesn’t like any visible marks or pulls on hair.”

Husband: *turns red*

Wife: *to her husband* “You had that coming.”

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How Sweet It Is To Be In Line By You

| Right | December 11, 2012

(My three-year-old daughter and I are waiting to check out with a few odds and ends. Unfortunately, the store has only one lane open and several people are waiting in line. I don’t mind, as my daughter and I decide to pass the time playfully sword-fighting with paint stirrers. When I turn to the side, I notice the couple behind me has just one little ream of Post-Its.)

Me: *to the couple behind me* “Would you like to go ahead of us? You’ve got much fewer items than we do!”

Lady: “But…you have a kid!”

Me: “It’s fine! We’re just playing together! Go ahead!”

Lady: “But kids sometimes get bored of waiting. Are you sure?”

Me: “Of course! You just have one thing! She’ll be fine; I promise! C’mon, go ahead!” *I scoot aside*

Lady: “Wow! Thanks!”

(When it’s time for them to check out, the man holds up his hand to the cashier.)

Man: “I’ll be right back!”

(He scrambles over to the next aisle and picks up a package of M&Ms to add to the order. After paying, the man turns around with the package of candy and hands it to my daughter.)

Man: “Here you go, kiddo!” *to me* “Thanks again for letting us go ahead of you!”

(It really put a smile on the cashier’s face…and ours too!)

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The Mother Of All Threats

| Working | December 11, 2012

(All students of a certain age in our state must complete a compulsory week of work experience. In order to “pass,” they must receive a good report from my manager at the end of the week. I’m currently training one of these work experience students.)

Me: “Okay, so we need to take all the cooksets off, and then move the shelves around so we can fit a third one in. The cast iron stuff is going on here once we’ve done that, and then we can fit these cooksets back into that gap we made earlier! Pretty easy.”

Work Experience Student: “Well, that’s dumb. Wouldn’t it be easier to just leave them where they are?”

Me: “Ah, see how this stand is right at the front of our doors? This is a huge selling area, so we need to keep stock fresh. Also, the cast iron is going on special soon, while the cooksets will go back to their original price, so they won’t sell as well. We want people to see the big special signs on these and come in from the mall to see; it attracts more customers.”

Work Experience Student: “I don’t want to have to move all that stuff; it’s heavy. You do it.”

Me: “Yeah, I know it’s heavy, mate. That’s why I need your help. The shelves are huge; I can’t get them in and out all by myself. Now can you start helping me load these cooksets onto the trolley?”

(I have already started, but he just crosses his arms and glares at me.)

Work Experience Student: “I don’t have to listen to you. Can’t I work with a man instead?”

Me: “Okay, firstly, yes, you do have to listen to me if you want my manager to sign your report off, and let me tell you you’re already on thin ice. Secondly, there are about three males in this entire store right now. There’s the manager and the guys in our loading dock, which you can’t work in because you haven’t been safety trained. So, you haven’t got much choice. I’ve been doing this stuff for years. It’s not that hard.”

Work Experience Student: “Whatever. I don’t have to listen to some chick. I’m gonna be a millionaire one day and come back and buy this store, then you won’t be able to boss me around!”

Me: “What are you, 12 years old? I—hey, where are you going?”

Work Experience Student: “On break. See ya, loser!”

(He gives me the finger and pokes out his tongue. While not watching where he is going, he walks straight into my store manager.)

Manager: *to the work experience student* “Hello there. I was watching the security cameras when I noticed you weren’t helping poor [my name] move all that stock. This reminds me of yesterday when you hid under a towel table and used FaceBook on your phone, and then you just left two hours early. Or the day before, when you spent the whole time with [other work experience student] making loud, b****y comments about all the customers.”

Work Experience Student: “Well, you keep making me do boring stuff! I don’t wanna fold hundreds of jeans or move heavy s***! Can’t I play with the PA, or decorate the Christmas trees?”

Manager: “I can think of something more fun. Calling your mother!”

(The student begs for my manager to change his mind, but he doesn’t. Later on, I saw a diminutive woman stride into the store with steam practically coming out of her ears. I put two and two together and decided to stay well out of her way!)

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