Paying Fool Price, Part 2

| Right | October 29, 2012

(We are in the middle of a massive stock-take sale. The store has two enormous banners at the entrance stating this, along with stands of our sale brochures. Every aisle and wall is hung with SALE posters every 2 metres, and there are red SALE balloons on every fixture. Every shelf or stand has an A3 sign on it stating the percentage of discount on that range, as well as smaller signs showing the price of individual items. Instead of our usual business wear, the staff are all wearing red shirts which have the company logo and SALE written on them, plus name badges. It’s quiet for a moment, so I am filling an empty shelf with stock from a trolley.)

Customer: “Do you work here?”

Me: *laughs* “Yeah, I do.”

(She doesn’t even seem to take in my company shirt and apron, name badge or the fact that I’m doing stock work. She just seems mildly surprised.)

Customer: “Oh, I wasn’t sure.” *picks up an egg poacher* “Is this on special?”

Me: “Yes, everything is on special today. We’ve got 40% off cookware at the moment.”

Customer: “Are you sure it’s on sale?”

Me: “Yes, I’m quite sure there’s a sale on.”

(I laugh, but she is just staring at me strangely.)

Me: “The sign on top of the shelf says 40% off all cookware, and the little sign in front of the poacher says the egg Poacher now [price]. So it’s [price].”

Customer: “I need to know the exact price. Go and check it for me.”

Me: “Okay, well, the girls on the register can scan it for you to confirm the price before you purchase.”

Customer: “No. I want you to check now.”

(Giving in, I go right down the front, scan it, and not surprisingly, it comes up at the exact same price as I told her.)

Me: “It came up [price].”

Customer: “Oh, so it is on sale! I’ll just tell my sister!” *takes out phone* “Cheryl! They have a sale on!”

(I ran into ‘Cheryl’ later. You’ll never guess what kind of questions she asked me.)

 

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Not Feeling Good About This Boss

| Working | July 25, 2012

(We have a new supervisor in our lingerie department. She is very bossy, but doesn’t really know much about the job despite having completed training. We’re all long-standing staff members and know how the department runs. On this day, only my supervisor and I are working; she has pretty much stood around on the tills all day while I run around serving just about every customer.)

Supervisor: “[My Name], this customer wants a bra fit. Are there any changing rooms free?”

Me: “Sorry, but I’m already doing three fittings and I really can’t take on any more. There’s a room free though if you want to do it.”

Supervisor: “Ah… how long will it take until you’re free? I’m not really confident.”

Me: “I really can’t say. One’s almost done but the other two might take a little while.”

Supervisor: “Okay, I’ll tell her to take a seat. You can call her in when you’re free.”

(I eventually get to the customer the supervisor won’t help, who at this point has been waiting almost 30 minutes.)

Me: *to customer* “Okay, I’m done. Would you like to come through?”

(I fit the customer relatively quickly, as she is wearing close to her size and doesn’t want anything specific. She goes away happy with my service, but annoyed she had to wait so long. I talk to my supervisor again.)

Me: *to my supervisor* “You know, you can do the fittings too if the floor’s quiet. You don’t need to stand on the till the whole time if there’s no one waiting to pay. There are three more tills round the corner they can go and pay at if we’re too busy to serve. I can help you and if you get stuck, I can take over or help you without making someone else wait.”

Supervisor: “I know, but… you know, there are days I like doing fittings, and days I don’t. I just didn’t feel like it today.”

Me: “So, you made that poor lady wait half an hour because you ‘didn’t feel like it’?”

Supervisor: “Well… yeah!”

Me: *facepalm*

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Murray’s Law

| Right | July 25, 2012

(I work at a complaints and returns desk. We generally get a few unreasonable and abusive customers each day, so we’ve developed a very effective tactic for dealing with them.)

Me: “Hello, how can I help you today?”

Customer: “You guys are idiots!”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “Look at this receipt! Look at it!”

(He holds up a receipt for a purchase; it looks normal enough.)

Me: “Is there a problem with it?”

Customer: “God, you’re so dumb! Look how faint the ink is! I can barely read it! You want me to go blind?!”

Me: “Ah, well, it looks like the printer’s ink was running a little low, and it can look faded because of that. Would you like me to reprint it so you can read it?”

Customer: “NO! Then you’ll just get away with it! Stupid idiots!”

(The customer starts getting worked up and begins a rant full of swear words and physical threats. I realise what the situation calls for.)

Me: “I am terribly, terribly sorry sir. That looks like Murray did it. What an idiot!”

(This stops the customer’s rant in his tracks and looks at me, breathless.)

Customer: “…Murray?”

Me: “Yes, Murray! He’s always causing problems for customers like you. It’s really unfair. I’ll deal with it right now.” *calling out* “Murray? Come here!”

(As per protocol, the nearest male coworker who isn’t busy comes over to play the role of Murray.)

Male Coworker: “Yes?”

Me: “How dare you upset this customer! You’re fired! Get out!”

Male Coworker: *acts dejected* “I’m so sorry…”

(“Murray” shuffles off looking like he’s about to cry, and once out of sight gets right back to work.)

Me: “There we are, sir. You don’t have to worry about that sort of thing happening ever again. The customer always comes first, and we take complaints very seriously. Have a nice day!”

Customer: “Wow, you guys are really great! Thanks, and good riddance to that idiot Murray!” *leaves*

(This isn’t simply to avoid confrontation; our manager estimates that using the “Murray” tactic to placate customers like this saves us nearly an hour of verbal abuse each day, so we have more time to actually help the customers who need it.)

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Aisle Never Make Cents

, | Right | June 26, 2012

(I am working the cash one busy day. A customer is disputing the price of some items.)

Customer: “Well, the sign said these were 3 for $1. That’s why I was buying them.”

Me: “I’m sorry, madam, but these are $1.25 a piece…they always have been. Would you still like to purchase them?”

Customer: “Well, the sign on the display has them at 3 for $1. I want them, but at that price.”

Me: “Madam, I can see the display from here and I don’t see the sign you are referring to. In fact, I set up that display myself last night. I can assure you there are no such signs on the display. Would you still like to purchase the items?”

Customer: “Look, it’s right there! Can you not see? It says everything on that shelf is 3 for $1!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I still don’t see the sign to which you are referring madam.”

Customer: “IT’S RIGHT THERE ON THE TOP! The green and yellow sign with number 3 on it!”

Me: “You mean the sign that says aisle 3?”

Customer: “Exactly! Now…oh…”

(The customer turns beet red and remains silent for the rest of the transaction. When the next customer in line comes up, she speaks.)

Next Customer: *joking* “If that’s what the signs on each aisle mean, I think I’ll do all my shopping in aisle 7!”

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In Pained English

| Working | May 30, 2012

(I’m a young white female in the women’s clothing department. I walk up to the register to purchase a t-shirt. In front of me is a middle-aged Chinese customer. She has a slight accent, but speaks English fluently and is very easily comprehensible.)

Chinese Customer: “Hi, do you have this in a size 8?”

(Instead of responding normally, the employee shouts and speaks very slowly to the Chinese lady, as if she can’t understand English.)

Employee: “OKAY. JUST. WAIT. WHILE. I. CHECK. THE. COMPUTER!”

Chinese Customer: “That’s okay. I’m not in a hurry.”

Employee: “THERE. IS. ONE. IN. SIZE. 8. AT. ANOTHER. STORE. DO. YOU. WANT. TO. GO. THERE. OR. DO. YOU. WANT. US. TO. GET. IT?!”

Chinese Customer: “I’d rather that you asked them to send it to you. I don’t want to drive all that way. ”

Employee: “OKAY. PLEASE. GIVE. ME. YOUR. NAME. AND. ADDRESS. AND. PHONE. NUMBER!”

Chinese Customer: *gives details* “Thanks. When will it be in?”

Employee: “IN. ABOUT. TWO. TO. FOUR. DAYS!”

Chinese Customer: “Thanks.” *leaves*

(I walk up to counter.)

Employee: *speaking perfectly normal* “Hi, it’s such a great day, isn’t it? How are you today? Just this one?”

Me: *speechless*

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