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Transcending A**-Holes, Part 2

| Boulder, CO, USA | Bigotry, Popular

(I am a sales associate in a major department store. I am folding clothes and keeping an eye on the three customers that are in my section. One is a trans woman, who is holding some lacy underwear in her hand while shopping for more items, and the other two are a mother and daughter shopping together. I can hear the mother and daughter snickering.)

Daughter: “Oh, my god, mom, do you see that transvestite?”

Mother: “Where?”

Daughter: “Over there. It’s carrying a bunch of underwear.”

Mother: “Oh! NOW I see it! What a freak! Has it deluded itself into thinking that putting on lacy underwear will make it attractive?”

(At this point it is obvious that the trans customer has overheard and is visibly uncomfortable, but she keeps shopping.)

Daughter: “What I don’t understand is why he thinks any of that will fit him. He’s a MAN. It’s not made for him. Where’s does his d**k go? He should probably just stick to men’s clothing because he’s a MAN.”

Mother: “I just hope he doesn’t plan on using that fitting room. I’ll complain. I don’t trust freaks like that.”

(At this point, I am quite angered by their conversation. I call my manager and ask for permission for what I am about to do. She gives me approval, and I approach them.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ladies, but I am afraid that I have to ask you to pay for your merchandise and leave.”

Mother: “What?! Why?!”

Me: “Here at [Department Store], we want all of our guests to feel comfortable and safe while shopping in our stores. The way you are referring to another guest has clearly hurt her, and, to be honest, it has deeply offended me and made me uncomfortable as well. I have to ask you to pay for your items and leave.”

Mother: “How DARE you. We are paying customers and that tranny is the one who should be kicked out for being a FREAK.”

Me: “Ma’am, please refrain from using offensive or derogatory language in the store. That woman over there is doing absolutely nothing to you. She is shopping. You, on the other hand, are bullying another customer in an attempt to make her feel bad and leave. Out of respect for that customer and our store policy, I have to ask you to leave.”

Mother: “Well, fine! If you don’t want us to buy all of this clothing from you! You’ll lose a really big sale AND a loyal customer!”

Me: “With all due respect, ma’am, we have no interest in having bigots as ‘loyal’ customers.”

(The mother fumes and leaves. The trans woman finishes her shopping, and comes up to me to pay.)

Me: “Hello! Did you find everything you were looking for?”

Customer: “That and more. Thank you for standing up for me. You have no idea how rare that is.”

Me: “It’s no problem. I have many friends who are trans and I could tell she was bothering you. I’m sorry you have to put up with that.”

Customer: “Oh, it’s okay. When there are people out there like you to help, it can make a big difference. Thank you for making my day better.”

Me: “You’re welcome! Please, have a good rest of your day, and don’t let the haters get you down! Keep doing your thing!”

Customer: “Oh, don’t worry, I will!”

(That customer came back a few times after that and always asked me for fashion advice and bought her items from me. I was happy to give her a safe place to shop.)

Related:
Transcending A**-Holes

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Damaging Customer Relations

| NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

(I’m working in the handbags section of the store. A customer approaches me with two of the same bag, but in different colors. One has blue and green tones while the other is neutral colors, like brown, pale pink, beige.)

Customer: “Could I ask for your opinion?

Me: “Sure! Trying to decide between these two?”

Customer: “Yes. I like the green and blue better but I’m not sure what I’d wear it with.”

Me: “Well, the neutral colors would be easier to match, so you could get more use out of it.”

Customer: “Maybe I’ll get both.”

(The customer looks at the tags, and they are each $30. She doesn’t want to spend much more than that.)

Me: “If they were a little cheaper, I would say buy both.”

Customer:Can they be cheaper?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “Can you get me a discount?”

Me: “I’m sorry, we only discount damaged merchandise.”

Customer: “Well, could you damage it?”

(I wait for her to laugh, but she just looks at me, expecting I will help her.)

Me: “No… No, I can not.”

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How To Lose A Sale

| IA, USA | Extra Stupid, Language & Words

(I am managing the jewelry counter at a major retailer and showing a woman a very nice pair of cubic zirconia earrings.)

Me: “I have found that the best thing about CZ is that if you lose them, they’re inexpensive to replace.”

Customer: “What do you mean ‘lose them’?”

Me: “I just meant—”

Customer: “I’m not buying them if I’m going to lose them.”

(I couldn’t help but to stare at the woman as she walked away.)