That’s The Stock Response

, | USA | Bad Behavior, Technology

(We have to have customers sign a copyright release form if they print pictures that they do not own the rights to, such as an image of a celebrity they found off of Google. It makes sure we’re not the ones liable for printing it. A man made a poster of a foreign prince and I attach to the poster the form to sign. A customer comes up to the counter about an hour later and my coworker is assisting him. It’s the man with the poster.)

Coworker: “Sorry, sir, do you own the rights to this photo?”

Customer: “It’s a stock photo I found on Google! What the h*** are you talking about?!”

Coworker: “Well, if you found it on Google, it is copyrighted and we need you to sign this form.”

Customer: “It’s a stock photo! Of course I don’t own the rights!”

Coworker: “Yep, and we need you to sign this release form so you can have the photo.”

Customer: “You’re so stupid! You’re stupid! It’s a stock photo! Off Google! I have every right to have it!”

Coworker: “Yep, you can have it. We just need you to sign the form.”

Customer: *as he’s storming off* “You’re stupid! You’re so stupid! I can’t believe this bulls***! You’re so stupid! Stupid!”

Running Shoes Blues

, | Chicago Ridge, IL, USA | Liars & Scammers

(I’m working at the customer service desk.)

Customer: “I purchased a some clothing and shoes. When I went to get the shoes out of the bag today the cashier never gave them to me! I want you to replace them; they were very expensive running shoes!”

(While this is rare, since we have sensors on our shoes, sometimes cashiers set them aside to take the sensors off and might forget to bag them.)

Me: “I’m so sorry that’s happened. Do have your receipt on you?”

Customer: “No, I didn’t keep it. I want a pair of replacement shoes; I know exactly which ones I purchased.”

Me: “I understand. Do you remember which register this took place at and the time? We have notes for when items are left behind and I can get you a replacement pair.”

Customer: “Do you expect me to remember what happened back in March?”

(It takes me a minute to understand what she had just said. It’s October and March was seven months ago.)

Me: “I’m sorry; did you say you purchased these shoes in March? How did you not notice they were gone before then?”

Customer: *with a look that indicates to me she thinks I’m stupid* “I threw the whole bag of things in my closet and just got to them now! It shouldn’t matter when I purchased them. I want them now!”

Me: “Um, well, honestly, we don’t keep items that get left behind that long. Did you use [Store Charge Card] or any other type of credit card? If you can provide me with some sort of proof of purchase, I can attempt to return the shoes for an in-store credit.”

Customer: “I paid cash and I don’t want a credit; I want a new pair of shoes! Exactly like the ones I purchased and I want them RIGHT NOW!”

(Seeing as if this woman doesn’t seem to want to reason with me, I page for a manager to talk to her. The manager arrives and the woman explains the whole story again, this time saying she purchased the shoes only in July. I attempt to let the manager know she told me something different, but the manager doesn’t care to listen. They disappear off towards shoes and return about ten minutes later with a shoe box.)

Manager: “Ring these up as a return and put the total on an in-store credit. After that, you can use the in-store credit to purchase these shoes to replace the ones we lost.”

(I start to return the shoes but since they are without a receipt, it asks me to provide the person’s ID number.)

Me: “Can I please have your license?”

Customer: “No way in h*** am I giving you my license! First you refuse to believe me and now you want to take my license from me?”

Manager: “Go ahead and override the license.”

(I’m hesitant because the corporation keeps track of how many overrides on licenses that we do. I do not want to get in trouble, but the manager once again tells me to just override it. After I do, I unwillingly go ahead and purchase the brand new $160 shoes for the customer. She takes them from me, thanks the manager, and basically runs out of the store.)

Me: “You realize those shoes are brand new and there’s no way she purchased them back in July right? And she first told me she purchased them back in March. I highly doubt her story was remotely real.”

Manager: “I don’t care. The customer is always right.”

(The manager walked away and I stood there completely dumbfounded and amazed that this woman spent only 30 minutes in the store and she managed to get a free pair of $160 name-brand running shoes on such a horribly contrived story!)

Sadly She’s Not As Bright As The Puke

| Victoria, BC, Canada | Family & Kids, Health & Body, Non-Dialogue

I’m pushing my broom around and find a giant splat of brilliant orange vomit in children’s apparel. I don’t begrudge the customer for leaving without asking for a clean-up. If I had a sick child, my first priority would be his or her care, too. I’m simply impressed at how bright the vomit’s orange is. Picture a diet of nothing but cheesy-poofs and orange pop spilled onto a floor as white as a blank webpage.

Well, admiration never fixed anything. I stick a ‘wet floor’ sign on either side on the cosmic impact, blocking as short a section of aisle as I can, and off I go to get the mop.

It turns out it’s way over in Photography. (This is in the dark ages before everyone had a digital camera or camera-phone. Yes, even before fail compilations, back when the chief after-school amusement was throwing rocks at sabretooth cats. We lost a lot of good friends that way… turns out the cats don’t like having rocks thrown at them.) So, a bit delayed, I hurry back with a mop and bucket.

A woman has moved my wet floor signs and pushed her cart straight through the large splatter of cartoonishly bright vomit.

She’s moseyed right through the lumpy middle of it, taking little slow steps to maximize the number of disgusting footprints she is now leaving behind. All four of her cart’s wheels are leaving matching snail trails, too.

Big problems first: I tackle the chief splatter, with step one being to put the ‘wet floor’ signs back where I left them. Barf Lady gives me a stink-eye every now and again while I work. (Perhaps I’m supposed to apologize for failing to nail the signs in place?)

Eventually, I reach the last step: mopping up Barf Lady’s trail. She’s moving slowly enough that I catch up and start swiping up the prints as soon as she and her shopping cart wheels leave them. We make eye contact once, so I smile sheepishly and apologize, as if her inability to avoid tracking puke around is somehow my fault.

She says nothing, does nothing, except to sneer a little harder and turn wordlessly back to the tiny, adorable outfits hanging up — none of which she takes and most of which were still accessible before she moved the signs. Indeed, I plunk the signs as close to the vomit as I can precisely to avoid tempting customers into the splash zone.

Things are pretty awkward, but if I go do the stuff I’m supposed to be doing, Barf Lady’s pumpkin-coloured tracks will get stepped in and tracked all over. Instead, I keep mopping up her mess as she makes it, getting stink-eyes until her shoes and cart wheels mercifully run out. Then I rush off to resume the set list.

Boss was not pleased that I dropped my list to clean up the nuclear mess, but at least she didn’t mention a complaint from a customer. Perhaps Barf Lady was too stupid to lodge one, as well as too stupid to avoid stepping in a giant blast of technicolour puke?

Unable To Face His Small Reality

| MI, USA | Bizarre, Crazy Requests

(I work in the smallest size category location of a national chain. I hear Customer #1 and Customer #2 talking to each other across the aisle from me.)

Customer #1: “…don’t even have an upstairs or nothing?”

Customer #2: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Hello! Is there anything I can help you find?”

Customer #1: “Is this all there is?” *gestures vaguely at the store in general*

Me: “Yup, we’re the smallest possible size [Store].”

Customer #2: “So you don’t have like comforter sets or anything?”

Me: “Not here in the store. We can order them for you, and the bigger stores carry them, but we only have clothing, accessories, shoes, and jewelry in this location.”

Customer #1: “So where’s the nearest REAL [Store]?”

(I gave the customers the names of two towns, both an hour’s drive away, that have locations with the kind of merchandise they were looking for. But I WANTED to say, “This IS a real [Store]! I get a paycheck and everything!”)

Giving The Customer A Good Mall-ing

| Memphis, TN, USA | Bad Behavior

(A sales specialist and a new trainee are working the last hour of their shift. Their store is attached to a shopping mall, but has multiple independent entrances. The mall has been closed for ten minutes, but the department store is still open for another hour. The large, cage door at the mall entrance has been closed. Multiple announcements were made regarding the closing of the mall doors. The specialist is folding clothes while the trainee is ringing up a female customer.)

Trainee: “[Specialist], this customer has a question that I’m not sure how to answer. Can you help me?”

Specialist: “Of course!” *the specialist turns to the customer* “What is your question, ma’am?”

Customer: “Can you tell me how to get out of this store?”

Specialist: “Sure! What department did you come through when you entered?”

Customer: “The shoe department at [Store that is on the opposite side of the mall]. Can you open the door to the mall so I can leave?”

Specialist: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we can’t open that door once it’s locked. It’s a safety issue and a loss prevention issue.”

Customer: “Then how the h*** am I supposed to get to my car? This is ridiculous!”

Specialist: “Ma’am, our managers made announcements every five minutes for the last thirty minutes announcing that the mall door would be closing promptly at nine pm. Once those doors are closed, we cannot open them until the following business day. We gave more than enough warning that the doors would be closing.”


Specialist: “[Trainee], please call [Manager] and see if she can open the mall door.”

(As the trainee calls the manager, the specialist can hear the customer muttering to her friend, who just walked up to the conversation. The two women can be heard saying degrading things about the specialist and how the store seems to only hire idiots.)

Trainee: “[Manager] wants me to bring them up to the main office so that they may assist in the situation.” *he turns to the customers* “If you’ll follow me upstairs, please.”

Customer: *to the specialist, obviously pleased to be personally escorted to meet with the managers* “If you weren’t such a b****, you’d know that THIS is how to treat a customer.”

Trainee: “Now, ma’am, that wasn’t necessary. [Specialist] informed you of our store policy. Our manager made multiple announcements about the doors closing. The only reason she wants to speak with you is because you obviously didn’t understand when [Specialist] told you, so she thinks that our security guards may be able to explain it in a way you’ll understand. Now, those mall doors will remain closed until tomorrow morning. How you get back to your vehicle is up to you.”

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