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Always Loyal

| NJ, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Popular

(I used to work at the local store of a chain. I’m now in the same store doing some shopping, and come across someone making a scene in one of the aisles.)

Customer: “Now, you listen to me. I’ve been coming here for ten years. Every time I come here, you people are nothing but rude and unhelpful, you never have what I want, and everything is ALWAYS the wrong price!”

Me: “Hey, miss, can I give you some advice?”

Customer: “Huh? Oh, do YOU know how to deal with these people?!”

Me: “Yep. Leave.”

Customer: “Wh… what?”

Me: “You’ve got a completely full cart there, crammed to the gills. It’s stuff from pretty much every section of the store, so I figure you were probably here for at least an hour. I KNOW you’ve been here for at least twenty minutes, because your voice carries like the screech of a crow. Half the things you’re asking the staff to do, they can’t; the other half you’re asking them to do they probably would, if you hadn’t been making their lives miserable from the moment you walked in. I also saw your husband or boyfriend or brother or whatever; he is over there trying to tell people to leave because you think these guys are crooks. He’s an a**-hole.”

Customer: *stumbling over herself in rage* “How DARE you!?”

Me: “Oh, and by the way, you have thirty days to return items. It’s on the receipt, it’s on the huge sign up at Guest Services, and it’s online. That garbage you’re yelling about them being ‘required’ to return is from last year’s collection, which I know because I have a set at home. It’s good quality stuff, so how you broke yours I can only imagine.”

Customer: “Who do you think you are to talk to me like that!?”

Me: *totally deadpan* “I’m the god-d***ed Batman.”

(I don’t really know what possessed me to say that. At least it got the poor, shell-shocked store employee to laugh his head off. The woman sticks her nose up in the air and storms off.)

Employee: “Oh, my gosh, THANK you. We’re never allowed to tell off the customer unless they’re being offensive or violent, and she hadn’t hit that yet!”

Me: “Semper Fidelis.”

Employee: “What?”

Me: “I was here 2002-2004, worked every section in hardlines, and spent three Christmases in the toy section. I also dealt with that EXACT problem from your end. That was about a decade of steam I just let off my chest!”

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A Taxing Customer

| Nashville, TN, USA | At The Checkout, Money

(Tennessee doesn’t have a state income tax, so sales tax is pretty high. Out-of-town visitors are often surprised at this. I witnessed this conversation between my coworker and two customers while I was at the next register.)

Coworker: “Your total is [amount]. You can swipe your card through the pad.”

Customer: “Wait, how much is that? Has it gone up?”

Coworker: “It’s [price]. We did have a little price increase at the beginning of the year.”

Customer’s Husband: “But that’s still not right. If it’s [price], then why is the total [amount]?”

Coworker: “Oh, that’s with tax!”

Customer: “What?! Why is the tax so high?”

Coworker: “Um… that’s the tax in this county in Tennessee.”

Customer’s Husband: “But WHY is the tax so high?”

(Pause.)

Coworker: “You can swipe your card through the pad there, sir.”

(They left still muttering about why the tax is so high. I almost told them that a neighboring county’s tax is .25% higher even than here. The kicker: when the customer gave her phone number for the rewards program, her area code indicated that she LIVED in the same town. She must freak out about the tax three times a day!)

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Not Much Between His Headphones

| MI, USA | Bad Behavior, Liars & Scammers

(Our policy in regards to returns without receipts is that anything over the value of $25 must have store director approval. They must also have an ID input into the system. Every store shares the same system, so when an ID is put in, we must write why and who approved it, same with if the return was denied. A male customer wearing shades walks up with his son who appears to be about six years old.)

Customer: “Hi, I’d like to return this. I need money for groceries.”

(He hands me a beat up box of wireless headphones. I open the box to make sure that everything’s there.)

Me: “Okay, did you have your receipt?”

Customer: “Nope.”

Me: “Okay. Did you pay with a card?”

Customer: “Uh… no.”

Me: “Okay, let me call the store director for approval.” *on the phone with store director* “Hi, I have a customer here who wants to return some headphones without the receipt. It’s priced at $56.”

Store Director: “Get his ID and put it on a gift card.”

Me: “All right, no problem.” *back to customer* “All right, I just need your ID.”

Customer: “Uh… I left it in the car. I’ll be right back.” *he leaves for a second and finds it’s in his pocket* “Oh, I guess I had it.”

(I start typing in his information and I find out he’s returned several items to different stores. He was denied at the last store he tried to return at. So I reach for the phone to call the store director back to inform her when the customer stops me.)

Customer: “Is there something wrong?”

Me: “I’m not sure yet.” *calls store director* “Hey, so, he’s returned several items in the past and the last time he returned something he was denied by Asset Protection.”

Store Director: “Oh, then decline the return. It was most likely stolen.”

Me: “All right, thank you.” *I turn to the customer* “I’m sorry, but due to what the system has informed us, we cannot process this return.”

Customer: “Why not? You already opened the box. You have to!”

Me: “I’m sorry; I had to open the box to make sure that everything was there. The store director has denied the return.”

Customer: “But, you already opened it! I can’t sell this now!”

(After he left, my coworker and I informed our asset protection department of this customer. Turned out, he was on the surveillance camera for stealing those headphones yesterday.)

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Needs A Bigger Cue To Queue

| Berkshire, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid, Popular

(I am in the stockroom collecting a customer’s parcel. As I go to leave, a coworker lets me know that in my absence two queues have formed at the till and the order in which they queued.)

Me: *towards the gentleman who had been queuing longest* “Hello, how can I help?”

(The woman who had started the second queue glares at me angrily and starts to speak angrily and sarcastically.)

Female Customer: “Excuse me, but it would be nice if you could tell me where exactly we’re supposed to queue!”

Me: “Where the gentleman was queuing.”

Female Customer: “Well, how was I supposed to know that?”

Me: “Well, ma’am, I thought the fluorescent yellow arrowed tape on the floor was enough of a clue.”

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A Night Of Obamadrama

| HI, USA | Bigotry, Politics

Customer #1: “Oh, these are cute little plates. I’ve been looking for something like this.”

Me: “Yes, they’re from our Fourth of July sale, and right now they’re only 99 cents!”

Customer #1: “I need a fork.”

Me: “Oh, well, we don’t sell silverware individually, but we have these sets of about 20 or more.” *I show her where they are on the wall*

Customer #1: “Oh, here’s one.”

(She rips a fork out of the twining holding it to the set, and under my shocked eyes, lays the plate down and then sets the fork on top of it.)

Customer #1: *after staring at the fork on the plate for a few seconds* “Okay.”

(She picks up the fork and drops in back in the box, and then takes the plate to the register to be rung up. I tape the fork back into the box, while noticing silverware in several other boxes have received the same treatment. Later, I get Customer #2. She is buying a mattress pad, and it is one with two handles built into the plastic case. The handles are cotton, round, and thick; comfy and easy to hold.)

Customer #2: *after I finish ringing her up and tying a small bag to the handles to mark her purchase* “Oh, don’t you have a bag?”

Me: *I look at the handles, and then back to the customer* “Um… sure, let me get you one.”

(I bag it, and Customer #2 walks out holding cheap plastic handles that stretch and dig into your hand. 45 minutes before closing, and I get Customer #3. She sidles up to me, giving me a strange sort of smile, and I smile back and say hello.)

Customer #3: “Want to know what they did to me now?”

Me: “Uh… sure?”

Customer #3: “I was over at [next-door Nail Shop], because I was treating myself to a pedicure for my birthday. And those non-English speaking workers gave me an infection. I had to have all ten of my toe nails removed.”

Me: “Oh…”

Customer #3: “I sued them, for all of what the State of Hawaii will allow you to: $285. My only other choice was to go to their main office in LA, and I would have to get an attorney for California for that. I came here today because the girl at [Cosmetics Cart downstairs] offered me a free facial a week ago. I got a terrible rash, and when I went to see the doctor I went into anaphylactic shock. Here, I have pictures—”

(By the time she starts digging out her smartphone, I suddenly remember that two years ago she came into the store with a cast on, and I had sympathetically pointed it out. That led to a 20-minute rant on the child who ran a shopping cart into her at [Other Store], and how much she hates kids and parents who don’t watch their kids, and going shopping, and living here, and Hawaii in general, and her husband’s job forcing them to live here, etc. All with wide, intense eyes and jerky hand gestures, without waiting for any response, she starts up a brand new rant today while I’m forced to look at pictures of her facial rash, and her rant about things she hates.)

Customer #3: “—and we can’t go home until my husband retires, and that won’t be for a few years yet. He refuses to retire while Obama is in office, because he doesn’t want to have Obama’s signature on his retirement papers.”

(A coworker walks past, glancing at us, and I try to give him a look that says “Save me!”)

Customer #3: “And I am SO ASHAMED at living where Obama SUPPOSEDLY grew up. My husband blames Obama for everything, but I only blame him for about half of everything.”

(My brain melts while the customer continues her scary-eyed rant for another twenty-five minutes.)

Customer #3: “…and I hate shopping. I only come in here because it’s air-conditioned and the weather is horrible outside, but at least I feel that [my Department Store] has quality merchandise, and they know how to treat their customers. Bye, now.”

(She wanders away, now that it’s ten minutes to closing. The same coworker comes back over.)

Coworker: “I wasn’t sure. Should I have saved—”

Me: “YES.”

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