Bra-ce Yourself For This Customer

| Sydney, NSW, Australia | Right | February 2, 2017

(A woman comes in looking for something to make her “boobs pop!” on her wedding day. She’s wearing a push up bra already and is dissatisfied with her cleavage. As it’s for her wedding I suggest things like corsets, and suggest she add more padding if she wants even more cleavage. With every suggestion I make, her answer is “No, already tried that. Do you have something else?” all the while constantly pushing her boobs together and wiggling them in front of me while she’s asking her questions. At the time, silicone inserts are new to the scene. We call them “chicken fillets” amongst ourselves because that’s what they look like: raw chicken breast fillets. They are bits of silicone made to look and feel like part of a breast that you could insert into your bra for added cleavage. We don’t have any to sell but I explain to her what they look like and suggest she go down to a boutique lingerie store to get them. There is one less than five minutes walk away from us.)

Customer: “Sounds interesting but I don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s not like I’m going to go into a lingerie store and ask for chicken fillets! How do I know you’re not just saying it so I leave the store because you don’t want to help me and are sending me on a wild goose chase?! I don’t even know if what you’re talking about exists!”

(To prove I’m not making it up, I remember where we have a pair. They’re in the maternity bra on display on a mannequin.)

Me: “See that mannequin over there? She’s wearing a maternity bra. She’s the same size as all the other mannequins but as you can see, the bra is filled out and her breasts look bigger.”

Customer: “So?”

Me: “That’s because there are silicone inserts in her bra. Looks pretty realistic right?”

Customer: “I want to see them.”

(I realise right then that I just made a mistake. The mannequin is quite high and I need to get a ladder to pull it down. What’s worse is it’s a display and property of the maternity bra brand, not our store. I explain why I can’t pull the thing down and the woman just stands there ignoring everything I’m saying and taps her foot waiting for me to take it all down to show her.)

Customer: “I want to see them.”

(I bite my tongue, find a ladder, pull the mannequin down, take out the insert, and show her. I tell myself I can put it all back together quite easily.)

Me: “Just remember, these aren’t for sale. They belong to this brand specifically and are for display purposes only. I’m just showing you so you know what they look like so you—”

Customer: “Oh, my god!! That’s EXACTLY WHAT I WANT!”

(Squealing in excitement, she grabs the insert out of my hand and puts it into her bra. Seeing her boobs are now lopsided, she takes the maternity bra out of my hand, pulls out the other insert, and shoves it into her bra on the other side, pushing her boobs together again.)

Customer: “They’re perfect! I’ll take them! How much?!”

(I’m speechless. I didn’t expect her to actually take them and shove them into her bra. I repeat that they’re not for sale, that they’re for display; I was just showing her what they looked like and that they do exist and if she wants to buy a pair, she’s better off getting a new one at the boutique store. She refuses and demands we ring up the bill.)

Customer: “Why would I look elsewhere when I know I can get them right here?”

(I tell her again that it is not possible for me ring up a bill to sell something the store doesn’t own and to kindly return the inserts. She refuses to take the inserts out of her bra knowing nobody can actually take them out without touching her breasts and she threatens to walk out of the store and take them for free if we refuse to sell them to her. This incident extends for over an hour, going back and forth. She asks to see the rep for the maternity bra and asks HER to take money. She can’t take money because they weren’t made by the brand she represents, they were provided to help display the maternity bra. My line manager gets involved; the one above her does, too. Security is asked to come down but cannot escort her out of the store until she pulls the silicone out of her bra and returns them. At this point, it’s a stand off. A rep from another lingerie company comes in and asks what’s going on. We explain to her.)

Rep: “We can’t sell you the inserts, darling, but I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll find you someone who can.”

(She calls the boutique store, the one that I had suggested the customer go to right at the beginning, and asks them to hold a box under the lady’s name.)

Rep: “There you go, sweetheart. There’s a brand new pair waiting for you on hold, at their store, five minutes away. If you don’t go now, you might not get it. They sell like hotcakes and they’ve only got two pairs left.”

Customer: *thinks about it, smiles* “Thank you.” *as if to say “Now that wasn’t that hard, now, was it?”*

(She pulls out the inserts from her bra and drops them into my hands (they’re disgustingly warm) and walks out of the store. I thank the rep and explain how I couldn’t understand why she didn’t go to the boutique store that I’d already suggested at the beginning.)

Rep: “Because people like that, darling, aren’t shopping. They’re out to torment people like you.”

Me: “Well, thank you. And thank God [Boutique Store] had them!”

Rep: “Yes, but if they didn’t, I would have told her they did anyway.”

Me: “But then wouldn’t she come back and complain?”

Rep: *giving me a wink* “Yes, but she wouldn’t have the inserts in her bra and security can walk her out.”

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Panic Attacks Should Not Be Attacked

| UK | Working | February 2, 2017

(I have been shopping in a store I used to work in several years back. I’m at the checkout with a cashier who is new according to their name badge.)

Cashier: “Oh, no. It isn’t working. Nothing is working!”

Me: “Maybe get a manager down to look at it?”

Cashier: “NO! Why do you want a manager? I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve done nothing wrong!”

Me: “I know that. But a manager will know what to do and can restart it if need be.”

Cashier: “But it won’t work. It just won’t work!”

(The guy starts shaking and ends up on the floor rocking back and forward. The other cashiers are staring, not knowing what to do.)

Me: “Get a manager down, and you — call for an ambulance. I think he’s—”

Cashier: “NO! How could you do this! You don’t know what it’s like! I’ve done nothing wrong!”

(At this point the guy is shouting at the top of his lungs and isn’t taking breaths anymore. He finally collapses as manager arrives to see what all the shouting is for. A customer ended up calling an ambulance because the staff had no idea what to do. After he’s taken away the manager takes my purchases and apologises.)

Manager: “Sorry about that, [My Name]. He’s pulled that trick three times over the past month. He’ll be let go if he’s not careful.”

Me: “Trick? He just had a full on panic attack. Do you have idea what those are like? You need to put him somewhere less stressful.”

Manager: *grinning* “A psychiatric ward?”

(I gave him the coldest stare I could muster and walked out before finishing my purchase. I tried finding out where they guy was to tell him not to bother going back if it’s that stressful for him, but I eventually gave up. I heard a couple weeks later, from a friend who still works there, that he was indeed let go after another incident on the checkout. Mental health is something serious, and I’m sorry that poor guy had to work in such a poisonous environment. The management are awful there, but even that surprised me to hear a manager joking about the mental health of a worker he has a duty of care to.)

Tantrum For Two

| Toronto ON, Canada | Related | February 2, 2017

(When I was five years old, I was a bit of a brat. Whenever my parents took me shopping, I would throw a fit if I saw something I wanted. They have tried scolding me, putting me in time-out, grounding me, etc. but nothing worked. Then one day that all changed….)

Me: *seeing a toy I want* “Daddy, can I have this?”

Dad: “No, it’s expensive and you already have enough toys.”

Me: “But, I want it!”

Dad: “No, you can’t have it. We need to go home.”

Me: “I WAAAAANNNTT IT! AAAAAAAHHHHH!” *I start throwing things and rolling on the floor crying*

(My dad, who was acting unusually calm, suddenly does something I never expected.)

Dad: *red faced with obvious, but forced, tears running down his face* “I WANT TO GO HOME! I MISS MOMMY!”

Me: “Uh… what are you doing?”

Dad: *he reaches into the cart and throws all the non-breakable things he was going to buy (pillows, towels, etc.) on the floor* “AAAAAAAHHHHH! I WANT TO GO HOME!”

(I thought this was incredibly stupid and embarrassing and that he looked insane. I never had a public tantrum after that.)

Got All Tangled Before

| Topsham, ME, USA | Right | January 31, 2017

(I stop by a department store after work to grab a few things. While in the grocery section, I see some dinosaur chicken nuggets and decide to buy them for myself, even though I don’t have any kids. At the register, the cashier rings up my groceries.)

Cashier: “You know, we have frozen chicken nuggets.”

Me: “These are frozen.”

Cashier: “No, these are dinosaurs.”

Me: “Yeah, I know. I just kind of thought dinosaurs would be fun.”

Cashier: “Right, so I was just wondering if you saw the frozen ones.”

Me: *confused* “These ARE frozen ones. Unless I somehow grabbed some from a refrigerated section instead of the freezer?”

Cashier: *thinking* “I don’t even remember dinosaurs in frozen, but I could just be forgetting.”

Me: “I’m pretty sure I got them from the freezer section.”

Cashier: *exasperated* “No, I meant frozen chicken nuggets.”

Me: “These ARE frozen chicken nuggets.”

(We both stare at each other for a moment like the other person is a total moron.)

Cashier: *sighing* “I meant Frozen. You know…” *awkward pause* “Like with Elsa. ‘Let it go, let it gooo!’”

Me: *throwing up my hands* “Holy s***, you meant the movie ‘Frozen’!”

Cashier: “Yeah.”

Me: “Jesus Christ, that was confusing.”

Cashier: “Yeah… here’s your receipt.”

Taking Inventory And An Earful

| USA | Right | January 19, 2017

(I work in Jewelry at a well-known department store chain. It’s a few hours into our Black Friday sale, and I have just moved on to our next customer waiting, who asks to see a pair of gold earrings in our case.)

Me: “These are 18k yellow gold, and the full price is [price], so the discount today is—”

Customer: “No, I’ve looked at these earrings before. They are supposed to be 14k, at [much lower price].”

Me: “Oh, we had several different versions of this earring in stock; it’s a common shape. You were probably looking at an earlier pair we had.”

Customer: *getting angry* “No, it was THESE EARRINGS. I saw these earrings a year ago, and I’ve been watching them all this time, waiting for this day to come and buy them. This is bull-s***!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am… but if it’s been that long, they were probably sent back to the vendor. We remove older pieces every month to make room for the newer pieces coming in. We did have about five versions of this style of earring, but I remember sending some back about half a year ago.”

Customer: “This is bull-s***! It was THESE EARRINGS! I looked at them just a month ago! You’ve changed the tags on them. This is fraud!”

Me: “Ma’am, we haven’t changed the tags on these earrings. The ones you saw were a different pair. I can check the back-stock to see if we have any left.”

(I check, and find a larger 14k pair at the same price as the ones in the case, and a smaller 14k pair with a price halfway between what we have and what she wanted. I bring them out to show her.)

Me: “Ma’am, it looks like we only have two versions left. This pair is the cheapest we have right now. The ones you saw before were probably smaller than these—”

Customer: *now gesturing to the new earrings I’m holding* “No, THIS was the pair I saw! And now the price is different! This is fraud!”

Me: “Ma’am, like I said, we had several of these earrings. The pair you saw was either purchased by another customer, or sent back.”

(She refuses to believe me, and continues complaining as she shops, using the words “fraud” and “bull-s***” repeatedly. She decides to buy the earrings along with a few other pieces, and complains to my manager while I am ringing her up about “waiting a year for these earrings” and us “changing the tag”. My manager tells her the exact same thing I had about the earrings she wanted either being bought by someone else or sent back, but the customer insists the pair I am ringing up are the ones she had seen, conveniently forgetting she had said the same thing about the pair in the case! She finally leaves after getting the contact info for someone “higher up” to complain to, and my manager shoots me a sympathetic look.)

Me: *sighing heavily* “That’s not fraud; it’s called ‘Inventory’. I don’t think she knows how stores work. Who expects something to still be there after a year, anyway?”

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