Speaking Outside The Box

| USA | Working | October 25, 2016

(This is a very small store that usually only needs one cashier unless it’s a weekend afternoon or near a holiday. Whenever the cashier is working, the store manager gives us work to do between customers so there is no downtime, with the understanding that customers always take precedent. However, today’s assistant manager is the only other person there and she seems to be in a bad mood.)

Manager: “[My Name]! How many boxes have you gotten up?”

Me: “Only three so far.”

Manager: “Keep working at it.”

(Forty-five minutes later…)

Manager: “How many boxes have you done so far?”

Me: “Still only three.”

Manager: “Why only three?”

Me: “Because I haven’t had a break in customers in at least an hour.”

(Still later…)

Manager: “You need to get those boxes up, [My Name]!”

Me: “I’m doing the best I can.”

Manager: “I’m just letting you know!”

(Later still…)

Manager: “Why are there still so many boxes here?”

Me: “I’ve been really busy with this crazy new thing corporate told us they wanted us to do. They call it ‘waiting on the customers’!”

(There was an awkward silence as it dawned on me that I said that out loud instead of in my head like I meant to. Even my customer looked uncomfortable. The manager looked at me and I couldn’t read her expression, then she went in the back to finish her manager work. She didn’t bug me again about the boxes for the rest of the day and I didn’t get written up for that. I don’t condone mouthing off to your superior, but I think she did need a reminder that we were busy and customers come first, and that’s what she chose to take it as. In the future, though, I’ll phrase it a bit better!)

Having An Off Day Off

| Fort Wayne, IN, USA | Right | October 10, 2016

(I work two jobs, and one of them is at a dollar store near my house. Since I’m there fairly frequently, and because it’s so close to home, I tend to help close versus working the morning, thus seeing lots of people during the afternoon when everyone is getting off work and school. I see many regulars and they recognize me pretty easily since I work there so much. I’m shopping on my day off and standing in line to purchase some things, check my schedule, and then leave. We are busy so the manager-on-duty opens the second line, calling to anyone who wants to switch lines. No one moves, so after hesitating in case someone else moves I move next in line to purchase my items. Then, as I am heading to the door, a regular pipes up:)

Regular: “Hey, I know you work here, but next time things get busy you should just wait in the back of the store until everyone’s done.”

Me: *momentarily speechless* “Uh huh…”

(I chose that moment to leave, thinking that was the end of that. No dice. He apparently felt that my response was incorrect; he tried saying I said it was “beneath me” or what have you, a bunch of he said/she said. The manager-on-duty reiterated that I was A PAYING CUSTOMER on my DAY OFF and was, indeed, next in line. The regular contacted our district manager, who contacted our store manager, who spoke with the manager-on-duty, and she explained the situation. I still don’t understand what it was that offended him so much but, curiously, he’s not been in our store for over a month. Weird.)

The Conception Of Bad Products

| ON, Canada | Working | August 20, 2016

(We have a very low-end dollar store chain in Ontario, where everything used to be one dollar. It’s gone up a bit in price, but the products are exactly the same. I am working with a male co-worker.)

Me: “I can’t believe we have pregnancy tests. These are probably wrong 90% of the time!”

Coworker: “I know. I did one just for fun and it said I was pregnant.”

Me: “Congrats! The only way this could get better is if they sold protection.”

Coworker: “Buy one get one free?”

Me: “No, a combo pack!”

(Two years later we’ve both long-since quit and are browsing another store when we see them.)

Me: “Look! It’s a combo pack!”

Ex-Coworker: “That is just so wrong.”

Can’t Ketchup With The Explanation

| USA | Right | May 25, 2016

(At our store, everything costs one dollar unless specifically marked otherwise. When items are slightly damaged, half-open, missing pieces, or otherwise not perfect but can still be sold, we tag them with an orange sticker and put them in a cart with other half-off items. A manager has to do the price adjustment when a customer comes to the register. I’m working the register.)

Customer: “Just these today, please. I found this ketchup in the half-off cart.”

(I examine the ketchup and it does have an orange sticker as well as a manager’s initials, but there is no damage whatsoever.)

Me: “You found this in the half-off cart?”

Customer: “Yes, so it’s only fifty cents?”

Me: “I’m sorry; I think there was a mistake. There’s no reason this should be half off.”

Customer: “Oh, well, when it was in the cart the cap was broken. But there were a lot of other ketchups so I just switched it out.”

Me: “So the broken lid is on another ketchup bottle?”

Customer: “It’s not a problem, is it? There were a lot of other ketchup bottles.”

Me: “If it’s not damaged, I can’t give you half off.”

Customer: “But there are other ketchup bottles. Why can’t I just replace the cap?”

Me: “Because then we still have the damaged one in our stock. The damaged cap is why it’s fifty cents. If it isn’t damaged, it’s full price.”

Customer: “But there are plenty of other ketchups for me to switch the cap with!”

(I realized I didn’t have my thoughts together enough to explain this better, so I called my manager over to help while I continued to check out other customers. I don’t know what exactly was said between them, but she did end up paying full price for her ketchup and never did completely understand why.)

Not Understanding The Value Of The Dollar

| San Diego, CA, USA | Right | March 19, 2016

(I work at a local dollar store where everything is a dollar or less. A customer, around 18, comes up to the register with a couple items and a VISA gift card that can have $1-$100 put on it. She tells me she would like $50 on it so I ring her up.)

Me: “Your total will be $59.”

Customer: “No, that’s not right I only have eight items and this is the dollar store.”

Me: “Yes, but you put $50 on this gift card.”

Customer: “But this is the dollar store; I should be able to put how ever much I want on that and only pay a dollar.”

Me: “I don’t think it works like that…”

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