The Disappointed Mom Is Mightier Than The Sword

| CT, USA | Related | May 2, 2017

My mom works for a drugstore. One night, she comes home from work with this story about how she stopped a shoplifter.

While she is putting up the sales tags for the week, she notices a young man wearing a long coat with deep pockets. He is covering his face with his hand in an attempt to conceal his identity, and his coat pockets are stuffed full of stuff. It is fairly obvious that this guy is shoplifting.

Normally, company policy regarding shoplifters is to let them go, since the security cameras have already caught their face and plate number anyway, but there had already been a separate shoplifting attempt earlier in the day that her manager is dealing with, and my mom is fed up. She can see that this guy is heading for the front doors, so she goes around to cut him off there.

She reaches the doorway before the shoplifter gets there. When she sees him, she looks him right in the eyes, crosses her arms, and gives him her best Disappointed Mom Look as she shakes her head. He stops, and then slowly walks back toward the registers. My mom watches as he empties his pockets on the counter and pays for every last thing. She gives him a smile and a nod as he leaves, still red in the face from embarrassment.

Never underestimate the power of a Disappointed Mom Look.

Nothing Goes North Of The Wall

| Orlando, FL, USA | Working | April 16, 2017

(My family and I are visiting Orlando. I want to send a postcard to my parents in British Columbia, but I’m not sure how much postage I need.)

Clerk: “Can I help you?”

Me: “Can you tell me how much postage I need to send a postcard to British Columbia?”

Clerk: “Where?”

Me: “British Columbia.”

Clerk: *blank look*

Me: “Canada…?”

Clerk: “Canada? Which part of the United States is that in?”

Me: “It’s not… It’s a whole separate country to the north.”

Clerk: *blank look*

Me: “…never mind.”

Wish You Could See “The Back” Of This Customer

| MI, USA | Right | February 17, 2017

(I am an assistant manager for a large drugstore that sells lots of items but we are a small independent chain, and frequently the owner can only afford skeleton shifts. At such a time, I am on my own doing all the managerial stuff plus running the liquor counter, which is easily as busy as the pharmacy part of the store. I have no floor help. I’m ringing up a line of about five people when I hear someone yelling from the back of the line:)

Customer: “I need help in the back!”

Me: “What do you need in the back?”

Customer: “I need HELP in the BACK!”

Me: “Okay, as soon as I am finished with these customers I will help you.”

(I keep ringing up customers but she keeps yelling at me.)

Customer: “Why can’t you just call a stock-boy over to help me?”

Me: “I don’t have a stock-boy for this shift. We are short-handed.”

Customer: “What do you mean, you have no stock-boy? I need help in the back!”

Me: *thinking perhaps the pharmacy is less busy and the technician might be able to help her* “Ma’am, if you go to the pharmacy counter—” *which is all of five feet away* “—if they aren’t as busy perhaps the tech can help you.”

(The customer wanders over there, but returns seconds later. I only have two people left in line by now. Even they are rolling their eyes.)


Me: “What exactly do you need from the back?”

(I gather that instead of telling the tech WHAT she needed, she just demanded some vague help in the back, so of course the tech sent her back to the manager.)

Customer: “I TOLD you, I need HELP in the BACK!”

(I finish my last customer and finally, FINALLY, I hope to glean what exactly she needs from the back. I walk towards the back with her and ask her for the 50th time, what exactly she needs.)

Customer: “I want to know if you have any [Soda]!”

(I could have told her, 15 minutes ago, that we had no Soda in the back but decide I’d better make a show of checking. She is yelling the entire time about how she has been here for half an hour (not) and how it is unacceptable that we don’t have stock-boys on the premises at all times. I take several deep breaths and come back out to inform her that no, we do not have any more Soda.)

Customer: “WHAT! How can you NOT have any [Soda]? IT IS IN YOUR SALE PAPER!”

Me: “We must have run out. I can give you a rain check—”

Customer: “I don’t want a rain check!! I want to know why it took me SO LONG to get help, and WHY you DON’T have an item that’s ON SALE!”

(Incidentally, no one but her ever bought a two-liter bottle of Soda. If we order a product and have to return the same product expired, repeatedly, we cannot always get that product back.)

Me: “I told you earlier, we are short-handed. I cannot help if we ran out of stock on a certain product. I would be happy to call our sister store five minutes down the road from here to see if they have any.”

Customer: “That’s UNACCEPTABLE! Where’s your manager?”

Me: “I am the manager.”

Customer: “Well, give me the phone number of someone over your head! This is unacceptable! You people NEVER have any help! You NEVER have the products in your ad!”

(I am tired and red-faced and shaking at this point. If she would have shut the h*** up twenty minutes ago I could have been on the phone trying to call some extra help in, because it was an unusually busy day.)

Me: “There is a customer service number posted on a sheet on the wall by the front counter—”


(I did know my phone number, and the store’s phone number, and the number of the two closest stores, and the main office, and certain higher-ups I need to call occasionally for certain issues I am not authorized to handle, but I have yet to memorize the customer service number. Why she thought calling our store number, which I would answer, would help, I cannot fathom. She walked away cussing and yelling about what a horrible store it is and how stupid I must be. Yep. I am stupid… to be working in retail.)

Stop And (Meno)Pause For Thought

| Seattle, WA, USA | Right | November 21, 2016

(Every month my store has items that are free after rebate. This deal is extremely popular so sometimes we run out of the items. A customer walks up to me with an ad paper and points to one of the free after rebate items.)

Customer: “I am looking for this item.”

(It was very obvious to me that English was not this gentleman’s first language. I also knew we were running low on that particular item.)

Me: “Well, sir, I can show you where it would be if we have any left. Follow me.”

(I bring him over to cosmetics area where the display was.)

Customer: “Why are we in the ladies department?”

Me: “Ah, well, sir, the item that you pointed out to me is a product for ladies.”

Customer: “Item is free after rebate, yes?”

Me: “Sir, I have to ask. Do you know what the item is for?”

Customer: “It’s free.”

Me: “Yes, it is free after rebate. But do you know what the product is used for?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “This product is a lubrication for ladies that have gone through menopause.”

Customer: “Huh?”

Me: “It is a lubricant for women who are older and can’t have children anymore.”

(He stares at me totally shocked.)

Customer: “I don’t want that!”

Me: “I thought you might not. You have a nice day, sir.”

They’re About To Crack(er)

| Dartmouth, NS, Canada | Friendly | July 19, 2016

(While picking up some snacks at a local drugstore on my way to work, I overhear this interaction between two other customers, one male and one female.)

Male: *rudely* “I told you, it’s not there!” *goes over to another aisle and demands* “Goldfish crackers!”

Female: *already holding other items* “We’re going to need a cart.”

Male: “I TOLD you to get one when we came in here!” *storms off to get a cart, continuing to berate the female* “It’s because you got so much stuff!”

(The kicker? When I turned the aisle I realised it wasn’t a couple. It was an incredibly patient mother and her son, aged maybe ten years old!)

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