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These Salesmen Are Sofa-King Annoying

, , , , , | Working | October 14, 2021

I am sofa shopping. I’m only really in the store to check out how they look in person. I already know the styles I’m interested in and the costs. I have refused assistance twice, but unfortunately, my phone, which has all the names and measurements, is playing up. 

A third sales guy seems to sense this and sneaks up behind me.

Sales Guy: “Can I help?”

I’m still struggling with my phone.

Me: “Actually, maybe. I am looking for a sofa that is no wider than 228 cm, available in grey, and under £800.”

Sales Guy: “Hmm… I’m sure I can help you with that. Did you have a budget in mind?”

Me: “Under £800.”

Sales Guy: “Okay, that’s great. How about this one here?”

He leads me to a sofa that looks massive.

Me: “That looks pretty big. Are you sure it’s under 228?”

He doesn’t answer, so I grab my tape measure.

Me: “No, way too big.”

Sales Guy: “You could always try it and return it if it doesn’t fit.”

Me: “Err, no, I know it’s not going to fit.”

Sales Guy: “Okay, then. How about this one?”

Me: “It’s way over budget.”

Sales Guy: “We offer finance?”

Me: “You know what? I’m okay, actually. I will have to talk to my wife, anyway.”

Sales Guy: “Okay, whenever you’re ready to buy, just ask for me and I can help you further.”

You haven’t helped me at all so far, but okay. We ended up buying online at a different store. Way to screw yourself out of commission.

Just Sweep This One Under The Rug

, , , | Working | October 14, 2021

I spot a woolen rug on a website that I want for my first own apartment. Its starting price is quite good, but it is even on sale for 99€ , and I check that they have the same rug in their store near me for the same price. I quickly go with my mom to get it, since it’s quite big. We search all the carpets and finally find one. The tag reads twice the price stated online, and in the store, there is no sign of sale anywhere — according to the web store, most rugs, including this one, are 50% off — so I flag down an employee to be sure of the price.

Employee: “Can I help you?”

Me: “Yes, I’d like to buy this carpet. What is the price?”

Employee: *Looks at the price tag* “It’s 199€.”

Me: “Funny, I looked online before coming here, and it should be much less.”

Employee: “The price is what reads on the tag.”

Me: “Could you check the price? I’m sure it isn’t right, as there is a sale on the rugs.”

Employee: “No, we don’t have any sale on the rugs. The price is 199€.”

Me: “I’m sure your store website read 99€.”

Employee: “This is quite a big woolen rug; I’m sure it wouldn’t go that cheap.”

Me: “Could. You. Go. Check. It. For. Me.”

The employee huffs and leaves.

My mom is quite shocked because normally, I’m so shy that I would never do that. On several occasions, when she demanded customer service like me here, I slunk away under displays or left the store altogether because I hated drawing attention. I kind of surprised even myself.

The employee comes back.

Employee: “Yes, it is 99€.”

I did a little victory dance in my head and I think my mom did the same. While ringing us up, the employee looked like he’d eaten a sour lemon. All the other carpets were on sale, too, and I was left to wonder if they marked them down.

Too Much Change, Not Enough Patience

, , , , | Working | October 13, 2021

I’ve always suffered from severe anxiety. I have recently moved from a small town to a big city. My friend has come to visit and, as she is from the same small country town, she has never been on a public bus before, so I am trying to impress her with my city slicker knowledge. We get dressed up in our black clothes and spiky accessories and head to the mall.

As soon as we get on the bus, it starts to go awry. The reduced-price ticket I ask for is not available at this time of day and I immediately get flustered, as the bus driver does not suggest what ticket I should be asking for. I ask for a student ticket and hand over $5.

I wait for my change, but as the bus driver turns to my friend, I assume the ticket price is higher than I remembered, so I go and find a seat while my friend pays for her ticket.

When my friend joins me she hands me a bunch of loose change — change from both my ticket and hers.

It is important to note at this point that I have no idea how much my ticket was, no idea how much her ticket was, and no idea how much change the bus driver gave us; I dumped it straight into my purse.

A few stops later, a group of older teens gets on the bus. The driver drives on. Soon the driver stops at a bus stop with no passengers, gets up, and announces to the bus:

Driver: “I accidentally gave too much change to the kids who just got on before.”

Everyone looks a little bit blank, and the driver drives on. He makes increasingly snappy comments every now and then about teenagers trying to steal.

Friend: “Could it have been us he was talking about?”

Me: “It must be the kids who got on after us. That’s what he implied, and he would have said something earlier if it had been us.”

Eventually, a representative of the group of teens goes up to the driver and apologises, saying he didn’t think they’d been given too much change but offering to give it back anyway.

The bus driver snaps loudly and informs him that it was the kids who got on before them — meaning my friend and me.

I am horrified when I hear this, and I immediately take my coin purse up to the driver and ask him how much I owe him. He is terse and unhelpful.

Driver: “You know how much change you should have gotten! You’re just trying to get away with dishonesty.”

I am on the very brink of a panic attack and am trying valiantly to explain that I don’t know how much change he gave us. Eventually, he tells me how much I need to give him, and I hand it over.

The rest of the ride is punctuated with glares from him, my friend is embarrassed, and I am trying not to hyperventilate. When we get to the mall, he is still icy cold, and my friend and I jump off the bus through the door furthest from him.

An older lady also quickly jumps off the bus and catches up to us.

Lady: “I saw the whole thing. That driver’s behaviour was inappropriate. I saw him give your friend all of the change instead of giving it to you separately. His wording was confusing, and I could see you weren’t trying to do the wrong thing.”

It was such a terrible experience for me, but I am so grateful that that lady decided to talk to us. It really helped me avoid a full-blown panic attack and showed me that not all adults will assume the worst (even if you’re wearing spikes and all black).

Test Driving Away Your Customers

, , , , , , | Working | October 13, 2021

My partner and I found ourselves needing to buy a car at short notice. We narrowed down our choices of second-hand cars online and then arranged test drives for two cars in the same dealership, a branch of a national chain. I spoke to a salesman who offered us an appointment time. There was a little bit of confusion during the call over my first name, as it is a traditional Irish name that sounds a little like a Biblical name but is spelt completely differently.  

We arrived promptly, and then sat and waited for fifteen minutes until the salesman I had spoken to sauntered in with no apology or explanation for his lateness. After some small talk:

Salesman: “[My Name] is a bit funny, isn’t it?”

He laughs at his own insult.

Me: “Nope, it’s just Irish. It can sometimes be confusing over the phone, though.”

We did the necessary paperwork, gave him all the details of the cars we wanted to see, and waited a few more minutes for him to locate them in the lot, and then he took us out to look at them.

Salesman: “Do you have any pets?”

Partner: “Yes, a cat.”

Salesman: “Ugh, you don’t want a cat; they don’t love you. I have a puppy!”

Fortunately, at this point, we arrived at the right model and colour of car… except it was £2,000 more expensive than on the website and the license plate number — which we had provided the salesman twice at this point — didn’t match. He had taken us to the wrong car, either through incompetence or a clumsy attempt at an upsell. We finally got to the right vehicle.

We noticed that he hung the rear test drive licence plate from the windscreen wiper rather than the boot latch as we had seen at another dealership, but we didn’t think much of it. Then, we got in the car and found it was nearly out of petrol — not a great start — and completely out of windscreen fluid — even worse as this means the car was technically illegal to drive until the fluid was refilled. We had no way to tell whether the car had no fluid because of a leak or if it simply hadn’t been topped up. We spent five minutes in the car before my partner was too uncomfortable to keep driving and we returned to the dealership. While we waited for the salesman to notice us, we took the first chance we had been given to inspect the car and realised that the boot wouldn’t open. The guy came over to see how we were doing.

Partner: “The car is completely out of windscreen fluid and almost out of petrol.”

Salesman: “That’s all right!”

Partner: “Okay… And the boot doesn’t open.”

The salesman tugs theatrically at the boot handle.

Salesman: “Oh, the latch must just be broken.”

Well, yes, I thought, that’s the problem! And it explained why he hung the test plate as he did; clearly, he knew about the issue and was hoping we wouldn’t notice.

Me: “Right, well, can we look at the other one?”

Salesman: “Yeah, just let me get it.”

We waited another ten minutes for him to find the car.

Salesman: “Actually, it’s out of petrol, so I’m just going to nip across to the petrol station. Sit tight.”

After another twenty minutes of waiting, we had now been in the dealership for over an hour and we had spent maybe fifteen minutes in the presence of an actual vehicle. We explained the issues with the first car to the branch manager who had been lurking near us through most of our appointment, and he was just as dismissive as the salesman. We decided — in hindsight, far too late — to cut our losses and leave, but we first had to explain ourselves to another salesperson, the branch manager, and then the salesman himself, who returned with the car just as we were making our escape.

The whole thing was so weird and awkward that I left a negative review explaining how rude and strange the salesman was and saying that we didn’t feel we could trust cars from that dealership, so we would purchase elsewhere. We got a standard, “Sorry about your experience; we will investigate,” reply and thought that would be that. But a few weeks later, I happened to notice that the reply had been updated at some point:

Social Media Representative: “We’re pleased to hear you have been contacted and have accepted our apology.”

This was a complete lie; we hadn’t heard from them since we fled the dealership a month earlier. I added an edit to this effect to the review and have had no reply. We have since bought another car from somewhere completely different, and it is serving us very well, but the whole situation still leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Ordering Cake Isn’t A Piece Of Cake

, , , , , , , | Working | October 12, 2021

We have a new coworker who just defended his dissertation, so he is now officially a PhD. I ask him his favorite cake and he says tres leche, so I end up ordering it at a popular discount grocery store chain known for their Mexican-leaning products. I order it for pickup at 7:30 am so I can get it on my way into the office. I have to give my phone number about six times, but I think nothing of it until I get there to pick it up and it isn’t ready!

Me: “Hi. I ordered a cake; it is under [My Name].”

Baker: “It isn’t ready.”

Me: “What do you mean, it isn’t ready?”

Baker: “I just got here at seven-thirty. It will be ready at eleven.”

Me: “Ooooookay. But I ordered it for 7:30 am.”

Baker: “I just told you I got here at seven-thirty. I can make you a cake for eleven.”

I’m thinking she doesn’t understand I have already placed an order.

Me: “I ordered it on Monday. It is under [My Name] for seven-thirty.”

Baker: *Frustrated* “I told you I got here at seven-thirty.”

This goes on a couple more times. I keep trying to figure out how the heck her getting in now has anything to do with a cake I ordered for 7:30 am. Each time, I ask a different clarifying question and get the same response. All the while, I shift from thinking that she’s assuming I am currently trying to order a cake and she just got in and needs to ask someone to thinking she’s explaining she is very late and making it my problem.

I used to work at this grocery store, and from experience, there is usually a night crew that works from 2:00 am to 6:00 am baking cakes and bagels.

Me: *Fed up* “Can I speak to a manager?”

Baker: “Fine.”

Turns out that they had tried to call me using whatever bad number they had written down to tell me my cake couldn’t be ready until 11:00 am because the baker that was supposed to be scheduled to make it the night before couldn’t come in. It would’ve been really great to know that context at any point in the conversation.

When I finally picked it up, Ms. Baker was not only rude and dismissive, even as I tried to apologize for getting heated, but she hadn’t even made the right cake! I went online afterward and found that all the one-star reviews for their store over the past month had been from the bakery and their attitude. Color me surprised.