The Appliance Of Solutions Is Failing

, , | Right | January 17, 2019

(I work at an appliance store. I get a phone call later in the day.)

Customer: “When is my delivery coming? I’ve been waiting all day.”

Me: *looks it up* “Your financing never went through; you’re not on delivery today.”

Customer: “Well, why did no one tell me?”

Me: “I left a message two days ago.”

Customer: “Oh, well, I never check my messages. So, what do I do?”

Me: “Call [number].”


Customer: “So, they didn’t approve me. What do I do?”

Me: “What did they say?”

Customer: “That I should get a cosigner.”

Me: “Then do that.”

Customer: “But I can’t get anyone. What else can I do?”

Me: “Then you can pay it in full.”

Customer: “I just don’t know what to do!”

Me: “Well, they gave you the option to have a cosigner; I’m giving you the option to pay in full. Pick one of those.”

Making A Mammoth-Sized Mistake

, , , , , | Right | January 17, 2019

(I manage the children’s section of a bookstore, where we also sell stuffed animals. I am putting some books away when a little boy of about four or five excitedly grabs a stuffed woolly mammoth from the display.)

Boy: “Elephant!”

Me: *cheerfully* “Actually, that’s a woolly mammoth!”

(He pauses and side-eyes me, looking between me and the toy like he’s not sure he believes me.)

Boy: “Elephant?”

Me: “Mammoth. See? It has fur.”

(Still skeptical, the boy goes to where his mom is browsing and tugs on her sleeve.)

Boy: “Mommy, is this an elephant or a mammoth?”

Mother: *glances down* “Elephant.”

(I hope that kid gets sent to a good school.)

When They Go Lo Mein, We Go High

, , , , | Right | January 16, 2019

(I work at a Chinese restaurant that is owned by a family and has two locations. I’m taking a phone order for pickup.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Chinese Place] on [Location #1]. Is this pickup or delivery?”

Customer: “Pickup.”

Me: “Can I get a phone number?”

Customer: *gives number and name*

Me: “Okay, what can I get for you?”

Customer: “I just need a shrimp fried rice, but I want the noodles instead of the rice.”

Me: *confused* “So, you want the shrimp lo mein?”

Customer: “No! I want the shrimp fried rice, with noodles instead of rice! I get this every time I go there!”

Me: *rings her up for shrimp lo mein* “Okay, is there anything else I can get for you?”

Customer: “No. I’ll be there in ten minutes.”

(An hour later the customer comes in, looking furious.)

Customer: “I went to the wrong place. I went to [Location #2] and they said they didn’t have my order. I need to speak to your manager!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. One moment while I get her.”

(It takes a few minutes to get my manager since she is packing orders. While I am getting her, my coworker reads what the lady ordered.)

Manager: “How can I help you?”

Customer: “Your idiot employee sent me to the wrong location and put in the wrong order. I wanted the shrimp fried rice, with noodles instead of rice! I should not have to pay for this food if the service is going to be this bad.”

Manager: “I apologize if she didn’t tell you which location to go to. But the fried rice and lo mein are different meals and different prices.”

Customer: “I know about the price difference. The fried rice is cheaper, so I order that but with noodles.”

Manager: “We can’t do that. You have to order lo mein if you want noodles. Have a nice day.”

(She walks back to the kitchen.)

Customer: *to me* “I want your corporate number. I have never been treated like this before.”

Me: “We are a family-owned business; there is no corporate number.”

Customer: “Well, then, I’ll just call the cops and tell them how you are all crooks!”

(She did call the cops. When they got there, she told them what had happened. They talked with both my manager and the owner. The lady was ticketed for making a false emergency call. We haven’t seen her since.)

An Alarming Lack Of Overstock

, , , | Right | January 15, 2019

(I shop I work at has a ton of artist-made, one-of-a-kind items. It’s is also quite small and built in a historic building.)

Customer: “Do you have this bowl in blue?”

Me: “I’m afraid what you see is all we have.”

Customer: “Could you check the back?”

Me: “All of our product is on display; we don’t have overstock.”

Customer: “Don’t be lazy! Just check the back room.”

Me: “There is no back room to check.”

Customer: “Then what’s that?”

Me: “That’s our back door.”

(The customer rolls their eyes and huffs but continues shopping. A few minutes later, the alarm shrieks out. The customer has opened the back door, setting off the alarm and stepping outside. I rush to disable the alarm, and there’s a minute of silence before I hear a knock at the back door. Outside, there’s a narrow, private alley locked on both sides by a tall gate, and the customer has obviously found himself caged in. I open the door to find him looking sheepish, and he quickly makes his way through the store to leave. I can’t help calling after him:)

Me: “Did you find overstock in the back room?”

Working Up The Career Ladder Means Forcing Others Up And Down One

, , , , , | Working | January 15, 2019

(I work in a large retail chain. In the back room, we have large racks of steel varying from about ten to twelve feet tall. As such, the top shelves are reserved for bulk items shrink-wrapped on pallets; we don’t need what’s on the pallets as often, and when we do, we can get it down with a machine.)

Assistant Manager: “Hey, uh…. [Coworker]?”

Coworker: “Yeah?”

Assistant Manager: “I’m so sorry… but [Store Manager] has a new rule about merchandise on the top shelves back here.”

Coworker: “What is it?”

Assistant Manager: “I’m so sorry. I’ve been fighting him on this for weeks, but he’s absolutely put his foot down. We don’t have a choice.”

Coworker: “You’re kind of scaring me here; just tell me.”

Assistant Manager: *long sigh* “All the pallets have to be taken down, and either put on the shelves on the sales floor or have displays made out of them… And then the top shelf has to have loose merchandise, same as the other shelves.”

(My coworker is stunned by the sheer idiocy of this.)

Coworker: “[Assistant Manager], no way! I’ll have to spend almost my whole shift going up and down a ladder putting things up there, if my legs don’t give out before I’m done! Also, do you have any idea how much that’s going to slow us down for every shift after? What if the system says I need an item that’s at the bottom of a pile on the top shelf? I’ll either have to take someone else’s time up handing items back and forth to them, or I’ll have to go up and down the ladder for one item each time until I can get to the one I actually need, and then go up and down the ladder again just to put back what I had to take down! I can’t tell if [Store Manager] is really this dumb or just actively sabotaging us at this point!”

Assistant Manager: “I know, I know! There’s nothing I can do; he won’t take no for an answer anymore. It needs to be done tonight. We have to deal with it!”

(At the end of the night, I check in with my coworker, where she tells me about the decision made and the conversation she had with the assistant manager.)

Me: “Oh, my gosh, that’s awful! I mean, I can’t say I expect much else from [Store Manager], but still. Are you okay?”

Coworker: “Well, I’m angry, my legs feel like jelly, and I’m not at all looking forward to next shift, but I’m just glad at least tonight’s over.”

(The morning shift workers start coming in and my coworker begins informing them about the absurd decision. The assistant manager pops around the corner.)

Assistant Manager: “[Coworker]! DEAL! WITH IT!” *walks off*

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