icon_religion

And I’ll Have Some Muslin Muslims While I Am At It

| KY, USA | Funny Names, Religion

(I worked in a fabric store and had this conversation more times than I care to think about.)

Customer: “Do you have any Baptists?””

Me: “Do you mean batiste?”

Customer: “What’s the difference?”

Me: “Well batiste is a fabric and Baptists are a religious group.”

Customer: “Oh, well, I want three yards of Baptists.”

Me: “I’m sorry; I can’t sell people. It’s against the law.”

icon_homeimprovement

Her Items Cannot Be Fabricated

| AR, USA | Crazy Requests, Home Improvement, Popular

(A woman was looking very disoriented in the crafting aisle, and so I went to approach her.)

Customer: “Do you have paint for a sign? I need a bucket.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we don’t carry paint in buckets. We have fabric glue, but not a bucket of it.”

Customer: “Oh.” *holds up her hands to approximate a huge sign* “I need paint for a sign this big.”

Me: “I’m afraid that we don’t carry paint for signs, ma’am. Any paint that we have in stock is intended for fabrics and is in small bottles. We are a crafts store, but we specialize in fabric.”

Customer: “That’s okay! I’ll just buy your paint and then a paintbrush, please.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m afraid that we don’t carry paintbrushes either. We are a crafts store, but we specialize in fabric. Have you tried going across the street to [Department Store]?”

(At this point the woman drops what she is carrying as if I offended her terribly.)

Customer: “No, I came HERE for crafts. Are you telling me that this fabric store can’t have someone go across the street and special order those paintbrushes here for me right now!?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am…”

Customer: “WHAT KIND OF A CRAFTS STORE IS THIS!?”

Me: “One that specializes in fabric, ma’am.”

icon_spouses

I See A Dangerous Pattern Emerging

| WI, USA | Crazy Requests, Spouses & Partners

(I agree to come in on my day off. After running my butt off and being cheerful, I finally get to clock out. Since it is a hot day, I did not bring a coat to wear over my work shirt but I figure my large purse and carrying a small purchase of my own would indicate to customers that I am off the clock and leaving. No such luck. I just clock out when an obviously pregnant lady and a guy approach me.)

Woman: “We need some help.”

(I forlornly look around and see everyone else is busy.)

Man: “Or were you busy?”

Me: “I actually just clocked out but as long as it is something simple I can help you quick.”

Woman: “We need a pattern and stuff for a crib skirt.”

(I direct them to the pattern table which is right behind them.)

Woman: “We don’t know how to use these books. Just tell us a good pattern.”

(Because there are at least eight different brands with hundreds of patterns each and they change every so often, employees are not required to memorize them all or waste our time looking for one unless there are no other customers in line or we do happen to know one.)

Me: “I don’t know any off the top of my head but each of these books on the table are separated into categories. You find the color that corresponds with the section you are looking for.”

Woman: “What section would crib skirts be under?!”

(She’s getting impatient and obviously wants me to do it for her, which is something else we cannot do. We can make suggestions but we cannot pick out their supplies for them.)

Me: “I’m not sure but possibly ‘Accessories.’”

(The first page I randomly open to has a crib skirt on it.)

Me: “If this isn’t really what you are looking for, feel free to keep paging through the books. When you find something you like, just check the brand on the book and the large numbers on the page are the pattern number. Just go over to the filing cabinets next to us and find the pattern using the brand and numbers.”

Woman: *obviously not paying attention* “WHERE are the patterns?!”

Man: “Right behind us, where she said they are.”

Me: “If you need any more help, one of the ladies at the cutting table will be able to help you.”

(The woman actually tried to follow me and make me find her a better pattern, how to read it, what material she needed. At that point, I did not care if she was pregnant; she was pushy and loud and I had already told her I was clocked out, which means I was not supposed to be “working off the clock” and had to get somewhere. Now I always bring in a jacket to wear after work so people do not know I work there.)

icon_badbehavior

Give Them An Inch And They’ll Take A Quarter

| WI, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

(Decorated flip-flops are all the rage at this time. I am trying to help two middle-aged ladies who are shopping with two small children, a roughly three-year-old boy in the cart seat and a roughly six-year-old girl running around. The boy is very bored and keeps grabbing one of the women, grabbing spools of ribbon and shoving them back in the incorrect slots, and screaming. The women just ignore the children and the girl continues to aggravate the boy’s behavior. The entire group acts conceited and entitled.)

Woman #1: “Yeah, I need this ribbon but in one-quarter inch.” *holds up one-half inch by-the-yard black and white zebra print*

Me: “All right, it looks like we only carry half-inch and wider for that print in by-the-yard and only 3/8th inch wide in the by-the-spool section. What are you planning on using it for so I can help figure out the best option?”

Woman #1: *shoves a white flip-flop at me, the size making it obvious it is hers* “The woman at [Competitor] told me I could glue fabric around the edge to decorate it but the silky fabric she cut frayed! I want ribbon or something else that won’t fray!”

Me: “All right. You could get the larger one and fold it over since you will be gluing it anyway. Or you could cut it down and use a fray-check before gluing to prevent it from fraying. That way, you wouldn’t need to buy as much.”

Woman #1: “No! I want quarter-inch ribbon so I don’t have to cut it.”

Me: “I understand but we do not carry black and white zebra print in quarter-inch width. If you prefer, we have other patterns in that size. Or we also carry black and white zebra fabrics you can get cut, but I would, again, recommend using a fray-check since they will be seeing a lot of wear and tear on flip-flops—”

Woman #1: “NO! I WANT RIBBON!”

Me: “Well, since we do not carry it, you might be able to find it at [Competitor #2], [Competitor #3], or possibly at [Competitor #4].”

Woman #1: “I HAVE ALREADY TRIED THERE! DON’T TELL ME I HAVE TO GO BACK TO [COMPETITOR] IN [Town one hour away]!”

Me: *really thinking how I can make this person happy or at least offer more suggestions* “Where do you live? [Competitor] actually just opened up a branch in [Town half an hour away], if that is any closer to you.

Woman #1: *she is screaming at this point* “I LIVE IN [Town 45 minutes in opposite direction].”

Me: “Oh. The only other suggestion I can think of, then, is to maybe get some sharpies and draw your own designs.”

(At this point, the boy has moved on to throwing spools of ribbon while the girl tugs at him. The woman finally takes notice when I bend down to scoop up an unraveling spool.)

Woman #1: “WHAT ARE YOU TWO DOING?! STOP BEING BRATS!” *to the girl* “GET AWAY FROM HIM AND BEHAVE!”

(As she says this she shoves the little girl away while simultaneously ramming her cart into me. She glares at me like she is daring me to say something but I just smile and continue to re-wind the ribbon spool. Woman #2 finally takes notice and starts screaming at the kids that they need to apologize for making a mess. You know, instead of the adults paying attention to them and preventing them from misbehaving.)

Me: “If there is nothing else I can help you with, have a nice day!”

Woman #1: “WHAT?! YOU HAVEN’T HELPED ME AT ALL! THIS IS TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE!”

(I just walked away thinking: And you are a terrible parent. I gave you 10 different options and ideas. Short of pulling what you wanted out of the non-existent magic satchel in my a**, there was nothing else I could do. I walked right into the break room where my manager (who I filled in on the situation) told me to stay until those women left the store. Apparently Woman #1 was looking for me…)

icon_school

An Artistic Response

| Australia | Bad Behavior, Popular, School

(I’m 21 but very short and petite for my age, so I’m used to customers assuming I’m young and inexperienced. I mostly ignore it. Because our job involves cutting fabric for each customer, we’re generally serving them for around five minutes. Most customers tend to strike up a conversation.)

Customer: “So, how long have you been working here?”

Me: “I just passed three years.”

Customer: “Really? I come in here a lot and I’ve never seen you before.”

Me: “Me too. Funny how that happens.”

(She gives me a glare. I decide to start playing along in case she gets angry.)

Me: “I’ve also been studying at university, so I’m not here as often as the other staff.”

Customer: “You’re at university?!”

Me: “Yes. I’ve just finished and will graduate next month.”

Customer: *condescendingly* “Did you enjoy your little arts degree, then?”

(I’m incredibly offended by this.)

Me: “I’ll actually be receiving a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in business information systems. It’s a very interesting field that involves using information technology to streamline business processes, with the end goal being that the added value will allow the business to remain competitive or gain an advantage. It’s the discipline where information technology meets information management in a business context.”

(She shut her trap after that.)

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