Intelligence Dissolving

, , , | Right | April 30, 2021

A customer buys five yards of water-soluble stabilizer, a film-like product used in machine embroidery. You place it under the fabric you are embroidering to keep it in place for better results, then you spray it with water and it dissolves.

It runs about $4 or $5 a yard — a touch on the expensive side. The customer comes to the register and pays for her stabilizer, around $25 all told. I start to put it in a bag and she stops me.

Customer: “Oh, no bag. I don’t want to waste a bag.”

Me: “Are you sure? It’s raining out.”

Customer: “I won’t need it. My car is not far from here. I won’t get that wet.”

She left in a heavy rain. And to keep herself dry? She held the stabilizer over her head. In the rain. Did I mention it’s water-soluble? And not a cheap product?

I guess I’ve worked retail too long. I’m only surprised she didn’t try to get a refund.

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Nobody Likes The Old Switcheroo

, , , , | Working | September 23, 2020

I’m looking for an item online for a curbside pickup. It’s an item I’ve been looking for for over three months. Unfortunately, it is out of stock in my local area, and the closest place where it is available is about forty-five miles or an hour’s drive away.

I call [Store #1] and ask if it can be shipped to a home address. They tell me they are unable to do so, but they can transfer it to a closer store, [Store #2]. They say they have set the item aside and tell me to call [Store #2] to initiate the transfer. 

I call [Store #2] next. 

Me: “Hello, I have an unusual request. Is a manager available, please?”

I know this phrase usually causes fear or eye-rolling, but I also know it’s a little more complicated, so I try to be polite.

Employee #1: “I’m the manager on duty. What can I do for you?”

Me: “Great! I was looking to have [item] transferred to your store from [Store #1]. I just got off the phone with them and they are holding it so you can start the transfer.”

Employee #1: “Okay. Do you have the product information?”

Me: “Absolutely!”

I provide the item number, description, and quantity needed.

Employee #1: “Awesome. I’m going to put you on a brief hold.”

A few minutes go by and she comes back on the line. 

Employee #1: “All right, so it looks like we don’t have any in stock, and the warehouse doesn’t have any in stock. [Store #1] has eight in stock so we cannot transfer the item to [Store #1].”

I facepalm; this is exactly the OPPOSITE of what I am trying to do.

Me: “Thank you for checking; however, I was calling to have the item from [Store #1] transferred to your location. I have confirmed inventory and availability with the other store. I just need your store to call [Store #1] to start the transfer.”

Employee #1: “Oh, well, they have to do the paperwork and it needs to be paid for before it’s transferred over.”

Me: “That’s understandable and doable. Which one of you do I pay?”

Employee #1: “Uh, you would pay them… old on a minute.”

I hear the sounds of the phone being passed to another person.

Employee #2: “Hello?”

Me: “Hello, I was just trying to have an item delivered to your…”

Employee #2: “Yes, I got all that. But we can’t send them the item. We don’t have any.”

I facepalm again, annoyed but trying to be polite.

Me: “I got that. But it’s the other way around. I want the item to be sent to you.”

Employee #2: “But they have to do the paperwork. And it has to be paid for. And, shoot, they are out of state and not in our district, which means taxes are different. Can you drive there to pick it up? I mean, gas is cheaper than the shipping would be.”

Me: “It’s forty-five miles one way from my house, so I was trying to avoid a ninety-mile round trip drive. But I really need this item, so I will do that. Thank you.”

I call [Store #1] and speak with the same person I spoke to originally.

Me: “All right, so I called [Store #2] and they were so confused. So I’m going to have to come and get it.”

Employee #1: “I bet! I’ve got it pulled for you. Do a curbside pickup which will reserve the fabric for you! And there’s a 50%-off coupon on our app, if you have it. Otherwise, 20%-off curbside.”

Me: “Oh, you are awesome! I work, so it might be Wednesday before I can get it.”

Employee #1: “Awesome! I’ll put a note on it!”

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Defeat Of The Couponator

, , , , , | Right | September 4, 2020

I am checking out customers at the register. We usually keep a stack of sales papers by the front door that have coupons in them for the customers but we have run out of them today.

Customer: “Do you have any coupons here that I can use?”

Me: “No, unfortunately, we are all out of them. But there is an app you can download on your smartphone that has scannable coupons every day. It’s free to download.”

Customer: *Very disgusted* “No! I don’t wanna fool with that. I want the real coupons.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. But the coupons you can get on your phone are the same ones we usually have in the sales paper. We just ran out of them today.”

Customer: “You know, that is very discouraging. You should talk to a manager about that!”

I am already checking the next person out.

Me: “Pardon me?”

Customer: “I said you should talk to a manager about that. It’s very bad practice!”

The manager happens to be standing right next to me.

Manager: “I’m a manager; is there a problem I can help you with?”

Customer: *Shakes head in defeat* “No, no. Never mind.”

She walked away frowning and grumbling. 

The Couponator 19: Fast Food & Furious
The Couponator 18: The Digital Revolution
The Couponator 17: Attack Of The “Programmer”
The Couponator 16: Enter The Entree
The Couponator 15: The Transaction Void

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It’s Curtains For Your Career As A Traitor

, , | Right | August 12, 2020

I work in a craft and fabric store but often shop at our competitor because they have a better range than we do. I have also worked with them in the past so I do know quite a bit about their stock.

I am waiting to have fabric cut because the only staff member is trying to serve a woman who keeps shooting questions at her and then not listening to the answers before asking the same things over and over again. An elderly man has joined me in waiting.

Man: “Oh, that poor girl, having to put up with that. I hope she’s not going to be too long; I don’t have much time.”

Me: “I’ve already been waiting for ten minutes; the woman won’t let her go.”

Man: “Oh, I was just wanting to ask about curtains. I’m going to have to leave as I don’t have much time.”

Me: “I can probably help you; what is it you were after?”

He tells me he doesn’t know the name but tries to explain what he needs and the sizes, apologising that he’s not explaining himself well.

Me: “I think I know what you are after. I’ll show you”

I take him to the area and explain about sizing; he chooses some packaged curtains.  

Man: “Oh, thank you very much, but she’s still not finished with that lady. I can’t wait to be served.”

Me: “There’s another counter at the front of the store and they can serve you there.”

He thanks me again before leaving. A few minutes later, the staff member comes back to the counter.

Staff Member: “I saw what you did for that man. Thank you. You should get a job here; you really know what you’re talking about.”

Me: “Ah, thanks, but I actually work for [Competitor].”

Staff Member: *Deadpan* “Traitor.” 

Me: *Grins* “Yeah, but I used to work here.”

Staff Member: “Double traitor.”

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Little Cuts Of Understanding

, , | Right | April 24, 2020

I am working on a sewing project for which I need very small amounts of a very large number of different fabrics. On this trip to the fabric store, I am very excited because I have found SEVEN fabrics that will work. I go up to the cutting counter a bit hesitant, putting seven bolts of fabric on it.

Me: “You are going to hate me, and I’m really sorry, but I need a quarter yard of each of these.”

The employee behind the counter dies a little inside.

Employee: “Hey, [Coworker], I think it’s time for my break.”

I saw the lady he called over also die a little inside, but she cut my fabric and we had a good conversation while she did it. I apologized again when she had finished, but she laughed and told me that’s what she was there for. She was right, but I still felt bad.

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