Got A Complaint? Take A Number

, , , , | Working | April 20, 2020

A craft/fabric store in our town has recently started using a ticket numbering system for the fabric cutting counter. The first time I see it I think it’s a great idea, since you can take a number and continue browsing while waiting for your number to be called instead of standing in a long line.

So, the first time I need fabric cut, I walk up to the counter where one woman is getting fabric measured, and I take a number. I see my number is 26 and the big overhead screen shows they are currently serving 22. Cool, I’ll look at the clearance fabric next to the counter while I wait. I’m still right there; I just have my back to the counter. 

After what seems like a long time of not hearing any other numbers called, I turn to look since I’m curious why that one woman’s order is taking so long. To my surprise, someone else is getting fabric cut, and there’s a line of three little old ladies at the counter. Confused, I walk up and see that yes, they still say they are serving 22.

When I ask the employee cutting fabric what’s going on with the number system, she laughs and tells me that corporate made them put it in and she thinks it’s a stupid system. I look up at the screen and then at the ticket in my hand, and I ask, “What happened to 23 to 25?” The employee shrugs and tells me to get to the back of the line. I decline, put my fabric down, and head towards the front door.

On the way, I see a manager, and I complain about them having all these signs telling people to use the new “avoid the line!” ticket system when they aren’t actually using it, because I wasted time waiting for my number to be called when it was never going to be. The manager looks confused.

The next time I go into that store I walk past the fabric counter. “You need a ticket!” an employee shouts at me. I look over, confused since I don’t even have any fabric in my hand. The employees behind the counter start ranting about how they got in trouble because a customer complained they weren’t using the new system, and how “dumb snowflake didn’t want to wait in line.” A customer who was walking up to the counter with a bolt of fabric joins in mocking this mysterious customer who was too spoiled to wait in line.

Again, I left without buying anything. This time I called in to talk to a manager. I get that change is hard, but I’m still surprised I got so much hate from the employees for trying to read the signs and follow instructions.

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This Manager Has A Few Rough Edges

, , , , | Working | April 9, 2020

(I work at a chain fabric store. Our manager is well-known for being rude and doing things wrong. She comes over to the cutting counter one day to tell a coworker to go to break.)

Manager: “[Coworker], go on your fifteen.”

Coworker: “Okay, after I finish for this customer.”

Manager: “No, go now. I’ll finish for you.”

(We always finish with our current customer before doing anything else, to make sure everything is done right. Not wanting to fight her, my coworker leaves for break. My manager turns to the customer.)

Manager: “How much?”

Customer: “I need a half-yard of this.”

(My manager goes to cut it and ends up leaving the end looking awful. She goes to hand it to the customer, who makes a face.)

Customer: “Could you do that again, please? I can’t really use it with the end like that.”

Manager: “Nope. It’s been cut so you have to take it.” 

Customer: “I’ve asked for it a few times and never had a problem.”

Manager: “Then I’ll talk to my employees about it. Not my problem.” 

(She prints the slip for the customer and then walks away. The customer is visibly upset. I go over to her.)

Me: *quietly* “If you go to [Website], it gives you a survey on your experiences here which goes directly to corporate. I’ve never heard of a rule saying we can’t recut fabric for you.”

Customer: “Thank you, hun. That woman is just… something.”

(My manager ended up being fired.)

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Wish We Could Wipe You From Our Memory

, , , | Right | December 20, 2019

(I work at a decently large craft and fabric store. A customer comes in wanting to do a return on an item she purchased by accident and lost the receipt to. Our system is weird and requires a lot of personal information to process a return without a receipt, such as a name and an address. Mind you, this return is on an item that costs literally $1.50; I don’t even know why she’s bothering.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m going to need your information for this return.”

Customer: “Are you going to send me anything?”

Me: “No, ma’am, this is purely for identification purposes. We need you in our system if you are returning an item without a receipt.”

(I input her information, process her return, and give her the merchandise return card. She makes the purchase she was going to make, and then she just stands there for a second.)

Me: *staring inquisitively*

Customer: “Now wipe me from your system.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’ll see if I can, but I doubt I can do that.”

Customer: “I’ll wait.”

(There’s a line forming behind her; I just need her out of the way so I can help other customers.)

Me: “How about I’ll just tell a manager about this and they’ll do it?”

Customer: “Fine. I’ll need them to send me proof that they did it.”

Me: “Okay, ma’am. Have a nice day.”

(Dumbfounded. Just… dumbfounded.)

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No Clever Title Required, Because Chocolate DOES Make Everything Better  

, , , , , , | Hopeless | December 2, 2019

(It’s my time of the month with a heavy flow and I have a very nasty sinus and ear infection, so there are a ton of medications in my system. I still get myself to work at the fabric store as I don’t feel that bad. A half-hour into my shift, I suddenly become very weak and my legs become very shaky. Still, I put on a brave face to not worry my coworkers and customers and just lean on the counter and carts for balance. I’m catching my breath when I notice a customer coming up to the counter.)

Me: *assume an acting face* “Hi. How can I help you?”

Customer: *not convinced* “Are you all right? You weren’t looking that good a moment ago, and you’re pale.”

Me: “I’ll be all right; it will pass.”

Customer: “Are you sure? Do you need anything, like water or food?”

Me: “Maybe, but I’ll hold off until my break. How much do you need?”

Customer: “Four yards, and I’ll be right back.”

(I begin to measure out her material while she runs up to the front. She returns a few minutes later with a chocolate bar in hand.)

Customer: “There you go.”

Me: *shocked* “Oh, wow… You didn’t have to.”

Customer: “Chocolate makes everything better. Your blood sugar might be low so this should help.”

(She was right. After a few nibbles on the chocolate and a quick break, my strength returned and I was able to finish my shift with no problems. I saw the same customer a few days later and she was very happy to see that I was doing better and that the chocolate had helped.)

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This Is The Last Cut  

, , , , , | Right | October 21, 2019

(We have had a customer in the store for a couple of hours trying to choose curtain fabric. I’ve spent time with her but my supervisor has decided I’ve been with her for too long and pulls me aside.)

Supervisor: “What’s taking so long with this customer?”

Me: “I can’t get away from her; she wants curtain fabric and can’t decide.”

Supervisor: “Just show her where the fabrics are and leave her to choose.”

Me: “I’ve tried that.”

Supervisor: “Well, I’ll do it, then. It’s getting late and you need to finish [assigned work] before you leave.”

(I happily leave her with the customer while I go to complete my work. I also close the doors an hour later, noticing that the supervisor is still with the customer. I finally complete my work half an hour after closing and have finalised one of our registers. I’m doing some general tidying while waiting for the supervisor and customer come to the counter with the chosen fabric. I hear the woman wondering whether her husband would like it.)

Supervisor: “I think it would be a good idea if you took a sample home for your husband to see; we don’t refund on fabrics if you change your mind.”

Customer: “No, no, he’ll like it. Now I just have to work out how much I need. You will cut it to size, won’t you?”

Supervisor: “No, sorry, we don’t. It’s company policy.”

Customer: “Oh, you can do it for me, can’t you?”

Supervisor: “Sorry, but it’s already way past our closing time and cutting to size will take too much time. We would need exact measurements, anyway; you told me that you weren’t completely sure of the window sizes.”

Customer: “I know now. My husband sent me the sizes; they’re on my phone.” *shows phone with ten different window sizes on it*

Supervisor: “No, sorry, but again, that will take too long. It’s already 45 minutes after we closed. Nor can I risk going against company policy if I cut any of the measurements wrong.”  

Customer: “Oh, well, think of the lovely overtime you both will be getting.” *looks at me and grins*

(We both look at her like deer caught in headlights.)

Supervisor: “We don’t get overtime. We get paid only to closing time, and now we still have to stay until the register is counted and finalized.”

Customer: “Oh, that can’t be right.” *looks at me*

Me: “Yes, it is.”

(The supervisor has finally measured out the fabric and is about to cut.)

Supervisor: “Now, are you sure about this measurement and fabric choice? As I mentioned, there are no returns on fabric.” 

Customer: “Yes, yes it’s fine.”

(I ring up the sale and let her know the price before any cut is made. The customer is fine with the cost and pays before finally leaving.)

Supervisor: “Oh, my God, what a time-waster. How long was she in here for?”

Me: “Four hours.”

Supervisor: “I know she’s going to try to return that fabric. It will be over my dead body.”  

(We finally complete our closing duties and leave almost an hour and a half after closing. I have the next day off, and when I get back the day after, I see a bag of fabric at the counter.)

Me: “Uh, isn’t that the fabric that annoying woman bought?”

Supervisor: “Yes. Apparently, her husband didn’t like the colour and she came back for a refund. She told [Store Manager] that I told her that she could return it if he didn’t like it. He had a go at me about it, even giving her the refund after I told him she lied. She also complained that she wasn’t told what the final cost was before it was cut.”

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