It’s Curtains For Google!

, , , , , | Right | October 17, 2019

(Our shop is a small craft shop. We sell fabrics and other craft items but not upholstery and curtain items. I work there six days a week so I don’t tend to frequent other craft shops on the seventh. A customer calls.)

Me: “Good afternoon. How can I help?”

Customer: “Do you sell curtain brackets?”

Me: “No, I’m afraid not; we don’t sell curtain accessories.”

Customer: “So, you don’t have brackets?”

Me: “No, I’m afraid not.”

Customer: “Where do you normally send people who need curtain things?”

Me: “I’m afraid we’re not a catalogue of shops; we don’t really—”

Customer: “You must have a list of contacts for people you can’t help.”

Me: “Well, there’s a shop in [Nearby Town] who may do them, but you may want to Google curtain shops in the local area to be sure.”

Customer: “Oh.” *hangs up*

(Seriously, shops are not local directories for you, and small business owners don’t have time to be making lists of other craft shops to send you to. Google is a thing; do your own research.)

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Green Versus Blue

, , , , | Right | September 3, 2019

(I have stopped at a popular fabric store on my way home from work during the holiday season. I’m picking up supplies for my boss and me to put together stockings for our coworkers.)

Me: *muttering to myself* “Red or black? Hmm…”

(A woman approaches me.)

Woman: “Excuse me? Miss? Can you show me where [sewing materials] are?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I don’t work here.”

Woman: “Of course you do; you’re in uniform.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I work in security and this is my site’s uniform. I don’t work for [Fabric Store].”

(I point at the company name on my button-down shirt and motion to my black slacks.)

Me: “They wear green aprons and jeans.”

Woman: “Nonsense. If you’re in work clothes, you work here.”

(This goes back and forth several more times, with me getting more frustrated because I want to leave and she won’t let me.)

Me: “Ma’am, I do not know what to tell you! I don’t work here! Besides, I don’t even shop here that much, so I couldn’t even help you as a fellow customer!”

Woman: “Don’t take that tone with me! I know you work here, so you need to do your job! Stop being lazy and telling me you don’t work here! I see your lanyard around your neck, and a lanyard means you work here!”

(A lightbulb goes off in my head and I realize that I’ve left my lanyard with my badge and licenses on in my haste.)

Me: “Oh, you mean this lanyard?”

(I grab and yank on it, causing the plastic safety breakaway to come apart. I shove the cards on it into my back pocket and leave the ends to hang free.)

Me: “There. Now that I’m not wearing it anymore. I don’t work here.”

Woman: “You are so rude!”

(I reach out and grab what I need, my patience gone.) 

Me: “Call me rude all you want, but maybe if you went and found someone who actually works here instead of wasting both of our time, you could have been shown what you’re looking for. Go find someone in a green apron and ask them.”

(I got past her and went to the registers. On my way out, I saw a manager talking to her and heard him say, “Ma’am, we don’t have blue uniform shirts; we have green aprons. Did you harass a customer?”)

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Sometimes It Pays To Wait

, , , , | Right | August 13, 2019

(I’m a customer in this story. I’m shopping in a craft and fabric store that tends to sometimes have long lines at the register materialize unpredictably. I’ve been waiting patiently for a while and I’m finally at the front of the line.)

Cashier: “Next!”

(I begin to approach the open register when another customer comes in the front door, goes straight to that cashier, and starts asking a bunch of questions.)

Cashier: *shoots me a concerned/apologetic look*

Me: *just smiles and shrugs understandingly*

(The customer continues asking a bunch of questions about items they may or may not sell and where they might be, as I continue to wait patiently. Finally, the customer seems to have all his questions answered, notices something near the register he wants, grabs it, and walks to that register, ignoring the line of people waiting.)

Cashier: *nervously looks at me to see how I’m going to react*

Me: *shrugs, smiles, and nods towards the customer*

Cashier: *relaxes a bit, rings up the customer, finally sends him on his way, and then it’s finally my turn* “Sorry about that!”

Me: *smiles* “Oh, it’s okay! It’s not a problem. It happens.”

(The cashier rings up my purchases and I realize I didn’t bring enough cash.)

Me: *pulls out my two $20s* “Oh, no. I don’t have enough!”

Cashier: *quickly scans some coupons from behind the counter, bringing the total to just under $40* “Yes, you do!”

(Thank you, fabric store cashier!)

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Nailed It!

, , | Right | June 10, 2019

(I’m working in a store that sells sewing and knitting supplies. A man is standing by the pins and needles, looking a bit lost, so I go over and ask if he needs help.)

Customer: “I need something like these—“ *holds up a box of pins* “—but a bit longer and thicker. They need to be sturdier so I can hammer them in.”

Me: “You mean… like a nail.”

(The customer’s face lights up as if he has had a major revelation.)

Customer: “Yes. Nails. Indeed!”

Me: “I think you should check the home improvement store.”

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Regular Race Issues

, , , , , | Right | May 15, 2019

(In between my semesters at college, I work at the local fabric and craft store. During my years working, we come to know this one regular that most of the staff hates seeing. She will be in the store for several hours shopping, and when she finally comes to the cutting counter, she is very particular about who cuts her material and how they cut it — in other words, a huge pain. She is also known for being a pain at the checkout and each visit always involves her calling corporate with a complaint that, when investigated, proves she is making things up. Eventually, corporate starts ignoring her calls. In one of my last encounters with her, she wished that another customer would get into a car accident after she let them cut in line and they didn’t thank her. I’ve returned for a summer and I’m working closing when I realize that I have not seen this regular yet, so I ask my coworker about her.)

Me: “So, [Coworker], I haven’t seen [Regular] in some time. Has she been in here?”

Coworker: “You didn’t know? She got banned.”

Me: “Banned?! But how?”

Coworker: “It started when she tried to use one 40% coupon on every single item she had, claiming that because she was such a valued customer buying so much stuff, we should do that for her. [Manager] explained that our policy was one coupon per item and that we cannot change it. So, [Regular] then started calling [Manager] the N-word.”

(For context, [Manager] is a six-foot-tall black woman.)

Me: “I knew [Regular] was bad, but I didn’t know she was racist!”

Coworker: “It gets better. [Regular] then hung around telling every customer in the store about the terrible N-word woman and how she was going to shoot her in the parking lot later! [Manager] had enough and, once she got word of this, called the police.”

Me: “Did [Regular] get arrested?”

Coworker: “No, she was long gone before they came. But they got her information and recommend that [Manager] never let [Regular] into the store again, and that they were going to her house to let her know that she’s not allowed at the store anymore.”

(Sure enough, it’s been years and that regular has never once returned to store.)

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