In Mint Condition

| Australia | Right | October 5, 2016

(A customer comes up to my counter with a few items. She is on crutches.)

Customer: “Would you be able to get a fabric for me? I can’t carry it.”

Me: “Sure, happy to do it. Which fabric is it?”

Customer: “It’s the turquoise flannelette.”

(I head over to the flannelette stand a few metres away. I hadn’t remembered seeing a turquoise one and held up the closest colour I can find to turquoise, a blue and black checked fabric.)

Me: “Is this it?”

Customer: “No, I wanted a plain one.”

(I stand looking at the fabrics. For the life of me I can not see a turquoise one.)

Me: “Sorry. but I can’t see one of that colour; are you sure it’s turquoise?”

(Customer makes a big issue of having to limp the four or five metres, points to the fabric next to me.)

Customer: *haughtily* “Well what do you call that?” *indicates a fabric*

Me: “That’s mint green.”

Customer: “Oh. Well, that’s the one I want, thanks.”

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

| KY, USA | Right | September 23, 2016

(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.”

Parental Guidance

| Saint Louis, MO, USA | Working | May 29, 2016

(I have taken my son, who is three, to grab some fabric to fix a T-shirt and a pattern for a Halloween costume.)

Son: *generally being a rowdy three-year-old, touching products and being told to stop*

Cashier: *to me* “He’s the second-worst kid I’ve ever seen who doesn’t listen.”

Me: *laughing, assuming she meant it lightheartedly* “Yeah, I hear it’s the age.”

Cashier: *with a matter of fact attitude* “No offense, but I’m pretty sure it’s just bad parenting.”

Me: *silently and tearfully pays and rushes out of the store*

Cashier: “Have a nice day!”

(I called my husband sobbing and he suggested that I call the store and complain to the manager, who apologized when they heard the story. Our family won’t be returning to that store; we’ll go twice as far for cashiers that aren’t total jerks.)

Her Items Cannot Be Fabricated

| AR, USA | Right | April 23, 2016

(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.”

I See A Dangerous Pattern Emerging

| WI, USA | Right | February 20, 2016

(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.)

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