They Think They’ve Tabled This Discussion

, , , , , | Right | September 28, 2017

(It is close to closing hours on Valentine’s Day, in a busy shopping district. A customer and his wife “whistle” at me to get my attention while I’m hurriedly rushing to fulfill other customer requests.)

Me: “Hello, how are you today? Can I help you with anything?”

(The customer flicks her hand in a dismissive motion, seemingly frustrated that I dared to speak to her.)

Customer: “I want this table but without the legs; they are too bulky and ugly.”

Me: “Ma’am, we don’t sell those two parts separately, but I can show you some tables that do not have that design. They may work better for your preferences.”

Customer: “I just want this table with different legs.”

Me: “Uh… We only have furniture that sells together with both pieces in the same box. We don’t have a way to interchange table legs; that would be up to the manufacturer.”

Customer: “Well, tell the guys who make this to send me different legs.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can not do that. Please, follow me and I will show you some different options you may like.”

(We walk over to our store’s computer system, where I pull up our table options. The customer points at a picture of a table.)

Customer: “I like that one there; I want that one.”

Customer’s Husband: “That one looks MUCH better.”

(They are pointing at a picture of the table they were just looking at.)

Me: “Ma’am, that model is the same model we have on the floor.”

Customer: “I don’t like that one; I want this one here.” *referring to the picture of literally the same table*

Me: “Okay, ma’am; we can do that. If you would, please fill out this form, and we can have it delivered from our warehouse in [State] to your home with a delivery and assembly fee, if you would prefer that.”

Customer: “Okay, do that.”

(I thanked the customers for their patience, told them that their table would arrive sometime in the next couple of weeks, and that we would send them a confirmation email. The customers left after filling out the form with their information and having paid almost twice the amount for the same table, due to shipping and building costs.)

A Sign Of A Bad Sale

, , , , | Working | September 15, 2017

(My husband, two teenage daughters, and I have decided to go couch shopping. First, we visit a local furniture shop. The shop’s entrance is at the back of the building and require us to go down a steep flight of stairs.)

Me: “Wow, it’s a bit tricky getting down these stairs.”

Salesman: “Well, THAT’S why there’s a sign that say, ‘Watch Your Step.’ Not that I’d expect a woman to pay attention to a sign, ha ha!”

(The four of us, which, if you’re keeping track, included THREE WOMEN [as well as a very feminist guy] all stared at him in disbelief. He didn’t make a sale that day, partly because of that remark, and partly because his store’s furniture was ugly and overpriced.)

We Negotiate Better Than Anybody, Believe Me, It’ll Be Beautiful

, , , , | Right | September 12, 2017

(I work at a local furniture store, where we never have sales because our prices are always marked down from the MSRP. I’ve done the math, and it’s anywhere from 30-45% off on EVERY PIECE. As such, we also don’t negotiate prices. Most people accept it and say, “It was worth a try,” while others simply refuse to accept it. This happens to a coworker during my first week on the job.)

Customer: “I want to negotiate the price of this.”

Coworker: “We don’t negotiate prices, as our prices are always much lower than the suggested retail price.”

(The man immediately gets angry.)

Customer: “What do you mean you don’t negotiate? This is TRUMP’S America! We NEGOTIATE in Trump’s America!”

Coworker: *trying not to snap at him* “I’m sorry you feel that way, sir, but that’s store policy.”

Customer: “I want to talk to a manager. NOW.”

(We don’t have managers, since it’s a family owned store with policies that are set in stone, but my coworker gets one of the more experienced women from the office to tell this customer the same thing.)

Coworker #2: “Sir, we don’t negotiate prices.”

Customer: “This is RIDICULOUS. This is Trump’s America! Let’s see how long you last with this type of service in TRUMP’S America!”

(He buys the furniture anyway, because SURPRISE, the prices are still very reasonable for a locally owned store that has been in business for over 100 years. I don’t think we will need to worry about going out of business anytime soon. Later on, another coworker and I are discussing how people like to try and negotiate.)

Coworker #3: “Just ONCE, I would like to say to someone, ‘Name THREE companies that negotiate their prices.’ Guess what? You can’t! Car dealerships, maybe. But we aren’t a car dealership!”

You Should Quilt While You’re Ahead

, , , | Friendly | September 6, 2017

(My fiancé and I are on the market for a nice cabinet/wardrobe for storing my crafts. I decide to stop by this well-known furniture store and see if they have what I’m looking for. I’m greeted multiple times, before finally stopped by a woman who asks me what I’m looking for. After explaining, she shows me to a very nice Amish cabinet that’s a bit out of our budget, but I’m still willing to get a picture and show it to my fiancé.)

Sales Woman: “What are your plans for this?”

Me: *as I’m measuring the depth* “I’m into crafts, so I need a place to store them.”

Sales Woman: “Oh? What kind of crafts?”

Me: “I sew, mostly quilting, as a hobby.”

Sales Woman: “Going to turn it into a business? Quilts are popular around here.”

Me: “I’ve thought about it. Maybe. It might be nice.”

Sales Woman: “What kind of sewing machine do you have? Or do you sew by hand?”

Me: “Both, but I do have a [popular brand] that’s a bit on the big side, but designed to look like one of antiques. It’s gorgeous. My grandmother’s thinking of passing down my great-grandmother’s [sewing machine] to me. Not sure where we’ll hide that one.”

Sales Woman: “Oh! My great-grandmother passed down some quilts to me, made from muslin. Solid quilts, but they need to be stretched out and re-stitched. Let me get your name, number, and address, and you can fix them for me!”

Me: “Wai- What? No. I-I…”

(I start to panic, because I don’t like giving out my information to anyone I don’t know. I’m a beginner who has never worked with muslin before in the first place, much less something antique.)

Me: “It’s probably better for you to get someone with more experience to touch it up for you.”

Sales Woman: “But I’d really like this done inexpensively.”

Me: *I’m stepping back now because the woman keeps getting closer to me with a pen and paper.* “I’d really recommend you afford the extra costs to have someone with experience handle those. I can barely sew a corner correctly without tearing up the fabric because I’m so new to sewing. And since it’s your great-grandmother’s heirloom, I would feel horrible if I damaged the fabrics in any way.”

Sales Woman: “That’s not a problem. I’m sure you’ll do fine. Just give me your number and address and we’ll get started. We’ll work out prices later.”

Me: *I trip over a coffee table trying to back away and I can feel an anxiety attack coming on* “No, thanks! Ask someone else.”

(I turned and started rushing away from her as fast as I could, but unfortunately, I had to walk to the back of the store, round a corner, and skirt along the wall of the store just to get out, because she blocked the way to the exit and followed me halfway through the store before giving up. I’m never going back again.)

Shedding Bad Service

| Sacramento, CA, USA | Working | August 1, 2017

(My husband and I want matching coffee table and end tables, but are having a difficult time deciding on which set to purchase. One of our “must haves” is that the tables would be easy to clean. Here’s why: We have two cats. I thought it was fairly common knowledge that shed cat hair tends to float around and land on every available surface. While looking at a complicated wooden table design with glass inlays and a high rim around the edge of the table, this takes place…)

Me: *to Husband* “I don’t know. Look at all the crevices and stuff that we’d have to get into to clean. And that rim on the edge. I feel like it’d be really difficult for me to dust and wipe down.”

Saleslady: *older, white-haired* “Oh, no, hon. You just get a cotton swab or a toothpick and just get right into those cracks. It’s easy!

Me: “Sure, but I don’t want to have to do that every other day when I’m dusting for cat hair.”

Saleslady: *looking appalled* “Cat hair?!”

Me: “Yes. We have two cats. They shed.”

Saleslady: “But… the cat hair gets on the coffee table!?”

Me: “Clearly, you have never owned a cat before.”

(The woman stared at us for several seconds before she made a disgusted noise, looked down her nose at me, and left. We went back to shopping for tables with a different salesperson.)

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