Check On Batman’s Utility Belt, Next To The Shark Repellant

, , , , | Right | March 25, 2019

(A customer catches me off guard with this gem:)

Customer: “You carry replacement eyes?”

Me: *feeling very much like I missed some important information* “Sorry? Replacement eyes?”

Customer: “Yeah, I figured they’d be right here but I don’t see any. You got ’em?”

Me: *struggling like hell to figure out what he’s talking about* “Are you talking about a photocell for an outdoor light? Maybe a garage door sensor?”

Customer: “No, new bird eyes!”

Me: “New… bird… eyes.”

Customer: “Yeah! Those! Where have you got ’em?”

(I look around, starting to wonder if I’m being pranked. We get quite a few customers who like to be silly or ask nonsense questions just to see how we’ll react. I decide to play along… cautiously.)

Me: “What kind of bird are we looking for new eyes for?”

Customer: “It’s an owl.”

(Suddenly I feel really stupid. I realize he’s talking about the fake plastic owls you put in a garden to keep smaller birds away.)

Me: “Yes! The fake plastic owls?”

Customer: *wondering how I could be so dense, after such an excellent description* “Well, yeah!”

Me: “Sorry, we don’t carry new eyes for the owls. The whole bird is only $5.99. I think they assume that if the eyes fall off, the rest of the bird is in pretty bad shape as well and in need of replacement.”

Customer: “Well, there’s nothing wrong with mine except that the eyes are gone. It’d be pretty wasteful to toss him out when all he needs is new eyes!”

Me: *good lord he’s gotten so attached, he’s assigned it a gender* “Sorry, sir, we don’t carry them. Even if they could be special ordered they would probably cost half as much as a replacement bird after shipping.”

Customer: *sighs deeply* “Fine. How about bird repellent?”

Me: *thrilled to have a clue this time* “We don’t carry bird specific repellant, but I think we have something that’ll work for you.” *I show him to the area where it’s kept* “Here we go!”

Customer: “Naw, naw, this won’t work. Where have you got the duck repellent?”

Me: “Duck repellent? We don’t carry bird specific spray repellant, sir. I would go with this general animal spray. The scent keeps them away.”

Customer: “Naw, I need the duck stuff. Where is it?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, we don’t carry duck repellent.”

Customer: “No duck stuff?” *looking all over the shelf, obviously certain I’m lying or trying to hoard it all for myself* “I can’t believe you don’t carry that!”

Me: “To be honest, sir, we don’t get much call for duck repellent.”

Customer: *half to himself* “Man, can’t believe you guys don’t have that in stock. If ya did everyone would buy it.”

Me: “Sorry. If there’s anything else I can do to help let me know!”

(He walks away. I return to our service desk, where a coworker is standing.)

Me: “You ever heard of replacement bird eyes? Or duck repellent?”

Coworker: “What? Are you f****** with me?”

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Slugs And Snails And Puppy Dogs’ Tails

, , , | Right | March 18, 2019

CONTENT WARNING: Animal Cruelty

Customer: “Do you think this is big enough for a dog?”

Me: “I don’t know. How big is it?”

(She looks me up and down.)

Customer: “About as big as your thighs.”

(I’m not sure if that is a read about my size, so I decide to ignore it.)

Me: “And what will it be using the box for, a bed?”

Customer: “Decomposing.”

Me: “I’m sorry, what?”

Customer: “It’s dead. I’m going to turn it into compost for my lilies.”

Me: “Oh, how… environmental?”

Customer: “Well, it was f****** useless in life. It may as well be useful in death. Actually, do you think it’s legal to compost your dead pets? I saw something on the TV about doing it with relatives, but pets are a bit different.”

Me: “I honestly couldn’t tell you. You’re the first person who has ever asked me.”

Customer: “Well, that’s f****** rude of you to say. I think I’ll take my dead dog and my business where I don’t have to look at your elephant thighs!”

(It’s then I noticed she had a large bag hanging from her other hand, and I saw a dog’s tail. She left, and thankfully she hasn’t been back during any of my shifts since.)

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Unfiltered Story #141872

, , | Unfiltered | February 26, 2019

After working with a customer for serveral minutes on whcih tyyo if rose she would like to purchase, she settled on a climbing rose (whihc is really just a rose that grows longer canes than average: they are NOT vines). All the roses were divided out by type Climbers, Tea Roses, Floribunda etc. After she perused the varieties we had in the climbing roses section, she moved on and began examining the floribundas and after a while brought one of those to me. “I like this one. The color is so pretty…but I want it to be a climber.” The floribunda rose she’d chosen was a shrub rose on the smaller side, possibly growing to 4′. I explained this and she begame belligerent, demanding that I switch it to a climber (as if I had the power to do such a thing) My coworker, delightedly listening from a distance, came over with a tag from one that was a climber and attached it to the floribunda whereupon she gave me a sniff  & went inside and purchased the rose.

I hope she was happy with the darn thing.

Othar, Friend Of Boris, First Of His Name

, , , , , | Working | February 18, 2019

(Our crew is doing the finicky task of sticking plant cuttings in soil. [Coworker #1] drops one, leans down to pick it up, and bumps his head on the table.)

Coworker #2: “Do you remember your name?”

Coworker #1: “Why, I’m Othar Tryggvassen, gentleman adventurer!”

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Good Customer Service Doesn’t Grow On Trees

, , , , , | Hopeless Right | December 26, 2018

(I work in a garden centre. Due to being the on-site horticulturist and having a very even temper, I end up getting the complaints and difficult customers, even though on paper I am not officially responsible for complaints or refunds. It is close to Christmas, and we are working flat out, hauling real Christmas trees about when my radio phone rings.)

Coworker: “[My Name], sorry about this, but I’ve got a really angry customer who wants to speak to someone about a tree. She’s shouting really loudly. Can I put them through?”

Me: “Go ahead; I’ll do my best.”

(Click.)

Me: “Hello. This is the plant department. I’ve been told you’ve got a problem with a tree?”

Customer: “IT’S FULL OF BEETLES!”

(I realise from her tone of voice that she isn’t angry; she’s really, really upset.)

Me: “Oh, dear! What kind of tree is it, please?”

Customer: “I bought a Christmas tree from you, and I brought it inside, into my living room. A few hours later, all these beetles crawled out of it, and now my house is now full of them!”

Me: “Wow. That sounds… absolutely horrible. I’m so sorry! We definitely need to sort this out for you.”

Customer: *much calmer now* “Yes, so I was wondering… do you have any artificial trees? I’d like to buy one. Could you reserve one for me?”

(I pause to process what she just asked. Yes, she doesn’t want a refund. She isn’t threatening to get us fired. She wants to buy a replacement. Buy.)

Me: “Madam, I can assure you that you are well-deserving of a refund in a situation like this. This absolutely should not have happened at all, and I’m horrified that it did. We need to get that tree back here to examine it, and also a sample of the beetles. If you can’t bear to touch it, I’ll arrange to have our delivery driver pick it up for you, free of charge.”

Customer: “So… you’ll give me an artificial tree in exchange? I’ll have to get a smaller one, since they’re much more expensive.”

Me: “Well, this is an exceptional situation, so I’m going to stretch a point and say that as long as we get your tree back, we will do a straight swap: the same size artificial tree for the real one.”

Customer: “You’d do that? That would be great! I’ll get my husband to bring the tree back.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll make sure a similar artificial tree is put on one side for you. Could I take some details, please?”

(I take the details, and put a nice artificial tree on one side. It’s twice the price of the real tree she bought. I also plant up a small pot of primroses as a complimentary gift for her, and quickly wrap a red bow around it. The husband brings the tree in, and it is infested with Cinara piceae, a kind of big, ugly aphid. The warmth in her home had no doubt made them wake up and become active. I’ve never seen this happen before in Christmas trees, but her story all checks out. I give the go-ahead for her to get her refund and replacement tree. Unfortunately, I am with another customer when she comes in, but apparently, she bursts into tears when she is handed the complimentary pot of flowers. Slight overreaction, I think, but okay. Some people are just made that way. Fast forward to a little after Christmas. We have a visit from one of the directors. She is known for being strict but fair, and also a stickler for rules.)

Director: “[My Name], I had a letter about you from a customer. I wanted to discuss it with you.”

Me: “Really? What was it about?”

Director: “A lady said she had a tree full of beetles…”

Me: “Oh, the beetle tree! Yes, I remember all about it. I realise I went against refund policy by giving her goods worth twice the amount of the diseased tree, but I felt it was a very unusual situation and could have become a complete PR disaster.”

Director: “So… Do you think you made the right decision?”

(Okay, I’m in trouble. “What the heck?” I decide. “I might as well stand up for myself.”)

Me: “Yes, I do.”

(The director suddenly smiles and hands over an envelope.)

Director: “She sent you a Christmas card. There was a letter in it that told me about the tree. Her son had a bad motorbike accident earlier this year and is spending his first Christmas in a wheelchair at [Customer]’s house. They wanted to give him the best Christmas he could have. She said that you saved the day.”

(I can feel my eyes tearing up.)

Me: “Oh, right.”

Director: “So, well done. You did the right thing and saved us from a seriously embarrassing situation!”

(And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I got promoted: by breaking the rules! I’m very happy to add that I have handled tens of thousands more Christmas trees since then, and have never seen a “beetle tree” again.)

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