When The Plant Isn’t The Dumbest Thing In The Room

, , , , | Right | April 10, 2018

(I’m standing in the middle of the front nursery, surrounded by plants, and I see a customer who looks lost.)

Me: “Are you finding everything all right?”

Customer: “I’m looking for a plant. It’s green. And it has leaves.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “Do you have it?”

Me: “…”

Customer: “Oh, jeez. That was stupid.”

(I could almost hear her mental facepalm.)

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Some Customer’s Entitlement Can Just Run You Down

, , , , , | Right | January 24, 2018

(The road to the car-park separates the outdoor section, where I work, from the indoor section. I am standing near the pedestrian crossing, helping a lady choose some plants, when her young child runs off towards the road just as a car is driving up to it. I honestly don’t remember what happens next, but suddenly, I am on the other side of the crossing with the child tucked under my arm and the bumper of the car almost touching my leg. The driver of the car is white-faced and staring at me in shock. The mother of the child catches up with me.)

Customer: “HOW DARE YOU?!”

Me: “Huh?”

Customer: “You could have hurt her, manhandling her like that! Put her down right now!”

(I realise I am still carrying the child. I put her down, and she starts to toddle off, so I hold her shoulder gently until the woman glares at me and I let go.)

Customer: “[Child], are you bruised? Are you okay?”

(The child just babbles and giggles; she obviously isn’t talking much yet. My boss turns up.)

Boss: “[My Name], are you okay?”

Me: “Yeah, I’m fine.”

Boss: “You go and take a break, for as long as you want. I’ll sort this out.” *to the customer* “I’m [My Name]’s manager. Can I help you, ma’am?”

(I heard her start to rant, so I legged it and had a warm drink to calm down. When I got back out, my boss had checked the camera footage. It showed the child running away, and me bursting into a sprint, scooping up the kid, and dashing for the other side of the crossing just inches ahead of the car. He told me she had wanted to press charges for “child abuse,” and he, a new father himself, had torn a strip off her and banned her from the centre. She did, indeed, send a letter of complaint to our head office, but my boss and the general manager backed me up, and she was once again told to get lost.)

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The Only Other Option Is Hedwig

, , , , | Right | January 9, 2018

(I am running a very popular gardening program for my community. At the onset of the program, I ask each participant for their contact information, that I might send them updates about important dates and workshops. This phone call takes place about a month after the program starts for the season.)

Participant: “Hey, [My Name]. I just wanted to know what’s going on with the program. I haven’t gotten any updates from you in a while.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. Didn’t you get my email?”

Participant: “I never check my email. I only have one so I can get free things from companies.”

Me: “Oh. Okay. Well, let me see; is this address correct? I should have sent you two flyers by now.”

Participant: “I’m sure it’s in my car somewhere. I just throw everything that’s not a bill onto the front seat of my car and deal with it later.”

Me: “Well, I did try to call you last week.”

Participant: “I don’t answer calls from phone numbers I don’t recognize, and I know I wouldn’t recognize yours.”

Me: *getting frustrated* “I think we’re left with carrier pigeon.”

Participant: “What?”

Me: “What other means of communication would you suggest? I’ve listed everything I can think of.”

Participant: “Hmmm… Maybe shoot me a text. But not before or after work. You know I live in an area that doesn’t have reception!”

(Her daughter eventually came to the office for a different reason. I sent her home with about five important papers to take to her mom. I’m sure she’ll never see them!)

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The Never Ending Christmas Tree

, , , | Right | December 22, 2017

(It’s Christmas time in New England. I am a short, scrawny, 17-year-old sales associate at a home and garden center that sells Christmas trees. It’s eight pm. I have been outside in the snow selling trees all day since I got to work at eight am. We have already turned off the lights to the tree area and have shut off our illuminated sign.)

Manager: “Hey, [My Name], go pull the chain!”

(We pull a chain across the parking lot entrance every night to prevent more people from coming in. I run out across the parking lot, grab the chain, and start pulling it across the entrance when a minivan pulls in going rather fast and runs over the chain, nearly ripping my arms off in the process. A small family gets out. I finish hooking the chain and walk over to them to tell them we are closed.)

Father: “Hi, you guys still open?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, we’re closed.”

(My manager comes outside.)

Manager: “Hello, what can I help you with?”

Father: “We did come here to get a tree but if you guys are closed, we can come back tomorrow.”

Manager: “No, it’s fine. We are closed but if you are just getting a tree, then feel free to pick one out.”

Father: “Thank you so much.”

Manager: “[My Name], help this fine family pick out a tree.”

(I proceed to do the standard sales pitch to help them figure out what kind of tree they want. I ask the price range, full or skinny, tall or short, basically all the questions I normally ask to figure out which tree would be best. I start pointing them at some trees I think they would like but they keep disagreeing or pointing out every small thing about the trees. This goes on for another 45 minutes. They eventually find a set of four trees in our expensive section that they like and decide to choose between one of the four. This starts a debate among the family.)

Me: “Okay, while you decide, I’ll be inside. Come get me when you decide on a tree.”

(I scurry away because I can barely feel my fingers at this point.)

Manager: *obviously frustrated* “What’s taking so long?”

Me: “They won’t pick a d*** tree. They are currently in a debate between four trees. Don’t get mad at me. They are being stubborn and didn’t like any of the trees.”

(They debate for another ten minutes. In this time, my coworkers have left, leaving just me and the manager. Eventually, the father walks in.)

Father: “We have decided on a tree.”

Me: “Okay, show me which one you picked.”

(I follow the father outside and he points at a tree.)

Father: “We have decided on this one.” *he points to a rather large tree that comes out to around $85*

Me: “Nice choice. I’ve been waiting for someone to take this beauty home.”

Father: “Why has no one wanted it?”

Me: “It costs $85.”

Father: “WHAT?!” *turns to his children who have sad looks on their faces* “Okay, I guess we’ll get this one.”

Me: “Would you like for me to wrap it?” *I remove the tree from the stand*

Father: “No, just bring it to the van. [Wife], go pay for the tree.”

(I bring the tree up to the front door of the store which is next to the parking lot and grab some rope that we use to tie trees to roofs. I hand the tag to the wife so she can go pay. I put the tree on the roof of their van and as I’m about to tie it down, the father grabs the rope from me.)

Father: “I’ll do it.” *he begins to tie the tree down*

Me: “You sure? I mean, it is part of my job to tie trees down.”

Father: “No, you probably don’t know how to do it properly.”

Me: *taken back by this comment, because I’ve tied down around 400 trees by this point* “Okay. Have a nice night, and Merry Christmas.”

(I walk inside and get a cup of hot chocolate because I’m freezing. I drink it, shut off the store and warehouse lights, lock up all the doors, and go get my stuff from the office and punch out. This whole process takes about 10-15 minutes. The father is still trying to tie the tree down.)

Me: “Do you want me to go help him?”

Manager: “No, I’ve already tried. You can go home. It’s been a long day. I’m sorry; I won’t let anyone in when the chain is being pulled ever again. This was a mistake.”

(I leave. The man was there for another five minutes but eventually tied his tree down and left.)

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Under An Umbrella Of Entitlement

, , , , , , | Right | June 14, 2017

(I work outside in a plant nursery and this particular day it has been bucketing down right since I woke up that morning. I am down at the info desk trying to dry off a bit when an middle-aged woman comes up.)

Customer: “You guys wouldn’t have any umbrellas to borrow, would you?”

Me: “No, ma’am, I’m sorry; we don’t.”

(She looks at me as if I had offended her.)

Customer: “Well, why not?! It’s raining outside! How am I meant to get any plants!”

Me: “I’m sorry. We used to, but people kept stealing and walking out with our umbrellas so we’ve stopped now.”

Customer: *rolls eyes and sighs* “Well, that’s just an inconvenience. You really should have a couple of umbrellas!”

(She walked off and I went into the office nearby. Only a couple minutes later I walked out after drying up to see the same woman walking back into our store with her own umbrella from her car.)

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