With Managers Like These, Who Needs Customers?

, , , , | Working | September 12, 2018

I am sixteen, working my first job in a grocery store as a cashier, mere months after being hired. I am working in our express lane, which is attached to our deli and hot foods department, to make it easier for customers to purchase hot meals.

A rather gruff-looking older woman comes to my lane with a handful of items, including one of our ready-made sandwiches, made with meat, cheese, and typically lettuce and tomato. I am immediately on edge as the woman responds rather rudely to my greeting; however, I continue checking her out until we get to the sandwich.

She tells me she called earlier in the day and the woman at our customer service center told her she could get a new, replacement sandwich for free. The story is that she purchased a sandwich yesterday for her mother, and the lettuce in the sandwich was soggy and limp like it had gone bad. She provides no specific name of a customer service worker, though we always answer our phones with our names. When I ask her if she has her receipt, she gets ornery and says the woman at customer service told her she wouldn’t need it. This is not true; receipts are required on returns. When I mention to her that returns and exchanges are handled at our customer service desk, she gets blustery and tells me I can set the sandwich aside, as she isn’t going to get it.

As she leaves with her other products, she mutters about how she is never going to come back to this store again… because we enforce our very simple rules? Good riddance.

My boss comes to talk to me later. Apparently, the woman has called to complain about me, and my boss says, “Sometimes it’s just better to give the customers what they want.”

What is even the point of us having rules at all if we’re going to allow customers to break them whenever they want?

I’ve been working at the store for eight years now — and I’m a heck of a lot tougher about our policies now than I was then — and the way my boss said that still grates on me. She’s no longer working with us, thankfully.

Unfiltered Story #120917

, , | Unfiltered | September 12, 2018

(Our store offers daily deals, a special price on a specific product each day for that day only. This particular day it is one dozen glazed donuts with clear signage in several locations around the donuts and store.)

Customer: “I have a dozen donuts.”

Me: “Certainly, it will be [price].”

Customer: “But they’re on special today.”

Me: “Oh, they’re all glazed donuts?”

Customer: “No, I picked out an assortment. A dozen donuts are on special today for [price].”

Me: “I’m sorry but only the glazed donuts are on special today.”

Customer: “A lady by the donuts told me it was all of them.”

Me: “One of the bakery staff? Do you know who it was?”

Customer: “No, it was just a lady by the donuts and she said all of them were on special.”

(I call up the bakery and inquire if any of the staff spoke to her about donuts and none of them had.)

Me: “I’m afraid if it was a customer and not anyone on our payroll I can’t give these to you for the special price. Customers aren’t the definitive source for our sales and pricing.”

(Another customer has gotten in line behind her and is listening with amusement.)

Customer #2: “Yeah, I could tell you those are 99¢. Can I get mine for that, too?”

(I give him a relieved smile a little laugh.)

Me: “I’ll take six at that price.”

Customer #1: I’m visiting from *state*. That lady who told me should know what the deals are better than me.

Customer #2: Oh, what part? I’m from *city in same state*.

The first customer gave up and let the subject change, quickly paid her bill and left.

They Are Disabling Themselves With Their Ignorance

, , , , , , , | Friendly | September 11, 2018

(I’m out with a friend and his daughter, who, thanks to complications and sheer medical bad luck, is just now learning to properly speak at the age of seven. Despite this, my friend loves her to the point of giving her anything she wants. We’re shopping, and I’m tagging along to help out, both of us having her read boxes and signs.)

Friend: “All right, [Daughter], what’s that?” *points to a bag of cat food I’m lifting*

Daughter: “Kitty! Kitty!” *jumps up and down*

Friend: “Good! It’s food for the kitty. Kitties have to eat, too.”

Daughter: “Kitty!”

Me: *to a passing woman* “Hello.”

Woman: “Why is it out here?”

Me: “What?” *puts down cat food*

Woman: “The [disabled slur]! It needs to be put up!”

(My friend’s head snaps up so quickly and I see a certain hate in his eyes that scares me.)

Friend: “Listen here—”

Woman: “Why don’t you let your poor wife deal with it? Lord knows she’s probably brain dead if she wanted to keep it.”

(I grab my friend’s daughter and immediately take her with me as I get a manager in hope they can diffuse the situation while keeping [Daughter] away from it. I return with the manager to find that the woman is near tears and my friend is red in the face from anger.)

Me: “Uh… Should I take [Daughter] away again?”

Friend: “No. We’re leaving.”

(He walks out quickly and I hesitate before following.)

Daughter: “Dada! Lady sad.”

Friend: “I know.”

Daughter: “Why, Dada?”

Friend: “I got onto her like [My Name] does when his sister is being mean. The lady was very mean and said some bad stuff. So I got onto her.”

Me: “What did you say to her?”

Friend: “Don’t worry about it. She won’t be insulting innocent children anymore, though.”

(I was both terrified and respectful of my friend after that. The look in his eyes when the woman called [Daughter] a hurtful slur for a disabled person was enough to make me know that [Friend] is not to be messed with.)

Unfiltered Story #120614

, , | Unfiltered | September 11, 2018

(I’m an assistant manager in a deli and we had recently switched from one brand of lunch meat to another. During this change, the new brand of lunch-meat employees were giving out free samples; one of which was packs of hotdogs. The following conversation ensues:)

Guest: “I came in here either yesterday or three days ago and was given these hotdogs but they expire today! Can I get a new pack; my wife won’t let me eat them.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, those were a free sample and we were giving them out three days ago, they were meant to be eaten right away.”

Guest: “Well they said at the service counter I couldn’t return them. But my wife won’t let me eat them so I wanted you to exchange them for me.”

Me: Sir, those were given out for free by [brand]. I can’t just replace them because technically they aren’t even ours, they are from [brand] as a promotion and they never were inventoried into our system.” *taking the hot dogs from the counter* “The only thing I really can do is throw them away for you or you can keep them and eat them today.”

Guest: “My wife said I’d get sick if I ate them.”

Me: “Well then I’ll just get rid of them for you.”

(I threw them in the trash and walked away. My whole team gave me high fives.)

Off-Duty But Always On

, , , , | Legal | September 10, 2018

(I am a young male working as a cashier. Because I’m underage, I cannot sell alcohol. A woman in her 30s approaches my checkout.)

Customer: “Hello, sweetheart. Just this.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but you’ll have to go to the other register. I’m underage, so I can’t sell you liquor.”

Customer: “Come on. Can’t you let it slide, cutie? I can give you a nice tip.”

Me: “Rules are rules. I cannot sell you alcohol.”

Customer: “Baby, you’re making this way more difficult than it should be. I just want some good liquor to enjoy with someone handsome, like you.”

(The customer is uncomfortably close and is trying to place cash in my jean pocket. A regular customer comes and drags her off me.)

Customer: “Hey! What gives?”

Regular: “Please step away from him.”

Customer: “Do you know who I am?”

Regular: “Yes, a woman in her thirties flirting with and trying to get a minor to sell her alcohol.”

Customer: “And who the hell are you, a**hole?”

Regular: “An off-duty cop. Want to see my badge?”

(I have never seen anyone run so fast out of a store. A report was filed and camera footage was given. I have no idea what happened to that woman.)

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