The Lawnmower Man

, | Manassas, VA, USA | Right | November 10, 2015

(I am working at the store and witness a coworker have this exchange with an older male customer.)

Customer: “I want to return this lawnmower. It doesn’t work.”

Coworker: “What seems to be the problem with it?”

Customer: “I told you: it doesn’t work. It did when I first bought it and then it stopped. It’s a lemon.”

Coworker: “Okay, well, we would typically attempt to get it repaired even if you return in so that we can still try and resell it. Is there anything specific about it not working that you can tell me?”

Customer: “No! It’s just a piece-of-s*** machine which is all this company seems to sell anymore! I want to return it for cash and take my business elsewhere!”

Coworker: “Sir, I appreciate that you’re upset but you need to mind your language. I will do my best to help you but you will need to calm down. Now, I have to ask a few basic questions in order to determine whether this machine really is defective. Did you use new gas when you filled the gas tank?”

Customer: *still irritated but calmer* “Yes, yes, of course I did. I’ve been using lawnmowers longer than you’ve been alive. I know how they work!”

Coworker: “And you used the proper weight and amount of oil as well?”

Customer: “What? I’ve never heard of putting oil in a lawnmower before! You don’t know what you’re talking about. Why would a lawnmower need oil?!”

Coworker: “Because it’s an internal combustion engine just like the one in your vehicle it just happens to be a smaller version.”

Customer: “That’s bulls***! Just refund my money so I can take my business somewhere with intelligent employees and decent products!”

Coworker: “I’m sorry, sir, but every person who’s ever run a lawnmower knows that they require oil as well as gas and because you ran it without oil, you destroyed the engine. You invalidated the warranty by neglecting basic maintenance.”

Customer: “This is such bulls***! None of you are worth your pay! You’re all idiots! I’m going to [Competitor] and never shopping here again!”

Boxed In By The Manager

| Dallas, TX, USA | Working | November 4, 2015

(After checking out five medium boxes, a customer tries to leave the store. He sets off the store’s alarm. Boxes do not have alarm tags in them.)

Me: “Uh, excuse me, sir. Could you please come here for a moment?”

(Manager approaches. He immediately tells the customer he can leave.)

Me: “But he only bought boxes, sir.”

Manager: “It’s okay.”

Me: “But—”

Manager: “You have another customer.”

(Thirty seconds later, the register phone rings. It’s Loss Prevention, warning us to be on the lookout for a suspected shoplifter. L.P.’s description matches that customer exactly, right down to the tear in his shirt collar.)

Me: “Sir, remember that one guy?”

Manager: “Yeah. Well, next time be more vigilant.”

Unable To Saw Through That Attitude

| New Brunswick, NJ, USA | Right | October 22, 2015

Customer: *holding two saws* “What’s better, [Brand #1] or [Brand #2] saws?”

Employee: “What are you looking to cut?”

Customer: *suddenly angry* “None of your f***ing business, bro! Just tell me which saw is better?”

Employee: “Well, [Brand #1] is a wood saw, and [Brand #2] is a hacksaw, so which is better depends on what you’re trying to cut.”

Customer: “Didn’t I just tell you to mind your own business?” *to me* “Can you believe the people that work here? Which if these looks better to do?”

Me: “[Brand #1] looks like a hacksaw and [Brand #2] looks like a wood saw.”

Customer: “Okay, f*** this. I’m going to [Other Hardware Store] and buying a chainsaw.”

Employee: “The wood saw’s probably better, then.”

Customer: *suddenly friendly* “So [Brand #2]? Okay, then! Thanks for your help!”

Weighed Down By Your Thumbs Up

| KY, USA | Right | September 3, 2015

Customer: “Do ya’ll sell concrete?”

Me: “Yes, it’s in aisle 32 on the left, about 1/4 of the way down.”

Customer: “I need 80 bags.”

Me: “80 bags of 50lb bags, or 80lb bags?”

Customer: “80 bags, please.”

(I tell him to take the item number to the cashier, and I’d bring it out on the forklift as soon as it’s paid for.)

Me: “Sir, what are you driving?”

Customer: “That little red truck.”

Me: “Uhm… sir, that’ll crush your truck.”

Customer: “No, it won’t. I’ve hauled 150 bags with this truck.”

Me: “Sir, that’s 6400 pounds in the bed of a truck.”

Customer: “Just load it. I’m in a hurry.”

Me: “Sir, I’m going to call our manager and ask him about it.”

(The manager comes and I explain.)

Manager: “Sir, that’ll smash that little truck, but we can load it. All I need you to do is look at the camera and give a thumbs up?”

Customer: “Why?”

Manager: “So when we crush your truck, we won’t be held responsible since you didn’t listen to our advice.”

(The customer gives a thumbs up, and I load the truck. It doesn’t smash the truck. With a smug look, the customer goes to drive away, until the rear end falls out from under the truck.)

Customer: “What the h***?! You’re going to replace the truck!”

Manager: “You gave consent, and the video camera you gave a thumbs up to also records audio.”

Me: *still laughing* “Told you.”

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Checked Out At The Checkout

| YK, Canada | Working | August 25, 2015

(I’m at the local hardware store. There is one customer in front of me and one behind me, and a teenage cashier who looks like the last place she wants to be, is here. She stands in silence, purposely looking away from the lineup, chewing bubblegum. Customer #1 is at the till, patiently waiting for her to notice. After about a minute of all of us being ignored, Customer #2 pipes up.)

Customer #2: “Uhm, excuse me? Are you busy? You can deal with this lady you know.”

Cashier: *pops her gum and sighs, then turns to start processing the sale*

Customer #1: “I would like to return these two items as they were the wrong size, and get these two instead.”

Cashier: *scans in the two new items, then adds the two old items, then presses the button to bring up the total*

Me: *since I can see the till’s screen* “Excuse me, you added her returns. You need to subtract them for a refund.”

Cashier: *gives me a look, and then looks at the screen. She heaves a huge exasperated sigh, and shrugs* “I don’t know how to do that.”

Me: “Okay. Press ‘delete’ once. Then ‘enter’ twice. Then, where it says ‘2,’ type ‘-2.’ Then press ‘enter’ twice.”

Cashier: *stares at me, popping her gum*

Me: “Just do it.”

Cashier: *another huge sigh, but does as told, and finishes the sale*

Customer #1: *to me* “Oh, thank you!”

Me: “No problem.”

(Customer #1 leaves, and I place my items at the till.)

Me: “On my account, please, under [My Name].”

Cashier: *ignores me and starts scanning the items*

Me: “No, no. I said on my ACCOUNT, please. You need to back up. Stop, and press ‘F5’ to get to the accounts screen to enter my name.”

Cashier: *presses a random button, causing it to go to an entirely different screen. She grunts and tosses her arms up in frustration* “I don’t know what to do!”

Me: “Calm down. Just abort the sale. Press ‘escape’ twice and hit ‘enter’ for yes to abort. It’s okay. Nothing bad will happen; it won’t throw off your till.”

Cashier: *looks at me, then does as told, bringing the till back to the first screen*

Me: “Now, let’s start again. Press ‘F5,’ then type [My Name]. Then ‘enter.’ Then you can process my items.”

Cashier: *she does so, and we quickly finish the sale*

Customer #2: *who has been standing behind me watching this entire thing* “Thank you SO much for helping her. We would have been here all day!”

Me: “It’s no problem, really. I used to work here, so I remember the buttons. It’s the same system so nothing has changed.”

Customer #2: *looks at me, then the cashier, then back at me* “…Can you stay while she does mine?”

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