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What A Crappy Attitude

, , , , , , , | Working | January 25, 2023

Around twenty years ago, I had a full-time job that I loved, but I wasn’t what I would call “flush” (pun intended) with spare cash for home maintenance, so I worked weekends as a cashier at a large home improvement store. This was not the first home improvement store I had worked in nor was it the last. As a single woman homeowner without the funds to hire a handyperson, I also had a pretty good understanding of what most of the items in the store did.

I had a male coworker who very much behaved as if he knew everything that was required and didn’t seem to have much appreciation for the knowledge of women — and me in particular since I only worked (to him) part-time.

One day, a gentleman came in holding an item that looked pretty familiar to me, and [Coworker] went to assist him. I watched the interaction from my register and got curious when the coworker started walking to the right with the customer when the plumbing section was to the left.

Coworker: “Of course, sir. What you are looking for is right over here in the ventilation section.”

Me: *To the customer* “Excuse me, sir, but is that a toilet flange you are holding?”

Customer: “Yes, it is.”

Me: “Okay, then you need to go left about three aisles down. Replacement flanges are about halfway down the aisle on your right.”

Customer: “Thanks.”

[Coworker] just stared at me for a few seconds, shook his head, and trailed after the customer. Thankfully, it was the last day I had to work with that coworker.

Doesn’t Understand The Custom Part Of Customer, Part 26

, , , , , , | Right | January 17, 2023

I work in a home improvement store. I have just finished helping an older man pick out supplies for a few projects.

Me: “Okay, sir, you should be all set. You can head up to the front and pay at the registers.”

Can you guess what I said wrong there?

If you guessed that I said, “Can head up to the front,” instead of, “Have to head up to the front,” then you’ve correctly guessed the logic this man tried to use when he was caught pushing his cart toward the door without paying.

He did eventually follow my poor confused coworker to the register and paid, but he maintained a constant mix of shouting and grumbling the entire time, acting like the fact that he would have to pay for his purchases was some conspiracy that I had suckered him into with false pretenses, rather than a fact of retail most people pick up on by the time they’re eight or so.

I remained blissfully unaware of all of this until my coworker complained to me about it during our next break and her description of the man stirred my memory. I confirmed that, while I likely did say “can” instead of “have to” as the man claimed, I certainly hadn’t done anything to actually encourage the idea that payment was optional.

Doesn’t Understand The Custom Part Of Customer, Part 25
Doesn’t Understand The Custom Part Of Customer, Part 24
Doesn’t Understand The Custom Part Of Customer, Part 23
Doesn’t Understand The Custom Part Of Customer, Part 22
Doesn’t Understand The Custom Part Of Customer, Part 21

Aisle Be Right With You

, , , , | Right | January 10, 2023

I work in a tiny store that sells craft supplies, including paints. A woman and her young son come in and are browsing the paint aisle (one of only three aisles in the store, really).

Me: “Hi, let me know if you need help with anything.”

Customer: *Absent-mindedly, looking at the paints.* “Hmmm.”

I leave her to browse while I complete some other duties. I come by a few minutes later, and somehow the aisle is completely trashed! In the space of a few minutes, her young son has pulled as many items as within arm’s reach on to the floor, with the mother totally ignoring him while she decides on paints.

She finally makes her selection, looks at her son, looks at the floor, and then finally looks at me.

Mother: “Come on [Son’s Name], let’s go check out while this nice lady cleans up.”

She drags her kid toward the checkout. I’m the only one working at the moment, so I decide to get even.

I start suuuuuper slooooowly cleaning up the aisle, while the mother is waiting to make her purchase at the register, the register that I would be manning if I wasn’t forced to tidy up after her son.

Mother: Coughs. “Excuse me, I am waiting to be checked out.”

I put on my widest retail smile, and say:

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but health and safety regulations mean I can’t leave any aisle obstructed in case of an emergency evacuation. I need to clean this aisle before I can do anything else.”

She just stares at me as I stare back, throw her another smile, and get back to work. I waited until her super-bored kid was giving her enough grief before I finally happened to finish and check her out, wishing her the most sugary-sweet “have a nice day!” in my retail history.

The Manager Didn’t Need The Shovel To Dig That Hole Deeper

, , , , , | Right | November 26, 2022

I work at [Home Improvement Chain] in returns. An older woman comes in with a crumpled and aged receipt and the broken and dirty handle of what I think is a garden tool.

Customer: “I’d like to return this shovel, please!”

I examine the receipt before anything else happens. Most of it is pretty illegible and useless, with the ink worn and the barcode gone entirely, but the one part that isn’t faded is the date, which places the purchase at some seven years ago, well past the three-month return policy.

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I can’t return this. I have no way of confirming that you purchased this here, and even if you did, it’s well outside our return policy.”

Customer: “But it’s right here!” *Points to a faded sticker on the handle* “Just give me in-store credit or something!”

Me: *Pauses* “I can’t. I’m sorry, but I don’t even have a way to know if we sell this anymore!”

The customer swelled up and demanded to talk to the manager… who, unfortunately, decided to capitulate to her demand. I finished the transaction, knowing full well that now I’d be seeing her more often.

A Positive Customer Encounter? Praise The Lord!

, , , , , | Right | November 19, 2022

I work in a home improvement store, stationed in the lumber department. A man comes in and I greet him. 

Me: “Are you looking for anything in particular?”

Customer: “Jesus. But I don’t think I’ll find him here.”

I barely even think before I open my mouth.

Me: “Well, you might. He was a carpenter, after all.”

The man chuckles and continues on his way. Then, he abruptly freezes, turning around to stare at me. 

Customer: *Bursting out laughing* “He was, wasn’t he?!”

He continued to laugh as he wandered further into the store, and I got a little giggle to myself for setting him off with such little effort.