This Is A Plug For Paying Attention

, , , | Right | October 25, 2017

(I work in the electrical and lighting department of a large home improvement store. One day a customer and his wife come in to look for a way to make his welder plug into his generator. All they have are rough sketches of the shapes of the plugs, with little indication of size. Once I’ve finally figured out what size he needs, I open the box and hand it to him for verification. Note: this is a large 240-volt receptacle — the female end with holes in it.)

Customer: *pointing to polarized plug slot* “Why is this thing bigger than the other?! That won’t work. Can I take it out?”

Me: “No, sir. That is a single molded piece. You cannot ‘take it out.’ I’m sure it will work with your plug.”

(He finally concedes and leaves with that receptacle and one circular “turnlock” plug, but he doesn’t even make it to the end of the aisle before he comes back.)

Customer: “You gave me the wrong round plug. This one turns right. I need one that locks to the left.”

Me: “Okay, sir. I’m sorry about that.”

(I put the plug back on the shelf, pretend to pick up and examine a couple of others, then pick up the same one, open it again, and present it to him triumphantly.)

Me: “Here you go, sir! This one will turn right!”

(He left, happy as a clam, and thanked me profusely.)

This Conversation Is Going Down The Drain

, , , , , , , | Right | October 20, 2017

(I am working with a customer to find a drain that will fit his custom-made sink. It’s going slowly, but smoothly enough.)

Me: “Okay, I have found one that will work. What finish will you need it in?”

Customer: “One that will match my faucet.”

Me: “Okay, what color is your faucet?”

Customer: “Brown-ish.”

Me: “Um, okay. So… oil-rubbed bronze? A dark brown?”

Customer: “No… Like a light brown.”

Me: “Do you know the brand? That might help narrow this down so that we get a matching drain for you.”

Customer: “Um… I don’t know. I think it starts with a ‘D’ or something.”

(I manage to narrow down the brands and find the color.)

Me: “Well, I will have to order the drain in that color, but I am positive this is the right one. It should be here in the next two to four days. Will that be all right?”

Customer: “What does that mean?”

Me: “What does what mean?”

Customer: “Order.”

Me: “Well, sometimes we don’t have the right thing in stock. We have to reach out to the manufacture and have them send one to us.”

Customer: “So, you don’t make these things?”

Me: “No, sir. Each brand is in charge of making their products. We are in charge of selling them.”

Customer: “Well, how lazy! You should make them!”

Me: “We are not a brand. We are a home improvement store. If we made all the brands, they would just be one big brand.”

Customer: “That does not even make sense! All these things are made by some big corporation!”

Me: “I can assure you that is not the case. This brand is made in Indiana, this one in California, several are made overseas in Japan or China, and I have a few that are made in Mexico. And that is just in faucets.”

Customer: “Whatever. Order that part, since you don’t want to make me one.”

Me: “Okay, we can do that! I will need at least a half payment down. That would be $25. A ten dollar handling charge will be added when the part comes in.”

Customer: “You don’t need money down! Just order it!”

Me: “I am afraid I cannot do that. Money is put down to ensure that the ordered part will be fully purchased after it comes in.”

Customer: “What if I decide I don’t want it?”

Me: “Then you pay the handling free, but the rest of the money will be refunded.”

Customer: “You would keep part of my money?”

Me: “The item costs money to be ordered; therefore, the handling fee money stays with the store. It’s like a shipping fee when you order something online.”

Customer: “That is such a lie! Why are you trying to take my money?”

Me: “I can promise no one is trying to take your money. All you have to do is put half down, and then pick up the item when it comes in, with the other half of the money.”

Customer: “And I would get the handling free back?”

Me: “No. That is part of the total price of the item.”

Customer: “I want a manager!”

(My manager comes over after a minute or two of awkward silence.)

Manager: “Is there a problem?”

Customer: “Yes, this lady is trying to swindle me! She refused to make me a drain, lied to me about where this stuff is made, and is now trying to swindle me with fees!”

Manager: “So, what you are really saying is that she found what you needed, but we are out of stock, and you have to order this part with a standard handling fee?”

Customer: “Yes! Just go to the back and make me a drain!”

Manager: “I am sure it’s been explained to you that each brand makes its own parts? Each brand is unique with coloring, style, and manufacturing process.” *customer tightly nods* “I cannot go to the back and magically make one out of a pallet. Now, would you like to order the part you need, or do I have to escort you out for accusing my employee of theft?”

(The customer threw down $25 dollars and stormed out. We ordered the part, but since the customer stormed out, we never got into contact information. Two weeks later:)

Customer: “WHERE IS MY DRAIN?”

Manager: *who saw him come in* “We ordered it, but since you left without giving us any contact information, we had no way of informing you. If you would like to pay the remaining balance, I will happily send my associate to get it from the back.”

Customer: “This is such terrible customer service. You just didn’t want to call me!”

Manager: “I am supposed to know how to call you when you left no name, number, or any sort of identification to get a hold of you?”
Customer: “Yes!”

Manufacturers’ Suggested Retail Conspiracy

, , , | Right | October 20, 2017

(I’m working at an appliance store and get this call:)

Customer: “Hey, do you carry the trim kit for these microwaves?”

Me: “Yes, sir, do you know which one you need?”

Customer: *gives the model number*

Me: “Yes, we have that one in stock for [price].”

Customer: “What?! That’s the price everyone is selling it at. It’s a conspiracy, I tell you!

Will Be Cashing Yourself Out

, , , , , | Right | October 18, 2017

(I am having trouble finding an item in the hardware store. I don’t see an employee around, so I go up front to ask the cashiers of they can help me find one of their coworkers. Both cashiers are female.)

Me: *what I’m thinking* “I know that cashiers aren’t usually allowed to leave the front, but can you find someone to help me in hardware?”

Me: *what I actually say* “I know you’re just cashiers, but can you find someone to help me in hardware?”

(I am so sorry! I’m sure that you are very capable! Thank you for helping me anyway!)

The Bulb Isn’t The Only Dull Thing Around Here

, , , , , | Working | October 12, 2017

(I’m at a home improvement store looking for a replacement light bulb. I’ve checked online, where it lists the area the item will be in, but it lists it as an aisle higher than the highest aisle number that actually exists in the store. I’ve just managed to find an employee in the department to help me.)

Me: “Hi, I have this fluorescent bulb that I’m looking for a replacement for, but in a different color temperature. I can’t seem to find—”

([Worker #1] holds his hand out to stop me from talking, signing that he is deaf. I nod and bring out the previous bulb, which I’ve brought with me to recycle, and show it to him. The worker nods back at me, and begins to show me the way.)

Worker #2: *suddenly popping out of nowhere* “Oh, let me help you!”

Me: “But—” *being physically blocked by her while [Worker#1] rounds the corner*

Worker #2: “You need to write things down and show them to him, he’s deaf.”

Me: “Yes, I know, but he already knew what I needed.”

Worker #2: “Yes, but he’s deaf.”

Me: “I know…” *sighing* “Look, do you know where these fluorescent bulbs are?”

(I show her the bulb. She begins to take me to an area where I have already been searching for about 15 minutes.)

Me: “I’ve already been here, and to the next three aisles. It wasn’t here.”

Worker#2: *awkwardly* “This actually isn’t my department. It was his.”

([Worker#1], who had clearly been searching for me, spotted me and motioned for me to follow him again. I found the bulb in less than a minute, and in the new color temperature I wanted. I’m not sure why [Worker #2] intervened in the first place. This store doesn’t work on commission, and it was [Worker #1]’s department, and we didn’t have any apparent communication issues, even though he was deaf!)

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