Charity Begins At Home Furnishing

, , , , , | Right | April 9, 2014

(As a charity shop, all items are donated to us. The staff are volunteers and so do not receive wages. The money made from sales goes to our cause – in this case, the care of the elderly in a local home. I approach a customer that has been looking at a sofa for some time.)

Me: “Can I help?”

Customer: “This sofa, isn’t it a bit expensive?”

(Customers sometimes try to haggle or cheat us, so I’m not surprised so far.)

Me: “Well, even though the sofa has no signs of wear and looks to be new, it has been heavily discounted. It would be triple the price from any other shop.”

Customer: “Yeah, but this is a charity shop.”

Me: “Yes…”

Customer: “So I don’t see why you can’t just give it away.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “I rent out property, you see. I get more if the places are furnished, but if I have to buy the furniture…”

Me: “We can’t just give things away. We raise money for the charity, which cares for elderly people.”

Customer: “Yeah, but you get this stuff for free.”

Me: “… ”


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The Land Of The Free From Thought

, , , | Right | April 1, 2014

(I am the manager at a discount department store, and one of our regular customers is a little bit flaky. She often talks to herself, repeating herself over and over.)

Customer: “Where are you from? What country do you come from?”

Me: “I was born in Colorado.”

Customer: “You need to go back to your country at once. America is for Americans.”

Me: “Colorado is in America.

Customer: “You must go back! You must go back! You must go back!”

(She continues this ad nauseam until she finally leaves. A few weeks later, she returns and purchases some items. Her total is $7.60 or so, and one of the coins she hands me is a Canadian quarter. I calmly inspect said quarter, and hand it back.)

Me: “I can’t accept this coin. Here in America, we only accept American currency. If you want to spend the Canadian currency, perhaps you should, you know, go back to Canada to do so.”

(I haven’t had a problem with her since.)


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The War On Terrorizing Customers

, , , | Right | March 28, 2014

(I, like many other Brits, like to wear a remembrance poppy through October and November. I work in an in-store bakery inside a larger supermarket, where adornments are not usually permitted in case they fall off into our raw products. I have bought a remembrance poppy from the British Legion. I laminate the paper part to make it wipe-clean and glue the stem to a safety pin, so it’s not likely to fall off my uniform. My manager gives me the go-ahead to wear it, and I am chuffed. Most customers who see it compliment me on work-proofing my poppy and being so keen to support the charity; however…)

Customer: “Excuse me. What is that?!

Me: “What, sir?”

Customer: “That… that atrocity next to your name badge!”

Me: “Sir, it’s a remembrance poppy, a charity symbol. To honour our war dead and injured veterans.”

Customer: “I know what it is, you blithering idiot! What have you done to it?”

Me: “Sir, I customised it a little bit so it would be safe for me to wear in my work environment. Nobody else seems to mind. In fact, the poppy seller at the front of the store was telling me he wishes they’d make laminated or plastic poppies anyway.”

Customer: “You’re defiling a religious symbol! You should be sued!”

Me: “It has nothing to do with religion! It’s the emblem of a charity and a national symbol of remembrance. Plenty of people from all religions and countries lose their lives in the tragedy of warfare. I lost a friend in Afghanistan several years ago. Furthermore, once I have bought and paid for the poppy, it is my property to do with as I wish. Laminating it was not intended to be disrespectful, but rather the opposite.”

Customer: “But—”

Me: “Can I ask you, sir, would you have reprimanded me for not wearing a poppy at all? I am quite young, after all. You might blame me and my generation for not caring about our veterans.”

Customer: “Well, you young people can be quite disrespectful. I don’t approve of the means, but I guess I understand the motive.”

Me: “So, can I actually help you, today, sir?”

Customer: “Just think before you defile a religious symbol next time!” *walks away*


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The Father Of All Bad Examples

, , , , | Right | March 12, 2014

(I work at an indoor children’s play place. Leaving with kids who aren’t yours could be a problem, so we stamp a different number on every family’s hand. You can’t leave with a child who has a different number. I am working at the front counter where I have to stamp a number on the family’s hands, work the register, answer the phone, and check family’s hands to let them out the door. Sometimes it’s overwhelming working by myself.)

Me: *answering the phone* “Thank you for calling [Indoor Play Area]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “I’d like to get a birthday party room for my son.”

Me: “Okay, give me the date and I’ll start looking up times for you.”

(As I am looking up times for the caller, an enraged father comes up to me.)

Father: “HEY! WHERE’S MY SON!?”

Me: *caught completely off guard * “What?!”

Father: “WHERE IS MY SON?! YOU LET MY SON WALK OUT THE FRONT DOOR! WHERE THE H*** IS MY SON?”

Me: “Sir, the door that you go out of is locked and I have been keeping an eye on this door. I’m sure your son is still in here and is in the [play area] somewhere.”

Father: “YOU LET MY SON OUT THIS DOOR! IS HE IN THE PARKING LOT? IF HE GETS HIT, I’M KICKING YOUR A**! HE GETS HIT, I’M SUING YOU!”

(Some back and forth goes on like this for a minute. I am almost ready to go into the parking lot to find his son when some other father in the play area, actually playing with his child and keeping an eye on him, speaks up.)

Other Father: “Hey, [Father], isn’t this your son?”

(The father looks up and sees his son directly above us in the play area watching this whole little episode. He looks back at me, doesn’t say a word, and walks away. I sit there for a few seconds, collecting myself.)

Caller: “Is someone yelling at you?”

Me: “Oh, shoot. Sorry, ma’am. I completely forgot you were still on the phone.”

Caller: “Haha, that’s quite all right. That guy is kind of a d**k.”

(I set up the birthday party and then go on working. I’m closing tonight, too, so I have the distinct pleasure of having to check this father’s hand to make sure it’s his son. They finally decide to leave after a while. As they walk up to the door:)

Me: “Excuse me, sir, but I have to check your hands to make sure this is your son.”

(They show me their numbers and he is, in fact, this boy’s father.)

Me: “Have a nice day, sir.”

(The father never said another word to me or made eye contact. What a great example of how to be a man he is setting for his son.)


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How To Polarize Your Customers

, , , , , | Working | February 25, 2014

(I live in a small village, and have been a customer of this bank for fourteen years. I am in there three or four times a week, and I know almost every employee. On this visit, there is a new teller. I just walked in the door and am the only customer in line. I wear glasses with transitions lenses.)

Teller: “I can help whoever is next!”

Me: “Morning. I just want this check cashed, please.”

Teller: “Actually, I’ll need you to remove your sunglasses first. It’s a bank security policy.”

Me: “Oh, sorry. These aren’t sunglasses; they’re my regular glasses. It’s pretty bright outside so they got dark. They’ll lighten up in a minute.”

Teller: “I’m sorry, but I can’t help you until you remove your sunglasses.”

Me: “These… aren’t sunglasses. They’re regular glasses. I can’t see without them.”

Teller: “I understand that, but you need to remove your sunglasses. I can’t assist you until you do that. It’s a bank security policy.”

Me: “Um, is there another teller available?”

Teller: “No. I’ll be right back.”

(The teller leaves and comes back with the bank president, someone who goes to my church and that I’ve known for years.)

Me: “Hey, [President].”

President: “Hey, [My Name]! So, [Teller] says that I have a belligerent customer who’s breaking security policy. Of course, it’s you. You want to rob us, too, while you’re here?” *laughs*

Me: “Maybe later. I’ve got a lot to do right now. Hey, can I get my check cashed? She said that she wouldn’t help me until I ‘took off my sunglasses.'”

President: “Sure! [Teller], cash the lady out. Don’t come back and get me unless she tries to rob you. See ya, [My Name]!”

(He walks back towards his office, and the teller cashes my check without looking at me. By the time she hands me my money, my glasses have completely lightened.)

Teller: *after counting back my money* “You know, you could have just said something instead of making me look bad. Was it so hard to take off your sunglasses?”

Me: “You have a great day, too.”

(I’ve haven’t seen her there again.)


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