Don’t Unleash The Angry Green… Lizard?

, , , , , | Right | January 23, 2018

(We often have professional athletes come into our store, mostly just to look, but occasionally they buy from us. A professional football player adopts a lizard from us. He is very polite and pleasant all the times we do business with him. He lives in California, but is in Massachusetts during the season. When he returns to California, he has trouble bringing the lizard with him, so we board her for him, even reducing the typical price since it is likely going to be for a while. He pays us up-front for the entire first month. However, when we call after the second month, hoping he can pay us what he owes us, things aren’t as pleasant.)

Coworker: “We were hoping you could pay us at least some of what you owe us.”

Customer: “There’s a problem there. I can’t keep the lizard. My dog will kill it.”

Coworker: “Are you sure you don’t want to at least try? You really loved this lizard. We feel bad.”

Customer: “It’s just not going to work.”

Coworker: “Well, we’re sorry to hear that. We can place her in a new home. We just need you to pay what you owe us up until now.”

Customer: “That’s a problem.”

Coworker: “Why is that?”

Customer: “I don’t want to pay it.”

Coworker: *pause* “And why is that?”

Customer: “I don’t want to.”

Coworker: “But we’ve spent all this time caring for her and feeding her. And the lights we use for the set-up cost us money in electric bills.”

Customer: “I don’t understand why I should pay. I don’t want the lizard anymore.”

Coworker: “We can reduce the price, if you could just pay us at least [price].”

Customer: “I’m not happy with this. You’ve only seen my nice side up until now. You don’t want to see me when I’m angry.”

(He really couldn’t seem to understand why he should have to pay us for the services we provided. He argued with the owner, who threatened legal action. Eventually, he paid what we asked, still giving us major attitude and arrogance. We haven’t heard from him since.)

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Out Of The Frying Pan…

, , , , | Right | January 23, 2018

(It is at the beginning of the financial crisis in an economically struggling department store. I am a trainee, and it says so on my name-tag. I’m at the till and a couple comes up to me, seemingly intending to buy one of the most expensive frying pans we have in stock. I ring them up and the till shows the correct price of 79,99€, which I tell them.)

Customer: “That can’t be right. The price tag on the shelf says 14,99€.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t.”

Customer: “How would you know? You’re just a cashier, and a trainee one, at that.”

Me: “I know because I usually work in that department and only cover the regular cashier’s lunch break.”

Customer: “Well, anyway, I’m not going to pay 80€ for a frying pan. I demand you change the price to 14,99€, or I’ll sue this store for false advertising! You have to honour your prices!”

Me: “May I suggest that you show me where you found the pan, and we try to solve the issue, first?”

(I get another colleague to cover the till, and the customer walks me up to the shelf where we display various pans, including the one in question, which happens to be the last one.)

Customer: *points at other empty space* “See? It says 14,99€ right there. That’s where we found the pan, so you have to honour that price.”

Me: “While the pan may very well have stood there when you found it, that’s not where it belongs. Also, while the tag does say 14,99€, it also says [Brand & Model #1] and 20-centimeter diameter. That pan is called [Brand & Model #2] and 28-centimeter diameter and belongs there…” *points at correct space* “…as you can see. Maybe someone picked it up, looked at it, and put it back in the wrong place. It happens.”

Customer: *getting irate* “Are you saying that I’m lying?! Or that I’m trying to trick you?! If it’s your department, it’s your job to make sure everything is in the right place and has the correct price tags on them. Even a lazy trainee like you should have learned that by now. Anyway, honour that price now, will you?”

Me: “No, I’m not saying you’re lying, just that you’re mistaken. I’m sorry if it sounded differently, but that’s no reason for insults. And while it is my job to make sure everything is in the right place, as I said, I had to cover the tills. Even if I didn’t, I can’t have my eyes everywhere all the time. In the end, that pan costs 79,99€, so take it or leave it.”

Customer: “I’m not going to listen to your excuses for being incompetent any longer. Get me your manager!”

(I do so and explain the situation to him on the way back. I would like to say that he stands up to the customer like I expect him to. Sadly, he has worked here nearly his entire adult life and is part of the original team that opened the store 30+ years ago. Now that the store is bound to go bankrupt, he is all out of f***s to give. He sells them the expensive pan for the cheap price.)

Customer: *with a big, self righteous grin*Finally, someone who knows that the customer is always right.” *to me* “But it’s no surprise that this company is heading for insolvency with such bad customer service like yours. Serves you right.”

Me: “Thanks for shopping at [Store]. And thanks for wishing unemployment on several thousand people over a frying pan.”

Customer: *leaves without another word, or that stupid grin*

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And She Would Have Gotten Away With It, Too…

, , , , , | Right | January 22, 2018

(I am a cashier in a popular toy store around the holiday season. One of my coworkers neglects to give a customer two of her many bags, since we often have to place items behind the counter as we bag due to the limited amount of space we have at the register. The customer’s name is written with the bags, and she returns the next day to pick them up.)

Me: “I was told what happened, and I’m very sorry for the inconvenience.”

(The customer seems content with the apology as I hand her the items, but she becomes dismayed as she gives the items a cursory glance.)

Customer: “Where’s my Scooby-Doo mobile?”

Me: “It’s not included in the bags?”

Customer: “No, it’s not in here!”

Me: “Someone may have found it in a bag separate from the others and returned it to the shelf. Do you have your receipt?”

Customer: “No. But I bought it yesterday.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t give the item to you if I’m not positive that you bought it with your previous purchase. Let me get my supervisor.”

(The customer grows more and more upset as my supervisor and I discuss what should be done. We’re an express version of this toy store and have very little in-house authority. My supervisor steps away to make a call to headquarters to ask what can be done, as she lacks the authority to give anything away without permission.)

Customer: “This is ridiculous. I drove all the way back here from [Different County, over an hour away]. This is taking too long. I’ll just buy another one. I can’t believe this.”

(The customer continues to complain while buying another of the missing item. She quickly leaves right before my supervisor returns.)

Supervisor: “Where’d she go? I finally got in touch with corporate and they said we could give her a new one for free.”

Me: “She bought another one, which I’m guessing she was willing to do because she hadn’t actually bought the first one.”

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Try Our New Flavor: Entitlement!

, , , , , | Right | January 22, 2018

(I work at a hole-in-the-wall tourist trap antique store that also sells ice cream. I am still a newbie so I am only trained to serve the ice cream. There are only two people working today. My coworker is on her lunch break and ice cream lines are out the door. Everyone has been very easy-going until my next customer and her two young boys.)

Me: “Hi, what can I get for you?”

Customer: “They will have two small scoops of rainbow sherbet in bowls, and I will have one medium scoop of chocolate, in a bowl, as well.”

(With the bowls being one size, we judge the scoop size off of the size of the cone that the scoop would have gone into and charge accordingly. Watching me like a hawk, the woman repeatedly asks me if they are the correct size every time I hand her the bowls with the scooped ice cream, and also repeatedly tells me she expects to pay a certain amount based on the prices on the menu board.)

Me: “Yes, ma’am, your total is [amount larger than she expected].”

Customer: “No, no, that’s not right. I expect to pay [amount].”

(She appears to be getting more angry by the second.)

Me: “All right, let me go back and do it again.”

(It turns out I have gotten so worked up with how many people there are that I accidentally charged her for three medium scoops. I apologize and run the transaction again, and it turns out to be less than what she was expecting to pay. This still doesn’t please her.)

Customer: “Um, no. I am expecting to pay [amount]! You will charge me for the right amount, now!”

(At this point, the line is way out the door and my coworker comes back and asks me to move on to the next customer, who is being very polite and waiting very quietly with the other customers in line. While I help the next group, I overhear my coworker and the other woman.)

Coworker: “Ma’am, the register does not make mistakes, and it turns out it is less than what you were expecting to pay, even with tax. Now, with all due respect, we do have more customers that need to be taken care of, so will you please take your change?”

(Meanwhile, her two boys have been eating their ice cream during this entire ordeal, and before they leave, their mother looks at their half-eaten ice cream and looks back at us.)

Customer: *very loudly* “Excuse me! My sons’ ice cream has melted; they need a new scoop.”

Coworker: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but your boys have been eating their ice cream; it has not melted. We need to move on to customers who have not been helped yet.”

Customer: *yelling* “Are you serious?! You guys are f****** pathetic!” *pointing at me* “F*** you, b****!”

(I could feel the shocked expression on my face, and could see that her two boys had the same looks on their faces as they walked out with their mother. Thankfully, we got a lot of sympathy tips that day.)

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You Can’t Buy Trust

, , , , , | Working | January 22, 2018

(I work at an extremely popular chain bakery and cafe. We have recently gotten a new manager: a woman who has been bounced from cafe to cafe because of all the complaints that have been filed against her by employees and other managers. The company refuses to fire her because she is very good with customers and receives glowing reviews from them. A customer comes up to me in the middle of lunch rush.)

Customer: “Excuse me? All of the paper towels are out in the women’s bathroom.”

(I run off to get the paper towel dispenser key, which is kept in the office. I try to get in, but find the door locked. I go up to the new manager, who is swamped with sandwich orders.)

Me: “[Manager]? I need the bathroom keys, but they’re locked in the office. Can I borrow your keys to go get them?”

Manager: “No.”

Me: “I… What?”

Manager: “No, you cannot. There’s money in the office, and nobody is allowed in there when there is money in there.”

(This is correct, but only in stores that do not have cameras installed in the office. Ours, however, does have a camera installed.)

Me: “[Manager], we don’t have to follow that rule here. Please? I only need the keys for a second, and I can see through the office door that the only money that isn’t locked in the safe is change. It probably totals about $10 at the most.”

Manager: “No. I don’t trust you. Wait here while I finish what I’m doing, and then we will get them together.”

(I am taken aback. Not only have I not given this manager any reason not to trust me, but I also know that the general manager holds me in high regard, and that I have a reputation for being an extremely trustworthy person. Nonetheless, I stand and wait for her to finish the five or so sandwiches on her board. While standing there, I am approached by no less than five more customers, all telling me that the paper towels are out. Finally, the manager finishes.)

Manager: *unlocking the door* “All right, tell me where the keys are.”

(I move towards the doorway, fully intending to grab the keys myself. She SLAMS the door in my face, and yells through the door.)

Manager: “Tell me where they are!”

Me: “Do you see the tan box on the wall?”

Manager: “No.”

Me: “It’s a tan metal box with a lock on it. There’s a keychain hanging off of the knob with three skulls on it. It’s right next to the door. Do you see it?”

Manager: “No.”

(I try and fail to direct her towards the keys several times before she gets flustered and opens the door. I reach around the door, open the box, pull out the keys, and close the door behind me. The only part of me that enters the office is my arm up to my shoulder, and I don’t even need to look. I also don’t come within five feet of the money the entire time. On the way back out, the manager drops this gem.)

Manager: “It’s just, I really don’t trust you around money.”

Me: *muttering under my breath* “Well, that’s going to cause an issue, because I’m a cashier.”

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