The Needs Of The Good Customers Outweigh The Needs Of The Bad

, , , , , , , | Right | July 2, 2018

(I’m shopping at a well-known pharmacy that’s part of a global chain. I’m there picking up some toilet paper to bring home, something that should take five minutes. When I go up to the front to pay I notice there is only one register open, with about five people in line. At the only open register are two employees dealing with a customer holding a mountain of coupons and about fifteen items. I overhear the following conversation.)

Customer: “Well, just so you know, it is [Store]’s policy, so you two have to follow it.”

Assistant Manager: “Actually, ma’am, it is not.”

Customer: “You’re not the manager, are you?”

Assistant Manager: “No, but I’m the assistant manager, and therefore am acting manager right now, since the manager isn’t in.”

Customer: “Ah, well, that’s why you don’t understand. The manager usually will help me out and honor this deal.”

Cashier: “Ma’am, she can’t do that. The machine just beeped to inform us that this deal isn’t valid, so there’s no way we can allow it.”

Customer: “Oh, yes, you can. The manager always allows me to do this, because it’s store policy.”

Assistant Manager: “The computers are set up by our corporate office, so if they won’t allow it, then there’s a good chance it isn’t company policy.”

Customer: “Well, normally she will just override the computer and allow the transaction to go through.”

(The line has grown to ten people, and the assistant manager has been forced to open up another register to quell the line, since the original woman has not moved. The assistant manager helps an older woman with about ten items fairly quickly, and then calls for the next customer to come up. It becomes very clear, very quickly, that the older woman is the original customer’s mother, as she continues to stand around, blocking the rest of us from reaching the register, despite the cashier’s multiple attempts to get her to move. All the while the original customer is still complaining to the cashier about her deal.)

Customer: “Fine. I’ll allow you to do the transaction regularly, but only if I can bring my receipt in once the manager is back and have her fix it and give me the difference.”

Cashier: “I can’t guarantee that, but you can definitely bring it back and try.”

Customer: “Okay, then. I have several coupons for the items I still have in my cart.”

(The entire process essentially repeats itself, as it is becoming apparent that none of the “coupons” this woman has are valid. I look over her shoulder and see that the woman’s stack of “coupons” actually appears to be the smaller detachable portion of her past receipts that she has brought in, believing they will give her some sort of discount.  I’ve worked for a chain store before. Some stores have a link to a survey on the bottom of their receipts; if you take the survey, you can get a discount on your next purchase. I then realize this woman has taken her past several receipts and attempted to do this multiple times to get multiple discounts off the same purchase, which is not allowed. It clearly states, “One coupon code per visit,” on each receipt.  Finally, the woman’s mother decides to move out of the way so the rest of us can check out and go on with our days. The assistant manager completes all our transactions in record time and sends us all off with a smile.)

Assistant Manager: “I apologize for the long wait. I hope you weren’t standing here for too long.”

Me: “It’s okay; I understand.”

(Now that I’m finally at the register, I am able to confirm that the woman is indeed attempting to use multiple — I count 25 — receipt coupons on her one transaction. Knowing each receipt only takes off 5%, I can only imagine the woman is attempting to use one per item in her cart… Saving her less than $5 on her transaction. The assistant manager finishes my $5 transaction and I hand her a $20.)

Assistant Manager: “All right, and your change is $15.”

Me: “Keep it. They don’t pay you enough to deal with crazies.”

(She smiled at me and I could see a small tear in her eye. I left the store smiling, even as the crazy woman at the first register screamed obscenities at me about how she was so offended and how “her friend” the manager would be hearing about this when she came back in to get her deal. I went in about a week later and was immediately recognized by the assistant manager, who flagged me over and informed me that woman is now banned from the store for the scene she caused after I left. The best part? The manager came over and thanked me for ridding their store of the crazy lady who claimed to know HIM.)

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Opening Pandora’s Coupon Box

, , , , , | Right | June 29, 2018

(I’m working the service desk counter.)

Customer: “Hi, I have a question.”

Me: “All right, what’s that?”

Customer: “Well, I was on self-checkout, and I noticed the machine printed this coupon for the shampoo and conditioner I had just bought. I was wondering if I could have used it.”

Me: “Oh, those coupons are for your next transaction.”

Customer: “What do you mean?”

Me: “Well, the machine prints off coupons based on your shopping history, or what you’re currently going to buy.”

Customer: “So, if I would have noticed it earlier, I could have used it?”

Me: “Well, we can’t stop you, but we’d hope you wouldn’t, since those are meant for your next transaction, not your current one.”

Customer: “But, it printed the coupon during my order!”

Me: “Yeah, but, it’s for your next transaction.”

(She stormed off after that. Maybe this is why we shouldn’t have a self-scan. Too many “self” scammers.)

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Free Food? Not A Ghost Of A Chance!

, , | Right | June 28, 2018

(We run a small family restaurant that has been in business for over 50 years; therefore, we have a lot of older patrons that have been coming in for years. Usually, I enjoy seeing them, and since many are regulars, they have become almost like our extended family. One of our waitresses walks into the kitchen with an amused smile.)

Waitress: “There is a lady at table one who wants to see you.”

(I walk out, thinking it is one of our regulars who wants to catch up, but I don’t recognize the older lady, although the young girl with her looks vaguely familiar.)

Me: “I’m [My Name]. Is there anything I can help you with? I was told you wanted to see me.”

Older Lady: “I told the waitress I wanted to see the owner. He always lets me have [menu item] for free, and the waitress is trying to charge me for it!”

Me: “Ma’am, I apologize for any confusion, but I am [My Name]; I am one of the owners. Can you tell me which owner it was that gives you the discount?”

Older Lady: *visibly angry and raises her voice to the point that other customers are noticing* “I don’t know who you are, but you are not the owner! I have known [My Deceased Father-In-Law] for fifty years! We are as close as siblings! I just saw him last week, and I can assure you that next time I see him, I’m going to tell him about you pretending to be the owner, and you will be fired!”

Me: *as calmly as I can after her tirade* “Well, ma’am, I’m sorry you feel that way.” *I turn to walk back into the kitchen*

Older Lady: “YOU WILL BE SORRY! ONCE I TELL [My Deceased Father-In-Law], YOU WILL BE FIRED!”

(By now, it has become a full blown spectacle. Everyone is looking, and a few of our regulars are actually shaking their heads in disbelief. I walk patiently back to her table, trying to stay calm.)

Me: “Then I suggest you stop on your way and pick up a Ouija Board, because [My Father-In-Law’s nickname], the man you saw last week that’s as close to you as a brother, passed away four years ago.”

(She turned bright red, calmed down immediately, paid her ENTIRE bill, and even tipped her waitress. I’ve seen her back in the restaurant a few times. She always looks away when she sees me, but she has never again demanded free food.)

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Not Mousing Around With This Boss

, , , , | Working | June 26, 2018

(It is in the early 90s, before computer mouse pads are dime-a-dozen giveaways at conventions. My company’s office has two main departments: engineering — my department — and ship support. We’ve just installed Windows 3.0 on three of our department’s computers. We need mouse pads for them, so I write up a purchase order and buy three at an Apple store: a bright pink one for a female friend and coworker’s computer, and two blue ones for a male engineer and myself. They are $8 apiece. Soon after I buy them, my female friend’s duties are switched to the other department. She still uses the same computer and sits at the same desk, though. One morning, she comes in and her mouse pad that I bought is missing. I am a bit peeved, but I am not sure what to do but buy another. Before I do, I am walking around the office after hours that evening, and I see the missing mouse pad on her new boss’s desk. I walk in his cubicle, take it, and set it back on my friend’s desk. The next morning, my friend sees her mouse pad back, and thanks me for finding it. Word gets back to her new boss, and this exchange happens between us.)

Boss: *angrily* “[My Name], did you take something off of my desk last night?!”

Me: *innocently* “Like what?”

Boss: “A mouse pad!”

Me: “Hm… The only mouse pads we have in this department are that blue one on [Engineer]’s desk, this one on my desk, and the pink one on [Friend]’s desk.”

Boss: *inhales to begin a tirade* “…”

Me: “…all three of which were bought with–” *picking up a purchase order form* “–this purchase order, charged to engineering task number 3034, for use on these three engineering department computers, which were also bought with engineering contract funds.” *crosses arms and looks at my friend’s boss*

Boss: *breathes five or six heavy breaths at me, glaring, before walking away*

(I never hear another word about a missing mouse pad again.)

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In-Law Breaking The Law

, , , , , , | Related | June 26, 2018

(I am a customer service manager in a grocery store. I come in to work one day after a couple days off to find two milk crates full of markdown Halloween merchandise behind my customer service desk. As a general rule, we only hold merchandise for 24 hours, and then it’s returned to the shelf, but we do not hold markdown merchandise at all. The cashier tells me the merchandise has been there for at least three days, so I instruct the cashier to return the markdown stuff to the appropriate area, and go about my duties. Sure enough, I am called up to customer service to handle the upset customer who asked for the markdown stuff to be held. The customer turns out to be my crazy ex-sister-in-law’s twin sister, who is also crazy.)

Ex-Sister-In-Law’s Sister: “Why did you tell her to put my stuff back?”

Me: “We don’t hold markdown merchandise. It’s first come, first serve.”

Ex-Sister-In-Law’s Sister: “But you hold stuff all the time for me.”

Me: “Not markdown merchandise. We’ve had this discussion before, so you know that.”

Ex-Sister-In-Law’s Sister: “But I couldn’t afford it the other day. I want to buy it now.”

Me: “It was just returned a bit ago, so it might still be back there. You can go look.”

Ex-Sister-In-Law’s Sister: “I can’t believe you put my stuff back. I even had them put your name on it!”

Me: “I could be fired for holding merchandise for myself, especially markdown merchandise. Do not ever use my name again.”

Ex-Sister-In-Law’s Sister: “That’s not how you treat family!”

Me: *taking a step back*We—” *pointing to her, then to me* ‘”—were never family. And whatever family we were ended when your sister served my brother with divorce papers and a restraining order on Father’s Day.”

(With that, I turned and walked away. She had the cashier call the store manager on me, but he backed me up and told her we would no longer hold any merchandise for her. For a while, she would get stuff from the food bank and try to return it for cash, including private label stuff from other chains. My niece recently told me that the food bank banned her.)

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