What It Takes To Piss Off A Canadian

, , , , , | Right | May 27, 2019

(I am a Canadian visiting family in Alabama. I am at a mall with my aunt, but we have separated for a bit for some personal shopping time. I am in line to pay behind a white-haired white woman who is behind a younger African-American woman. I am kind of in my own world until I notice how hunched the African-American woman’s shoulders are as she steadfastly keeps her back to us as she unloads her cart. Then, I notice what the white woman in front of me is saying, and hoo boy, is it racist. I plonk my shopping basket down where I am standing and storm around to the white woman’s face and go off. I don’t say anything especially coherent, just a string of abuse, punctuated with demands for her to leave. She tries to respond, but I grow to a level, screaming pitch. Security comes up to break it up, but I don’t stop. A manager appears, but I don’t stop. I won’t stop until the horrible woman drops her basket and storms out of the store.)

Security: “Ma’am, you have to leave.”

Me: “One sec.”

(I turn to the African-American woman who is standing there, tears running down her face.)

Me: *to the cashier* “How much will her stuff cost?”

Cashier: *silence*

Security: “Ma’am! You have to leave.”

(I can see that the total is about $20 and about half her stuff has been input.)

Me: *to the cashier* “What do you think? Like fifty bucks?”

Cashier: *still silence*

Security: “Ma’am!”

(I pull $50 out of my bag — as a tourist, I have quite a bit of cash on me — and put it on the last of her items on the counter. Turning to the African-American woman:)

Me: “The whole world isn’t like her.”

(I allowed myself to be escorted from the store. When I found my aunt, she angrily reminded me that there was a real chance I could have been shot for that – Canadians don’t think of that – and she made us leave the mall.)

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Customers That Belong In Straight-Jackets

, , , , , , | Right | May 16, 2019

(My store is currently having a sale where customers get 50% off their highest-priced item as long as their total is over $100. A lady comes up to my register. She’s only buying one jacket, but it costs $140, so she’ll get the discount. I get her phone number so that she can also get her [Store] membership discount of an additional 5%. The membership discount rings up automatically, but in order to get the 50% discount, I have to enter a code. I scan the jacket, turn to put it on the counter behind me to get it out of my way, and then turn back, preparing to type in the discount code. Before I can, however:)

Customer: *squinting suspiciously at the total that’s displayed on the card reader’s screen* “Wait, that’s not quite right, is it? This jacket should be $100. And don’t I get 50% off? I won’t buy it any other way.”

Me: “Yep, it is 50% off. I just have to type in a code and then it’ll show up. And you also get an extra 5% off because you’re a [Store] member!”

(I type in the code, which brings the total down to somewhere above $70 after tax. This is usually the part where the customer says, “Much better!” and possibly even apologizes for their impatience, and pays. Not this lady, though.)

Customer: *still squinting at the card reader’s display* “Okay… Hold on…”

(She actually pulls out her phone and starts typing numbers into the calculator. I just facepalm internally and wait, because no, this is not, in fact, the first time a customer has pulled out their calculator to double-check that our register has done the math correctly — the register that probably uses the exact same software as their phone’s app to do the calculation.)

Customer: “Okay, hang on. I’m getting a different number than what’s displaying here. So, starting with the original price of $140, minus a 6% discount—”

Me: *interrupting, trying to get ahead of a possible angry tirade* “It’s a 5% discount.”

Customer: “Oh, it’s 5%? Okay, that might be it.”

(She then retypes in all the math she has just done, having to start over again multiple times because she keeps typing things in wrong. I try my best to wait patiently, but I have about a million things I’m supposed to be doing, and I’m not even supposed to be putting up with this in the first place; I’m only there to fill in for a coworker who called out sick. At last, she finishes her calculations and I guess she comes up with the same total as the register because she finally agrees to pay.)

Customer: “I mean, 50% just seems like such a big amount, y’know? But I guess not.”

(It’s 50%. It took off half the price of the jacket. What do you want?)  

Customer: *as she’s taking her receipt and the bag with the jacket in it* “I’m not even sure I like this jacket. I might have to return it if I can’t find anything to wear it with. And the buttons are a bit too much, don’t you think? I might have to put smaller buttons on it.”

(And that is the story of how a customer wasted five minutes of my time quibbling over the price of a jacket she didn’t even want in the first place. I will never understand humans.)

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A Deficiency In Efficiency

, , , , , , | Working | May 10, 2019

(I’m out shopping and I enter a store, where [Clerk #1] asks me if I need help and I politely tell her I’m just looking. She leaves me alone. I turn around, but I hear this exchange:)

Clerk #2: “Hey, do you need any—“

Clerk #1: “Don’t ask! I’ve already asked her!”

Clerk #2: “Oh, my God, we’re so efficient.”

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Took A While To Address That Issue

, , , , , , | Right | May 10, 2019

I was only around for about half of this occurrence, but I later learned the full story from my manager. My manager received a call from a customer asking if we had a certain item. We did, so the customer requested that the manager ship it to her, which is a service we offer. Now here’s where things get tricky: the customer had a loyalty account with us, so we had her address in our system, but she wanted this item sent to a different address. We are located in Washington state; the address she wanted it shipped to was in California.

Normally, this would be no problem, but when the manager tried to enter the California address, she got an error message saying the address was wrong. She double- and triple-checked her spelling against the note she took when she was on the phone with the customer, but she was still not able to put the address through.

She switched registers, as we’d been having trouble with them on and off for the past week or so and usually any problems could be solved by starting over at a different register. No such luck this time.

She called the customer back, confirmed the address, and tried again. Three times. She spelled out every word in the address, enunciating as clearly as she possibly could, to make sure she’d written it all down correctly. The customer confirmed that it was correct. The register still didn’t take it, saying that it was incorrect. It had now been a good half-hour since my manager had taken the first call.

This is about where I come in, because she asks me for help. She has me watch her while she tries, yet again, to order the item and ship it to this person. She does everything exactly correctly; I have no idea what’s wrong. We try spelling out, “North,” instead of just typing, “N,” and we try spelling out, “Drive,” instead of abbreviating it. Nothing works.

I have to step away for a minute to help another customer, and by the time I’m done, my manager has just gotten off the phone with the customer yet again. In desperation, the customer has given my manager her daughter’s address and asked us to ship it there, instead. It still doesn’t work.

Finally, even though technically we’re not allowed to have our phones out on the sales floor with us, my manager goes and gets her phone and types the address into Google Maps, just to see what happens. That’s when we find the problem. She had written the city down as “Los Alpos,” when it is, in fact, “Los Altos.”

At this point, it has been at least 45 minutes of repeatedly calling the customer back, trying to figure out what was wrong with the address. Not once has the customer corrected the spelling of the city name.

When she finally finishes the transaction, my manager jokes, “That was my last transaction of the day. I’m not doing any more. I refuse.”

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That Lawsuit Isn’t Worth The Toilet Paper It’s Written On

, , , , | Right | May 9, 2019

(We catch a shoplifter, and while we wait for police, I’m catching up on mall gossip with my friend who is a mall security guard.)

Friend: “I got threatened with a lawsuit today.”

Me: “You personally, or the mall?”

Friend: “Both. Guy fell off of a toilet seat and hit his head.”

Me: “Off?”

Friend: “Yup, he stood on the seat to see what the guy in the next stall was doing.”

Me: “Why?”

Friend: “He said it sounded like he was using too much toilet paper, and he wanted to see what was going on. Guy in the next stall heard, looked up, and saw him looking over the wall. He yelled, and the other guy slipped and fell.”

Me: “So… why did he threaten you with a lawsuit?”

Friend: “He said I wasn’t doing my job and looking out for perverts in the bathroom.”

Me: “Like, perverts who stare over the divider between toilets?”

Friend: “No, like perverts who use too much TP when pooping, apparently.”

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