A Bad Spell Of Upsell

, , , , , | Working | February 19, 2020

(I work for a store that demands we try to upsell, like asking about pillowcases if the customer has bought pillows. I have been asked by a customer for silver spray paint.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but we don’t carry spray paint.”

Customer: “Can you get it in for me?”

Me: “No, it’s not legal for us to sell it; we don’t have a license.”

Customer: “All I want is silver spray paint. You have paints; you have to have it.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but perhaps you can try [Hardware Store]. All we have is this silver paint in our non-toxic kid’s range. Would you be able to use this, instead?” *picks up a bottle off the shelf we are standing next to*

(A few days later, our area manager comes into the store and calls me to the office.)

Manager: “I’ve been sent to give you a written warning because you have a customer complaint.”

Me: “What for?”

Manager: “A customer complained that you tried making her buy non-toxic silver paint when she wanted silver spray paint. And she didn’t appreciate that you tried making her feel guilty for not caring about the environment.”

Me: “What? She was demanding spray paint; all I did was show her that we only had the silver in the non-toxic kid’s range and asked if she might be able to use it, instead.”

Manager: “Well, make sure you don’t do this again.” *pulls out warning pad*

Me: “I’m not going to accept a written warning.” 

(She looks at me and realises I am serious and am about to walk out.)

Manager: “Uh, how about I skip the written warning and just class this as a verbal warning?”

(I am not impressed with a verbal warning.)

Me: “So, if a customer asks for a product that we don’t have, but we have one that they might be able to use, what are we supposed to do?”

Manager: “Just don’t make the offer.”

(For the record, customers complain all the time if we don’t offer them a substitute and I spent the rest of my employment wondering when I was going to get written up for not offering substitutes. I quit a couple of months later.)

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My Only Preference Is To Annoy You

, , , , , | Working | February 12, 2020

(Over the next few weeks, we have to complete some mandatory paid training at work. It’s being run at various times on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the next three weeks. My supervisor approaches me during one of my shifts.)

Supervisor: “Hey, are you working Tuesday or Wednesday next week?”

Me: “I’m working both days.”

Supervisor: “Do you think you could come in an hour earlier on one of those days and do the training?”

Me: “Sure. Which day?”

Supervisor: “Take your pick, Tuesday or Wednesday. Which would you prefer?”

Me: “Either or. It makes no difference to me really. Whatever’s easiest.”

Supervisor: “Both work. Just pick one.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll take Tuesday, then, and get it out the way sooner, I guess.”

Supervisor: “Oh. Is there any way you could do it Wednesday, instead? The Tuesday group is full.”

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Driving You Out Of The Store

, , , , , , | Working | February 1, 2020

(I want a particular item from a flatpack furniture store. The colour I want is being discontinued, and is not available for online order, though their customer service assures me I can just go into my closest store and arrange for delivery that way. We gather the other furniture we’re buying, and then look for the chest of drawers. We’re able to find the other available colours, but not the one we want, despite the app telling us they have plenty in stock at this location. We go to the furniture desk to speak to a clerk. He apologises and tells us that this item, due to being discontinued, is held in their secondary warehouse. He tears a map off a pad and hands it over.)

Me: “Oh, but I want them delivered.”

Clerk: “As they’re in the secondary warehouse, they can’t be delivered.”

Me: “Oh, okay, but customer service told me I could order them in-store for delivery.”

Clerk: “Sorry, but that’s not possible.”

Me: “I don’t drive. I don’t have a car. I’m unable to go get them myself.”

Clerk: “We have vans to rent, if that makes it easier.”

Me: “I don’t drive; I don’t have a license.” *lifts my cane* “And I’m disabled; I couldn’t load and unload them without assistance, which is why we need them delivered.”

Clerk: “Sorry, but we can’t deliver them. You can go pick them up yourself.”

Me: *shows conversation with customer service on my phone*

(The conversation continues to go in circles, with the clerk seeming to not understand that I don’t drive, can’t drive, don’t have a car, etc.) 

Me: *finally getting a bit upset* “But you’re [Flatpack Store]. I don’t understand why this isn’t something you can organise?”

Clerk: *shrug*

Me: *hating myself* “Can I speak to a manager, please?”

Clerk: “He’ll tell you the same thing.” *calls over radio*

Manager: *appears like a scruffy angel* “Oh, no problem, you just do this—” *taps like three keys* “—and it goes through as [particular order type] and delivery is arranged by the front desk.”

(I thanked the manager and apologised to the original clerk for any trouble I might have caused. And the furniture looks wonderful now that it’s been built, so this is one NAW with a happy ending.)

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The Little Boy Is Gonna Be Bush Tucker

, , , , , , | Right | January 23, 2020

(I work in the restaurant of a wedding venue. The whole place is in secluded, scenic bush-land and backs onto a major river. Given how easily a child could get lost in the area and potentially encounter wildlife or fall into the river if they strayed too far, we don’t allow any child to be unaccompanied on the premises. Most parents are completely compliant with this rule, as it is entirely there to ensure their kid’s safety. Today is an open day for the whole facility; couples can come in and look at the chapel and the various function centres, look around the grounds, and finally, have lunch in the main restaurant to get a sense of the cuisine we offer. We typically get 50 to 100 people on these tours, occasionally with children tagging along. I’m walking into the building to start my shift when a mother and her little boy, maybe two or three years old, calls me over.)

Mother: “Hi! I was just wondering what there is for the little ones to do while we look around?”

Child: “I’m [Child]!”

Me: “Hey, [Child]! Actually, ma’am, we have a pretty strict policy that kids need to stay with their guardians at all times. Our property is very large and we’d hate for anyone to wander off and get lost or hurt.”

Mother: “Well, he can’t come on the tour! He’ll get bored!”

Me: “As I said, ma’am, all children do need to stick with their guardians while on the premises.”

Mother: “Couldn’t you keep an eye on him?”

Me: “Unfortunately, I’m needed in the restaurant. As I said, he’ll need to stay with you.”

Kid: “I’m [Child]!”

Me: “Hey, [Child]!”

Mother: “What the f***?”

Me: “Um. Yes?”

Mother: “You expect me to just tote around my son all afternoon?”

Me: “As his guardian, yes.”

Mother: “That is f****** ridiculous.”

Kid: “That is f****** ridikuse.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I didn’t make the policy. And it is for the safety of your child. Bushland and rivers can be hazardous for unaccompanied children.”

Mother: “Are you trying to tell me how to parent?”

Me: “Absolutely not, just letting you know what the rules are. Look, I can see my manager just over there. How about I go ask him to come to have a chat with you?”

Mother: “Fine!”

(I send my manager over and she has a similar yelling match with him while I take the opportunity to duck inside and start my shift. Two hours later, the tour group is down to its last couple of people finishing their meals, and I haven’t seen [Child] or his mum since I came inside. As I’m clearing dishes off the deck I finally see them: a soggy woman dragging a soggy child up the hill from the river. I take a moment to wonder if I can slip away and let someone else deal with her; I can see from here that she is irate. But I’m too curious to see how this happened, so I grab a stack of hand towels and go meet them on the hill to help them dry off a little.)

Mother: “How dare you?!”

Me: “I’m so sorry, what’s happened?”

Kid: “We went swimming!”

Me: “I can see that!”

Mother: “Your manager was completely unhelpful. He just repeated the same bulls*** you gave me. It’s like the two of you were in on it!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, it’s just the policy here.”

Mother:Right. Well, [Child] came with us at the start but he got bored, just like I said he would.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. The tour is probably a little too long for kids.”

Mother: “So, I said he could play on the hill until lunchtime.”

Me: “Oh.”

Mother: And then, when I came back for him, he’d gone down to the river. He could have drowned!

Me: “I’m so glad that you found him in time!”

Mother: “How is it possible that none of your staff saw him go?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Mother: “You’re all f****** incompetent! If he’d have drowned, you would have been arrested for murder.”

(At this point, she went completely off the rails, accusing the venue of setting up a death trap for her child, and accusing me of attempted murder. The venue staff tracked down some towels for them, but she would not be calmed down, and shrieked that she would never be back. Which of course, we were all very sad to hear.)

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Don’t Bank On Them Coming Back  

, , , , , | Right | January 21, 2020

(My coworker has just finished scanning and bagging a customer’s groceries, which have all been stacked into his trolley. The customer goes to pay, but it doesn’t work. At first, he seems quite nice about it. I am watching from the register opposite.)

Customer: “This is a new card. Maybe it hasn’t been activated yet. I’ll just run down to the bank and check.”

(The bank chain in question has a location in the same shopping centre as my store, and is about a two-minute walk away. It’s not unheard of for cards to not work and for customers to run down to the bank to sort it out. They’re rarely gone longer than 15 or 20 minutes before they come back and pay.)

Coworker: “No worries. I can save your transaction and you can pay when you get back. You are coming back, right?”

Customer: *suddenly very stern and angry* “No!”

(And with that, he marched out of the store, leaving my coworker speechless and with a trolley stacked high with groceries to deal with.)

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