It’s Been Beautifully Supervised

, , , | Right | March 16, 2018

(I am the Manager of Branches for the entire public library system which means that I am in charge of all the desk staff and supervisors across the county. Although I am more than 30 years old, I am very petite and people often think I am younger than I am. The other thing is that most of my staff are either teenagers or between 50 and 70. I don’t usually do shifts on the desk but sometimes I am called in to cover lunches. I am working at the circulation desk when a middle-aged woman comes up.)

Patron: “Hi, I borrowed a copy of [Popular Book that just came out] and I seem to have lost it. I wanted to see how much it would cost me to replace it.”

Me: “Our standard fee for a replacement is $45.”

Patron: *suddenly angry* “$45!? It’s only $25 at [Bookstore]! You can’t just charge whatever you feel like for books. You teenagers are all the same! I’ll bet you are pocketing the extra $20 from every book that gets lost, you little b****!”

(I try to explain to her how the charges are set by our publishers, and about the service fees for cataloging books and re-entering them into circulation, but she isn’t interested in listening to me. She keep shouting over me and interrupting me. Eventually, a sort of calm comes over her and she stops yelling and lets me speak, while smirking.)

Patron: *grinning like she is about to play her trump card* “Sweetie, I want to talk to your supervisor.”

(Now, it’s my turn to smirk a little. I could just tell her who I am, but I’m interested to see how my branch supervisor handles problem customers. I go and get the branch supervisor. The patron starts bad-mouthing me to the supervisor, who seems a little confused by the fact that she keeps referring to me as a teenager. But my supervisor is professional and tells her exactly what I told her. This seems to infuriate the patron even more and she demands to speak to my supervisor’s boss.)

Branch Supervisor: “Well, the Manager of Branches is actually in the building right now; I can let you speak to her.”

Patron: “Good! Finally, someone who knows what they’re talking about.”

(The branch supervisor brings me back over.)

Me: “Hi, I’m [My Name], the Manager of Branches. Now, would you like to pay by cash or card?”

(The patron just looked at me, looked at the branch supervisor — who was trying not to laugh — looked back at me, and practically ran out of the library. I put a $45 charge on her card and suspended her account until it was paid. According to my branch supervisor, her husband came in the next day and paid off the charge. He comes in pretty often, but she hasn’t shown her face in a while.)

They Paid You Correctly And Not A Half-Dollar More!

, , , , , | Right | March 14, 2018

(I work at a popular grocery store chain in the southern United States. A woman comes in and wants to pay with a handful of change.)

Me: “Okay, ma’am. Your total is $3.00.”

(She hands me change.)

Me: “Ma’am, you still owe $1.50.”

Customer: *pointing to a half-dollar coin* “No I don’t. That’s a dollar and a half coin. See, right there? It says, ‘dollar and a half.’”

(After I attempted to tell her that the coin was only worth 50 cents, she told me that the customer service desk would tell me the coin was worth $1.50. Not only was the coin worth a dollar less than the customer thought it was, I had to endure a look of absolute befuddlement on the face of that poor customer service representative. Never before has my college degree felt more useless.)

Your Humor Is Running At 100

, , , , | Working | March 9, 2018

(It’s my first day at a new job, and also the first time in my life I’m working as a cashier. All is going well so far, and the guy training me is great, but I often check in with him because I have no idea about the store policies yet. A customer comes to my till and wants to pay for his purchase —  about 5 Euros — with a 100 Euro bill.)

Me: “[Colleague], we do take 100 Euro notes, right?”

Colleague: *very matter-of-fact* “If it looks well-made enough, sure.”

(He comes over to show me how to check if the bill is genuine, which it is. He then turns to the customer:)

Colleague: “And may I congratulate you on your workmanship. It looks just like the real thing.”

(Thankfully, the customer found it hilarious and laughed through the rest of the transaction.)

Just Another Christmas Miracle

, , , , , , | Hopeless | March 8, 2018

A coworker’s husband, who is a department head at another grocery store, had a customer come through the cash lane with just about $50 worth of groceries. Her card was declined. She started crying and asked him to try it again. It was declined again. She explained that the problem with the card should have been fixed, and she didn’t know what to do, because she and her kids hadn’t eaten a real meal in three days.

Anyone in a position of power that works in retail has heard this type of story a million times, and at least 999,990 of them are scam artists trying to get stuff for free.

She asked him to hold her items while she made some phone calls in a last-ditch attempt to fix whatever was blocking her from her money. She called home. A kid answered. He could hear the voice on the other end say excitedly, “Mommy! Are we going to eat for Christmas?”

He decided to take the risk, and paid for her food, with several coworkers pitching in, which made her cry harder than before. I think of that family every year and I hope they’re doing better now!

An Inflated Sense Of Immunity To Inflation

, , , , | Right | March 6, 2018

(I work in a Chinese restaurant. Here’s a fact about working in a Chinese place: the most complaints I receive are not about food quality, but about how expensive the food is compared to however many years ago.)

Me: “The total is $20.79.”

Customer: “What? It used to be $15!”

Me: “Well, my boss used to pay me six to seven dollars per hour. Now, he has to pay me more than ten dollars per hour.”

(He kept repeating how it used to be $15, while another customer behind him chuckled at my answer to him.)

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