Got A Gauge On How Much He’s BSing You

, , , , , , | Right | March 30, 2020

(I work in a large professional music store in Vancouver and we serve all types.)

Me: “Hey, what can I get you?”

Customer: “I’m the guitar player for Melissa Etheridge. I need some guitar strings.”

Me: “Oh, okay. Cool.”

(I notice his tour tag around his neck that he apparently needed to wear outside the concert venue for our enjoyment.)

Me: “What kind of strings do you need?”

Customer: “Guitar strings, bud.”

Me: “Okay, what kind of guitar strings?”

Customer: “Six-string.”

Me: “Acoustic or electric?”

Customer: “What do you mean?”

Me: *puzzled* “Do you need strings for an electric guitar or an acoustic guitar?”

Customer: “Electric.”

Me: “What brand and gauge of string do you want?”

Customer: “Yuppers. Electric.”

Me: “Do you want Ernie Ball? D’Addario’s?” 

Customer: “I don’t know. Whatever.”

Me: “Do you use a particular brand?”

Customer: “’Lectrics, usually.”

Me: “Okay… What gauge?”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “What gauge do you use? Lights, Extra Lights, Medium…”

Customer: “Dude, they’re not cigs, they’re strings.”

Me: “I know that but they come in different gauges, depending on what you like. I use lights, for example.”

Customer: *cocky* “Oh, so you’re a player? Ever play in concert? Like in front of a ton of screaming fans?”

Me: “I’ve played some cool gigs, but nothing like Melissa Etheridge. Maybe a thousand people at most.”

Customer: *laughs condescendingly* “Dude, that’s pretty bad. Small-time.”

Me: *annoyed* “Well, at least I know what gauge I use. That’s gotta be worth something. How is it that you play with Melissa Etheridge but you don’t know what strings or gauge you use? Are you sure you play with her?”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “Let’s go over to the guitar area and maybe you can show me some licks.” 

Customer: “Dude, I don’t have time for that. It’s not guitar lesson time.”

Me: “Surely you’ve got two minutes to whip off some licks? Here, just wait and I’ll get a guitar.”

Customer: “Dude, I gotta go here. I gotta get back.”

(He starts leaving the store.)

Me: “What about the strings?”

Customer: *out the door* “No time!”

(Turns out he was most likely just a roadie as he certainly wasn’t the guitar tech, who would have known about such things.)

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Unfiltered Story #190324

, , , | Unfiltered | March 21, 2020

(I work at a musical instrument store with multiple locations, each with slightly different inventory. As such, it’s pretty routine for a customer to order an item they found at another store.)

Customer: I bought something at *other location* and I want to order a matching one.

Me: Great! We can definitely do that for you. What was the item?

Customer: Oh just look up my purchase, tell me what it was, and get me another one. I don’t remember.

Me: Okay, can I have your name or do you have a brand/model number so I can find the purchase?

Customer: No.

(After going back and forth explaining I need some info to find what he bought, he finds a picture of the receipt on his phone).

Customer: This one right here. Get me that one. I’ll put *dollar amount* down and I’ll pay the rest when it gets here.

Me: Okay, first I just want to let you know that from the receipt it looks like you bought an old floor model at clearance price (not uncommon, and it’s a great way for customers to find awesome deals). The only ones available to order are brand new, so they’re full-price. Also, we can’t place special orders unless they’re paid in full.

Customer: Yes you can. *Store manager* lets me do it.

Me: I’m sorry sir, it’s company policy. To order something it has to be paid in full. (I know for a fact our manager would never let that happen, and had just talked to the staff that afternoon about people lying to get special treatment).

Customer: Fine. What’s the price again?

Me: *Reads full price*

Customer: *Expletive*! I bought one last week for *clearance price*!

Me: Yes sir, you purchased an older floor model and got an excellent deal. The only *item* currently available is brand new and therefore *full price*.

Customer: (In a rage). No it’s not! It’s *clearance price*, I got one last week! I’m going back to *other location*, where people are competent! (Storms out and almost knocks over several displays in anger)

Me: Okay, I’m sorry we couldn’t help you and I hope they help you find everything you need!

(After the customer leaves, I call the other location to give them a heads up they have an angry customer headed their way and explain the situation)

Location 2 Employee: I’m the one who sold him *item* last week, and I TOLD him everything you just did.

Me: Yeah just letting you know because he seemed convinced you’d get him *item*.

Location 2 Employee: Thanks man, and we totally will…for *full price*.

Bringing Some Rock’N’Roll Into The Music Store

, , , , , , , | Right | March 9, 2020

Back in 1988, I sold my small music store to a larger music store and was offered a job there. I decided to take it.

On my first day, an older lady — a piano teacher — with zero personality came up to me and handed me a note. It was a list of piano books she wanted. As there was no one in the music book section to assist — they were either away or helping other customers — I took the note and started looking for the books, even though it wasn’t part of my job or specialty.

I guess I was taking longer than expected and she came up to me and started b****ing that I was taking too long. I explained politely that it was my first day and I wasn’t familiar with the layout of the books. She huffed and said something like, “You’re just being stupid. The books are in the same places they always are.” Again, I said it was my first day and had no experience in the books, as musical instruments like guitars, drums, etc., were my specialty. That didn’t satisfy her and she continued to b**** at me while I tried to fill her order. 

She was so incredibly annoyed with me that she let out a big groan and almost yelled, “Someone get this stupid boy out of here and get me someone to get my order!” I was totally embarrassed, not knowing any of my coworkers and not knowing the store. Eventually, one of the girls came and helped her (and me). 

After a couple of weeks, I got my bearings and my confidence. I was standing at the front counter and the same old cranky sourpuss proceeded to walk up and hand me a note. I looked at it and said, “What’s this?”

“My book order.” 

I replied, “Yeah? And…?”

She looked at me sternly and said, “AND?! THESE ARE THE BOOKS I WANT!”

I handed it back and said, “When you go shopping, do you go up to the cashier in [Grocery Store] and hand her your grocery list? Go get ’em yourself.”

The girls in the music department turned and stared at me. My boss gave me a “What the h*** are you doing?” look. 

I told him, “You don’t need rude customers like this in here.” He actually laughed and from that point forward, the girls in the music book department would help people find books, but no one ever took another list from anyone else. Sometimes you have to bring that rock‘n’roll attitude to the classical music section.

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The Music Sucks But The Ending Delivers

, , , , , , | Right | March 5, 2020

It was my second day working at a music store and I was enjoying walking around, helping the odd customer, familiarizing myself with the layout and the instruments. I didn’t really know any of my coworkers yet but they were nice enough, and because the boss was such a cool guy, there were always more employees in the store than customers. 

On this particular sunny afternoon, I was making small talk with the employees and the boss about why there were so many employees working during the summer when I turned my attention to the customer walking through the door. She was about my age and drop-dead beautiful. Time seemed to stop as she came through the door and walked slowly towards me, but then she detoured and walked over to a grand piano.

Maybe she’s going to play an amazing song and we’ll fall in love and she’ll dig that I play guitar and drums…

My daydream was shattered when she started swearing, smashing on the piano keys, yelling, and throwing little musical gift items like pencils and erasers off the shelves. I froze.

I turned to my coworkers who had conveniently scattered like patrons in an old west saloon when Black Bart entered looking for a fight. They had literally vanished. I could see my boss’s head peeking out from behind an office divider. Seriously.

She continued on her tirade of destruction and I was the only one left to deal with it. I walked over to her and she started trying to hit me, cursing, and calling me every filthy name she could fling. So much for our romance. I grabbed her by the shoulders and literally steered her out of the store, but not before she kicked over a couple of acoustic guitars and an amp.

As I walked back into the store, my coworkers and boss reappeared, laughing. One of them said, “That’s how you do it!” Apparently, she did this a lot and no one had escorted her out as fast as I did with such minimal damage.

About six months later, she came into the store again, but this time she wasn’t high on something or had taken her medication. She was absolutely breathtaking, funny, and engaging, and I almost thought about going for it, but then I remembered her volatile little secret and kept it professional.

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Personality Flips Quicker Than A Key Change

, , , | Right | March 2, 2020

(I work as the assistant manager and lesson coordinator at a music store. We’re just coming off the Christmas season, meaning returns are being dumped on us left and right. We’re a mom-and-pop store, so returns hurt us more than a corporation and we try to avoid them if we can, and our return policy is very strict to discourage abuse of the system. I sold one gentleman a keyboard for his wife for Christmas. He comes in, along with his wife. The board I sold him was a great, affordable, mid-tier, 88-key board, and one of our best sellers. While he was very easy to work with originally, she’s the one doing all the talking now, while he stands back looking dejected.)

Wife: “I received this keyboard for Christmas, and it’s just too big and has too many keys! I don’t need all that… stuff!”

(She motions to a very small, cheap keyboard that is over $400 less than hers, which I generally only sell to parents meaning to give it to their kids.)

Wife: “I want something more like this!”

(I realize this type of return would involve both a $400 hit to the store’s day  plus a hit to my commission, and I know full well the board she got is ten times better than the one she is talking about exchanging for.)

Me: “Well, I understand that this bigger board seems overwhelming, but you have the full range of fully weighted keys, so it’s like a real piano. This other keyboard isn’t as expensive, but it really is meant for young kids and isn’t nearly the quality of yours.”

Wife: “This cheaper one just seems much more like what I really wanted. The one I got is just too big!”

(We go back and forth like this for some time. After a while, I’m forced to brace myself and approach the touchy subject of our store’s after-Christmas return policy: seven days after Christmas for store credit only. She’s visibly shocked, but I quickly try to shift the mood by offering to put the store credit toward lessons for her.)

Wife: “Well, actually, my grandson has been talking about lessons for a while, and he loves it here. Maybe we could take them together. That way he could use the guitar he just got!”

(After a bit more work, I have her laughing and joking with me and she seems less likely to do the exchange at all. The husband is even feeling comfortable enough to chime in now and again. She says she wants to give it some thought and turns to leave. She starts to walk away, and then turns on her heel to face me suddenly.)

Wife: “I just want to let you know, I am extremely unsatisfied! This return policy is absolutely ridiculous and I will not be bringing my grandson here for lessons! I cannot believe how hard it is to just get the keyboard I want — absolutely ridiculous! This has just been an awful experience!”

(I was stunned into silence by the split-second change in her demeanor. She stormed out and I had to step away to collect myself for a minute. I ended up being told by my manager to call her and offer her to do the exchange plus her money back on her credit card, making me look like the idiot for trying to stick with his policies. All because her husband wanted to get something nice for her for Christmas, and she decided to be ungrateful and throw a fit until she got her way. As much as I was fuming mad for the way I was treated, I felt worse for him, especially when they came back for their exchange and he barely uttered a word. Poor dude.)

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