Entitlement On Display

, , , | Right | February 2, 2021

I work in an art gallery, taking admissions and managing the gift shop. Last year, my predecessor in gift shop management ordered ten copies of three different books that are related to WWI and WWII, but, while nice little history books, aren’t really the kind of thing one usually gets from an art gallery gift shop.

I recommended books from the Canadian War Museum which had images from various artists focusing on WWI, especially Vimy. The timing would have been perfect since it had been a hundred years since the end of the war and many places were talking about it. Instead, she went with the three books from a local publisher; we only sold one.

The publisher gives retailers the option that one can return books for a refund, so long as it’s been no more than a year since they were ordered and they are still in sellable condition.

Since we are coming up on the end of the year since those ones were ordered, I make arrangements to return all but one copy of each to the publisher — keeping the single copies out for our Remembrance Day display — along with some other titles of theirs. Due to an upcoming expansion, the gallery gift shop will be moved to a different space in the building and reduced to about a quarter of its current space, so the more stuff I can move out of here, the better.

The books are in a box, taped shut, and ready for when the courier arrives.

A woman comes up to me and asks if I have more copies of one of the titles I have on display.

Me: “We do, but they’re in a box waiting to be returned.”

Woman: “Oh, I just know I won’t forgive myself if I don’t get a copy.”

I assume this means her friend is buying the other.

Me: “Oh, well, if you’re both getting one, I’ll gladly take one out for you.”

Woman: “Oh, thank you so much! I’m sorry for the trouble.”

Me: “No problem at all!”

I try to lift the tape in such a way that I can seal it again afterward, but it doesn’t work, so I just rip it off and trash it. After getting the book she wants, I grab the one on display and ring up the code in the computer. While this is going on, a man wearing a jacket with the courier company logo comes in, and I haven’t retaped the box shut yet. He waits while I finish with the two women.

Me: “Okay, who’s first?”

I look from one woman to the other:

Woman: “I’m buying.”

She holds out a 20$.

Me: “Oh, you’re buying both?”

Woman: “No, just one, dear.”

I look to her friend, confused.

Me: “So… are you buying one, as well?”

Her friend shakes her head.

Me: “So… just the one copy?”

Woman: “Yes, that’s right, dear.”

Me: “You could have taken the display copy.”

I say this in a “helpful” tone, trying to convey that I would have been fine with her taking our “last” copy.

Woman: “Oh, no, I never take items from the display.”

I maintained a smile, sold the book, put it in a paper bag, and handed it over along with her change and receipt. Then, I bid them a good day as they left. Then, I had to turn my attention to taping the box shut once more to hand over to the courier, all the while inwardly facepalming over the uselessness of having had to open the box in the first place, since she was only buying one copy, just because she didn’t want “the display copy.”

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They Totally Brew That Delivery

, , , , | Right | January 28, 2021

I’m a shift supervisor. I have just returned from a year off for maternity leave so I’m a little rusty with the addresses and any new places that have opened.

I’m currently running the till with a small line-up of customers looking to buy slices for our daily lunch special and the phone rings. It’s just me and my manager working trying to balance everything so I go to take the phone and place it on hold so I can finish up with the one customer I’m with.

Me: “Thank you for calling [Pizza Chain]; can I put you in a quick hold?”

Usually, customers accept this, and I can continue.

Caller: “Yeah, do you deliver?”

Me: “Yes. Can I put you on hold for a moment?”

Caller: “I’m at [garbled] Microbrewery; do you know where that is?”

Me: “Sorry, sir, can I put you on hold?”

Caller: “Ugh, yeah.”

I place him on hold, apologize to my in-store customer, and finish up with him. I return to the phone.

Me: “Thank you for holding. Can I get the address for your delivery?”

Caller: “I’m at [garbled] Microbrewery, do you know where that is?”

I later find out this place only opened about three months ago. I have never heard of it.

Me: “I’m sorry sir, Microbrewery? I don’t know where that is. I will need an address for the order.”

Caller: “[Garbled] Microbrewery! You don’t know where that is?!”

Me: “No, sir, I don’t. I do need an address.”

Caller: *Sighs heavily* “Ugh, I’ll have to go grab the address. While I do that, can I place my order?”

Technically, our system does allow us to go to the order screen and then back out and add the customer info, but I feel if this guy is going to be petty, I will, too.

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, my system won’t allow me to do anything without your information. I’ll need that address before I can do anything.”

Caller: *Another heavy sigh* “FINE. Hang on while I go get an address!”

Moments later, he supplied me with the information needed, begrudgingly, I might add. The rest of the order went off without a hitch.

Don’t call somewhere for delivery expecting people to know where you are!

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You Can Trash Under My Umbrella… Ella… Ella

, , , , | Right | December 27, 2020

I work at the main admissions desk and gift shop in an art gallery.

Our entrance consists of two sets of double doors, leaving a small room, surrounded by glass. This room contains, among other things, an umbrella stand.

This umbrella stand comes up to just above my knees and is basically a metal can with disconnected line art making the image of an umbrella on it. People are constantly mistaking it for a trash receptacle, which is fair; I understand that unless you study it carefully, it is very easy to make that mistake.

I’ve tried printing out a sign with two bold black arrows on either side pointing down, an image of an umbrella, and the words “umbrella stand” between them, but I still have to dump out the odd coffee cup. Again, if you’re just walking through, I can see why people might make the mistake.

Last Monday, it was raining, so I brought my umbrella to work. This is a long, black umbrella. By long, I mean it comes up to my hip, so it’s definitely taller than the stand. I left it in the stand all day, without tying the strap around it, so that it could dry. At this point, with an umbrella sticking out of it, it should be pretty obvious that this is an umbrella stand, right?

When I got off the bus for home, it had started raining again, so I opened up my umbrella, and…

Someone’s used tissue fell out.

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Sadly, A “Regular” Occurrence

, , , | Right | May 27, 2020

Customer: “I’d like a [frozen ice cream treat with a topping].”

Me: “Which flavour would you like?”

Customer: “Regular.”

Me: “I’m not sure what you mean by ‘regular.’ We have Oreo, Smarties, strawberry shortcake, or Rolo.”

Customer: “Just the normal one.”

Me: “They’re all normal, just different flavours. Or do you mean you just want ice cream?”

Customer: “No, with a topping. The normal one.”

Me: “Will that be with normal Oreo, normal Smarties, normal strawberry shortcake, or normal Rolo?”

Customer: *sighing* “Smarties.”

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She Is Sooo Not Ready For “How Are You?”

, , , , , | Right | May 18, 2020

Our grocery store has a script for cashiers to follow, including such questions as asking whether the customer found everything, if they have a points card, and so on. It has been in place for years, and most regular customers have their answers prepared beforehand. A woman with grey hair approaches my cash register and unloads her groceries without a word.

Me: “Hello!”

The customer begins looking through her purse. I don’t mind, as sometimes my voice isn’t loud enough to be heard over the machines. I try again, louder.

Me: “How are you today?”

The customer continues to rummage, ignoring me, so I continue bagging her groceries. When I look up again, I find her holding a cue card a few inches from my face.

Customer’s Card: “Please do not ask me if I found everything I was looking for. I find it insulting to my intelligence.”

Me: *Pause* “Okay.”

Customer: “Thank you. I understand you’re supposed to ask, but it’s just so insulting!”

I finished the transaction in silence and the customer left. When I asked my manager about it later, I learned that she is well-known for this. According to her, being asked if she “found everything she was looking for” means that we think she is incapable of locating things on her own. I stopped seeing her a few months later; presumably, she began taking her business to a less insulting store!

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