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Refunder Blunder, Part 63

, , , , , , | Right | January 16, 2023

The store I work for is well known for being the place to get a bargain. We frequently have customers with benefit cards from work and income for that very reason. One more thing to note is we have a policy that all returns must go back onto the card used at the time of purchase.

Now, enter this lovely customer. She has an item she wants to return that was bought on one such card.

Me: “If you can just swipe the card you used, I can process the refund.”

She goes to do so but quickly switches to her personal EFTPOS card. I hit the cancel button. We do this song and dance a few more times before she comes up with a plan which, for some reason, she tells me.

Customer: “Well, I’ll just exchange this, then, and I get my money back that way.”

Me: “Ma’am, it doesn’t work like that. We still have your original receipt.”

Still, she disappears to find another product. I do the exchange as requested and hand her the new receipt.

Customer: “What is this? Give me the receipt.”

Me: “That is your receipt, see?”

Customer: “No, it f****** isn’t. You’re a [homophobic slur], aren’t you? Get me a f****** manager.”

I left to get a manager, her still shouting slurs at me. I was shaking and in tears at that point (thanks, anxiety). I found two of my managers, who took one look at my state and went charging out. I wasn’t there for the lady’s exit, but apparently, all it took was seeing my managers’ faces, and she turned and left.

The silver lining was our security assuring me that this lady would be trespassed, which extends to our stores nationwide and wouldn’t expire for two years.

Refunder Blunder, Part 62
Refunder Blunder, Part 61
Refunder Blunder, Part 60
Refunder Blunder, Part 59
Refunder Blunder, Part 58

Donation Appreciation

, , , , , , , | Right | December 26, 2022

My local supermarket does a food drive for a local and large food kitchen year-round, but during the November/December weeks, they add a bonus in: whatever gets donated, they will match it. Double the donations for no extra effort!

In previous years, I have been living paycheck-to-paycheck. I’ve never had to use the soup kitchen, but I’ve always been aware of it. So, when I realised I had extra in my bank account last year, I jumped on that double-your-donation drive and filled up a trolley with $100 of whatever non-perishable goods my friends and I could think of that might be enjoyed and used by the kitchen.

This year, I had a promotion at this new well-paying job, so I had even more money. I figured I’d do a bigger trolley this year! I meant to go as I had last year before Christmas, but with one thing and another, the feast was upon us, and I’d missed my pre-holiday window. But rather than let that stop me, I finished work on Boxing Day, made sure the supermarket was still open for a little bit longer — around half an hour by the time I’d walked there — and got there before it closed.

Every single staff member I talked to was wonderfully kind and polite. To them, I must have seemed like a nightmare, showing up just before closing in a busy time of year with a trolley that was just bursting with stuff. The cashier I got had just been pulled to open a new lane because the lines were piling up and got to stare down the barrel of this monster trolley.

One person working on stock was more than willing to drop what they were doing to run up the ladder and fetch me trays of items from the cages over the shelves and fetch me a larger trolley as I realised I’d foolishly taken a small one. They even took a few extra moments to look through the trays of cans I was after and specifically picked ones that were well-wrapped — both so it was easier to lift them but also to make his colleagues’ time counting them easier as they would be able to see the items hadn’t been tampered with.

The cashier was a wonder. Even though I could see that look of panic as the items started piling up, no unkind words were spent, and they took care that none of the fragile breakfast foods were crushed as I unpacked the can trays from the depths. They had one of those annoying systems that wouldn’t let them key in multiples, so everything had to be counted through. I made sure to put all the same items together and they absolutely nailed the speed factor — something anyone who’s done a register knows gets more difficult but also easier when you just want to get home.

Not a single one of them was anything but warm and kind, and one of them boggled when I walked back to customer service with the fully-paid mess, waited for my turn, and then told them this was all for the food drive. They had to get a duty manager down to put it somewhere special. All managed with ten minutes to spare until closing.

It would have been so easy for someone to roll their eyes or make a sarcastic comment, to sigh or huff, or just be robotic. But this staff made the whole trip a joy.

Did I ASK For The Scenic Route?

, , , , , , | Working | December 22, 2022

It’s New Year’s Eve, and as you can imagine, there’s a party. It is important to know, however, that I can’t drink, and I can’t drive. I’m of legal age to do both, but for various reasons, I cannot.

So, when it gets to 10:00 pm, I tap out, socially exhausted and ready to get home, but since I came with people who aren’t ready to go, I call a cab for myself. It’s early enough that the rush on them hasn’t started, so the cab reaches me in ten minutes.

I hop into the cab, give him my address, exchange pleasantries, and then relax to watch the ride go by. The driver surprises me by turning anticlockwise from the location. We’re basically on the other side of an O from my place, but most people — even professionals — forget the anticlockwise route works. I figure he’s aiming to miss some of the larger crowds that happen on the clockwise side since that goes right by town, and I turn to look out the window at nature.

All the while, the driver is telling a tale about a dog that he adopted out, but then the new owners were treating it badly, so he’d been thinking about stealing it back. I make some comments about how mad people being mean to dogs makes me when I notice… he has turned so we are now going clockwise.

Maybe he just misjudged the turn? I keep silent, hoping I didn’t see something, and he heads the full length back down the clockwise slope onto the highway back toward home. Okay, weird detour, but we’re nearly there, right? Just stay on the highway and it lets out ten minutes easy-turning from my place.


The guy crosses over the highway and heads into the heart of town, which is, of course, bursting with New Year’s cheer.

At this point, a twenty-minute journey is almost topping forty minutes. I’m still nodding along peacefully to the gentleman’s story, seeing if I can find my cell phone without being obvious. It has hit me by now that he doesn’t think I’d notice the strange detours, almost certainly assuming I am drunk and my friends sent me home to not ruin the party.

Thankfully, that’s the end of it. He gets me home far later than I wanted to be, and I hand over some cash and give a fake polite smile to someone who thought a smashed broad wouldn’t notice paying a double fare.

Then, as soon as he is out of sight and I am inside, I call the cab company to carefully explain how their driver has just taken the weirdest route to my house I could ever describe. They transfer the money back to me about two days later after doing an investigation.

I never found out if that gentleman remained a cabbie, but I sort of doubt it after that.

Start Paying, Stop Credit, Stop Yelling!

, , , , | Right | December 6, 2022

We have a customer who is terrible at paying on time. If it was decent money, maybe it would be okay, but we’re talking less than $100 a month. Our credit terms are thirty days following invoice month.

In June, I notice that this customer hasn’t paid an April bill for $25. I call and email and get no response. This gets the account put on stop credit. I continue to call and email, chasing payment. I finally receive a response at the end of July.

Customer: “Travelling in the states — will pay when I am back.”

Fast forward to September after many more calls and emails chasing payment. A man walks up the stairs and asks the receptionist why the sales staff sent him to us.

Receptionist: “Oh, it’s because there’s a small overdue balance on your account.”

Customer: “Yes, I know. I got your emails. Why is my account on stop credit? It’s only $25! This is pathetic! DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I SPEND HERE?!”

Receptionist: “Well, I’m sorry, but it’s company policy. If you settle the bill, we can take the account off stop.”

Customer: “But it’s such a small amount, and I told you why it wasn’t paid, so why am I on stop?!”

At this point, he is yelling very loudly at the tiny little old lady receptionist and I’ve had enough, I don’t think he’s noticed me at my back corner desk in the office. Also, I’m younger, stockier, and taller than him, and I was printing his invoice while this was starting.

Me: “Actually, that was me. I was the one emailing you, and I put the account on stop. Since you were out of the country, I thought it best to avoid any fraudulent activity until we knew you were back, so now we can reopen it. We just need the balance paid and you’re all set.”


Me: “I’m very sorry about this. Let’s go downstairs and process payment of this account so we can close it for you.”

This whole thing started at 4:55. We are supposed to finish at 5:00, but we got stuck at work being yelled at by this man-child until 5:15. None of the men downstairs came up to try to calm him down. (Both of us office staff members are women.)

And after two months, the man came back and the manager took his account off stop credit, which meant I had to call him repeatedly for the next year that I stayed with the company. 

He was and still is a jerk.

This Is How You React, Even If They’re Just Being A Drama Queen

, , , , | Right | November 17, 2022

CONTENT WARNING: Suicide Ideation

I was in my first week on the phones after training. As it was April of 2020, I was not in the office but being looked after in my work-from-home setup.

It was my last call of the day. The customer had physically damaged their device, so a repair was the next step. I was explaining the limited options due to lockdowns starting in their area and that they weren’t able to go to their preferred store due to this. The call had been relatively normal up to this point, though with a few minor phrasings and comments that made me think the caller might not be all there.

Me: “All right. Since you don’t want to do any of the repair options, we’re going to have to wait until things open up more.”

The caller spoke in the same tone that someone would use to comment on the weather in a boring conversation.

Caller: “Okay, I guess I’ll just kill myself, then.”

Panic mode instantly shut down almost everything, and I jump instantly to the “if a customer threatens harm” area of my training:

Me: “Please don’t hurt yourself; we don’t want you to hurt yourself. If you feel that way, you should talk to a doctor or someone—”

Caller: “No, I think I’ll just kill myself.” *Click*

I called back immediately, very panicked but keeping my tone as calm as I could.

Me: “I’m sorry, we seemed to get cut off there. I just wanted to make sure you were all right and heard what I was saying — that we don’t want you to hurt yourself.”

Caller: *Slightly confused tone* “But I can’t go to [Repair Shop] and my [Device] is broken?”

Me: “No, you can’t right now, I’m sorry. The only other way to get it fixed right now is [slightly roundabout method].”

Customer: “Yeah, I’ll just do something, maybe kill myself. Bye.”

I freaked out more than a little, calling up the supervisor level, asking if it counted as a customer being in “immediate physical danger” because, again, that tone was so casual. My brain was just looping on the “threat”.

The supervisor managed to calm me down and gently explained that I had done my best, but if the customer wasn’t accepting my comments, it wasn’t like we could force them into medical help, and since we didn’t really know where they were, then it wasn’t like we could get an ambulance out there.

I ended up at my end-of-day briefing sobbing over it and had no less than three of our trainers jumping up on the conference program to call me directly and make sure I was okay.

I STILL don’t know what was going on in that person’s head, or if they really meant anything by it, but I lost someone important to such thoughts, so there was no way I wouldn’t try to stop it if I could.

The weirdest praise I got for it, though, came from the trainer who I’d chosen for the comfort, who reinforced that they were impressed at how well I’d reacted to it in terms of giving the customer the correct information — that we didn’t want them hurt and that they should see a doctor for those feelings — and attempting to get help. Apparently, she didn’t think even a fully-trained supervisor would have responded with those sentiments so immediately. So… good for me for having a traumatic childhood?