The Tannoys Are Adjusting Their Sales Pitches

, , , , , | | Working | August 13, 2019

(My store sells small helium balloons, already blown up, on plastic sticks. They’re quite popular with kids, and a lot of people give them to the kid to hold, who proceeds to lose the stick. As a result, the balloon just gets dumped. We have a random balloon, minus the stick, on the customer service desk. A manager tells us to just pop it and throw it away, since it won’t sell. My supervisor is generally quite serious and wouldn’t ever do anything silly in front of customers.)

Me: “You know, the last time [Manager] told us to pop one of these, [Coworker] did a tannoy announcement after inhaling the helium. It was brilliant.”

Supervisor: “Really? Did she not get in trouble?”

Me: “Nah, [Manager] found it hilarious and none of the customers seem to listen to the tannoy anyway…”

(I turn away to do something for a moment. When I turn around, [Supervisor] is inhaling the helium and trying to ring our HR manager. When the HR manager doesn’t pick up the phone, she inhales a big gulp of helium and does a tannoy announcement. A few minutes later, when I’ve stopped giggling, the HR manager wanders over.)

HR Manager: “What on earth was that?!”

(She found it funny, as well, and nobody got in trouble. Now, whenever I find a balloon, I ask if anybody would like to do a tannoy announcement before I pop it!)

Carting You Off With The Rest Of The Criminals

, , , , , | | Working | August 7, 2019

(Our store has to look out for people overloading their trolleys with high-value items. It’s known as a “trolley-push,” as they attempt to just go straight to the exit — without paying — with the trolley full of items, hoping that security won’t stop them. I have worked every Tuesday night for four years, and have gotten to know our regular customers. I can tell something is up, as the security guard appears to be following someone and a member of management is watching the security cameras. I wander over to the member of management to see if they need help.)

Me: “Hey, are you following someone?”

Management: “Yeah, he’s got a trolley full of stuff. We reckon he’s hiding some high-value stuff in there and will attempt to walk out the doors.”

Me: “Oh, well, I doubt he’ll walk out the doors since he’s [High-Ranking Manager] from [Our Supermarket Warehouse nearby].”

Management: “Um… What?”

Me: “Yeah, he’s got a big family, so every Tuesday he comes and does a massive food shop. He’s a really nice guy.”

Management: “Oh… Right… You can go back to the customer service desk now.”

(It turns out they thought the guy was really dodgy and wasted about half an hour following him. He told me a few weeks later that he could tell they were watching him, which he found wildly amusing, since he was technically senior to them in the company. He still comes in most Tuesdays to shop and say hello!)

Sealed With A Lie

, , , , | Right | March 19, 2019

(It is company policy not to return baby milk — both powdered and liquid — for safety reasons. Even if the seal is on the milk, we cannot guarantee it hasn’t been tampered with. This causes a few issues, as people get quite angry when they’re told we will not refund them for the milk. It should be noted that these products are sold in every supermarket and locally-owned corner shop. Also, the supermarket I work for puts security tags on their clothes disguised in the form of little cardboard tags that have the brand name on, and have security tags inside. My coworker deals with this lady.)

Customer: “Hi. I brought this baby milk and found the weirdest thing inside when I opened it! It’s quite dangerous in my opinion. Is it okay to get a refund?”

Coworker: “Well, it’s actually company policy not to return milk for any reason. What was wrong with it?”

Customer: “I found one of your security tags inside when I opened it!”

Coworker: “Er… Okay. So, the seal was broken already?”

Customer: “No, that’s the weird thing! The seal was intact. Here, I have my receipt for it.”

(My coworker rang a manager. Unfortunately, despite the fact she was obviously lying in order to get a refund, we couldn’t accuse her of it due to “keeping the customer happy.” The manager said to just refund it but to take down her details. I get that’s it’s annoying if you pick up the wrong milk and can’t get a refund. But at least come up with a plausible lie!)

Can’t Get Rid Of The Shampoo Or This Customer

, , , , , , | Right | August 27, 2018

(We have a regular customer who is notorious for coming to various different staff members with the same question; however, her questions are always really odd, such as, “Which one of your shampoos will be good for gardening?” or “Which bar of soap looks prettiest when you get it wet?” and so forth. What’s more, whenever she tries a product, she insists it didn’t work properly or that she was allergic to something in it. Today she’s back and she’s returned to the shampoo, wanting to talk about a certain one she purchased the previous week.)

Me: “How did you get on with this shampoo?”

Customer: “How do you mean?”

Me: “Well, what did it do for your hair?”

Customer: “Uh…”

Me: “Did you like it?”

Customer: “Oh. Um. Yeah, it was okay. I think it made my hair shiny, but it was wet, you know?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “When I washed it, my hair was wet, so I don’t really know if it was good or not.”

Me: *trying to keep a straight face at this point, because I don’t know whether to laugh or facepalm* “Okay, um…”

Customer: “Also, do you have anything that won’t stay in my hair?”

Me: “How do you mean?”

Customer: “Like, every time I wash my hair, I always have loads of shampoo still left in it when I’m finished. Do you have any shampoos that won’t do that?”

Me: “None of them are meant to do that… I mean, I’ve never had that problem myself, and I don’t know anybody else who has… Perhaps you just need to take a little more time to make sure you’ve rinsed it out properly?”

Customer: “It just happens all the time. Why does that happen?”

Me: “Yeah, like I said, maybe it just needs a little extra rinsing.”

Customer: “So, can you just remind me what all these shampoos do again?”

(I know for a fact that she was perfectly well aware of what our products do; not only had I told her before, but several of my colleagues had as well, and she owned several of our catalogues. I still went through the various different products we had with her until I got called over to the tills, after which I looked up and she was gone. My coworker later told me the girl had come up to her while she was in the middle of helping another customer and tried to interrupt, so my coworker blanked her. She then left, but not before declaring that she’d be back next week.)

The Daddy Of Conversational Slips

, , , , | Working | July 21, 2018

(My dad goes in for a routine operation and dies on the operating table. My family and I are devastated. The supermarket I work for allows two weeks bereavement for the death of a parent, which I take. This is my first day back. Note that I’ve had to deal with a lot of people during my two weeks off, and I’m slightly sick of everybody feeling sorry for me. As a result, I’m a little defensive and harsh around the subject of my father’s death.)

Coworker: “Oh, hi, [My Name]. Good to see you! Did you have a good time off?”

(I know for a fact this coworker knows why I was off, and I give her a quizzical look.)

Me: “Um, not particularly.”

Coworker: “Really?! But I’d love to have two weeks off work, paid. Think of all the fun stuff you could go do!”

Me: “Yes, well, I think I’d rather have my father alive and well. But we can’t always have what we want.”

(I walked away as she stared at me with a shocked look on her face. I think she was just trying to make conversation, or maybe she had forgotten my current situation. Either way, it was a few weeks until she dared talk to me again!)

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