What Price Listening?

, , , , , , | Right | November 22, 2017

(I work at an office supply store as a cashier. Since there is a phone next to the register, I am usually the first to answer when it rings. This particular call is on a slow evening.)

Me: “Thank you for calling your downtown [Store]. My name is [My Name]. How can I take care of your business?”

Customer: “Hi! How are you tonight?”

Me: “Well, I’m doing great! What can I do for you?”

Customer: “I was wondering if you could tell me your prices.”

(After a few moments, I realize she’s not going to give me anything specific.)

Me: “Are you looking for something specific, ma’am?”

Customer: “No, just your prices.”

(At this point, I know where this is going. Customers often call with these kinds of questions, and our answer is always the same: We have centers for supplies, furniture, copy, and technology in-store, plus our extensive website. This means there is no way to give a price without any specifics. I try to politely explain this to the customer, who is only getting more frustrated.)

Me: “Ma’am, this is [Store]. We sell crayons for three cents and can order you a thermal transfer machine to make T-Shirt logos. I cannot fathom what kind of estimate to give you!”


Me: “On what?”


Me: *pause* “Mini-golf, ma’am?”

Customer: “YES!”

Me: “Ma’am… This is [Store].”

Customer: “Oh! Well, why didn’t you just say that?!” *hangs up*

Not So Smart-Phone, Part 10

, , , , , | Right | November 20, 2017

(We work for an office supply store which also sells technology items for phones. My coworker is helping an older woman who has questions about micro-SD cards for phones.)

Customer: “Excuse me. I need a micro-SD card for my phone; can you help me?”

Coworker: “Sure! What kind of phone do you have?”

Customer: *thinking long and hard about it* “Um… It’s one of the cheapest plans.”

Coworker: “Okay, but what kind of phone is it?”

Customer: *really straining to think about this one, then a light seems to go off* “Oh! It’s a cell phone!” *big grin on her face*

Coworker: *struggling not to laugh* “Er… Do you have the phone with you?”

Customer: *opens purse* “OH, MY GOD! WHERE’S MY PHONE?!” *leaves the store in a hurry*

Even Though The Sound Of It Is Something Quite Atrocious

, , , | Right | September 20, 2017

(I work in a well-known office supply store. We also have a print department. We get a lot of customers that have no idea what they need and hope we can help them with everything by reading their minds and making things magically appear. This happens one day when a middle-aged man walks up to the copy center counter.)

Me: “Hi. What brings you in today?”

Customer: “My daughter is getting married.” *stares expectantly at me*

Me: “Congratulations! Were you looking to have some printing done for the wedding? We do invitations, table cards, large photo prints—”

Customer: *interrupting* “I need everything you do!” *again stares at me*

Me: “Oh, we don’t really do wedding packages; we just have hundreds of printing capabilities. If you could let me know what exactly you need us to do for the wedding, I can get you prices and options—”

Customer: “Yes, let me see your flowers, and a list of your wedding helpers.”

Me: “Flowers? You mean designs that have flowers on them? And I’m sorry; I am not sure what you mean by ‘wedding helpers.’”

Customer: *getting angry* “No! I want everything for a wedding! Flowers, bands, food, printing, everything!*squints at me intensely*

Me: “Oh, I see. Well, we are an office supply store, so all we do for weddings is printing services. Unfortunately we do not do wedding planning or have food or bands or—”


Me: *trying to not get mad at this point* “Sir, please listen to what I am trying to say. We are an OFFICE supply store, we do not do—”


(I recognize that this customer isn’t listening to a thing I say, so I decide to throw him for a loop, as this usually gets mad customers’ attention long enough to resolve the issue or make them leave.)

Me: “I am the manager on duty, sir. Can I ask you a question?”

Customer: “YOUR BOSS NOW! I AM FILING A COMPLAINT!” *more hand-banging on counter*

Me: *looks directly into the customer’s eyes* “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!”

Customer: “No! Listen! I want… wait, what?!”

Me: *looks directly into the customer’s eyes again and smiles* “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

Customer: *stares at me, confused* ” Um, I’m sorry. I don’t understand? Is that a foreign language?”

Me: “No, sir, but we do not do wedding planning, or have flowers, food, or anything like that for you. The only thing I can do that you need is wedding invitations. I suggest you contact a wedding planning company; they can help you with all the wedding things you need. WE CANNOT HELP YOU WITH THAT BECAUSE WE ARE AN OFFICE SUPPLY STORE THAT SELLS OFFICE EQUIPMENT.”

Customer: *still looking confused* “Oh, so, you don’t do weddings?”

Me: ” No, sir, we just use printers and ink to print things.”

Customer: “Oh, all right.” *turns around, then comes right back* “Can I hire you to do my daughter’s wedding?”

Me: *I just want him out of the store at this point, so I lie like a rug* “I am actually leaving the country for a while, sorry.”

Customer: “Okay, thanks.” *wanders out of the store, confused*

(A regular customer who is in line behind him comes up.)

Regular: “Wow, I didn’t know you could use lines from Mary Poppins to deal with crazy people! What will you tell him if he comes back and sees you haven’t left the country?”

Me: “Haha! I will tell him I am my twin; he’ll probably buy it!”

Regular: “Just give him candy when you tell him, because ‘a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!’”

(We get craziness like this all the time, and saying “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” usually gets them shaken enough to take care of them!)

Will Leave You Handshaken

, , , , , | Right | September 10, 2017

(The clock has just hit five pm, and a lot of our out-of-uniform stock workers are turning up. To customers, these workers appear as random other customers, as they are simply wearing casual clothes. I am working behind the counter of our printing section, in uniform. A good friend and coworker of mine comes through the counter, out of uniform. There are no customers in line, so my friend and I do a stupid handshake. Thirty seconds later, out of nowhere, a line of about five customers forms. A senior lady who has a medical face mask on approaches me.)

Lady: “That was a cool handshake!”

Me: *realizing she must have seen it, trying to be friendly* “Yeah, I guess you could say that!”

Lady: “Is that how you normally greet your customers? I want one!”

Me: “No, he’s actually a worker here—”

Lady: *cuts me off* “No, no, no… I WANT one. I want that greeting!” *she holds out her fist for a fist-bump while moving closer towards me*

Me: *I can feel the eyes of the customers in line staring, observing this bizarre interaction, so I try play it off politely.* “Ah, sorry, I reserve those greetings for friends.”

(She’s still edging ever-so-slightly forward with her fist out.)

Lady: *by this point, she’s behind the printing counter with me* “Is this how you guys did it?”

Me: *I’m trying to think how to get this lady away from me quickly and quietly, so I decide to give her a fist bump in the hopes she will move along…* “Uh, yes, here you … go?” *fist bump*

(Customers are all watching, like a small crowd.)

Lady: *laughs maniacally* “Ah, that was wonderful, I feel so young!”

Me: *Thinking that that’s enough, and this lady is completely insane.* “Is there something else I can help you with?”

Lady: “No, that will suffice for the day.” *stares into my soul via my eyes*

Me: *hoping she’ll move on out from behind the counter* “Okay, then!”

(I wait for her to move along, but she doesn’t. She moves further into my department.)

Me: “Excuse me, ma’am? You can’t go that way. You’ll need to move out from this area, I’m afraid.”

Lady: “Oh.” *mumbles something I can’t comprehend*

(She finally moves away and I turn to face the line of customers and ask, “Who was next please?” as I try act like nothing strange has happened.)

Next Customer: “What the h*** was that all about…”

Unfiltered Story #91976

, | Unfiltered | August 28, 2017

(I’m stocking in the back when the cashier frantically calls me up to help a customer find a router. My coworker doesn’t fluster easily, so I’m already gearing up for a difficult customer, but I’m hoping maybe I can disarm her with a good attitude.)

Me: (smiling, making eye contact, basically as friendly and charming as I can make my body language) Hi there! What can I help you find today?
Customer: (smiling back, leaning in, and practically snarling) Well, do you sell guns? Because I’m really, really furious with you all right now.

(Before I could even think about how to respond to something like that, my coworker managed to fill my in on the situation- she’d called and asked for an item to be put on hold, but the wrong model had been put aside for her. It took maybe five minutes, tops, for a manager to grab the right model from high ticket, the whole time with the customer ranting about how everyone in the store was incompetent and how angry she was.
I think it took me a good half hour to stop shaking after that. Call me oversensitive if you’d like- probably the customer was just joking- but I sure don’t see the humor in it.)

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