Leading By Example

, , , , , | Right | May 7, 2021

We’re about to close. I’m running customer service, and my coworker running our self-serve checkout comes up to me with a box of shoes and the customer saying she needs help with a price adjustment that seems fishy. He wants a pair of shoes that are on sale for $25 for $5.

Customer: “Well, there’s a tag that says five dollars.”

Me: “We have sample price tags that show what our clearance stickers look like. They say ‘Example’ over them to make it less confusing.”

Customer: “No, it said it was $5.”

Me: “You know what, if you want to take a picture of it and show it to me, I’ll see what I can do.”

He runs off to get the picture, and I work on closing the customer service desk. When he comes back, he shows me the picture. Sure enough, it is an example price that has “Example” pasted over the image, above, and below it.

Me: “Sir, that’s an example tag. The shoes are $25.”

Customer: “You’re not going to honor the price?”

Me: *Laughing and trying not to cry* “No, it’s not a real price, sir.”

Customer: “You sure?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “Why?”

Me: “It’s not. A real. Price. I’m not giving you shoes for a fake sale price. Do you want the shoes?”

Customer: “Sure.”

He dropped $30 and pays easily as if we hadn’t just spent minutes arguing over a sample clearance tag. It looked like there was nothing going on in his head. I’m surprised we came to an agreement. That concluded a very long day.

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It Sounds Like The Cat Escaped

, , , , , , , | Right | May 3, 2021

I am on my way back to my register from my break when I see a woman coming straight toward me pushing a walker. She makes eye contact with me, parks her walker in the middle of the walkway, and steps to one side to look at something. I now have a small little opening to try and squeeze through to get past her, making social distancing difficult.

Me: “Excuse me, please.”

I carefully scoot past her.

Customer: “Sorry, but not really.”

I don’t say anything and return to my register. An hour later, the woman comes around the corner, her mask down beneath her chin. She looks at some items and picks up a small packet, covers her mouth with it, and coughs loudly on it. She then comes to my register and tries to hand it to me.

Me: “Sorry, I can’t touch that.”

Customer: “Why?”

Me: “Because your mask is off and you coughed all over it.”

Customer: “Tch, it’s a smoker’s cough!”

Me: “It doesn’t matter. Your mask is off and I can’t touch that after you’ve coughed all over it.”

She sighs, pulls her mask back up, and puts the item in her purse. She grabs another one and has me scan it instead. As she’s paying, she pulls her mask off again.

Customer: “I’ve been smoking a lot more because I’m stressed about my cat. I let a bunch of strangers stay in my house, and I knew I shouldn’t, and they left the door open and my cat ran away.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. Please pull your mask back up. Cats are smart; it might come back.”

Customer: “No. My daughter is a white witch and she told me the cat is already dead.”

Me: “Um… I’m… sorry.”

I just stood there blinking as she finally left.

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Putting The Ouch In Couch

, , , , | Right | April 24, 2021

It is late evening. The majority of the employees have gone home.

A woman catches a glimpse of a couch through the Employees Only doors to the back when it opens briefly. She opens said door and walks straight into the back area in order to look at the couch.

Coworker: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but you’re not allowed to be back here.”

Customer: “I want to look at that couch.”

Coworker: “Ma’am, that couch is not yet for sale and you still cannot be back here.”

He is now physically blocking her attempts to walk further in by stepping directly in front of her.

Customer: *Huffs* “Fine. Can you at least quote me a price on it?”

Coworker: “No, ma’am, I cannot. I work with electronics, and that couch has only come in today. Our furniture guy can inspect the couch in a day or so and we’ll be able to get you a price then.”

Customer: “You mean to say that there’s no one in the entire store who can price your furniture?!”

Coworker: “Correct. Our furniture guy has gone home for the day.”

The customer finally leaves the Employees Only area and comes storming up to the registers.

Customer: “Your employee in the back was very rude to me! He told me I couldn’t shop back there, and he wouldn’t give me a price on the couch I wanted.”

Me: “Well, it is policy not to let people shop in the areas marked Employees Only, and our furniture guy has gone home for the day.”

She huffs angrily again and demands the store phone number and the name of the “Furniture Guy,” which I give her. She storms out the door, and ten seconds later, the phone rings. It’s the same customer.

Customer: “I would like to speak to a manager!”

I roll my eyes and hand the phone over to the supervisor, as she is the only one of authority left at this hour. My supervisor spends several minutes reiterating that [Coworker] was following policy and that yes, she really does have to wait. She takes a message for the store manager. I talk to the store manager the next day.

Me: “Fair warning, the lady on that note is angry because [Coworker] wouldn’t let her go into the back or get a price on the couch back there.”

Store Manager: *Rolls her eyes* “Gotcha. Thanks for the warning.”

The store manager again reiterates that customers aren’t allowed in the back and that the furniture guy will be inspecting all the furniture in the back that afternoon. After she hangs up, the manager gives me an exasperated look.

Store Manager: “How many people told her the policy?”

Me: “[Coworker], me, [Supervisor], and now you.”

Store Manager: *Facepalming* “She acted like it was a complete surprise that she was not allowed past the Employees Only sign and that what she had done was considered trespassing.”

I don’t know if the lady ever came back for her all-important couch or not, though it did sell a few days later.

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We Have Several Questions About What We Heard

, , , , , | Working | April 20, 2021

I mishear things a lot. Usually, it’s something dirty I think I hear, but not this time.

Me: “Hi! How’re you doing tonight?”

The customer answers but I hear something else. I’m staring at her with wide eyes, frozen for a moment.

Me: “I’m… sorry… what?”

Customer: “I said I was good and found everything just fine.”

Me: “Oh! I totally misheard you for a moment there.”

Customer: “What’d you hear?”

Me: “I thought you said, ‘You can just shut up now,’ which made me wonder if you knew my mom or boyfriend.”

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But What Are We Making A “Copy” Of?

, , , | Right | April 16, 2021

Customer: “Excuse me. Do you make copies of keys?”

Me: “Yes, we do. Follow me.”

We go to the key machine.

Customer: “Do you make copies of [Car Make And Model]s?”

Me: “Yup!”

We stand there, staring at each other for a few moments.

Customer: “Well?”

Me: “Um… do you have the original key?”

Customer: “No, it’s stuck in the car. It broke in half. I need a copy of the key, though.”

Me: *Pauses* “I’ll need the original key in order to make a copy.”

Customer: “You said you make copies of [Car Model]s!”

Me: “Yes, but not all keys are the same for every [Car Model]. Otherwise, anyone who has a key to that type of car could steal it.”

Customer: “So you lied to me?!”

I didn’t say anything; I just stared at them silently until the customer got nervous and left.

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