This Is Not A Clean Return

, , , , | Right | May 4, 2021

Customer: “I would like to return these shoes.”

After checking her receipt to make sure she’s still within the return period, I pull the shoes from the bag and begin inspecting them. The first thing I do is flip them over to check the soles, and I immediately see that the white soles are dirty.

Me: “I’m sorry, but these have been worn, so I can’t take them back.”

Customer: “But they hurt my feet.”

Me: “I understand that can be frustrating, but we can’t take them back since you wore them around.”

Cue a few rounds of the customer insisting I have to take them because they hurt her feet.

Me: “I’m sorry, but I really can’t issue you a refund for these.”

Customer: “Can I speak to a manager?”

Me: “I am a manager. To receive a return for an item, it must be in unused condition so we can resell it. These shoes are no longer new and I can’t resell them since they are obviously dirty and worn.”

Customer: *Without missing a beat and completely serious* “Then just clean them.”

Me: *Blinks a few times* “I’m… sorry. We… can’t do that. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

The customer put her shoes back in the bag and walked away. She was never angry or rude with me, but it completely baffled me that she seriously thought it was acceptable to return dirty shoes and expect us to just clean them and resell them as new.

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Welcome To Retail: The Gluten-Free Edition

, , , , , | Right | May 4, 2021

I am a baker at a popular cafe. The only gluten-free dessert we offer is a triple chocolate cookie, but there is cross-contamination, and we have to warn customers about this in case they are allergic. A teenage cashier who has just finished her training calls me over to help her with a customer.

Me: “Can I help you?”

Customer: “The triple chocolate cookie. Does it have gluten?”

It says gluten-conscious right on the tag, but it’s written pretty small, so it can be easy to miss.

Me: “No, but there is cross-contamination with things that do have gluten.”

Customer: “Oh, sweetie, I don’t think you understand. I want to know if there is gluten in the cookie.”

Me: “There is no gluten in the cookie itself, but it is around things that do have gluten.”

Customer: “But does the triple chocolate cookie have gluten?”

Me: “Are you allergic to gluten?”

Customer: “Oh, yes. But, not so bad that I have to worry about cross-contamination.”

Me: “Then you should be fine, ma’am. The triple chocolate cookie has absolutely no gluten, whatsoever.”

Customer: “So, there is gluten?”

Me: *Internally screaming* “No.”

The customer finally buys her cookie. When she is gone, I turn to the cashier, who looks like a deer in the headlights.

Me: “Is this your first job?”

Cashier: “Yeah.”

Me: “Welcome.”

Welcome To Retail, Part 5
Welcome To Retail, Part 4
Welcome To Retail, Part 3
Welcome To Retail, Part 2

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The Only Smith In Pennsylvania

, , , , , | Right | April 27, 2021

Me: “Hi there. What was the name for your order?”

Customer: “Smith.”

I look at my order screen and see two orders where the only name given is Smith. Fortunately, customers also have to give a phone number in case we need to contact them.

Me: “Okay, ma’am, we have two orders for Smith. Can I ask the phone number you gave for the order?”

Customer: “It’s under Smith.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I know, but I have more than one order for Smith, so if you could give me the phone number you used, I can determine which order is yours.”

Customer: “I don’t know. My daughter put it in under Smith. Just give me my order.”

Me: “Okay, do you know what she ordered? I can look for that, then.”

Customer: “Smith, it’s under Smith. Why is this so difficult for you?!”

Me: “Ma’am, there is more than one person named Smith that ordered tonight. I need either the phone number or at least what was ordered so I know which order is yours. I don’t want to give you the wrong order and then also not have the other customer’s order.”

Customer: “I don’t know the number. Just give me my order.”

Me: “Ma’am, at this point, if you can’t give me any way of knowing which one is yours, I can’t. If you’d like to call your daughter for that, then I can help you. Otherwise, the best I can tell you is to wait for the other Smith order to come in, and then I’ll know which order is yours.”

Customer: “This is stupid. I just want my pizza.”

She walks off dialing her phone. I ring out several customers while she’s standing off to the side talking to, I hope, her daughter on her phone. Eventually, a man comes up and says he’s there for Smith, I explain the two orders, and he chuckles as he gives me his number. I ring him out and give him his food.

Me: “Ma’am, I can ring you out now. I know which one is yours.”

Customer: “You mean I still have to pay after waiting this long?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. I’m sorry, but I couldn’t tell which one was yours until now.”

She says into the phone that we’re charging her.

Customer: “My husband says we shouldn’t have to pay since you made me wait.”

She paid and then complained to corporate. Thankfully, the area VP called to ask what happened. When we told him, he said there was no way she was getting anything for not knowing what she ordered. Folks, please, at the very least, give a first AND last name on orders so this doesn’t happen.

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There’s A Bit Of A Thought Blockage Here

, , , , | Right | April 26, 2021

I work for a national roadside, insurance, and travel company. My primary job is to sign older drivers up for a “Safety Driving Class” that covers general safety tips for older drivers. All of this is done over the phone; the classes are not regularly scheduled, so I often have to call folks back when we have a class available.

This caller has me looking for a class and I have to schedule her for a call back as we don’t have one. I’ve called her twice now, but each time, the call went straight to voicemail. 

Finally, she calls me.

Caller: “You know, I was expecting you to call me back, but you haven’t! I’m very angry with you; I thought you were a very nice girl.”

Me: “Ma’am, I have tried to call you twice, on [date two weeks ago] and [date one week ago]. Each time, it went straight to voicemail. I’ve left you multiple messages.”

Caller: “Well, of course, it does. I blocked your number!”

She rambles for a minute while I sit, stupefied as to how she expects me to contact her if she blocked my number to call her. Once I gain my wits:

Me: “Ma’am, if you blocked my number, there’s no way you would’ve ever gotten my messages or phone calls.”

Caller: “NO! My phone is set up so that if you leave a message when I’ve blocked your number, I’ll get your messages. I didn’t want to get any solicitation from you or [Company].”

I saw no point in arguing with her; clearly, she hadn’t gotten my messages and believed she’d still get them with my number blocked.

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Doing A Disservice To Service Animals, Part 8

, , , , | Right | April 22, 2021

I work for a popular coffee chain, and, like most food service establishments, we have a strict policy against non-service pets in the store. State laws allow us to ask if it is a service animal, but it is illegal to ask for documentation; if they say yes, we must take them at their word. 

A man is standing in line with a small dog in his arms.

Me: “Excuse me, sir, but is that a service animal?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “I am sorry, sir, but we don’t permit animals in our store unless they are service animals.”

Customer: “But what about [treat we give for free to dogs]?”

Me: “Sir, we are happy to give you one of those for your dog, but someone needs to wait outside with the animal.”

He walks away, looking confused, and returns almost immediately, still holding the dog.

Customer: “You’re breaking the law!”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “You’re breaking the law! You can’t ask someone if their pet is a service animal!”

Me: “Yes, I can, sir. As I said, that is our policy and it is my job to enforce it.”

Customer: *Getting more irate* “No, you are breaking the law!”

Me: “I only know what I am told, sir. I am not breaking any law.”

Customer: “Yes, you are!”

This whole time, one of our regulars is standing nearby waiting for his coffee. He is one of my favorite customers; he is a very kind, friendly man, and he also happens to be very large and fit. He finally turns exasperatedly toward the irate customer.

Regular: “No, she is not. I know the laws, and she is not breaking them. You are wrong!”

The customer held his tiny dog a little closer, muttered something, and then walked away. My regular got his coffee for free on his next visit!

Doing A Disservice To Service Animals, Part 7
Doing A Disservice To Service Animals, Part 6
Doing A Disservice To Service Animals, Part 5
Doing A Disservice To Service Animals, Part 4
Doing A Disservice To Service Animals, Part 3

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