Needs “How To Behave Like A Decent Human Being” Classes

, , , , , | Right | August 16, 2017

(I work at a pet store that also provides training classes for dogs. The day before, the trainer got into an accident and went to the hospital. He then had a bad reaction to some antibiotics he was given and had to rush back to the emergency room the next morning. He calls and tells the manager on duty that he can’t come in, so she agrees to call his students and let them know class is canceled and will resume next week as scheduled. Unfortunately, his paperwork is messed up and the manager does not know he has a seven pm class, so she doesn’t call them. The four families arrive and ask me when class is starting. Since I got there at four pm I have no idea what is going on so I ask the manager and she tells me to relay what happened to the class, since she is busy.)

Me: *addressing all four families* “I have just been informed that the trainer had a bad reaction to his antibiotics and had to be rushed to the hospital, so he had to cancel class. We were told that the manager earlier called all his students to let them know but I think she missed your class. I am terribly sorry, you guys. Class will start next week.

Customer #1: “Oh, okay, no problem. Thank you!” *happily walks off to go shopping*

Customer #2: “Things happen. We’ll see you all next week!” *leaves store*

Customer #3: *suddenly intensely irate* “THIS IS RIDICULOUS! I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS! WHY WE WERE NOT CALLED?! HUH?!”

Me: *calmly but slightly taken aback by her sudden shift in tone* “I apologize, but I do not know anything about training. I do not work that department; all I know is I was told the morning manager called the classes b—“


Me: “Of course. She’s the blonde one over there helping the customer with fish.”

Customer #3: “THE ONE WITH HER BACK TO US?! HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE!” *stomps off towards the other end of the store*

(Customer #4 was standing off to the side during this entire exchange and now looks over at me and approaches. I prepare for the worst.)

Me: “I am terribly sorry about this inconvenience. I thought the manager called this morning.”

Customer #4: “Oh, honey, it is not your fault. I don’t know what that lady’s problem is but she needs to pull out whatever died up her butt. It’s not an inconvenience; I literally live five minutes away and I bet you she lives about that far, too. Some people think that just because you work at a store you don’t have a life outside of this and you need to cater to them.”

Me: *relieved* “Thank you for understanding! So many people just don’t get it.”

Customer #4: “Well, she obviously never worked retail! I worked retail for ten years and it gives you a whole new perspective on life. Don’t let her get you down. This ain’t a big deal. Have a good night. We’ll see you next week. And tell the trainer I hope he is feeling better!” *leaves the store*

(My faith in humanity has been restored.)

We Can Do Nothing For Those Who Accept Nothing

, , , | Right | August 7, 2017

(My store has recently started a new “Store Pick-Up” option where customers can order items online and then pick them up at a local location the same day. Corporate is running several different sales that can only be applied to these online transactions. This is turning into a problem since many customers see the low prices online and get angry when they come into the store and see a higher price tag. A customer calls me over and starts to complain about this discrepancy. I explain the special sale, but she isn’t having it.)

Customer: “So there’s nothing you can do for me?”

Me: “There’s actually a lot we can do! We can process your purchase online using the store computer and it can be ready for you, at the sale price, in about 10 to 20 minutes.”

Customer: “20 minutes?!”

Me: “Yes, that’s one option. If that doesn’t sound good, remember that this sale will be going on for a few weeks. You’re welcome to go home, purchase as much as you’d like online, and then pick it up the next time you’re in town.”

Customer: “Why can’t you just go up to the register and give me this price today? You’re going to lose a lot of business this way!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but this sale is specifically meant to encourage people to shop online and use the in-store pick up. I’m not allowed to manually adjust any of the prices to this level.”

Customer: “So there’s nothing you can do for me?”

Me: “Ma’am… there are still several ways that we can get you this sale. We can use a store computer and process an online order within about 10 minutes, or you can put in the order at your leisure and pick it up another time. Are you interested in doing either of those?”

Customer: “Just change the price for me at the register; I want these items right now.”

Me: “I can’t do that, I’m afraid. These prices are only for people who use the online ordering system.”

Customer: “So there’s nothing you can do for me?”

Me: *facepalm*

Pulled Glass Is Pulling At Your Heartstrings

, , | Hopeless | August 5, 2017

(I work at a pretty well-known pet store that has a boarding facility within it, where I work front desk. Lately I have been having bad day after bad day, and totally unable to catch a break. I have been yelled at, cursed at, accused of being rude to someone I had only just met, and had my stapler thrown at me. On top of this I have been battling really intense anxiety and mounting depression, and I struggle with bipolar disorder. Overall, not a great concoction. Some of my regular customers make it worth it, though. My favorite is a woman and her best friend who bring their two dogs to us a couple times a week. They are both very understanding and have a great sense of humor, so I am comfortable joking around with them.)

Female Customer: “You look like you got hit by a truck today! Is everything all right?”

Me: “Oh, you know, just the usual irrationally angry customers that act like I supposedly torched their house with their whole extended family inside because I wouldn’t accept their four-month-expired coupon.”

Male Customer: “That bad, huh?”

Me: “Oh, yeah.” *notices Female Customer is wearing a gorgeous pulled glass necklace* “Oh, my god, I LOVE your necklace!”

Female Customer: “Oh, my, thank you!”

Me: “I used to have a necklace like that when I was younger. It was a little pulled glass turtle and I wore it every day but then it fell and broke at school and I was heartbroken. Oh well, things happen! Your total is [total] for the day. You guys take care!”

(A week or so later I see them come in to pick up their dogs so I get the till set for them. They walk up and I greet them as usual.)

Me: “Came back for the boys, I see! I guess you wanna keep them after all?”

Male Customer: “I mean, I guess we could take them back if you don’t want them.”

Me: “We’d be glad to keep them if you don’t want them! They can be our new mascots! Phone number, please?”

Female Customer: “[Phone Number]. By the way I want to give you this before I forget.” *reaches in her pocket and pulls out a beautiful blue pulled glass necklace* “This is for you. You seemed really stressed last week and I saw this online and I thought of you!”

Me: *in awe* “This is… for me? Really?”

Female Customer: “Yup! I think it matches your eyes well!”

Me: *holding back tears* “I… I don’t know what to say. Thank you so much. I love it so much. Thank you. I’ll be back with the dogs in a moment!”

(I rushed into the back and asked my coworker to get the dogs ready to go. Meanwhile I broke down in tears. The necklace meant so much to me and was a symbol to myself that no matter how many times I get yelled at and how many times I want to quit or give up on life, there are people out there that truly do care and are good people. I can never express my gratitude towards her with her simple act of kindness towards a struggling college kid. She doesn’t know about my anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder and yet she still went out of her way to make me feel better. Makes me believe there are good people out there after all. Thank you.)

This Questionnaire Is Not Always Hopeless

, , , , | Working | June 19, 2017

(I’m applying online for a job at a chain pet supply store. There’s a pretty exhaustive application process, including a long list of statements you have to mark on a 1-5 scale from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree.” Most are pretty typical for an entry-level retail job. For example, “I work best as part of a team” or “I appreciate constructive criticism from my superiors.” And then…)

Application Questionnaire: “When I look at the world around me, I feel little or no hope for mankind.”

(For the record, I marked “moderately disagree.” I never did hear back about that job, and not taking a screenshot of the question is one of my great regrets in life.)

Cat-ching On To Your Scheme

, , | Right | June 6, 2017

(I am at the register when a woman approaches with a large bag of dog food.)

Me: “Hi, do you have a [Membership] card?”

Customer: “No, and I don’t want one. Just ring me out.”

Me: “Okay.”

(I scan the UPC but it comes up as another item; a $4 cat food dish instead of a 35lb bag of dog food. I peel the sticker off and rescan.)

Customer: “Excuse me; what are you doing?”

Me: “Someone seems to have placed another tag over the original UPC. Your total is $58.29.”

Customer: “It rang up $4 so I’m not paying $60, and the shelf said $45!”

Me: “Well, since you didn’t buy a food dish, I can’t charge you for one. I can have someone check the shelf but if it said $45 for the [Membership] price, I can sign you up in, like, 30 seconds.”

Customer: “I want your manager.”

Me: “Sure.”

(While we wait for the manager to arrive, the woman huffs and complains that I should just give her the bag for $4 because that’s what I scanned, peppering her rant with insults about my job (“so easy a goddamn monkey could do it but somehow you’re too r******d”). I am looking at our website to see if the price she’s mentioned is an online sale.)

Manager: “What did you need?”

Me: “This cat dish tag was right over the UPC and I—”

Customer: “This b**** is trying to overcharge me! The sign says $45 but she’s charging me $55!”

Manager: “Okay, can you show me where you found it? Sometimes people put things in the wrong place. If that is the case, we can override the price for $45.”

Me: “It’s the [Membership] price.”

Customer: *to me* “No one is talking to you. Just shut up.” *to my manager* “She also scanned it once and it said $4! Are you going to honor that or do I have to call corporate?”

(I hand the $4 sticker to my manager. She looks at it, at me, and back to the customer.)

Manager: “Ma’am, did you put this sticker on the bag?”

Customer: “Are you accusing me of theft?!”

Manager: “No, ma’am, but I am asking if you know how this cheap item sticker from the other side of the store ended up perfectly aligned over the original UPC.”


(After the customer stormed out, my manager went back to the aisles and sure enough, there was a cat food dish matching the UPC without a barcode sticker… sitting where the dog food would have been on the shelf.)

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