Tanking Your Credibility

, , , | Working | August 19, 2017

(It’s been a very cold winter so far. My manager has told me not to sell any propane tanks on our shift, as we work thirds. I’m at the front end and it’s about 11:30 at night and I’m preparing for the registers to reset.)

Elderly Customer: “Hi, I was just wondering if I could get a propane tank.”

Me: *wincing* “I’m sorry, but we don’t sell propane tanks at this time at night.”

Elderly Customer: “Oh, I’ve already been to two places and they didn’t have the type of tank I need.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but my manager really doesn’t like us to do it, since it’s so cold and dark out.”

Elderly Customer: “I wouldn’t even mind doing it myself.”

Me: “I’m really sorry, but the cage is locked up.”

Elderly Customer: “Oh, right. I really do need to get one though…”

Me: “I’m sorry. Even if I attempt to ask my manager he screams to me over the radio, ‘NO!'” *nervous laughter, as I feel really bad about turning her away*

(During this I’m changing over a register and thinking to myself that maybe I should send her to my manager to see if she can talk him into it. When I turn around though, she’s gone. I continue with my duties for another 10 or 15 minutes.)

Manager: *on radio* “[My Name], you’re in trouble!”

Me: “Why, what’d I do?”

Manager: *slightly more mocking* “You know what you did!”

(I guess the customer HAD gone to him and asked him about getting propane. Both he and the supporting manager thought I had sent her to them. They complained for the next couple of hours about going out in the cold, all the while with me attempting to convince them I didn’t send her to them. I’m not sure if they ever eventually believed me.)

Washing Yourself Of This Customer

, , | Right | August 19, 2017

(I am 20, but have been working at my appliance store since I was 16, so am pretty knowledgeable on the products. An elderly lady calls enquiring about a new washing machine. I talk her through all the various machines which I think suit her needs, going over spin speeds, load sizes, special programmes, etc. She agrees on a model and I arrange a delivery and take payment. The day of delivery arrives and I get a call from the lady, who is furious! She is ranting about what kind of idiots do we employ and suchlike. She calms down enough that I can get a word in and ask her what’s wrong.)

Customer: “The idiot who I spoke to sold me a laundry machine! I wanted A WASHING MACHINE!”

Me: “The model we delivered you is a washing machine, ma’am.”

Customer: “Well, it’s the wrong kind. I wanted a DISH WASHING MACHINE!”

Me: “…let me get the boss.”

Customer Has Daddy Issues On Your Behalf

, , , , | Right | August 18, 2017

(I work at a low cost retailer on the weekends to make some extra cash. The weekend before Father’s Day, my manager approaches me while I restock some shelves.)

Manager: “Can you work next weekend?”

Me: “Yes. Why?”

Manager: “Thank God! I’m having problems finding people willing to work on Father’s Day.”

(Before I can say anything, an older customer who is standing a few feet away speaks up.)

Customer: “You want to work on Father’s Day? How could you! Don’t you love your father? Don’t you want to spend time with him? What kind of daughter are you? Don’t want to see your own your father on Father’s Day?!”

Manager: *turns to Customer* “I’m sorry, ma’am—”

Customer: *turns her wrath towards the manager* “And you! How could you ask this poor young woman to work on the day made to celebrate her father?!”

(My manager looks flummoxed for a moment, so I jump in.)

Me: “Ma’am? My father has been dead for ten years, and really, he was an a**-hole when he was alive. I don’t think he really cares what I do on Father’s Day.”

(The customer stops and stares at me, her mouth agape. Then she turns and hurries away. I glance at my manager, sure I’m about to get yelled at for cursing at a customer, but am surprised to see him grinning ear to ear.)

Manager: “So… still available to work next weekend?”

Closing That Line Of Questioning

, , , | Right | August 17, 2017

(A customer has just purchased some material.)

Customer: “Okay, I will pick it up Friday.”

Me: “Sounds great.”

Customer: “You close at five?”

Me: “Yes, we close at five on Friday.”

Customer: “And if I come at six?”

Me: “…no one will be here?”

(Cue crestfallen face from customer.)

Customer: “Oh.”

Chalk And Cheesed Off

, , , , | Right | August 15, 2017

(I work as an associate for the art supply section of our store. We’re a small business in competition with a chain art store. We have this one regular who everyone in the store dislikes because she breaks art supplies and makes a mess of the displays. We can never make a fuss about her though, because she’s come in every single day this past month and has bought over $50 worth of supplies every day. One day she needed help with the chalk pastels.)

Regular: “Hi, do you know how to mix colors with chalk pastels? I’ve never used them before and I have a tough project to do.”

Me: “Certainly.”

(I show her how to mix colors with the sample pastels we have on the floor.)

Regular: “Cool! The people at [Chain Art Store] didn’t know how to do this! I tried mixing colors with their samples for the longest time and I couldn’t do it. You should have seen it. There were broken chalks everywhere and I totally made a mess of it… But now you showed me how!”

Me: “Just tell me if you need anything.”

(Internally, I’m screaming, because I know she’s going to do that to my display. I go up to the third floor to help train a new associate, and about two hours later I hear an odd call on the walkie.)

Coworker #1: “Uh, Art Supply? Can we have our window cleaner back on main?”

Coworker #2: “No… it’s going to be a while. I have a window cleaner emergency on the second floor.”

(I rush downstairs with the new associate to see what’s going on, and there is pastel chalk everywhere. There are broken bits of chalk on the floor. IT’S EVERYWHERE. My coworker has a mountain of paper towels behind her as she tries to clean up the mess.)

Me: “Did the regular leave?”

Coworker #2: “Yeah, like ten minutes ago… She bought $80 worth of chalk pastels and left this mess. I’ve been cleaning it up since she left!”

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