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Back Off Or Become The Butt Of My Joke

, , , , | Right | September 20, 2021

Social distancing in supermarkets is strictly enforced here. One of the rules is that each customer must use a cart, both to limit the number of customers allowed in at the same time and to ensure distance — keeping a cart length away from the nearest customer.

I’m queuing up at the counter when I feel a touch on my butt. I turn around: it’s a middle-aged woman leading her cart by grabbing its front. She has gotten so close that her hand and the cart bump me from behind.

Me: “Please keep your distance.”

Customer: “Oh, don’t worry. It’s all right.”

She comes another step closer, again bumping me from behind. I don’t know what possesses me — I’m usually very non-confrontational — but I answer her quite loudly.

Me: “As long as you’ve got your hand on my butt, you’re standing too close!”

She turned a wonderful shade of red and scurried off!

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Returner Burner: Stamp Of Disapproval

, , , , , | Right | September 18, 2021

The mailman does his drop-off at our store. At first, I think nothing of it.

A few minutes later, the assistant manager comes out. The small box in the mail was a customer creatively doing a return. She had literally mailed her purchases, which she had made in person, back to the store, along with her card information written on stationary. She didn’t even provide us with a stamped envelope, so our assistant manager had to pay for the stamp out of pocket so we could let her know we processed the return.

Even worse, she lived close enough to one of our locations that she would’ve saved more money by driving or having someone drive her to the store than she did by mailing it!

Returner Burner: Outside Attack
Returner Burner: The Store Card Scandal
A Different Kind Of Returner Burner
Returner Burner, Part 8
Returner Burner: International Edition

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The Very Model Of A Modern Major Idiot

, , , , | Friendly | September 18, 2021

Back in the days before the Internet, I used to hang around at a modelling club. People building scale models would meet, bring their builds, share tools, give and receive feedback, and the like. People who take the hobby TOO seriously can be very particular about the exact shade and hue of camouflage, resorting to complex quasi-alchemical mixtures for obtaining the “right” colour.

During one of those meets, I heard this exchange.

Modeller #1: “What a nice build. Is it in a desert scheme?”

Modeller #2: *Taken aback* “Of course it’s not; it’s in the green and brown scheme, as you can see.”

Modeller #1: “Eh, I can’t really see that. I’m colourblind.”

Modeller #2: “You’re pulling my leg.”

Modeller #1: “Why would I?”

Modeller #2: “But… But… But… It’s impossible. How can you be sure you’re not painting your tanks fuchsia?”

Modeller #1: “Well, I have this thing to help me.”

[Modeller #2] leans forward as if to be the only one receiving a secret

Modeller #2: “You do, eh? What is it, eh?”

Modeller #1: “I read the number on the bloody pot, you dolt!

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The Return Of Cheese Louise

, , | Right | September 17, 2021

I’m a manager at the cheese counter, and the company is doing a special promotion through our cheese dealers. We have a program that allows customers to come in and try a specific cheese each week for six months. The idea is to get a stamp on a passport each week, and you turn in your completed passport to receive a free $25 cheese tray in return. The caveat is that if you miss a week, thus missing a stamp, you can’t win.

A woman comes in after I have left for the day, two days after the promotion has ended. She spins a story to the customer service manager on duty.

Customer: “I’ve misplaced my completed passport, but can I get my cheese tray anyway?”

The spineless manager says yes and brings her to the deli, where my assistant is working. The woman reiterates her tale, and the manager confirms that he has okayed it. My assistant is not impressed but obediently gets her a box of crackers to go with the tray and then starts to help her pick out cheese.

Once the tray is completed, the woman claims:

Customer: “I can’t leave with the cheese because it’ll sit in my car for too long. Can you hold it for me?”

Assistant: *Reluctantly* “Yes, but you need to come back before the end of the day.”

We find out much later that the woman just waltzed out of the store with the crackers, which she had not paid for, and came back for the cheese later that evening!

Five days later, guess who calls? Yep. The same lady. And now, she has a different story.

Customer: “I won a cheese tray as part of your ‘customer appreciation’ celebration. I had to leave the tray here but want to pick it up now.”

Yes, the tray she already got, to go with the crackers she stole. I have not heard the story up to this point, as my assistant also didn’t know she had stolen the crackers and the matter was considered closed.

Me: “I’m not familiar with this situation. Can you explain?”

Customer: “It’s all part of your birthday celebration!”

Me: “There was no promotion involving the cheese counter and the birthday celebration.”

Customer: “But I’m owed a cheese tray!”

Me: “But there is no promotion for that. Your only option is to turn in a completed cheese passport.”

She then name-drops the manager as having okayed it. I inform her with insincere friendliness:

Me: “You’re welcome to discuss the issue with our manager tomorrow.”

I fire off an email to our store manager after I hang up. Two days later, she calls AGAIN. This time, she talks to our customer service desk. They, of course, talk to me in turn, and I tell them what happened. Another refusal, another email to the manager.

I hear nothing for a week or so. Finally, the woman comes into the store. She tries the story about losing her passport and I tell her AGAIN to talk to my manager, as there is nothing I can do.

She looks me dead in the face.

Customer: “But [My Name, mispronounced] said that you would help me.”

Me: “I am [My Name] and I said no such thing to you, and now you aren’t getting the tray at all.”

Customer: “This is unacceptable behavior!”

She whines like this for several minutes before storming out after asking to speak to our manager, who isn’t here today.

Not even thirty minutes later, our grocery person calls me, because now the lady has called HIS department! Her story has changed yet again; now there’s a death in the family and she has to leave the country. Oh, and she drove all the way up from the next county, but she just wants the tray she won.

Me: “She isn’t getting a cheese tray because this is now an ongoing thing with her. She’s already lied multiple times to get it. You can refuse her on my authority, or you can transfer her to me and I will refuse her personally.”

The grocery person tries to offer to transfer her, but she refuses, saying that she just wants her cheese tray and that the cheese manager (i.e. me) has been rude and unhelpful.

Grocery Guy: *To the customer* “You have no choice but to deal with the cheese manager about the cheese tray.”

Customer: “I demand an email address to a higher-up so I can write a letter about how horrible you are being to me!”

Grocery Guy: “There is no email. If you have a complaint, you need to call a 1-800 number.”

She screamed swear words, threats of litigation, and, horror of horrors, negative reviews before her shrieking was cut off by him hanging up on her. Cue more emails to the manager.

The very next day, the manager came in and the whole of the story finally came out from beginning to end. I can only presume the manager finally ended it somehow because she stopped calling completely. 

All this because she was determined to get TWO free cheese trays.

Cheese- Louise!, Part 3
Cheese- Louise!, Part 2
Cheese- Louise!

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When Will They Realize Not Coming Back Is An Incentive Not A Threat?

, , | Right | September 17, 2021

I am working on setting up a new store. The owners are desperate to open as the setup has taken longer than they expected due to the store being larger than any they have opened in the past. They decide to get all the staff to concentrate on finishing most of the departments and blocking off an unfinished area so that they can open on the advertised date.

We have built walls using cartons of stock to block off the area, leaving a roped-off opening for staff to access. I am part of the team that is assigned to finish off the area, and as we complete an area, we move the wall of cartons. At one stage, the wall doesn’t quite span across the area blocked off; there is a gap of about twenty to thirty centimetres. Most customers just peer through the gap to see what we are doing, but not one woman.

I hear the sound of the carton wall moving and look up to see a woman squeezing herself through the gap. I rush up to stop her from doing so as the cartons are full of stock and could harm her if she pushes the wall over.  

Me: “I’m sorry, but you can’t come through that way.”

Customer: “Why not? I want to shop in here!”

Me: “This area isn’t set up for customers yet.”

Customer: “What do you mean, ‘not set up yet’? The shop is open and I want to shop!”

Me: “This part is not open yet; we are still working on getting it done.”

Customer: *Screaming* “How dare you open this place if it’s not completely finished?! I am so disgusted! I will be telling people not to shop here!”

She stomps off. I turn to see my store manager watching from the other end of the area. I explain to him that I stopped her from squeezing through the gap and possibly knocking the cartons onto herself and what she said to me.

Manager: “So, she’s not coming back? Good. We don’t need crazies in here. You handled that well.”

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