A Secure Solution

| Seattle, WA, USA | Liars & Scammers

Guest: “I want to return this.”

Me: “No problem; do you have your receipt or card with you?”

Guest: “Nope.”

Me: “Well, I can still return with a driver’s license and give you the value of the item on a gift card.”

Guest: “That’d be great.”

(I process the return, and hand the receipt and gift card to guest. Five minutes later the same guest comes back.)

Guest: “You didn’t give me my gift card.”

Me: “Really? I’m pretty sure I did; I’ll check.”

(I check.)

Me: “Sorry, I don’t have it up here; I’m sure I gave it to you.”

Guest: “You definitely didn’t; I can’t find it.”

(Security walks up and asks the guest what the problem is. He then goes back to his office and looks at the camera, and then returns.)

Security: “I could clearly see he gave the gift card to you.”

Guest: “Found it.”

(Amazing that as soon as security got involved it suddenly appeared!)

Head First Into An Incident Report

| Central Valley, CA, USA | Family & Kids, Health & Body

(I look up to see a small child falling face first out of his mother’s cart, slamming his head very hard on the floor.)

Mother: “AAHHHH! OH, MY GOD!”

(I am very startled but remain calm and follow procedure.)

Me: *on walkie-talkie* “Code green: electronics.”

Mother: “Oh, my god! Call paramedics!”

(Knowing the costliness of ambulances, I pick up the phone but ask more questions before calling.)

Me: “Security and management is on the way; what happened exactly?”

Mother: “OH, MY GOD! I DON’T KNOW! I had him standing in the cart and he just got excited and fell out. Oh, my god! Can you, like, get someone to check him out or something…” *starts behaving very awkwardly*

Me: *baffled* “Well, uh… I mean… No one here at [Store] is a trained medical professional or anything.”

(By this time, security and all managers on the floor are responding, on the way with ice for the poor little child.)

Me: *to the hurt child* “Hey, how do you feel, bud? Does it hurt?” *the child stands there holding his head, responding only with sniffles*

Me: *to mother* “Is he normally pretty talkative?”

Mother: “Ya…” *awkward still*

Me: “How old is he?”

Mother: “Three…” *by this time she has lost all her enthusiasm and is just awkwardly staring*

Me: “Okay, so I think you should definitely take him to a doctor to make sure he’s not concussed or anything. Maybe the walk-in right down the road?”

Mother: *still awkwardly staring* “But can I, like, fill out a report or something…”

Manager: “Was there a spill? Did you slip?”

Mother: “No…” *looks around* “But shouldn’t there be a sign or something?”

(Every cart everywhere has a caution printed right on it for this reason exactly. Ours specifically states “Do not let child stand in cart. Child can fall out causing severe head injury.” Security later reviewed video to observe the incident. Turned out she was pushing that cart super fast with her kid standing in it and stopped abruptly. Nice.)

Beware The Milks!

| USA | Bizarre, Food & Drink, Health & Body, Language & Words, Pets & Animals

(I worked for our phone line for nearly two years before the stress got to me and I had to be moved to another section. One phone call from a guest still plagues my mind, however, and I will never *ever* forget it.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Store]; can I help you find something?”

Caller: *with the heaviest accent I have ever heard in my lifetime* “I has many milks.”

Me: “…I beg your pardon?”

Caller: “No, you see… I has many many milks. I am allergic to the milks and have a car that was going to do the breaking down. I buy many organic milks because the cows they eat the grass and I can drink the milks. So get many milks because cannot drive to store cause car going to break down. But after car break down, cannot drink milks! Still allergic! You need call the farm because the cows are not drinking the grass and come get many milks. They will go bad!”

Me: “Ma’am, may I ask a question. Are you lactose intolerant?”

Caller: “Very much so!”

Me: “I am, too, and if I may make a recommendation, [Brand of milk that is lactose free] will be safe to digest at a lower price than organic. Organic milk still contains lactose.”

Caller: “No! The cows; they are not eating the grass! I cannot drink the milk! Call the farm!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I cannot contact the supplier. If you search the brand on the Internet you may find their customer service number.”

Caller: “Fine, now come get the milks.”

Me: “We do not do home item retrieval, ma’am. You would have to bring the items to our store to return them.”

Caller: “No! The car, she is broken! I cannot drive it! You come get the milks!”

Me: “Perhaps you can borrow a friend or family member’s car or bum a ride from them?”

Caller: “No! You come get them!”

Me: “I cannot, ma’am.”

Caller: “FINE! Get manager!”

Me: “Right away. Please hold.” *goes to transfer line but she hangs up the moment I pull the phone away* “I can’t believe that just happened…”

Coworker: “Please, for the love of all that is beautiful, transfer that call to me next time.”

(She never called back.)

Those Customers Lost The Waiting Game

| MI, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(The store I work at prides itself on being modern but our register/computer system is as old as dirt. It’s slow, crashes and messes up a lot, and when we start running chipped credit cards, it all gets even worse. I’ve been able to identify what things cause the most problems and try my best to avoid them, but customers don’t listen.)

Me: “Looks like you have a chip card. The reader will let you know when to insert; just give it a moment.”

(It takes maybe five seconds tops for the reader to prompt the card. The customer waits for about two seconds before she gets impatient and shoves her card in. I sigh.)

Customer’s Mom: *laughing* “Oh, looks like you didn’t need to wait after all!”

Customer: *laughs smugly*

(I see the tell-tale signs that there’s some problem between the pin pad and the computer, as is what nearly always happens when people put their cards in too early.)

Me: “Actually, yeah, it’s going to take a few minutes now. When the card gets put in too early, it causes a miscommunication between the pin pad and the register computer and now we have to wait it out.”

(I start folding clothes on our back counter because there is literally nothing I can do to the register short of turning the computer off for the solid three minutes it takes to time itself out. The customer and her mom are seemingly getting more and more impatient, sighing loudly and staring at me.)

Customer’s Mom: *talking to [Customer], but looking at me* “Maybe we could just cancel it and start over. That wouldn’t take as long.”

Me: “Ah, yeah, sorry, there’s nothing I can do now. I can’t cancel it. We just have to wait. It does this when the chips get inserted too early.”

(It finally timed out and I was able to continue the transaction. The two of them wouldn’t look at me the whole time and left without so much as a “thank you” or “bye.” Pro tip: when an employee tells you to do something, there’s a reason! Don’t ignore them just because you think you can do what you want. It might mean it takes you five times as long to check out your one shirt!)

A Problem Customer

| USA | Bad Behavior, Language & Words

(A customer is trying things on in the fitting room while I refold items to go back to the floor.)

Customer: “The large is a little too big on me. Can you get a size medium for me?”

Me: “Oh, that’s no problem at all! I actually have a size medium in the same dress on the rack right here.”

(I go to hand her the dress, but she has a sour look on her face, and demands to see my manager. I page the manager, not knowing why.)

Customer: *to Manager* “I asked her for another size and she said it’s ‘no problem’! She implied it was a PROBLEM to do her job. I demand she be fired! There was no problem; she just had to do her job.”

Me: *to Manager* “I just meant that it was especially easy to help her because I already had the dress at hand. That’s all.”

Manager: “Okay, sounds like this was just a difference in language…”

Customer: “No! I’m not going to be insulted like this! Doing your job is not a PROBLEM! You are ALL spoiled and rude! This is your job! Not a PROBLEM. Your corporate office will hear about this! You will ALL be fired!”

(She dumps a stack of freshly folded shirts on the floor on the way out. While I am picking them up, I overhear my manager on the phone with our district manager.)

Manager: “I just wanted to forewarn you that you may get a phone call from a PROBLEM customer…”

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