Doesn’t Even Close A Sale

| Fort Wayne, IN, USA | Crazy Requests, Theme Of The Month

(It’s been a slow night, and my coworker and I have been the only people in the store for over an hour. It’s five minutes until closing time.)

Coworker: “I think I’ll go lock up a few minutes early. I don’t think anyone else is coming in.”

Me: “Fine by me. I’ll get started on the register.”

(Right on cue, the door opens and a customer walks in.)

Coworker: “Oh, welcome. Is there anything we can help you find?”

Customer: “No, not right now. I’m just here to look around.”

(The customer wanders over to the trinket section. Since we’re not allowed to tell customers that we’re about to close, my coworker makes a big show about locking the door. The customer doesn’t notice.)

Me: “Hi, ma’am. Is there anything I can help you find tonight?”

Customer: *flipping through a magazine from the display* “No. I’m good, thanks.”

Me: *loudly* “[Coworker], I’m gonna go grab the vacuum so we can begin the nightly cleaning!”

Coworker: *just as loudly* “Okay! Make sure you hit some of the lights in the back too! I’m going to flip the sign on the door since it’s past eight o’clock!”

(My coworker and I continue loudly discussing our nightly duties every time we pass by the browsing woman. We keep asking her if she needs anything, and each time she waves us away. In desperation, I turn off half the lights in the store, which doesn’t phase the customer at all. Finally, we are out of nightly chores to do; the only thing remaining is to close the register, which we can’t do while the customer is in the store.)

Coworker: *loudly* “Man, I can’t wait to go home. I’m really hungry.”

Me: *loudly* “Me, too! I have homework to get started on once I get home. What time is it?”

Coworker: “8:15.”

(We drift into silence and stare at the customer as she picks up figurines off a shelf, examines them, and sets them back down. After a few minutes, the customer suddenly looks up and seems to realize that the lights are off, the store is deadly quiet, and the two employees are staring straight at her.)

Customer: “Oh, my. Are you guys closing?”

Me: *relieved* “Yes, ma’am. We closed nearly 20 minutes ago. We’re just waiting on you.”

Customer: “Oh.”

(She continues browsing for another 10 minutes. Finally, she makes her way to the front of the store.)

Coworker: *unlocking the door* “Was there anything you needed to buy, ma’am?”

Customer: “Oh, no, not tonight. I just like looking around. Good night!”

Cleaning Out The Trash

| Anchorage, AK, USA | Crazy Requests, Theme Of The Month

(It is 10 minutes after closing, and my manager hadn’t locked our front door. Two customers walk in. Our focus is on customer service as a business, so we allow them to shop. I am currently mopping the floor, which is filthy because of the snow.)

Customer #1: “Ew! Something smells disgusting over here!” *walking towards mop bucket* “Ugh, it’s this!”

Me: “I’m sorry, it’s strong cleaning fluid. Our floors get nasty in the winter.”

Customer #2: “Do you really need to do that right now? We are trying to shop!”

Me: *eyetwitch* “I’m very sorry, ladies. We closed 15 minutes ago, so I am just trying to finish the nightly chores so we can go home. I haven’t mopped in the direction you’re headed, so it shouldn’t bother you after this patch.”

Customer #1: “…rude.” *both of them walk off*

Coworker: *who has been watching quietly* “Actually, I just finished mopping over there.”

Me: “You’re my favorite.”

Hard Of Earring

| Basingstoke, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Criminal & Illegal

(I work in a high-end high street women’s clothing store. We also sell accessories. Like most UK stores, we do not accept returns on earrings for any reasons, bar them being defective. We’ve just entered the mid-season sale period, where a lot of our jewellery is now 70% off. A fair amount of customers are returning and rebuying items to get the discounted price.)

Customer: “I want to return this set of earrings and rebuy them.”

Me: “I’m sorry. Store policy says we’re not allowed to accept returns on any earrings, unless they’re defective. Even though you’re wanting to rebuy them, I cannot process the return.”

Customer: “I WANT TO RETURN THEM!”

Me: “I’m sorry; I’m not allowed to do that.”

Customer: “Yes, you are! You’re just saying that because you don’t want to give me the sale price!”

Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way, and I assure you we do allow returning and rebuying. We just can’t accept returns on earrings unless they defective in some way.”

Customer: “I want to talk to someone else!”

(I get my assistant manager, who comes over and relays what I’ve just told the customer.)

Assistant Manager: “I’m sorry, we can’t accept the return on them unless they’re defective.”

(The customer drops the earrings on the floor, then stomps on them. She picks them up and puts them on the counter.)

Customer: “I want to return these. They’re defective.”

Assistant Manager: “We don’t accept returns on items that have been damaged purposely by customers.”

Customer: “You have no proof I broke them. It’s your words against mine, and the customer is ALWAYS right!”

Assistant Manager: “This may be true in most circumstances. Here, we have CCTV showing you damaged them yourself. I’m sorry. We cannot accept returns on them. Is there anything else you’d like me to help with today?”

Customer: “MY EARRINGS ARE BROKEN! What am I gonna do with broken earrings?!”

Me: “Would you like me to dispose of them?”

(The customer glared at my assistant manager and me, then stormed out.)

Bagged Himself A Steal

| Baltimore, MD, USA | Awesome Customers, Criminal & Illegal, Wild & Unruly

(I work as a cart attendant at a popular retail store. It is a rather slow day and my coworker and I are getting ready to go get more carts when I hear our undercover security guard yelling.)

Undercover Guard: “[Security Guard], stop this guy! He stole an iPod!”

(The security guard heads the guy off at the front but the shoplifter pulls a knife.)

Shoplifter: “Let me by or I’ll cut the s*** out of you!”

(Due to company policy, the security guard has to let him pass due to safety reasons. The shoplifter tries to run out the entrance while a rather elderly looking man is entering. The elderly man then proceeds to clothesline the thief, jump on top of him, punch him in the face, and disarm him. The elderly man stands up.)

Elderly Man: “I got him!”

(All four of us are astonished at what has just happened. As the security guard hauls the shoplifter into the security office to await the police my fellow cart attendant and I start talking to the old man.)

Coworker: “That was the coolest thing I’ve seen all year!”

Me: “Yeah, where did you learn to do that!?”

Elderly Man: “Oh, that was nothing! I learned how to do that from my DI in basic years ago!”

(It turns out he was a Marine veteran who fought through WWII, the Korean War, and Vietnam! Needless to say the man was made an honorary employee and given the employee discount for life!)

Finally Closes The Sale

| Seattle, WA, USA | Crazy Requests, Theme Of The Month

(It is now 15 minutes past closing time. Several staff members have been helping a lady with a complicated question while her young son wanders around and plays with the merchandise.)

Me: “We need to get the store closed and all the lights turned off, so let me get you rung up at this register over here.”

(She wanders over to a display her son is looking at.)

Mother: “You can choose between these two items and I’ll buy it for you.”

Son: “I want this!” *chooses much more expensive item*

Mother: “No, I’m not buying you that. Choose between these two.”

(The argument goes on for a few minutes. Finally:)

Mother: “All right, I’m choosing for you. This one.”

(She brings the item to me, and I ring it up with her other purchases.)

Me: “That’ll be [total].”

(She opens her wallet and slowly starts counting out exact change. I wince internally and say nothing; it’s now 25 minutes past closing. I take her money and hand her a receipt.)

Me: “Thank you so much! I’ll walk you out, since I need to lock the door behind you.”

Customer: “Okay, thanks.” *cellphone rings, she answers* “Oh, hi! Yeah, just finishing up.”

(She continues to stand there and talk on her cell, very slowly putting her wallet away and showing no sign of hurrying. Eventually, with me standing there holding the door open, she makes her way to the exit, still talking on the phone. I lock the door behind her and go back into the main room, where my coworkers (who have been wrangling other reluctant-to-leave customers) are standing there looking exhausted.)

Me: “Who’s buying the first round?”

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