“Pretending To Care” Is The First Thing You Learn In Retail

, , , , | Right | April 9, 2021

I am at work, finishing up my last shift at this job as I’ve recently been hired elsewhere. Our store closes at 9:00 and it is 8:58. As I am the only cashier, I’ve got a fairly long line-up, with one rude customer at the very front.

Customer: “You know, your [Greenhouse] is closed!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. My apologies, but we’re just about closed so they’ve started shutting down the departments and had to shut down the outdoor one some time ago. It will be open when [Store] opens at 9:00 am, though.”

Customer: “But I came all the way from [Nearby City]! I demand that you let me in right now!”

The city is less than a half-hour away.

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I don’t know what to tell you. The department is closed and there’s no one there to open it or help you. And even if there was an employee working there, they wouldn’t have clearance to open the department. Just like I don’t have clearance.”

Customer: “That’s ridiculous! Go open it for me right now!”

Me: “Ma’am, please listen to me. I have been at this job for two months. I am one of the newest cashiers. This is my last shift, we closed five minutes ago, and there’s a line-up behind you. Now, if you really think that getting into the [Greenhouse] is so important that you can’t make the drive out tomorrow, there’s a manager here. He’s waiting for me to finish up here so he can lock the store, and he’s over by customer service. I’m sure he’ll be happy to pretend to care. Next!”

1 Thumbs

A Ballooning Sense Of Entitlement, Part 2

, , , | Right | April 8, 2021

I have found myself with an order of thirty balloons that all need to be blown up and are due to be picked up in less than twenty minutes. I’m the only person running the front of the store. It takes approximately forty-five minutes to blow up twenty-three balloons due to the number of customers I’m having to ring up.

As I get down to the last seven, a customer walks up stating that the balloons are for his wife. I finish ringing my current line and go to finish his order. As I’m doing that, I start to day-dream. Yesterday, I was offered a job at a daycare making almost $4 more, with possible free daycare for my six-month-old. As I’m thinking about how desperately I need this for my small growing family, I hear a voice cut through my thoughts. An elderly woman has made her way to my register.

Elderly Customer: “Could I get some help over here?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I’m down to the last three balloons for this gentleman right here and then I’ll be able to help you out.”

She leans around my register.

Elderly Customer: “You know, some of us are kind of in a hurry!”

My customer motions to me and tells me to go ahead, so I go to check her out. She’s broken me out of my daydream about a better life for not only my daughter but my husband and me, as well, so my customer service smile hasn’t returned by the time I ring her up. I’ve been told I have natural resting b*** face.

Elderly Customer: “I’m sorry for upsetting you, but you’re going to work so slowly, you should have told me instead of making me wait. I have so many things to do!”

Me: “Ma’am, it’s really no problem. That gentleman was kind enough to wait a few more minutes on the order he put in so I could come and assist you.”

Elderly Customer: “I just feel that you should warn somebody if you’re gonna be that slow. I’m sorry if I upset you but I am in a hurry.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I apologize again, but as I’ve told you already, I’m not upset.”

She’s paid for her one greeting card, valued at a whopping $0.53 after tax, and I have given her her change. I believe this is the end of the discussion. It is not. She continues to inform me that I shouldn’t be upset and it’s my fault.

At this point, I am on the other side of the store and am done with this conversation. I assume she has either stayed in her spot or gone towards the door and haven’t thought to turn around to check, so, a bit loudly, I say:

Me: “Ma’am, I have told you I’m fine. Now have a nice day.”

That’s when I turn to speak to the man patiently waiting and realize the elderly woman has followed me.

Elderly Customer: “I want to speak to your manager. NOW!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, give me one second.”

I call for a manager and proceed to blow up balloons, at which point she decides that’s not enough and goes to find a manager on her own. My manager walks up and I explain the situation, down to the customer following me. I finish the balloons, ring up the first customer, and hear my manager and the customer talking.


Manager: “I’m sorry you feel that way, ma’am, but I don’t see anything wrong with what she did.”

Elderly Customer: “SHE WAS RUDE TO ME!”

Manager: “I’m sure it was a misunderstanding, but if she was, I’m sure she had a good reason. Now, if there’s nothing else, have a nice day.”

She stormed out. My manager laughed and we joked about how I needed plastic surgery since my face is apparently rude.

A Ballooning Sense Of Entitlement

1 Thumbs

Now See Here, Little Dude

, , , , | Right | April 8, 2021

I’m ringing out a man whose child is (slightly) misbehaving, and every few seconds he has to scold the boy for something new.

Customer: “[Boy], come here.”

Customer: “[Boy], don’t touch those.”

Customer: “[Boy], leave that alone.”

Customer: “[Boy], that’s not yours.”

Customer:Dude! You’re not being cool!”

1 Thumbs

Dancing Through Life

, , , , | Working | April 8, 2021

Back in the dark ages before cell phones, I worked in a small retail shop that got 70% of its business by phone order. We still had a retail location fully stocked but only got a handful of people in the store every day.

Then, one week, there were no customers or phone orders. At all. By the third day of this, we had done inventory, dusted everything we could think of, done all the maintenance that was pending, stocked all the new merchandise, called all of our holds to pick up their orders, and had officially run out of things to do. We couldn’t even pretend there was anything productive to do.

We were bored out of our minds, and my manager started dancing around the store. Five minutes later, we had a conga line snaking around the store including both of the managers and all the staff on shift. Then, the bell above the door rang. 

Thankfully, the customer had a sense of humor and joined our conga line! We all had a laugh, but sadly, conga lines were then banned from the store.

1 Thumbs

Home Décor Meets… Everything Else

, , , , | Right | April 8, 2021

I am a relatively new hire at my current job, which I enjoy. The store in which I am working is very large and sells home decor items, wall art, garden items, and some furniture. However, the building in which it is located was previously, for many years, a very different store which sold a lot of things.

I’m getting used to being asked for things that our store doesn’t sell but which the old store did, because even after over a year, people are still not cottoning on to the fact that we are not that store.

These are all questions I have legitimately been asked.

Customer #1: “Do you sell DVDs?”

Customer #2: “Where is the appliance section?”

Customer #3: “Do y’all have switchblades?”

Customer #4: “Where are your pajamas?”

It took everything in me not to answer, “In my dresser.” And then there was this woman:

Customer: “Here’s my card.”

Me: “Ma’am, that’s a rewards card for the supermarket.”

Customer: “What? Well, where am I?”

1 Thumbs