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Operation Independence

, , , | Right | June 25, 2022

I once had an eighty-four-year-old customer come into the men’s department to buy some flannel shirts. He had never shopped for anything in his life; first, his mom had done it for him, and then, his wife.

His demeanor as I waited on him suggested he was probably a World War II or Korean War vet. He tackled it like a military campaign. He had no idea what size he wore. I measured him. I directed him to shirts that were easy to care for and long enough in the arms.

Me: “Have you ever done laundry?”

Customer: “No.”

Of course he hadn’t. I showed him the label with care instructions and explained washing and drying procedures.

He left, armed with knowledge sufficient to do it on his own. He left, having succeeded in his mission, with the help of a local. It was one of my favorite customer encounters of all time.

Stuff Happens, But WARN Someone!

, , , | Right | June 25, 2022

I am a cashier at a superstore. An older gentleman is buying blue jeans but is already wearing the new pair. He pushes his old ones across my counter.

Customer: “Can you bag these for me? They’re soaking wet.”

It was pee. He had peed his pants and didn’t mention it until his piss-soaked pants were in a bag.

You Know Buttons Are Cheap, Right?

, , | Right | June 24, 2022

Customer: “I’d like to return these pants. I just bought them; they’re brand new.”

Me: “Why are you returning them?”

I need a reason to log in our system.

Customer: “They’re missing the little packet with the extra button in it!”

She went on a three-minute rant about this.

Painting Yourself To Look Like An Idiot

, , , , | Right | June 24, 2022

I work in an art store. A woman comes in looking for the biggest bottles of acryl paint we have. She buys two big bottles of our highest quality brand.

She returns a few minutes later, rudely cutting in line at my till, and smashes her purchase down on the counter, followed by two bottles of another brand.

Customer: “These look bigger and cost less! I want an exchange and a refund for the difference immediately!”

I just did it to get her out of the store. In the end, she got TWO CENTS back from me and took it with a super smug look on her face, believing she had beaten the system. She paid less, yes, but she also got less paint.

A Directionless Conversation

, , , | Right | June 24, 2022

I went to Germany with my parents while my mum was on sabbatical. I studied German for one year in high school, and I was doing extra studying with a tutor, but I didn’t have many practical language skills. I realized while at the mall that I needed to find the toilet, and I was excited because I had just learned how to ask. I found the nearest attendant.

Me: “Bitte, wo ist die toilette?”

The attendant said something back in very rapid German. I paused, and then said in English:

Me: “Sorry, I knew how to ask where the toilet was, but I didn’t think about whether I would understand the answer. Can you repeat that in English?”

I got a rather dirty look from the attendant, who wasn’t impressed by me wasting her time. The next time I met with my tutor, I insisted we start learning words used in directions so that I would be ready if the situation ever happened again.