Bugged By Being Pedantic

, , , , , | Right | July 18, 2018

(I’m a sales associate at a mom-and-pop store. I’m helping a young Amish woman locate the pest control.)

Customer: “I need some insect killer.”

Me: *takes her to pest control, picks up bottle* “This one is a good kind.”

Customer: “Oh, well, this kind is for bugs.”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer: “Well, I need the kind for insects.”

Me: “…”


, , , | Right | July 17, 2018

(A customer is looking at a circular mirror, trying to figure out if it will fit in her home.)

Customer: “How tall is it?”

Me: “It’s three feet in diameter, ma’am.”

Customer: “But how wide is it?”

Me: “It’s three feet.”

Customer: “No, I meant how wide?!

Customer’s Husband: “It’s a circle!

It’s Soda(mn) Cheap

, , , , | Working | July 17, 2018

(It’s early morning and I am shopping. The store has been open for maybe half an hour and there are almost no customers. The cashier has just made small talk with the customer in front of me. I can easily tell she’s unhappy since her work hours have been cut short lately. I am buying three items. She scans a bottle of oil, then attempts to scan a soda; the way the sticker is on, however, the register refuses to take it. She types it in by hand.)

Cashier: “1.74€… That’s wrong. Give me a second.”

(I watch as she voids the soda again, then presses the button for price reduction, types the 1.04€ in and tries to scan the soda. When it refuses she just huffs and sets it aside, saying she’ll do that once my third item is through. That item scans, automatically reduced to 1.04€ because she forgot to take the reduction out.)

Me: “Oh, now it rang that up as the other price.”

Cashier: “Hmm, let me see.”

(She finishes the transaction like that, I pay via card, fully aware of what has happened, and still perfectly okay that I will have to pay full price. She takes the receipt, looks it over, and sighs, hands it to me, and nudges my items over.)

Cashier: “You know what? I didn’t see a thing. I’m so done. I don’t care anymore, and the manager always grumbles about how we need to cash people faster, so I will just adhere to that. You really got an awesome deal.”

(I thanked her profusely, told her I could fully understand, since I heard her previous chat, and that she was doing a good job. You’re awesome, lady! And I hope you didn’t get in trouble for that.)

Trying To Pass The Buck

, , , | Right | July 17, 2018

(I work in a store in a large shopping centre. One evening, a customer comes in and makes two purchases. The first costs him $67, and he pays with $100 in cash. As I’m handing him his change, he makes a second purchase worth $5, which I take out of his change. This leaves him $28. I give him the money and he leaves. About an hour later, however, he returns and insists we’ve short-changed him by $27. I go through both receipts with him and all of my actions through both transactions. He insists he can’t remember what happened, but that I am in the wrong. As I can’t prove it by counting the register, and I don’t want to just give him the money, I take his details and promise to call him the next morning after the registers have been counted for close that night, and then for open the next morning. As expected, that night when I count the registers there is nothing out of the ordinary. The following morning when I open, the registers are still in the clear. I get on the phone with him to talk it over.)

Me: “When I cashed up last night, neither of our registers were over, unfortunately.”

Customer: “But you definitely short-changed me.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I didn’t. It would have been in the register when I closed the store, and there wasn’t any extra money there.”

Customer: “But I’m short $27.”

Me: “Well, did you spend money anywhere else last night?”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “In the shopping centre, sir. Did you spend money anywhere else?”

Customer: “Nothing of that amount.”

Me: “So, it’s not possible that you could have lost it somewhere else, like at another store?”

Customer: “Are you calling me a liar?”

Me: “No, sir, I’m just suggesting that it’s a possibility that it could have happened somewhere else.”

Customer: “It had to be you. I just know it! You’re arguing with me now, so you must be a thief!”

Me: *losing my patience now* “Sir, if I had shortchanged you last night, you do realise that it would have meant I’d only given you $1 from the $100 you gave me, right? I’m pretty sure you would noticed when all the change you got from $70 of purchases was a buck.”

Customer: “Just… CALL ME BACK IF YOU FIND MY $27.” *hangs up*

Systemic Failure

, , , , | Working | July 15, 2018

(I work in customer service, where I mostly process returns. Our return system is slightly different, depending on whether or not returned items are marked out of inventory. Due to an update on the return system, employees are encouraged to use a manual backup system to process mark-out returns. Once the system is updated, both systems are still in place, and there is no clear consensus on which one employees should use. It’s a minor issue that doesn’t change anything from a customer’s perspective, but since several of my supervisors can’t agree on which system to use, it’s been a huge hassle for customer service staff, leading to some uncomfortable interactions in front of customers. During this interaction, I’m in the middle of running a return for a customer who also wants to order a replacement. Early in the interaction, it comes out that the return item is used, meaning I need to mark it out of inventory. It’s also worth noting that, though I’ve been working this job for a while at several locations, I have a very young face, so it can be hard to get customers to take me seriously.)

Me: “All right, sir, if I could just have you sign on the pin-pad real quick to authorize the return to your card. Oh, [Supervisor], do you have a second?”

Supervisor: *bypassing me entirely* “Sure! What seems to be the issue here, sir?”

Me: “Um… There’s no issue here. I was just running this mark-out return, and I was wondering if you wanted me to mark the item in the backup spreadsheet, as well as the new system. [Supervisor #2] told me last week the new system was up and running, but since [Supervisor #3] told me yesterday to use the backup, too–”

Supervisor: “Oh, I see. Well, first, you’re going to have to cancel this transaction.” *to the customer* “Sorry about this, sir, but I am going to have you press that red button there, instead. It looks like it didn’t go through the right way in our system the first time around.”

Customer: *confused* “Oh, okay.” *cancels the refund*

Supervisor: “Yes, perfect! All right, [My Name], so what you’re going to do is…”

(She keeps talking, walking me through the return I just ran. In the end, she has me print out a pre-refund receipt to show the customer before having him sign, a cosmetic choice that changes nothing about the return. At the end of it, she leaves me to deal with the second part of the customer’s transaction without answering my question.)

Customer: *slowly* “So… I guess this place has a high turnover rate, huh?”

Me: *annoyed and trying not to show it* “Not really, no.”

Customer: *still trying to figure me out* “Right. Do you usually work in this department?”

Me: “Yes, sir, I’m one of our full-time customer service staff.”

(At this point, a store manager happens to be walking by my station. I flag her down just as the customer is signing for his order.)

Me: “Hey, [Manager]. I’m running this order exchange here, and I had to mark this item out of inventory. I’ve already marked it out in the new system, but should I mark it out in the backup spreadsheet, too?”

Manager: “Nope, the new system’s finally good to go! If you wanted to use the spreadsheet, you still could, but it’s a little redundant at this point.”

Me: “Yeah, I figured, but I wasn’t sure. Thanks!”

(I turn back to my customer to give him his receipt. He has the grace to look a little sheepish.)

Customer: *pointing at my supervisor across the room* “She didn’t answer your question at all, did she?”

Me: “Not in the slightest.”

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