Excuse Deficits

, , , , , | Right | September 24, 2020

I work at a serve-yourself type of candy store. A boy has put his hands directly into one of the bins and is playing with the candy he has grabbed. I walk over without him noticing and stand over him.

Me: “Please do not touch the candy with your hands.”

He jumps guiltily, and I can almost see his brain working to come up with a valid excuse.

Boy: “Sorry! I! I, uh… I… have… Attention Deficit Disorder?”

Me: *Bluntly* “So do I.”

Another customer startled me and I glanced away for a moment. When I looked back, the boy had already left the store completely. Yes, I do have Attention Deficit, and no, it is not ever an excuse to misbehave.

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Can They Haggle? No Or No?

, , , , | Right | September 23, 2020

A customer calls and asks for a quote on a new trailer. I tell him the MSRP is $6,000.00 as advertised on our website. I then take his information down for possible follow-up. Several days later, he walks in with his twelve- or thirteen-year-old son, gives his name, and says he has been negotiating with me about a trailer and has an offer for me. I come up to him and he pulls out a roll of hundred dollar bills.

Customer: “I’m [Customer]; we talked on the phone earlier. Now I know how this works; I know every trick in the book. Here is the way this is going to go, and I don’t want anything from you but yes or no. I will give you $7,500.00 cash right now for the [specific trailer] on your lot. I won’t haggle, just a yes or no. You either take it or I’m walking out of here. If you need to check with your boss, you go right ahead.”

Me: “Can you give me just a moment?”

I go to get the paperwork for the trailer and compose myself. When I come back…

Customer: “Yes or no. I don’t want to hear you say anything else. I will not negotiate with you. I’ll just turn around and walk out of here, right now.”

Me: “Yes, sir, I believe I will have to make that work.”

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A Rather Queer Interview Technique, Part 2

, , | Right | September 23, 2020

My job involves addressing people on the street and inviting them to try out food products. I’m talking to a woman who would like to try one such product, which has a few extra selection criteria, including income.

Me: “Are you the primary income-earner in your household?”

Woman: “No.”

Me: “All right, then what is your partner’s highest completed education?”

Woman: “A trade school.”

Me: “Okay, and what is his or her current job?”

Woman: “Do I look like a lesbian?!”

Me: “I beg your pardon?”

Woman: “Why did you say, ‘his or her’? I’m married to a man!”

Me: “Well, ma’am, I didn’t know that when I asked the question, and I didn’t want to presume.”

Woman: “I’m not a lesbian.”

Me: “Noted. Now then, what is your husband’s job?”

Woman: “Do a lot of gay people participate?”

Me: “I don’t ask respondents about their sexual orientation, so I can’t give you an exact number. But yes, gay people do participate sometimes.”

Woman: “Oh. Then I think I’ll just move along. I mean, I don’t mind if people are lesbians, but I’m not one.”

She walks away. A bit further down the street, a female coworker approaches her.

Coworker: “Good afternoon, ma’am. Would you like to participate—”

Woman: “I’M NOT A LESBIAN!”

Related:
A Rather Queer Interview Technique

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Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 14

, , , , , | Right | September 23, 2020

I work for a pretty well-known, somewhat expensive athletic wear store. However, the location I work at is an outlet store, so the price is a lot cheaper for our clothes. A customer came in yesterday, and despite corporate policy, we held several items, all of which were clearance, for her because she was so polite.

Customer: *At the register* “Oh, I remember you. You helped me the other day. I told you I’d come back. Oh, and don’t forget my 10% discount.”

We give three 10% discounts. One is to military and civil service personnel and the second corresponds to a coupon book offered by the mall. We must actually verify these discounts by either checking ID or making sure they do in fact have the “VIP coupon book”. The third discount is tricky; it’s our “team discount”. You have to get at least ten of the same item in all different sizes, AND you must prove it’s for a team. Normally, the team manager calls and talks to our store manager, or even corporate at times, to verify for this particular discount.

Me: “Oh, sure. Are you military?”

Customer: “No, I am not, but I get 10% off.”

Me: “Well, I’d certainly love to give you your discount. Do you have your VIP coupon book with you?”

Customer: “Why would I have that? Just give me the 10% off. I come here almost every month and they always give me a discount for buying so much.”

Me: “Unfortunately, I’ve never seen you in the past two years I’ve worked here and—” *Jokingly* “—you really don’t have all that much here.”

She only has eighteen items, and since they are clearance, the total is a little over $250; really this isn’t all that much by our standards.

Customer: “No! You’re giving me a discount or I’m not buying it.”

Me: “Well, ma’am, they do check the cameras every now and then, and if I’m seen giving you a discount without checking to make sure you are owed it, I could get fired. Since I’d rather not lose my job, I’m sorry, but I can’t give you a discount.”

Customer: “But the managers do it all the time.”

Me: “Oh, really? Which ones?”

Customer: “Your store manager!”

Me: “Let me go grab her real quick, then, but I can tell you, she’s going to say the exact same thing that I’ve said.”

She ignores my offer to grab a manager.

Customer: “Come on. What will it take for you to give me a discount?”

Me: “Well, if you’re an AAA member, I can hold your items while you go get the coupon book, which would be free to you, so you can get the discount. However, if you don’t want to do that, we’re having a promotion for the month of October through the mall and I’ll give you 25% off one item since I have that book that someone left.”

I go ahead and do that discount on her highest-priced item, which was marked $24.97 on clearance. This item was originally $40.

Customer: “That’s not the same, and it won’t save me much.”

Me: “You’re right, but the way I figure it, a little savings is better than nothing. Plus, I did it on your most expensive item: this $25 tank top. that way you got the most savings from it.”

The customer blows up.

Customer: “THIS ISN’T $25; IT’S $15! I GRABBED IT FROM THE CLEARANCE RACK SO YOU MUST HAVE RUNG IT UP WRONG ON PURPOSE!”

I show her on the tag where it says $24.97 and somehow, at this point, I’m still keeping my cool.

Me: “Unfortunately, it is that price. Did you want me to take it off this transaction?”

Customer: “OF COURSE I DO!”

She picks up the tank top and throws it at me.

Customer: “Now, which item will you do the 25% off of now? Or will you finally give me the 10% like you should?”

Me: “None of them. I merely did it out of courtesy. Technically, I could still have gotten in trouble for discounting that item as it wasn’t your coupon book.”

She is now realizing I’m not falling for her pleas.

Customer: “Well, fine! I don’t want it.”

She shoves it all away from her, knocking several items off the counter.

Me: “All right, then. Have a great day and I hope to see you again soon.”

I say this to a lot of customers; it’s just a habit of mine. The customer whirls around.

Customer: “WHAT’S. YOUR. NAME?!”

I write down my name, my boss’s name, and my store number.

Me: “Here’s all the information you’ll need. Now please leave my store.”

Coworker: *Turns to me* “How’d you handle that without blowing up at the customer?”

Me: “Too many years of working retail and dealing with idiots.”

I went and told my store manager what happened; she just laughed and said, “I hope she does report you. I think it’d make the district manager laugh, too.”

Related:
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 13
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 12
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 11
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 10
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 8

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On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 19

, , , , | Right | September 22, 2020

I’m a young woman working the overnight shift in a popular big box store. I’m called to the electronics department to help a customer. He is in his fifties and not especially hygienic.

Me: “How can I help you, sir?”

Customer: “I need an iPod holder.”

Me: “Oh, for when you walk or are at the gym?”

Customer: “No. For when I have sex.”

He tips me a giant wink.

Me: *Taken aback* “Um, well…”

I show him a few armband iPod holders.

Me: “These might work for you.”

Customer: “I’d really like it to be a headband. And I need one of those splitters so both of us can listen at the same time.”

He winks at me again. I am stammering at this point trying to remain professional while being creeped out.

Me: “Uh, well, I guess we can get you some, uh, velcro straps from the fabrics department to hold it on…”

I ended up helping him fashion his headband iPod holder for sexual activities for the next forty-five minutes. From then on until I quit, he always sought me out whenever he was in the store. Yuck!

Related:
On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 18
On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 17
On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 16
On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 15
On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 14

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