Older Can Mean Wiser

, , , , | Right | September 17, 2018

(My dad and I are scouring a store for maraschino cherries and we cannot find them anywhere. Finally, after a few more aisles, we find a lady who works here. This lady is not young, and I don’t mean that in a rude way at all. Her hair is white as snow, and she is obviously very high up there in age. My dad approaches her and asks:)

Dad: “Excuse me, miss. Do you know where we can find maraschino cherries?”

Older Lady: “They will either be on aisle 13, all the way at the end, on the right side, top shelf, or they will be on aisle 9, all the way at the end, on the left side, second shelf from the bottom.”

Dad: “Thank you. Have a great day.”

Older Lady: “You, too.”

(At first we were suspicious that this very much older lady could remember the exact places of such small things as cherries. First we went to aisle 13, and they were exactly where she said, except that they were out of them. Then, we went to aisle 9, and again, they were exactly where she said. My dad and I just shared this look of amazement for a few seconds and said, “Wow.” This lady may have appeared old, but her mind obviously hadn’t aged a day.)

Can’t Skirt Around That Demand

, , , | Right | September 17, 2018

(I work in a women’s clothing chain. We are encouraged to wear the company’s clothing on the job, and I do so exclusively because I like the stuff; I was a customer before I started working there. New clothing comes into the store five days a week, and I can’t afford to roll my wardrobe over every couple of months as the new color schemes come in. So invariably, any time I’m wearing something that’s no longer available for sale, someone decides that’s the very item they need. I’ve never had anyone outright demand I hand over the clothing on my body, but the hints have gotten pretty broad at times. A customer comes in who isn’t my size; this is relevant.)

Customer: “Can you help me find some summer skirts?”

Me: “I’d be happy to! We put all of our clothing in certain colors together, to make it easier for you to build an outfit. If you’ll come with me, I’ll show you the racks in each section that hold skirts.”

(I start to walk towards the front of the store.)

Customer: “I really like your skirt! I’d like one just like that.”

(This is a summer holiday weekend. The skirt is blue and white, and I wear it with a red top to be “patriotic.” And yes, I wear the same outfit at least once every summer holiday period.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but this is from summer before last. I’d be happy to show you where you can find this year’s skirts in this material, or in these colors.” *points out skirts in both, moving through the store*

Customer: *picks up a skirt here and there* “I just really wish I could have one like yours.”

Me: *getting a little exasperated, but using my happy voice* “I understand, it really is a fun skirt. Unfortunately, it’s no longer available. I’m sure we’ll have something that will work for you, though!”

Customer: *after another three rounds of this* “Okay, this is good for a start. May I have a fitting room?”

Me: “Certainly. Follow me, please.” *heads to fitting rooms*

Customer: “I still want your skirt.”

(After I get her into a fitting room, I go to the counter to check in with a coworker, who has overheard most of the conversation.)

Me: *very quietly* “I think I was just supposed to take my skirt off in front of everyone in the store and hand it to her!”

Coworker: *also quietly* “It was very obvious it wouldn’t have fit, which is probably the only thing that kept her from demanding it outright. Or maybe you were supposed to s*** her a new one?”

Should Have Checked The Small Print

, , , , | Right | September 17, 2018

(I work in the children’s department, but since we are right next to a door, we often get people doing returns from other departments. It’s usually not an issue, especially if we’re slow. A woman and her husband come in with two bags.)

Customer: “Hi, can we do returns here? One is from men’s and the other is from the home department.”

Me: “Absolutely. Do you have your receipt?”

(She hands me the bag with men’s clothes and I start the return process.)

Customer: “As you can see, I paid off the charge with a check.”

(She has stapled the receipt from her account payment to the top of the receipt, which I know a lot of people do to avoid carrying a balance on their store card while still earning their rewards. However, she did pay for the items with her store card, and our return policy is to refund on the original form of payment, or give in-store credit.)

Me: “Okay, that return will be [amount]. Do you have your store card with you?”

Customer: “No, I should get cash back. I paid with a check, see?”

Me: “Well, no, you paid with your store card, and then paid the bill with a check. They’re two different transactions.”

Customer: “But I paid with a check, so I should get cash back. I’m thinking of closing my card, anyway.”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry to hear that, but I can only refund the money to the original form of payment or to in-store credit. I can get you the in-store credit, if you would prefer, but the system won’t let me return it any other way.”

Customer: “I don’t believe that. I paid it off with a check, so I should be getting cash back.”

(After a few more minutes of this, she and her husband decide to go back to the other departments to do the returns there and presumably complain about our return policy. I help a few other customers and clean up, and fifteen minutes later the customer returns with the men’s clothing.)

Customer: “I guess I understand now. Just go ahead and do the return.”

Me: “Not a problem.”

(I’m still not sure how she thought the two separate transactions would have been linked that way.)

Social Insecurity, Part 6

, , , , , | Right | September 17, 2018

(Our store has a rewards program attached to its store credit card, sending exclusive coupons to card-holders. Because they are exclusive to card-holders, only a store credit card can be used as payment when using the coupons. I have a woman in my line who has used one, and pulls out her debit card.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but you do have to use your store card to use this coupon.”

(This usually isn’t an issue, since it is printed on the coupons themselves.)

Customer: “Oh, you guys make this so difficult! I just want to use one card for everything and keep it all together! Why is it so hard to just buy things anymore?”

(As she’s complaining, she searches her wallet but doesn’t find her card.)

Me: “We can look up your account; it only takes a second. Here, put your social into the pin-pad, please.”

Customer: “The whole thing? Can’t you look it up by phone number?”

Me: “Uh… No, it has to be by social; that’s the only way to look it up from our end.”

Customer: “I am not putting my number into this thing.”

Me: “Well, I’m really not sure what else we can do.”

Customer: “I’m going to write it down, and you type it in on your end. Then you can give the paper back to me.”

(I just sort of stand there, flabbergasted that she thinks giving a stranger a physical copy of her SSN is safer than typing it into a machine where no one else sees it. I take the paper once it’s written down, making sure to keep it hidden from anyone else but myself, and type it in. One of the numbers could be a four or a nine, and I can’t tell with her handwriting.)

Me: “Ma’am, could you tell me which number that is?”

Customer: *looks around at the customers behind her and leans in close, whispering* “It’s a four.”

(I could barely hear her answer, but typed it in and was able to complete the transaction. I understand being concerned about someone skimming the pin-pad for that sort of thing, and we check them every day to make sure that isn’t happening, but I still cannot grasp why creating a physical copy and letting a stranger look at it and type it in is any better.)

Deliver Me From This Delivery

, , , , | Right | September 17, 2018

(We have a service we offer in which, if you buy a mattress from us, we will remove and dispose of your old mattress for $25. My coworker is speaking to a customer who has purchased this service and is expecting delivery tomorrow.)

Customer: “So, I paid for you guys to come take my old mattress…”

Coworker: “Yes, sir?”

Customer: “I’ve decided I want to bring my old mattress to my daughter’s house.”

Coworker: “Oh, okay. So, would you like to cancel the $25 removal and have a refund?”

Customer: “No, I want you to take the old mattress to my daughter’s house.”

Coworker: “Unfortunately, our delivery team can’t do that. They can bring you the mattress you ordered, and if you would like, they can take your old mattress away for disposal. They can’t deliver your personal item to someone else.”

Customer: “No, I paid you $25 to take my old mattress, and I want you to take it to my daughter’s house!”

Coworker: “Sir, the $25 charge is to dispose of your old mattress. If you do not want us to do that, we can refund you, but we can not deliver your belongings to another residence.”

Customer: “Well, I will just tell the delivery people when they get here.”

Coworker: “Sir, the delivery team does not offer that service. You can ask them, but they will most likely refuse, and they would be well within policy by doing so.”

Customer: “That’s ridiculous! I don’t think you know how to do your job!”

Coworker: “Sir, if you would like to speak to a supervisor I can transfer you.”

Customer: “Yeah, right… You’re just going to pass me to someone sitting next to you.”

(My coworker turned her head to the side and saw that the person sitting nearest to her was the supervisor, and we both burst out laughing. The conversation went on for another ten minutes before the customer gave up.)

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