Needs An Application Of Listening

| USA | Working | January 31, 2015

(I’m at a large department store fairly early in the day. My items are a little more expensive than I would like, but they offer a 20% discount if you sign up for a card. There’s only one cashier at the station I’m at, but two registers.)

Manager: *passing by* “Hey, [Cashier], when you’re done with this customer, we need you at the front.”

(The cashier looks extremely reluctant, but nods.)

Cashier: “All right. As soon as I’m finished.” *turns to me* “It’s just going to take a few minutes more to finish signing you up for the card.”

(At this point I’ve looked up the bus schedule on my very slow phone and realized I have ten minutes to get to the bus.)

Me: “Actually, I kind of need to go. Could you cancel the card?”

Cashier: “Oh, I’ve already run your credit card. With [Store Card] linked up to your bank account, your life will be a lot easier!”

Me: “That’s great, but I’m running a little late.”

Cashier: “This will only take a few more minutes. Can I have your bank account number?”

Me: “What? No. I don’t want the card. I need to go.”

Cashier: “It looks like there’s a problem. Hold on, let me call them.”

Me: “Call who?”

Cashier: “Sometimes we need to call them, sometimes we don’t. I think it depends on how busy it is. It’s not very busy now.”

(I can see a line forming at the front station, which is clearly understaffed. A few other customers have wandered over and are waiting in line behind me.)

Me: “Actually, it looks like it’s getting a little busy. Can I get the card later?”

Cashier: *shushing me* “I’m on the phone.”

(She talks for a few more minutes, while I try to find another employee to flag down so I can get my items and leave. Suddenly, she holds out the phone to me.)

Cashier: “They want to talk to you.”

(Reluctantly, I take the phone.)

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: “Hello, ma’am, I just wanted to confirm your application for the [Store Card]. You put down your income as [amount]; you do know this is yearly and not monthly, right?”

(At this point I am a little annoyed; I don’t make a whole lot of money, and I’m buying clothes for a job interview right now.)

Me: “Yes, but I actually don’t want the card.”

Caller: “You don’t want the card? Then why did you call?”

Me: “I didn’t. The cashier did. Can you cancel my card application, please?”

Caller: “Of course, ma’am, but I just thought you should know that with [Store Card], you can get—”

Me: *finally losing patience* “Great, thank you for cancelling the card application. Goodbye.”

(I reach over and hang up the phone before the cashier can get to it again.)

Cashier: “What happened?”

Me: “I don’t want a store card. Did you pay for these items when I handed you my credit card, or should I give it back to you?”

Cashier: “I’ll take it now. I’m very sorry about the wait. Sometimes they’re just so slow!”

(She finally processes my payment. By this point, the line at front has dissipated a bit, so she turns to help the people who were behind me. Another cashier also steps up to help. I’m walking away, mentally writing it off as her having an off day, when I hear her talking to the other employee.)

Cashier: “Oh, no, honey, that’s not how you do it. You must be new. Here, let me get this gentleman’s purchases, and you can watch me.” *to the other customer* “Would you like to sign up for a [Store Card] with us today?”

Her Argument Is Far From Seamless

| Woking, England, UK | Right | January 30, 2015

(I work in a fairly high-end ladies fashion concession in a department store. My manager and I are standing, waiting to greet customers. A middle aged woman storms up to us, trailing her husband behind her. She brings a dress over to us, which to me looks to be a size too small for her.)

Customer: “I’ve just tried this dress on, and it has a big rip in the seam. I have decided to buy it so you will need to find me another.”

Me: “I’m so sorry about that, Madam. I’m afraid we only carry one of every size. There are a couple of options. We can see if we can order one in for you, which will arrive in our next delivery; we can ring another store to see if they have one available for you; or you can order it yourself on the website, if you would rather it was delivered to your house.”

Customer: “Order one in for me. I want you to guarantee it will arrive tomorrow.”

Me: “I’m very sorry, but I can’t promise you that. It will most likely take a few days, depending on when our delivery is due.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous. This is all your fault for not checking your products correctly.”

Me: *even though I suspect the rip occurred in the fitting room* “Again, I’m very sorry that this one slipped through our net. I suspect the fault occurred after our initial checks. I’ll take this one off the shop floor and report the fault to the manufacturers.”

(I go to take the dress from her, but she snatches it back.)

Customer: “What’s the best price you can give this to me for?”

Me: “We can only take 10% off, and the item will be non-refundable.”

Customer: “It’ll cost more than that to fix it. Take the cost of fixing it off.”

Me: “I’m sorry; I’m not able to do that. Please let me see if another store has a fault-free one for you. Where is local to you?”

Customer: “Here.”

Me: “Well, yes… I meant where else is local to you. As you can see, we don’t have one here.”

(At this point, my manager steps in and goes to ring around local stores. I am left with the couple. The husband then joins in.)

Customer’s Husband: *to his wife* “Look, I’m fed up of waiting here. It’s already 20% off, and the girl is offering you 10% off. Let’s just get it.”

Customer: “Ah ha! I’ve found a thread in the lining and one at the top of the zip, that’s two more 10% discounts!”

Me: “I cannot give you 10% off per fault. That’s not how it works!”

(The customer rants on and on about how poorly made our items are. My manager returns, and tells the woman that a large store about 10 minutes drive away has two of those dresses and that we’ve put both on hold for her so she can check both and choose the better one, that they have both been checked for faults, and they will still give her 10% off.)

Customer’s Husband: “I can’t stand it anymore; we will go to the other store, pick the dress up, and go home.”

(I give the couple directions to the store, apologise again. and the couple leave, with the woman loudly ranting to anyone who will listen that our products are poor. We ended up spending around 45 minutes of our time on this rude lady, and what’s even worse? When she got to the other store, she filed a complaint about us saying that we were standing about looking bored, ignored her, refused to help her, and ‘eventually’ fobbed her off on another store.)

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The Paint Is In Aisle Five; Prepare To Die

| TX, USA | Right | January 29, 2015

(My 20-year-old son goes to a craft store with me. He has long hair, pulled back in a ponytail, slightly ratty jeans, and an oversized t-shirt with a small name-tag which says ‘hello my name is Inigo Montoya.’)

Random Customer: *approaches my son* “Where are the buttons?”

(My son turns at looks at me, with a ‘help me’ expression. I walk over.)

Me: “The buttons are over that way.”

(My son and I look at each other and laugh. We then go to a second craft store.)

Other Random Customer: *approaches my son* “Where is the paint?”

(Again I was able to point the woman in the right direction. My son vowed never again to shop while wearing that shirt.)

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Have Other Duties To Perform

| Ottawa, ON, Canada | Working | January 28, 2015

(It’s late in the evening and I’m the only cashier supervisor in the building. Therefore when I go for break I keep my wireless phone with me in case anyone in the store needs me. I am in the bathroom and it rings. I see the store manager’s office on the call display so I decide I better answer it.)

Me: “Hi, it’s [My Name].”

Manager: “Hey, can you meet me in my office? I want to talk to you about one of your cashiers.’

Me: “Sure, give me five minutes. I’m just tied up with something right now.”

(I lean a little too far forward and the auto-flush goes off. Naturally the phone picks up the sound.)

Manager: “When you say ‘tied up with something’…”

Me: “I guess you could say that I’m taking care of business.”

To Hang Up Would Be Poetic Justice

| Indianapolis, IN, USA | Right | January 27, 2015

(I’m working the closing shift in the electronics department, which is in charge of video games and the photo lab in addition to the actual electronics section. We’re currently running an upgrade on our photo lab’s software, and I’m expecting a call from corporate to check up on the progress of the upgrade. An outside call comes in on my phone. It’s not corporate but a male customer who sounds perfectly normal. I am also male.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Yeah, what’s the price on your Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare?”

Me: “I can check on that for you. I think it’s $59.99, but I’ll be able to confirm that for you in just a second…”

(As I’m walking over to the video game section, the customer begins reading me some of the most bizarre, suggestive, awful love poetry you’ve ever heard and starts making advances. I assume he wrote the poetry himself. This freaks me out, and I end the call immediately and call my team leader to let her know what had just happened.)

Me: “Hey, if you hear that I just disconnected a call, I did. Some guy called and started reading me poetry.”

(My team leader hears this and starts cracking up.)

Team Leader: “What? You should’ve transferred that call to me! I would’ve had fun with the guy!”

(‘Poetry Guy’ became an inside joke around the store. Every time I got a call from another one of my coworkers that night, they ‘read’ me poetry!)

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