Gift Carded And Dearly Departed

| Tacoma, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers, Health & Body, Top

(I am working as an assistant manager at a retail store. A customer comes in while it is slow, so I am able to pay a lot of attention to her, and find her exactly what she wants.)

Customer: “Is it okay to pay by gift card?”

Me: “Of course.”

(I start ringing her in.)

Customer: “I hate to use it though.”

Me: “Oh really? Why is that?”

Customer: “My mom gave it to me for my last birthday, and she passed away two months ago.”

(I pause for a moment to make eye contact with her.)

Me: “I’m so sorry to hear that. I lost my own mom a little over a year ago, so I know what you’re going through.”

Customer: “Oh! I guess you do understand then. Does it get easier?”

Me: “No. I still miss her horribly, and still want to pick up the phone and call her every single day. But I suppose I’m not as raw as I was. You’ll get to that point too, though you’ll always miss her.”

Customer: “Yeah…”

(I finish ringing her up, and swipe her gift card, which pays for everything. Afterwards, I bring her bag around the counter for her, and hand it to her.)

Customer: “Can I… can I make a really strange request?”

Me: “Sure.”

Customer: “Can I keep the gift card?”

Me: “Oh, of course you can!”

(I hand it to her. She puts it back in the envelope that bears her name, and caresses it. I can see she’s on the verge of tears.)

Me: “Right before my mom died, she gave me the package she never sent me for my birthday, which had some Avon perfume in it. I like the perfume, but I hardly ever use it, because I don’t want to have to throw away one of the last things she ever gave me.”

Customer: “Oh, so you completely understand why I want to keep this!”

Me: *eyes filling with tears* “Oh yes, ma’am, completely!”

(We wind up chatting for close to 45 minutes, sharing stories about our moms. By the end of it, we’re both crying openly, but they’re good tears.)

Customer: “I’ve taken up so much of your time; I’m sorry.”

Me: “No, don’t apologize. I’m so glad you came in, and that you were willing to share with me!”

Customer: “Can I… can I hug you?”

Me: “Of course you can!”

(We hug for a long time, with both of us still crying. She thanks me profusely, and vows to come back and ask for me especially. I never did see her again, as I quit not long after that, but it was a wonderful experience. I hope wherever she is, her grief has become less raw than it was when I saw her. I’ll always, always remember her as being one of the best customers I ever had.)

Never Put The Ball In The Customer’s Court

| St. Petersburg, FL, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid

(I work retail for a sports store.)

Customer: “Do you have a New York Yankees football?”

Me: “A football? Do you mean a baseball?”

Customer: “No, I meant a football. Do you not have any?”

Me: “No, because the Yankees play baseball, not football.”

Customer: “Well you are missing out on a lot of market not selling that stuff.”

Verbose On Verbs

| Dayton, OH, USA | Language & Words

(At our store we have a policy where we greet every guest we can.)

Me: “Good evening, sir. How are you doing today?”

Customer: “I’m doing alright. How about you?”

Me: “I’m doing well.”

Customer: “No, you’re not.”

Me: “Excuse me, sir?”

Customer: “You’re doing ‘good,’ not ‘well.'”

Me: “As you say, sir. Is there anything I can help you with?”

Customer: “Yes, you can start speaking proper English!”

(At this point the customer is starting to become visibly upset and starts making a scene.)

Me: “I can assure you, sir, that there is nothing wrong with my grammar. ‘Good’ is a word that can be used in conjunction with copular verbs. ‘Well,’ on the other hand, is an adverb, and in the context of the sentence ‘well’ would be the correct choice.”

Customer: “Cop… ad… what? You don’t know what you’re talking about! You’re just a work drone!”

Me: “Would you like to see my master’s degree in English and creative writing?”

(The customer stammers a bit more and becomes very sheepish.)

Me: “Now, is there anything I can help you with?”

Customer: *embarrassed* “The ribs on sale?”

Me: “Right over there on the end-cap. I hope you have a pleasant evening!”