This Round He Lost (In Translation), Part 3

| Cabazon, CA, USA | Crazy Requests, Top, Tourists/Travel

(Our mall is a big tourist destination. They don’t often speak English, and occasionally have translators. They are also notorious for wanting ‘new’ items ‘from the back’, even if the item is brand new.)

Me: “Hello, sir, what can I help you find?”

(The customer looks at me confused, then to his translator, who tells him what I said. The translator responds to me.)

Translator: “He would like this dress shirt in his size.”

(I measure the man, and get his dress shirt size from the wall. He removes the tissue paper, cardboard, and plastic clips that all new shirts come with. After looking at it, he drops it on to the ground.)

Translator: “He says he likes it. Can you get him one?”

Me: “So, he doesn’t want that one?”

Translator: “It’s for a gift; he wants a folded one. This one is dirty.”

(I notice an assistant manager is behind me, waiting to see if I need them to step in.)

Me: “I didn’t see anything on it when I pulled it out, but if it’s damaged, I can have a manager approve a discount for you?”

Translator: “No. He only wants a new one. He says it’s ‘ruined’ now.”

Me: “Alright, let me go see what I can do.”

(I take the shirt for reference and go to the back. I refold his shirt, exactly as they are packaged, and take it back.)

Me: “How about this one?”

(The customer looks very happily at me, and says thank you several times before wandering off to the register.)

Manager: “Was that the same shirt?”

Me: “Yep.”

Manager: “Did you clean it with a lint roller or something?”

Me: “Nope, but two can play at the bull-s*** game.”

Related:
This Round He Lost (In Translation), Part 2
This Round He Lost (In Translation)

It’s A Bad Sign When They Have A Bad Sign

| VT, USA | Crazy Requests, Money

(I work at a large department store where there’s one sale a week on average. Because the sale prices are usually the same, our signing team leaves old signs behind the current ones so they don’t have to reprint every sign every time our prices change. Most customers don’t even think to look behind the visible sign, and those who do understand that the price they can see is the current price. A customer brings up a piece of one of our top brands of luggage, and a sign taken out of the sign holder.)

Customer: “Hi, this sign was behind a sign that said they were full price, but the dates include today. Can I get it for half off?”

(I look at the bottom of the sign, and see that in light gray print over white says ‘121912 12513’.)

Me: “Those are just identification numbers, but let me check the price for you.”

(I bring the suitcase to a register and scan it. Just as the sign in front says, it rings up full price.)

Me: “The sign is up for the sale that starts next week.”

Customer: “So I can get it half off, right?”

Me: “Unfortunately not, ma’am.”

Customer: “But the sign says it’s half off.”

Me: “You said this was behind a sign that gave the full price, right?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Manager: “So let me get this right: you pulled apart one of our signs, found one that isn’t current, and want that price?”

Customer: “Yes! That’s what the sign says!”

Me: “We can hold it for you until the sale starts.”

Customer: “No! I have to take it to Atlanta tomorrow! I want the price the sign says! Can’t you just give it to me early?”

Me: “If I did that, I could get fired.”

Customer: “So…?”

Me: “It’s full price.”

(The customer leaves, muttering about false advertising.)

Body Language Lost In Translation

| OR, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Liars & Scammers, Top

(One of our new employees is dealing with a customer who is clearly angry, and is being physically aggressive and threatening. We are on the verge of calling security, but we can see that our new employee is still very calm. We hit the button when we see the customer lunge at her, despite the fact that she doesn’t react at all, and just stares at him. I run over to see what’s wrong.)

Me: “Hi there, I’m the manager. Is there a problem I can help with?”

Customer: “This white b**** won’t give me the sale price!”

(The customer waves a sale leaflet from one of our competitors in my face.)

New Employee: *still very calm* “I tried to tell him that isn’t our flyer, and we don’t even have that item, but he doesn’t seem interested in hearing that.”

Customer: “Don’t lie to me, you b****! You just don’t want me to get this great price!”

New Employee: “Sir, I have two things to say. Firstly, that flyer is from last year—”

Customer: “How the f*** do you know?!”

New Employee: “Because, it’s for a summer sale, and it is currently February. Second, if we had that item at a great price and you wanted it but could not find it, I would do my best to track it down in-store for you. If we didn’t have it here, I would call other stores for you. The simple truth is that we don’t carry that particular item.”

Customer: “How the f*** do you know?”

New Employee: “Because, sir, it’s an adult novelty, and this is a children’s clothing store.”

(Security arrives and escorts the customer out of the store.)

Me: “I don’t know how you were able to stay so calm! You almost sounded bored! I don’t think your expression changed the entire time!”

New Employee: “Oh, I have a lot of trouble with body language. I figured out a long time ago that when I get confused, it’s better not to respond at all, because usually I laugh and it makes them angry.”

(She’s now one of our area supervisors, and is actually better at handling the rare aggressive customer we get than our security team. This is because, apparently, a person who can’t be intimidated makes people uncomfortable.)