Not Suitable For Spanish Fly

| New York, NY, USA | Language & Words, Liars & Scammers, Top, Tourists/Travel

(Two customers, one male, one female, with notable Spanish accents approach. While I’m Caucasian, I’m quite fluent in Spanish.)

Male Customer: “Yes, we’d like to return this coffee maker. It doesn’t work.”

Me: “Certainly. May I see your receipt?”

(The male customer looks slightly taken aback.)

Male Customer: “Oh, uh, we threw that away.”

Me: “Ah, well I’m sorry but the only thing we can do then is give you a store credit.”

Male Customer: “Oh, that’s fine. We’ll find something else.”

Me: “Superb. Just let me check inside and we’ll take care of this.”

(I proceed to open the box.)

Male Customer: “Que? What are you doing?”

Me: “I have to check the product, sir. It’ll only take a moment.”

(The male customer looks increasingly taken aback, and I quickly find out why. While the coffee maker is a model we carry, it has a different brand name printed on it, and the plug is visibly a three prong European version, as opposed to the two prong U.S. version.)

Me: “Sir, are you sure you purchased this in this store?”

Male Customer: “Yes, certain!”

Me: “I’m afraid I’m going to have to get my manager. Just a moment.”

(I page the manager on duty, explain what’s happening and then show him the coffee maker.)

Manager: “Sir, I’m sorry but we’re not going to be able to credit you for this. You can’t possibly have purchased this here because this is the international version of the machine. We only sell the U.S. version.”

Male Customer: *sputters, then hangs his head* “Sorry, I must have made a mistake.”

(He takes the box back and turns to leave, whereupon the female customer whacks him upside the head.)

Female Customer: *in Spanish* “Oh, no! ‘Americans are all idiots!’ ‘They won’t check if it’s the right item!’ ‘They don’t know about international voltage!’ You are a f***ing disgrace, you know that!? No way is that going back in my luggage for the flight home!”

Making No Concessions

| England, UK | Bad Behavior, Theme Of The Month

(I work on a concession in a department store, and can’t handle any of the host store’s furniture or advise people on it. To help people realise the difference, I dress differently. I’m talking to a couple about my concessions bedroom furniture. The sir turns to a piece that isn’t mine.)

Sir: “Tell me about that one.”

Me: “I can’t advise you on that; it’s [Host Store]’s product.”

Lady: “What?”

Me: “I’m not employed or trained to handle any of [Host Store]’s furniture, just my own company.”

Sir: “Stop all this talking and tell me about it.”

Me: “I can lend you a tape measure if you want to get the measurements.”

Sir: “Why can’t you measure it?”

Me: “As I said, I’m not [Host Store], so I can’t do anything with their furniture.”

Lady: “You’re wasting our time.”

(The couple walk off, loudly complaining about my lack of service. Ten minutes later they come back to me.)

Sir: “We’re going to be buying these things.” *points to the Host Store’s pieces*

Me: “That’s lovely.” *I point out a host store employee* “She will be able to do it for you.”

Sir: “Why aren’t you?”

(I explain again why I can’t, but they won’t accept my explanation.)

Lady: “I’ve had enough of your bloody attitude! You’re lazy and I can’t believe you’re being paid to be rude.”

Sir: “That’s it, you’ve lost a sale!”

(Both dramatically storm away and continue raging about how terrible I am. On the way out, they manage to wrangle the store manager and bring her over.)

Store Manager: “Of course, she can’t sell you it; that’d be stealing. She’s from another company.”

Sir: “…So she’s not being lazy?”

Store Manager: “No, she’s doing her job sending you to one of my employees.” *turns to me* “Thank you for your help.”

(The couple go on to buy the pieces, but never did apologize for their behavior.)

Stuffed Candy Meets Sweet Justice

| Kearney, NE, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(I’m checking out a couple with a lot of groceries and other items. The wife is unloading the cart on to the belt while the husband has come down to the end of the belt and starts chatting with me.)

Me: “Oh, the weather’s been lovely for—”

(I stop mid-sentence when I notice the wife stuffing assorted items into the candy, trying to hide them.)

Me: “Ma’am, you can give those items to me and I’ll take care of them.”

(She gives me a blank stare.)

Me: “The items you don’t want? It’s no trouble; I’ll just take them.”

Wife: *holds her hands up and shrugs* “What are you talking about?”

Husband: “Oh, just take the items out of the candy and hand them to her.”

(The wife retrieves the items and hands them to me, mumbling.)

Wife: “You weren’t supposed to be watching…”

(She goes back to unloading the cart but is visibly pouting. The husband just gives his wife a puzzled look and apologizes to me. Thankfully she didn’t have any other unwanted merchandise!)