Was Not The (T)Reason Most Quit Retail

, , , , , | Working | January 10, 2020

(At my mom’s former job, she had a coworker that no one really liked, but the boss thought he could do no wrong. One day, he goes on vacation to his home country and never returns. No one gives it much thought until a few months later, when my mom tells me this:)

Mom: “Remember [Coworker]? We find out what happened to him. He got arrested.”

Me: “Oh, yeah? For what?”

Mom: “Political treason against [Country]. He’s in federal prison.”

(Admittedly, not what I was expecting.)

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Back Of The Line, Back Of Their Thoughts

, , , | Right | January 10, 2020

(I live in New Mexico and a lot of people here only speak Spanish. I, unfortunately, speak almost no Spanish, though I know I should learn more. A busy period has just hit and the lines on all the registers have quickly grown. I have greeted the next customers in line, who smiled and said something in Spanish. I finish up the purchase without the pressure of having to make small talk and give the total, gesturing towards the screen that gives the total to indicate that I’m done. The two customers together that were next in line just stand there not moving. I have repeated the total a couple of times, hoping to get things moving, but at this point, we’re all just standing around waiting for the order to be paid for.)

Manager: *who sees that my line has stalled* “What’s up, [My Name]?”

Me: “I don’t know. I’m waiting for them to pay, but I don’t speak Spanish, so I’m not sure what the holdup is.”

Manager: “Ah, okay, let me go grab someone who speaks Spanish.”

Coworker: *converses with customers in Spanish* “They say that’s not their order.”

Me: “Oh! It was the next one on the belt! I don’t know whose it is, then.”

(My manager, my coworker, and I start looking down the line. A customer in the back of the line notices the holdup and confusion, and then sees the large mirror waiting in the bagging area.)

Back Of The Line Customer: “Oh, are you all waiting on me? That’s my stuff!”

(My manager and coworker leave, and I’m a bit flummoxed about what just happened.)

Me: “Sorry about that. Your total is [total].”

Back Of The Line Customer: “I thought you’d just put my stuff off to the side! I went to get my mother.”

Me: *internally* “I see hundreds of people a day and there are half a dozen people in this line right now. You couldn’t have said anything?! You couldn’t have told me you needed to come back and to set your stuff aside? I glanced back to see how big my line is; I don’t have your face or purchase memorized. What, did you tell the customers behind you who clearly didn’t understand a word you were saying nor could communicate it to me?! Were you just standing back there waiting in this unmoving line for five minutes as I waited for this poor couple to pay for your stuff that I didn’t know wasn’t theirs? What?! Who does that when they’re next in line?”

Me: *out loud* “Haha, nope. Well, have a nice day!”

(I was pretty embarrassed about not catching that it wasn’t their order even though they were standing next to it and waiting at the pay screen instead of by their order on the belt, but luckily none of the customers in line commented on it to me!)

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She Boxed You Into Doing It  

, , , , , | Right | January 10, 2020

(I work at a somewhat high-end boutique. A woman comes in; she quickly begins explaining to me that she usually wears designer — like David Yurman on her wrist — but she delights in small businesses and frequently shops in this store. She chooses two necklaces after some time, between our conversing over how her investments in designer items will be worth a fortune soon. I am actually interested and find her unique, albeit curious in mannerisms and speech. We are checking out as I put one necklace in a box and wrap it, and begin doing the same for the second necklace.)

Customer: “You don’t have to give me two boxes. I’m just going to unwrap them when I get home.”

Me: “No, I would really like to. You can reuse the boxes once you’re done; they’re great for gifts.”

Customer: “No, they cost you guys money. Just one box, please.”

Me: *hesitantly* “I’m afraid they’ll get tangled! It’s honestly not any trouble—”

Customer: *firmly* “No, one box. Thank you, but it would be a waste. I don’t want it.”

(I put both necklaces in one box. They’re “locked” in place by foam, and I set them in the bag with enough tissue, just in case. Days pass. On the weekend, my boss asks about that very woman and if I had dealt with her. I say yes. I am excited; we had a delightful exchange and I feel I built a good rapport with her.)

Boss: “Yeah, she’s a little weird. A little off.”

Me: “Really? I couldn’t tell. Why do you say that?”

Boss: *hesitantly* “I know she’s lying because I know you wouldn’t do this, but she called me up and yelled, like, ‘Your employee put my two $50 necklaces in one box! I specifically asked her to put them in separate boxes but she refused! Now, they’re tangled and I can’t wear either of them!’ I was like, ‘I’m sorry to hear that, ma’am. Come on in and I would be happy to fix them, I have the tools, blah, blah.’ Then she starts yelling again about how I should teach my employees to ‘never put two necklaces in one box.’ Then I’m like, ‘Actually, my employee would never do that. This sounds nothing like her, honestly. Now, I can fix them if you bring them in. Is that okay?’ She then gets really loud and says, ‘Maybe I should have just worn one of them out of the store, around my big, fat neck!’ I was like, ‘Ooookaaaaaay.’ I know you wouldn’t do that. She’s always been weird to me. I didn’t even want to tell you, because you did nothing wrong.”

(I explained what had actually happened and my boss understood; she said she’s done the same thing, but it’s now policy to never share boxes for necklaces. I’m just grateful my boss defended me without even hearing my side of the story. Why did she call and lie to my boss so blatantly? Perhaps to have an exchange or refund? Regardless, my boss and I have recently noted she hasn’t been in since.)

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Unfiltered Story #182235

, , | Unfiltered | January 10, 2020

I was working the customer service desk at the store I work at, and we were a bit slow. The only other person at the desk was my manager, who was dealing with a rather irate customer while I took some phone calls. The customer had changed the location of their order about 8 times and was now complaining about how it was taking so long to get to its new location. Because of the frequent changes, my manager was having a lot of trouble even finding the order. Eventually I got off the phone, 15 minutes later, and the customer was constantly telling my manager that he was just stupid and didn’t know how to do his job. As I was now free, my manager on the phone with some other workers trying to track down the order, the guy came over to me and calmly tells me, “Excuse me, but could you help me out? That guy has no f**king clue what he’s doing. Could you do it or maybe get me a manager?” I then had the pleasure of telling this guy that that is my manager, his face going white, me holding back laughter as he started to actually respect my manager.

Almost 50 But Acting Like A Child

, , , , | Right | January 9, 2020

(The chain I work at holds a senior’s day each week for people 55 and older who present their rewards card. Unfortunately, the rewards card doesn’t tell us their age nor automatically applies the discount, and they often don’t remember to tell us despite the copious signage, so we often either have to assume one way or another, or ask directly. I’m not the greatest at judging ages, so this often gets me into trouble. On this occasion, I’m dealing with the very first customer of my shift.)

Me: *feeling pretty safe in my guess* “And do you get the senior’s discount?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Oh, okay!” *continues with the transaction*

Customer: *sounding angry* “Thanks. I’m not even fifty yet.”

Me: “Sorry about that. Honestly, though, anyone who’s older than, say, thirty-five, can look just about any age, so I end up asking a lot of–”

Customer: “You should be careful about that.”

Me: *cheerfully* “I try to be.”

Customer: *with no trace of humour* “You’re lucky my husband’s not here. He’d kick your a**.”

Me: *sighs internally, but smiles outwardly as if she were joking*

(I do understand why people get offended in these situations, but I don’t understand why they have to be so rude about it. If I never asked, a lot of actual seniors would be upset because they didn’t get their discount. We can’t win either way. I wish we had a policy that they don’t get the discount unless they bring it up.)

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