Tagged You From The Start

| Delaware, OH, USA | Right | April 19, 2017

In the early 1990s I was working my way through college in a national shoe chain known for its inexpensive shoes. The most expensive pair we sold was $50. It wasn’t uncommon for me to be alone on shift. One day I open, which among other things involves marking the weekly sale items with these sticky green cardboard tags that would hang off the edge of the box, displaying the sale price ($5, $10, etc). The original thought with these tags is that they could be reused, so they are almost the stickiness of post-its. I open up, take the old sale tags down, put the new sale tags on, and wait for customers. Half an hour after I finish, the first customer of the day comes in.

She heads directly for the women’s 8 1/2s and after greeting her I let her browse and try on stuff in peace. 10 or so minutes later, she’s brought a pair of shoes up to the register to check out. I immediately notice the $19.99 shoes have a $5 tag on it — and I know I did not put it there, nor has this style ever been on sale (no possibility I missed taking a tag off).

I ring her up; gee, what a surprise. It’s $19.99. She protests, demanding the “sale price.” I shake my head, saying no. She continues to protest but is losing steam over my wall of no. Finally I sigh and let her know I just tagged the items on sale that morning, she was the only one in so far, and I could check the video footage (gesturing towards the wall mounted curved mirror in the corner), but I was pretty sure the tag just happened to fall off and into the box below, right?

She turns pale, pays, and leaves. I go back to the aisle and she’s moved half the tags around, probably in an effort to bolster her story. It mystifies me to this day why anyone would risk a class one misdemeanor for theft, which carries up to $1,000 fine and/or 180 days in jail, to get a cheap pair of shoes.

The company eventually made the glue on the back of the tags too strong for would-be thieves to try this stunt. The real kicker to this: we, as wasn’t unusual at the time, didn’t have a security camera. The mirror was just that — a mirror.

A Whole New World Of Budget Animation

| San Bruno, CA, USA | Working | March 9, 2017

(My coworker is listening to the Aladdin soundtrack while shelving shoes.)

Me: “Did you ever see the sequel?”

Coworker: “We don’t talk about the sequel.”

Me: “Aw, it wasn’t that bad. It just had a budget more like the TV series, so it was more like a TV episode than a movie.”

Coworker: “We also don’t talk about the TV series.”

Me: “Hey, at least it was better than the Little Mermaid TV series.”

Coworker: “We don’t talk about that either!”

I Don’t Mean To Sound Racist But I Am

| Rock Hill, SC, USA | Friendly | February 28, 2017

(I am looking for a pair of prom shoes for my daughter. We finally find a pair that isn’t too expensive and matches her dress perfectly, in a store about thirty minutes away from our house. It’s a pretty generalized location, and there are four other people shopping in the store with us: three African-American women and one older Caucasian woman in her early sixties. My daughter has just tried on the shoes in question to find them a perfect fit and is putting them back in the box when the older lady approaches us.)

Older Lady: “Excuse me, can y’all help me?”

(The other three women are standing at the register just four or five feet away from us. She motions to the display of shoes and looks over at us conspiratorially.)

Older Lady: “I don’t mean to sound racist, but don’t these shoes look a little…” *she lowers her voice, but does that loud whisper that anyone in the store can hear* “…ETHNIC… to you?”

(All eyes are immediately on us, and my daughter wants to sink under the bench. I look up at the shoes and come up with the only thing I can think to say.)

Me: “Are you kidding? All kids are wearing their shoes like this!”

(She grimaces as if I’ve told her all kids wear leeches on their feet.)

Older Lady: “Yeah. But my son goes to a preparatory academy and I don’t think he’d like looking like… one of them.”

Me: “Well, if that’s true then all you can do is bring him back here with you to ask him yourself!”

(She stood there for a minute, blissfully ignorant of the three women still giving her a bit of the stink-eye and my daughter slinking away from her, before finally wandering out of the store. As we got up to the front register, the lady behind the counter just gave us a “WTF?” look as we shrugged our shoulders, paid for my daughter’s shoes, and went on our way. For the record folks, if you have to preface what you’re about to say with “I may sound prejudiced, but…” THEN DON’T BLOODY SAY IT!)

Should Have Had A Measure Of Common Sense

| Hickory, NC, USA | Right | February 8, 2017

(I work in a shoe store, where we get some pretty unbelievable customers. My manager has just been approached by an elderly lady.)

Manager: “Welcome to [Store]. Is there anything I can help you with today?”

Customer: “Yes, I’m not happy with these shoes.”

Manager: “I’m sorry to hear that. How can I help?”

Customer: “I bought these at your store in [City an hour away]. The man measured my feet, but when I brought them home they didn’t fit! I need to return them.”

Manager: “Did you try them on when you bought them?”

Customer: “Of course not. He measured my feet.”

Manager: *after a pause* “Okay. So what size would you like instead?”

Customer: *now in a huff* “Well, why don’t you do your job and measure my feet and tell me!”

(My manager finds her some shoes, which she doesn’t try on, and rings her up before turning to me.)

Manager: “Are you f****** kidding me?”

Lie In Ruins

| San Bruno, CA, USA | Working | December 3, 2016

(Our store is part of a large chain. We often call other locations to request inventory transfers, always saying that a customer requested a shoe in a specific size. I’m on the phone with another location’s manager:)

Me: “It’s for the display on the wall, so any size is okay.”

Other Manager: *slowly drawing out his words* “Interesting… It doesn’t look like we have any here.”

(I recheck the computer and confirm he has three each of multiple sizes. Then I notice my manager double face-palming.)

My Manager: “Just hang up! Tell him we don’t need it anymore!”

(I do as requested.)

My Manager: “Great. Now I’m going to hear it from [Other Manager]. You’re too honest.”

Me: “Doesn’t he ever call to request shoes for display? Or does he just lie and say they’re for customers?”

My Manager: “Yes, he lies!”

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