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Can’t Backtrack That Backpack Comment

, , , , | Right | April 28, 2019

I worked in a sporting goods store. I was in the camping department, but backpacking was really my expertise. One day, I got a call on the radio saying there was a customer looking for backpacking tents. I got all excited because I love sharing my passion with people.

He explained to me that he was going to hike the Pacific Crest Trail this fall. I was immediately concerned, mostly because that’s a three-month trip or longer and dangerous when done that late in the year. He informed me that he would need a four-season backpacking tent under three pounds for his lightweight pack. Our closest tent was a four-pound tent that was pretty much a 3.5-season. Its price tag was a whopping $550. He said he wouldn’t pay more than $200. I told him that a four-season tent under three pounds doesn’t exist, let alone under $200. He insisted that we had to have it, and I was insistent that I knew our inventory and we did not.

He then proceeded to tell me that I didn’t understand what he needed and I heard him mutter under his breath, “I bet he’s never been backpacking in his life.” He then told me that he wanted to talk to my manager, to which I responded with the fact that I probably knew more than he did about backpacking. He said, “There must be an expert I can talk to.” Of course, I responded with, “I am the expert.”

He walked away, and later I saw him asking someone else for help who immediately called me over. As I walked up, the other employee said: “There you are! I was just telling this customer about the two-month backpacking trip you were just on this last summer…”

That was pretty awesome.

Literally Brought A Knife To A… You Know The Rest

, , , , | Legal | February 12, 2019

(I’m manning the shop while my manager is out for lunch. A man comes in asking about hunting knives. We talk for a bit and I show him several of our blades. He noticeably keeps asking to see the biggest and sharpest ones we stock.)

Me: “Well, there’s this.” *takes out a 15-inch bowie-designed knife*

Customer: “Oh, yeah! Can I see that?”

(I hand the knife over, while going into the spiel about the grade of steel, techniques for sharpening it, and so on. The customer seems very pleased as he tests the weight and then smiles at me.)

Customer: “You know what’s funny? You were actually just stupid enough to hand this to a random guy, with no idea what he intends to use it for.”

(He suddenly thrusts the knife at me.)

Customer: “Now, how about you walk me over to your register and hand over every f****** cent before I see how far I can sink this into your heart, moron?!”

Me: “Sir, if I may just ask, you are aware we’re a sporting goods store?”

Customer: “Yeah, so? Cash now, a**hole!”

(He thrusts the knife at me again. I tactfully back away while glancing over to my left.)

Me: “Could you please just read what the sign there at the bottom of the stairs says, then?”

(The customer-turned-robber looks confused, then cautiously turns to the sign.)

Customer: “‘Guns located on second floor’? What the…”

(He turns back to see I’ve now drawn my sidearm — I keep it holstered in a manner that it’s not immediately visible from the front — and have it aimed at him.)

Me: “Before you comment on others’ intelligence, consider that you walked in here and somehow missing both that sign and the one outside stating we carry all manner of sporting goods, including firearms!”

(He dropped the knife and booked it out the door, leaving me to call the police and give them a full report. I can understand why he thought this would work, since the way the store is set up it’s not immediately evident we carry firearms, but at the same time, who honestly isn’t aware that guns are also classified as “sporting goods” in a state that permits open carry?)

Armed And Dangerous To Yourself

, , , | Right | December 13, 2018

(I’m working the register when a young woman comes up with a starter bow, a handful of basic target arrows, an archery glove, and a hip quiver.)

Me: *while swiping her purchases* “Learning how to shoot?”

Customer: “Yeah, I did some archery when I was younger and I thought I’d try to get back into it.”

Me: “You might want an armguard, then, just in case. If a bowstring hits your arm by accident, it can really hurt.”

Customer: “Oh, I thought about that, but I never had a problem when I was a kid. And anyway, the only arm guards you guys have are camo–” *wrinkles her nose* “–and it just seems silly to wear that for target shooting.”

(She pays and leaves. The next day, the same customer comes up to my register. She places an armguard on the conveyor belt. As she does so, I can see a number of angry purple and red streaks around the crook of her arm.)

Customer: *cheerfully* “Yeah, so, I’m an idiot!”

PIN-Headed, Part 5

, , , , | Right | October 4, 2018

(At the store where I work, a few of the PIN-pad readers have broken and won’t show the asterisks when debit-users type in their PINs, but the PINs still go through. I have just explained this to a woman when this happens.)

Me: “Will that be debit or credit?”

Customer: “Debit.”

Me: “All right. Just go ahead and type in your PIN; the symbols won’t show up, but it is going through.”

(The customer starts typing in her PIN and then gets a very confused look on her face.)

Customer: “It’s not working.”

Me: “Oh, no, the symbols just aren’t showing it up, but it is working. I’ll just erase what you typed and—”

(The customer proceeds to cancel the transaction, so I run it through again.)

Me: “Okay, just go ahead and enter your PIN normally.”

(The customer starts typing in her PIN again and then starts to look upset again.)

Customer: “It’s not working!”

(I explained it to her again and restarted the process. This time, she picked up the pen used for signatures, and actually started trying to draw the numbers on the screen. Sadly, that wasn’t even the worst transaction of the day.)

Related:
PIN-Headed, Part 4
PIN-Headed, Part 3
PIN-Headed, Part 2

Always The Season For Bad Customers

, , , , , | Right | September 28, 2018

(It is a busy weekday afternoon and I am covering a cashier’s lunch break at a sporting goods store. A customer comes to the register:)

Customer: “You don’t have any f****** shoulder pads! Or f****** helmets! Or g**d*** football pants in my son’s size!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. Let me—”

(I begin to offer to call around to our other stores to see if anyone has what she needs. Before I can even finish my sentence…)

Customer: “You have got to be the most worthless sporting goods store around, because practice starts today for pee-wee programs and you don’t have anything left!”

Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way. We’ve actually had the football section stocked since the beginning of the summer in preparation for the upcoming season.”

Customer: “You’re not sorry. You’re not! F*** you and your apology!”

(Her son is standing behind her, nearly in tears. I’ve had enough of her nonsense.)

Me: “Look. I am not personally responsible for your procrastination. The reason the football section is wiped out is because all of the other parents were proactive and came and bought their kid’s stuff over the past several weeks. You can’t expect to come in a few hours before practice and find everything you are looking for.”

(The look of shock on her face is so satisfying; she can’t believe I’ve called her a procrastinator.)

Me: “Now, I can still call around and see what we are able to find, because I do want your son to get what he needs, even though you have been miserable.”

(I find everything she needs at two of our stores nearby, and she asks to speak to a manager. I think maybe, just maybe, she’s had a change of heart and wants to acknowledge that I’ve gone out of my way to help her… but NOPE.)

Customer: “I want to speak to the manager. I’m soooo getting you fired. You disrespected me.”

(Never mind that she cursed me out for no reason. Unfortunately for her, my manager has overheard everything.)

Manager: “Ma’am, in my store I expect our employees to treat our customers with respect. But I also hold our customers to the same standard. I overheard your transaction, and I must say I would have turned off the light and left you standing there if you had cursed at me. Instead, my employee called around and found what you needed, and your son will now be able to attend practice with all of the necessary equipment.”

Customer: *pausing, looking defeated* “You at least owe me a discount coupon for my next purchase.”

Manager: “Ma’am… that’s definitely not going to happen. You have a nice day.”

(He walked away, and she walked out with her tail between her legs.)