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.

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Unfiltered Story #143141

, , | Unfiltered | March 11, 2019

I work retail at a sporting goods store in a local mall, and we have a customer who comes in about once or twice a week. This guy is homeless, and rides his bike from about three towns over to come to this mall, and he’s there just about every day on the weekends. I assume this person is homeless, and he always pays, but everyone at the mall hates him. He makes employees and other shoppers very uncomfortable (I had the unfortunate experience of actually sitting through a movie with this guy, not fun), but mall security can’t really do anything about him coming back because he hasn’t done anything illegal while at the mall. He always pays, but he’s a lingerer. He stays in my store about 20 minutes at a time, and always asks for us to put a hat aside for him (I usually put one behind the counter, and then immediately put it back on the shelf after he leaves half an hour later), but the other day he tried to return something that he had clearly worn and sweat in because “it didn’t fit right”, my manager tried to refuse him a return because we couldn’t put the merchandise back on the shelf, but this asshole lingered for about another thirty minutes or so. We had another person come and go during the time which he was in the store. But my manager and I were looking for reasons to give him the boot, and mall security does too. Unfortunately he doesn’t do anything illegal so there’s no good reason to kick him out nor to ban him from the mall. It’s just annoying but there’s nothing we can do about it until he either puts someone in a clear and present danger or he steals something.

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?)

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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!”

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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

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