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.)

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Their Parenting Is A Sinking Kayak

, , , , , , | Related | August 21, 2018

A couple weeks ago a coworker of mine sold two kayaks and paged me from the loading dock to ask if I could help him load them for the customer. “Sure,” I replied, and made my way back to find the customer, his wife, and three screaming young children swarming around a minivan. The van did not have a kayak rack, only the roof rack it came with from the factory.

While my coworker and I manhandled the kayaks onto the roof, the customer assumed the role of “event coordinator.” He wanted them arranged a certain way — the most difficult possible, of course — and was never quite happy with the way we tipped, angled, and flipped the kayaks. Needless to say, my fellow worker and I spent a good 25 minutes with our arms over our heads, trying to steady the kayaks while the customer stood back, pondering his “vision.”

Not long into this ill-fated venture, one of the younger screaming children got out of the van, came over to where we were standing, and started poking at me. It began with a poke in the side. I’m not ticklish or anything, but it just wasn’t a comfortable feeling. I looked down at him and shook my head no. The fact that he was getting to me was intensely gratifying to him, because he escalated to punching me lightly in the side, back, and legs. With each hit, he became more bold and the blows began to pack on more force.

Inside the van, Mom made herself useful by being absorbed in her phone. Dad was too busy trying to craft a kayak Mona Lisa and paid the child no attention, either. After telling the kid, “No,” “Please stop,” and, “Don’t do that,” a half dozen times, I was getting pretty pissed.

Finally, while my attention was fixed upon yet another rearrangement of the kayaks, the kid tried to take my wallet and pocket knife out of the back of my pants. In a lightning-fast move, he then reached around front and gave me a hard sock right in the groin. That was it. I turned, gritted my teeth into the meanest scowl I could imagine and growled, “QUIT IT!”

Naturally, the kid started bawling and ran for the solace of his mother, who snapped out of la-la land and glared at me. Dad also gave me the stink eye, saying, “Thanks, but we’ve got it from here.” I forced myself to say, “Thanks, and you have a nice day,” before walking back inside.

You’ve got to love involved parents.

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Balls To The Walls Confusion

, , , , , | Right | July 31, 2018

(I’m the idiot in this story. I am in a store that sells exercise equipment. I am having trouble finding a particular item, so I track down an employee and ask for help.)

What I Should Say: “Excuse me, sir, I would like to know if you sell yoga balls. I can’t seem to find them.”

(What actually happens:)

Me: “Hey… uh… Do you have balls?”

Employee: “Excuse me?”

Me: “Do you have big balls? I want giant balls.”

Employee: “Uh… I don’t think I can help you with that.”

Me: *thinking I was being very clear* “Okay, thanks, anyway.”

(I left the store and didn’t realize what I had said until I was almost home.)

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Has A Burning Desire To Stay

, , , , | Right | June 28, 2018

(I’m behind the till, helping clear a queue, when the fire alarm goes off. I tell the person I’m serving, who grabs her card and leaves. The shop I’m in is underground, beneath another store.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but we have to evacuate the building.”

(I then go to make sure everyone is leaving, as I’m the third-most senior worker on this shift.)

Customer: “I want to buy these; can you serve me?”

Me: “Sorry, that’s the fire alarm; we have to evacuate the building.”

Customer: “I want to buy them.”

Me: “Leave them here, and you can buy them when we are allowed to return.”

(I then go around the store, shouting at the top of my voice, but still having to tell each customer individually. I end up having basically the same conversation with each of them, even though one coworker later says they could hear me from the other side of the shop. I notice that my coworker is struggling to be heard over the fire alarm.)

Coworker: “WE HAVE TO LEAVE THE BUILDING; JUST GET OUT OF THE CHANGING ROOM!”

(I tell her to leave, and I take over.)

Me: “Ma’am, that is the fire alarm; I don’t care what you’re wearing, but we have to leave.”

Customer: “I want to try this on.”

Me: “I am leaving now, before the ceiling collapses.”

(The woman leaves, and follows me upstairs. I find my manager by the stairs, trying to find me, and as we leave, I turn to her.)

Me: “That took a ridiculous amount of time; why do people care that much about tennis balls?”

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This Manager Needs To Get Clubbed

, , , , , , | Working | December 8, 2017

I was working at a sports store and the owners hired a new manager. This manager had never worked at a sports store before but had previously managed a ladies’ shoe store.

Although I was just a worker, I was asked to teach the new manager about the store and about the equipment we sold. The manager was absolutely oblivious to what any equipment was; at one point he held up an elbow pad for hockey and asked if it was a knee pad. I explained to him what it was for, and continued training my new boss.

I left for lunch one day and left him on his own, and after I came back he left for his lunch. Shortly after, a man who was about 6’5″ came in and asked to purchase the clubs he had the manager put away earlier today.

The man gave me his name, so I went to the back of the store and found the clubs with his name on them. I came back out and asked him if the clubs were for his wife.

The man told me they were for him. I informed him that the clubs the manager was going to sell him were in fact ladies’ clubs and were way too small for him. The customer was upset about the fact that the manager didn’t know what he was doing. So, I found a set of clubs in the store that would work for him. The clubs were $300.00 more than the clubs the manager tried to sell him, so I gave him a $300.00 discount and the customer was happy.

When the manager came back, I asked him why he tried selling this tall man a set of ladies’ clubs. The manager said that he wasn’t aware that there was difference in clubs, so he just picked a set of clubs and told the customer they were good for him.

There are so many other examples of this manager’s lack of knowledge. With him at the helm, the store only stayed open for another four months, at which time they went belly-up.

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