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In Retail, It’s Natural To Hate Change

, , , , , , | Right | February 14, 2023

I work in a larger newsagency in a shopping centre in Australia. It is a Saturday, and there is a very large lottery jackpot being drawn tonight, upwards of $120 million AUD. We have all three registers at our lottery counter open, which is a very rare occurrence, and have scheduled extra staff to deal with the huge number of people buying tickets today. The line for the lottery counter wraps the entire way around the store and down a few aisles.

Me: “Hi, who’s next, please?”

Customer: “Hi. Can I please have five $20 quick-picks for tonight’s draw?”

Me: “Sure, no worries.”

I print them for him.

Me: “That comes to $100. Was that cash or card today?”

Customer: “Cash, please.”

He pulls a giant bag of silver coins out of his bag and starts pulling out a handful of coins to start counting them.

Me: “Absolutely not.”

Customer: “What, why?! It’s legal tender.”

Me: “Are you serious? I’m not accepting that.”

Customer: “But why?! You have to take it!”

Me: “I do not. Aside from the fact that I legally only have to accept up to $5 worth of coins, have you looked around? All of these people are waiting, and no one has time to wait for you to count out your coins and for me to then double-count them to confirm you have paid the correct amount.”

Customer: “But you could just—”

Me: “No. Either find some notes, pay by card, or get out of the store.”

He complains, but he pulls out a card and pays while staring daggers at me.

Me: “Thank you, and have a nice day!”

Next Customer: “Was that guy for real? What an a**hole!”

She Seems A Hair Insensitive, Part 2

, , , , , , | Friendly | February 8, 2023

This story reminded me of a similar experience.

This occurred in the 1980s. I was a young woman and loved having fun with my hair. At the time, it was black and red on top, all gelled up in a new-wave flourish, with at least two rat tails. It was glorious. I still get a kick when I look at old photos.

A stranger grabbed my arm in the street.

Stranger: “Don’t wear your hair like that!”

I turned around in astonishment, and my astonishment only grew when the woman shouting at me turned out to be in her fifties with hair that was an ugly bright orange colour that can only happen when you apply the wrong sort of henna to grey or white hair.

She looked far more ridiculous than I did. I was doing it for fun and art, and she presumably was doing it to convince people she still had the flaming red hair of her youth.

I don’t think I said anything; I just turned and walked away, shaking my head.

She Seems A Hair Insensitive

Invisible Disability, Visible Rudeness

, , , , , , , | Friendly | January 24, 2023

I’m a woman in my thirties with invisible disabilities that make it hard to climb stairs at the best of times. As it’s peak hour and pouring rain, I decide to take the lift. I’m waiting with an elderly couple when a woman in her fifties walks up to us. I’m listening to music through headphones and don’t immediately realise she’s talking to me, but then I notice her trying to get my attention. I remove my headphones.

Me: “Excuse me?”

Woman: “The lift is for disabled people.”

Me: “Firstly, no, it’s for everyone to use. Secondly, not that it’s any of your business, but I am disabled. Ever hear of invisible disabilities?”

Woman: “Well… I’m disabled, too!”

Me: “Good for you! I honestly didn’t know being an old b**** was a disability. I guess you learn something new every day.”

I watch her do her best impression of a tomato and gape like a fish for a minute before storming away.

I turn to the couple who has witnessed the whole exchange. They are both laughing.

Me: “I’m so sorry for my language, but she just got to me.”

Man: “No worries, love; if you hadn’t said something, I would have.”

The woman didn’t even look disabled herself.

Invisible Disability, Visible Laziness

Some People Just Want To Watch The World Burn, Part 19

, , , , , , , | Right | January 6, 2023

The shop I work at both sells and repairs computers, mobile phones, and other electronic devices. The health crisis has presented its fair share of challenges, but one day in particular stands out as a real headache.

First of all, my boss, his partner, and my coworker are all sick due to the health crisis, so I am the only one at the shop today. Furthermore, we often have to order parts in for computers and phones that we repair, and the postal services are slower than normal at this time which often causes delays on jobs.

Today has been very busy, and I’m struggling to get any repairs done as there is a nearly constant line of customers. But then, this regular customer comes in who almost always takes ages to serve as we always have to explain things several times, and sometimes she still doesn’t get it. She recently bought a new phone from us as her old one’s battery completely died.

We borrowed a battery from another phone (which has since been loaned to another customer) to transfer her contacts and photos to her new phone, and we gave her a few tips on how the new phone worked. But since her old and new phone were both the same brand and functioned very similarly, we (wrongly) assumed that she should be okay to use it.

Customer: “I bought this new phone, and I can’t use it. I need you to fix my old one and transfer everything back to it. I have a funeral for my friend this weekend and I need to get the photos! And I can’t get them on this new phone.”

Me: “Okay, I’m sorry to hear of your friend’s passing, and I’ll do what I can to help you. But unfortunately, I am not going to be able to get your old phone going in time. [Boss], [Partner], and [Coworker] are all sick, and because of the slow postage, I won’t have parts available for your phone in time.”

Customer: “But I need it done this weekend!”

Of course, I know that the photos are all there on her new phone. All she needs to do is tap on the photos app and they will all be there. I figure that the only reason she is likely having trouble finding it is that the app might be in a different place or on a different home screen from her old phone. She might just have to swipe across to a different home screen to find it, or I can just move it to the first home screen so it’s obvious. I also know that fixing the old phone isn’t an option; I’m just not going to have access to the parts I need for it in time, even if she is willing to spend money on it.

But this doesn’t exactly go down well.

Me: “I’m sorry, but as I explained, I’d like to be able to fix it for you, but that isn’t going to be possible in time. But your photos are on the new phone. All you need to do is—”

Customer: “No, it’s too hard. I can’t use the new phone, and I need to get these photos this weekend.”

This goes back and forth a few times, with the customer cutting me off as I try to explain that she just needs to tap on the photos app, as a few other customers come into the shop and a line is starting to form.

Me: “I’m sorry, but the only way to get access to them between now and the weekend will be on your new phone. Can you explain a bit more about why you’re having problems with it?”

Customer: “I can’t do all of this tapping on things and swiping.”

Me: “But your old phone was another touchscreen phone from the same brand. You also had to tap and swipe on that phone.”

Customer: “But it was so much easier! I just had to touch one thing and it worked. But on this new phone, I have to do this—” *frantically taps all over the screen* “—just to make a phone call.”

Me: “No, all you need to do is just one touch on the green phone button, just like your old phone, and you can make a phone call, and you just need to do the same thing on the gallery app to see your photos.”

I also then demonstrate tapping once on the phone app and making a phone call. I then do the same on the photos app and even show her the photos on the new phone, as well as where the photos app is on the home screen.

Customer: “But it’s too hard for a dummy like me on the new phone!”

By this point, I’m starting to lose my cool, as I have already made it as clear as I can that it will take more than a couple of days to fix the old phone and that the new phone is not, in fact, radically different from her old one. It’s becoming painfully obvious that she just doesn’t even want to try to use the new phone.

Me: “No, it’s not. They function exactly the same. As I just showed you, one tap on the phone app is all you need to do to make a phone call, as I just showed you, and your photos are all here in this gallery app, just like it was on your old phone. You could do it on the old phone; it’s no different on this phone.”

Customer: “No, they’re not the same; it’s harder on the new phone. I just want [Manager] to refund me on this phone and fix the other one!”

Me: “Okay, we can discuss that as an option, but as I said, [Manager] is not in and will not be for at least another week as he is sick with [contagious illness], and I will not have access to any parts for your old phone until at least early next week either.”

Customer: “Fine! I’ll worry about the photos later! Just get it sorted!”

She then left both phones on the counter and walked out of the shop. She didn’t end up with any photos that weekend. Eventually, we did fix her old phone and I transferred the few new photos, messages, and apps from the new phone back to the old one, and guess what?

She then came back and complained that the old phone was now much harder to use than it used to be because we had transferred her data to it! Some people are just impossible to please.

Some People Just Want To Watch The World Burn, Part 18
Some People Just Want To Watch The World Burn, Part 17
Some People Just Want To Watch The World Burn, Part 16
Some People Just Want To Watch The World Burn, Part 15
Some People Just Want To Watch The World Burn, Part 14

Are Returns Just A Game To You People?!

, , , , , , | Right | December 30, 2022

I get called to the registers to approve a return on an item from my department and am directed to the customer when I arrive. She wants to return a computer game she purchased as she already had it and forgot. It’s part of a large series, so this is understandable. She hasn’t opened this copy and has her receipt, so returning it is no problem. We sell these games for $15 each, or you can buy two for $20, which is what I see on her receipt that she did.

Me: “We can definitely return that for you. Did you want to exchange it for another game in the series or get money back?”

Customer: “I don’t have time to look through what’s there, so I’ll just get my money back.”

Me: “No worries. It would be better value to exchange because a refund will only get you $5 back, but we can do that if you prefer.”

Customer: “$5? What do you mean?”

Me: “Well, these games are one for $15 or two for $20. You originally bought two, but now you want to return one, so we have to return the original deal you got for the two and sell back out just the one you’re keeping, which will cost $15, leaving a $5 refund.”

Customer: “That doesn’t make sense! I’m returning a $15 game, so I should get $15 back!”

Me: “But then you’d have purchased one game for $5. With grouped deals like this, we have to return the entire deal and sell back out what you’re keeping, which is why an exchange is always better value.”

Customer: “I don’t want an exchange. If you won’t give me back $15, I should at least get $10 back. I paid $20 for two and I’m returning one now; half of $20 is $10.”

We go around in circles for several minutes. I try to explain several different ways that, as her items are grouped together on her original receipt to give her the deal, they have to be returned that way, and then we sell out the one she’s keeping, which is why she only gets $5 refunded. She alternated between arguing that she should get back either $10 or $15. Eventually, she finds something different to say.

Customer: “Fine! You can shove your store up your a**!”

As she said this, she slid the game across the returns desk with the receipt, and then she stormed out without the game, receipt, or refund of any amount.