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That’s How The Cannoli Crumbles, Part 2

, , , | Right | March 11, 2021

I’m a personal shopper at a store. We have six shoppers at my store, plus three or four of the clerks at the customer service desk who can help us shop if we get busy, and we have a couple of baggers who can help us take orders out to the cars if we need it.

We can have up to eighty customers on any given day. Unless a customer has made a name for themselves, the odds of us remembering preferences and whatnot are highly unlikely. Most customers know to write a note in the comment section if they want something specific, like green/yellow/brown bananas, no plastic produce bags, no phone call, etc. This is especially true in our bakery section, where they have a lot of different varieties all under the same PLU, like fresh rolls or bagels for instance. If they do not give a preference, then it is up to the judgment of the shopper.

One of our customers recently discovered that our bakery section has a five-count of cannolis for sale. The cannolis come in two options: plain or chocolate. The chocolate flavor is more popular, so that’s the flavor that’s sitting on the shelf. If someone wants plain ones, they have to be specially made.

The first time this customer orders the cannolis, she, of course, gets chocolate, since that’s what’s on the shelf. She asks if plain ones are available for next time, and she is told yes, and to put in a note in the comment section saying she wants plain ones. 

The second time she orders the cannolis, two or three weeks later, she does not put a note in saying she wants plain cannolis. Someone else shops this order, and again they give her the chocolate ones that are on the shelf. When she picks up, I end up delivering her order to her.

Customer: “This is the second time I’ve gotten chocolate cannolis! That’s not what I want!”

Me: “If you’d like, I can see if the bakery can quickly make you some plain ones.”

Customer: “I don’t have time to wait for that.”

Me: “Next time, if you’d like plain cannolis, you need to put a note in the comments section of your order.”

The third time, again, two or three weeks later, yet another shopper shops her order, and again, no note, so she gets the chocolate ones again. There is a rush of deliveries when she picks up, so I’m outside helping when she comes, and I hear her yelling at my coworker.

Customer: “You should know what I like! I shouldn’t have to write a note!”

The fourth time, I finally shop her order. She orders two packs of cannolis. Yet again, there’s no note about her wanting plain cannolis, but lucky for her, I remember the hissy fit she threw, so I ask the bakery manager if she can make two five-count packs of plain cannolis. The manager agrees and gets started. The problem is, there’s only enough filling to make one of the five-counts. There’s more filling in the back, but it’s frozen solid and will take thirty to forty-five minutes to thaw.

It’s maybe twenty minutes before this customer is supposed to be by to pick up, so I give her a call. She does not answer, so I leave a message, explaining that I have one pack of cannolis, and if she would like the other, she will need to wait, and to please call me back. I’m already past my time to leave for the day, and management is breathing down my neck about leaving so I don’t go into overtime, so as soon as I finish up with her order, I punch out, but not before explaining the situation to a couple of my coworkers. I have to grab a couple of things for dinner before I leave the store, though, and as I’m standing in line, one of my coworkers comes running up to me.

Coworker: “That lady you told me about is outside. She’s claiming you never called her to ask about the cannolis.”

My coworker is newish and doesn’t really know what to do.

Me: “Please explain to her that A, I did call her and I left a message; B, the filling for the other set is frozen and will take a while to thaw, but if she wants to wait or come back, we can have it ready for her; and C, I only charged her for one pack of cannolis.”

I later learned that the customer decided she would come by the next day to pick up her cannolis, since she couldn’t wait half an hour and didn’t want to come back. Fair enough. The problem is, she decided she was going to come back AFTER she had left the store. She did not call us to ask us to have the cannolis ready for her. She called the bakery around seven the next morning and said she wanted the plain cannolis ready for her, but not when. The poor opener in the bakery had no clue what was going on. She did come and ask us if we knew what was going on, but again, the customer did not tell us she wanted to come back that day to pick them up, so we told her it was a customer from yesterday and not to worry about it.

The customer came by around 6:30 in the evening. I was gone by then, and the only shopper left was someone who was off the day the customer first came in. There were two customer service clerks who had a vague idea of what was going on, so they jumped in to help defuse the situation. The customer did eventually get her cannolis, but she ranted on about how we should know what she wants by now.

Dear online customers, you are not the only customers we serve. We are, in fact, very busy. If you want something specific, write a note. We will not remember, especially if you do not place an order every week.

That’s How The Cannoli Crumbles

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