The Color Of Wastage

, , , , | Right | January 5, 2019

(My store sells prescription pet food, but the only reason we’re allowed to sell it is that we have a veterinary facility in our building. In order to buy the food, the customer needs to get a card from our vet with a number that we ring up at our register. One day, the vets call me over to help out a customer.)

Customer: “I don’t know what kind of food I need.”

Me: “It looks like your card says you need [Prescription Food]. I’ll show you where it is. We have two kinds: the regular and the low-fat. They both treat the same problem, but the low-fat is better for overweight dogs.”

(I show her the two types and explain which is which. A few minutes later, the customer goes to the register with one of the bags.)

Customer: “Is this the food I need?”

Cashier: “Um… I’m not sure. I’m not a vet. But it looks like it’s right since it matches what’s on your card.”

(The customer purchases their food and leaves. Five minutes later, she comes back, and this time I’m covering the cashier’s break.)

Customer: “This food is the wrong color. I need to exchange it.”

(I’m annoyed that we now basically have to throw away an opened bag of $40 prescription food after I showed her both kinds, but I go ahead and start to process the exchange.)

Me: “I just need your [vet card] to finish the transaction.”

Customer: “I don’t have it. I left it at home.”

Me: “I need one to finish the transaction, so I’ll just need you to walk over to our vet over there, and they can print you out another card—“

Customer: “I don’t need the card! It’s an even exchange!”

Me: “Unfortunately, my register won’t let me process the transaction without a card. It will only take a minute for the vet to print you out another one.”

Customer: “Just override it! You guys have done it before!”

(We are technically capable of overriding the vet card, but it gets flagged every time we do; we’re only allowed to override it if the customer has proof of a prescription AND the vet’s office is closed. Not only that, but we’re only allowed to override it once per customer, and we always emphasize that they’ll need their card next time.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but we aren’t allowed to sell you this food without a card. You can get another one if you just ask our vet over there.”

(The lady eventually leaves the register and goes to the vet’s office, fussing the entire time. She continues to lecture me when she comes back with a new vet card and the other type of food, insisting that she shouldn’t need a card for an “even exchange,” which it isn’t since the two foods are different and there is a dollar difference in price.)

Me: *as sweetly as I can while I give her the receipt* “Just make sure you bring your [vet card] next time!”

Customer: “I do have a card! It’s in my car— I mean, it’s at home!”

(The best part: two weeks later, she came back with her second bag of food and told us that it was the wrong kind and she needed to return it. She had no receipt. My shift was over, but since I remembered her, I went into the back with my coworker and let her know that the customer did indeed purchase the food. Thanks to my help, my coworker managed to find proof of the transaction and was able to process the return. I later found out that the customer remembered me, as well; she complained about me the entire time I was in the back, calling me “snooty” and falsely claiming that I never gave her a receipt in the first place. We processed the return and lost another $41. Thanks a lot, lady.)

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