The Ever-Moving Yardsticks Of Customer Service

| Right | July 3, 2017

(It’s about ten minutes to close and there’s only one person left in the store, who has been shopping for a couple of hours. She has a really big stack of fabric that needs to be cut, but I’m a fast worker, so I’m not too worried about it. At least, not at first.)

Customer: “Okay, I’m sorry to be in here so late. I know y’all are trying to close. Um, I think I need about a half yard of this one. No, a quarter yard. No, a half yard.”

(The rest of the cutting process goes on much like this: She apologizes for taking so long while being completely unable to make up her mind, occasionally even grabbing a new bolt from the clearance table next to her, every now and then muttering, “I hope I have enough money for this.” She ends up not leaving the cutting table until twenty minutes past close. My supervisor and I are supposed to be finished cleaning and out of the door at half an hour after close or we get in trouble for going over our hours, so as soon as she leaves the table, I start cleaning, but overhear that the customer did not have enough money for her large amounts of both fabric and notions. She’s standing at the register choosing which fabrics — already cut — to leave behind, and it isn’t easy to find the correct pieces in the register to take off of the rather large transaction. She also won’t stop talking to my supervisor, who isn’t good at multitasking. My supervisor ends up calling me to stand at the register to distract the woman a little so that she can get her out as soon as possible. By that time, it’s a half hour after close.)

Customer: “You really should have scanned the fabric first. I wasn’t sure how much money I had. You should have done the fabric first so I’d know what to take off.”

Supervisor: *clearly irritated but trying to hold it in* “Ma’am, company policy is to scan notions before fabric.”

Customer: “Well, you should do the fabric first. How am I supposed to know how much I’m spending if you don’t do the fabric first?”

(We finally got her out forty five minutes after close and with a large stack of small pieces of fabric we had to remnant out and void the tickets for. Even with very brief cleaning and without counting the registers, my supervisor and I didn’t leave until over an hour after close.)

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