The Needs Of The Good Customers Outweigh The Needs Of The Bad

, , , , , , , | Right | July 2, 2018

(I’m shopping at a well-known pharmacy that’s part of a global chain. I’m there picking up some toilet paper to bring home, something that should take five minutes. When I go up to the front to pay I notice there is only one register open, with about five people in line. At the only open register are two employees dealing with a customer holding a mountain of coupons and about fifteen items. I overhear the following conversation.)

Customer: “Well, just so you know, it is [Store]’s policy, so you two have to follow it.”

Assistant Manager: “Actually, ma’am, it is not.”

Customer: “You’re not the manager, are you?”

Assistant Manager: “No, but I’m the assistant manager, and therefore am acting manager right now, since the manager isn’t in.”

Customer: “Ah, well, that’s why you don’t understand. The manager usually will help me out and honor this deal.”

Cashier: “Ma’am, she can’t do that. The machine just beeped to inform us that this deal isn’t valid, so there’s no way we can allow it.”

Customer: “Oh, yes, you can. The manager always allows me to do this, because it’s store policy.”

Assistant Manager: “The computers are set up by our corporate office, so if they won’t allow it, then there’s a good chance it isn’t company policy.”

Customer: “Well, normally she will just override the computer and allow the transaction to go through.”

(The line has grown to ten people, and the assistant manager has been forced to open up another register to quell the line, since the original woman has not moved. The assistant manager helps an older woman with about ten items fairly quickly, and then calls for the next customer to come up. It becomes very clear, very quickly, that the older woman is the original customer’s mother, as she continues to stand around, blocking the rest of us from reaching the register, despite the cashier’s multiple attempts to get her to move. All the while the original customer is still complaining to the cashier about her deal.)

Customer: “Fine. I’ll allow you to do the transaction regularly, but only if I can bring my receipt in once the manager is back and have her fix it and give me the difference.”

Cashier: “I can’t guarantee that, but you can definitely bring it back and try.”

Customer: “Okay, then. I have several coupons for the items I still have in my cart.”

(The entire process essentially repeats itself, as it is becoming apparent that none of the “coupons” this woman has are valid. I look over her shoulder and see that the woman’s stack of “coupons” actually appears to be the smaller detachable portion of her past receipts that she has brought in, believing they will give her some sort of discount.  I’ve worked for a chain store before. Some stores have a link to a survey on the bottom of their receipts; if you take the survey, you can get a discount on your next purchase. I then realize this woman has taken her past several receipts and attempted to do this multiple times to get multiple discounts off the same purchase, which is not allowed. It clearly states, “One coupon code per visit,” on each receipt.  Finally, the woman’s mother decides to move out of the way so the rest of us can check out and go on with our days. The assistant manager completes all our transactions in record time and sends us all off with a smile.)

Assistant Manager: “I apologize for the long wait. I hope you weren’t standing here for too long.”

Me: “It’s okay; I understand.”

(Now that I’m finally at the register, I am able to confirm that the woman is indeed attempting to use multiple — I count 25 — receipt coupons on her one transaction. Knowing each receipt only takes off 5%, I can only imagine the woman is attempting to use one per item in her cart… Saving her less than $5 on her transaction. The assistant manager finishes my $5 transaction and I hand her a $20.)

Assistant Manager: “All right, and your change is $15.”

Me: “Keep it. They don’t pay you enough to deal with crazies.”

(She smiled at me and I could see a small tear in her eye. I left the store smiling, even as the crazy woman at the first register screamed obscenities at me about how she was so offended and how “her friend” the manager would be hearing about this when she came back in to get her deal. I went in about a week later and was immediately recognized by the assistant manager, who flagged me over and informed me that woman is now banned from the store for the scene she caused after I left. The best part? The manager came over and thanked me for ridding their store of the crazy lady who claimed to know HIM.)

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