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The Return Of Cheese Louise

, , | Right | September 17, 2021

I’m a manager at the cheese counter, and the company is doing a special promotion through our cheese dealers. We have a program that allows customers to come in and try a specific cheese each week for six months. The idea is to get a stamp on a passport each week, and you turn in your completed passport to receive a free $25 cheese tray in return. The caveat is that if you miss a week, thus missing a stamp, you can’t win.

A woman comes in after I have left for the day, two days after the promotion has ended. She spins a story to the customer service manager on duty.

Customer: “I’ve misplaced my completed passport, but can I get my cheese tray anyway?”

The spineless manager says yes and brings her to the deli, where my assistant is working. The woman reiterates her tale, and the manager confirms that he has okayed it. My assistant is not impressed but obediently gets her a box of crackers to go with the tray and then starts to help her pick out cheese.

Once the tray is completed, the woman claims:

Customer: “I can’t leave with the cheese because it’ll sit in my car for too long. Can you hold it for me?”

Assistant: *Reluctantly* “Yes, but you need to come back before the end of the day.”

We find out much later that the woman just waltzed out of the store with the crackers, which she had not paid for, and came back for the cheese later that evening!

Five days later, guess who calls? Yep. The same lady. And now, she has a different story.

Customer: “I won a cheese tray as part of your ‘customer appreciation’ celebration. I had to leave the tray here but want to pick it up now.”

Yes, the tray she already got, to go with the crackers she stole. I have not heard the story up to this point, as my assistant also didn’t know she had stolen the crackers and the matter was considered closed.

Me: “I’m not familiar with this situation. Can you explain?”

Customer: “It’s all part of your birthday celebration!”

Me: “There was no promotion involving the cheese counter and the birthday celebration.”

Customer: “But I’m owed a cheese tray!”

Me: “But there is no promotion for that. Your only option is to turn in a completed cheese passport.”

She then name-drops the manager as having okayed it. I inform her with insincere friendliness:

Me: “You’re welcome to discuss the issue with our manager tomorrow.”

I fire off an email to our store manager after I hang up. Two days later, she calls AGAIN. This time, she talks to our customer service desk. They, of course, talk to me in turn, and I tell them what happened. Another refusal, another email to the manager.

I hear nothing for a week or so. Finally, the woman comes into the store. She tries the story about losing her passport and I tell her AGAIN to talk to my manager, as there is nothing I can do.

She looks me dead in the face.

Customer: “But [My Name, mispronounced] said that you would help me.”

Me: “I am [My Name] and I said no such thing to you, and now you aren’t getting the tray at all.”

Customer: “This is unacceptable behavior!”

She whines like this for several minutes before storming out after asking to speak to our manager, who isn’t here today.

Not even thirty minutes later, our grocery person calls me, because now the lady has called HIS department! Her story has changed yet again; now there’s a death in the family and she has to leave the country. Oh, and she drove all the way up from the next county, but she just wants the tray she won.

Me: “She isn’t getting a cheese tray because this is now an ongoing thing with her. She’s already lied multiple times to get it. You can refuse her on my authority, or you can transfer her to me and I will refuse her personally.”

The grocery person tries to offer to transfer her, but she refuses, saying that she just wants her cheese tray and that the cheese manager (i.e. me) has been rude and unhelpful.

Grocery Guy: *To the customer* “You have no choice but to deal with the cheese manager about the cheese tray.”

Customer: “I demand an email address to a higher-up so I can write a letter about how horrible you are being to me!”

Grocery Guy: “There is no email. If you have a complaint, you need to call a 1-800 number.”

She screamed swear words, threats of litigation, and, horror of horrors, negative reviews before her shrieking was cut off by him hanging up on her. Cue more emails to the manager.

The very next day, the manager came in and the whole of the story finally came out from beginning to end. I can only presume the manager finally ended it somehow because she stopped calling completely. 

All this because she was determined to get TWO free cheese trays.

Related:
Cheese- Louise!, Part 3
Cheese- Louise!, Part 2
Cheese- Louise!