They’re On Your Coat Tails

| Right | January 13, 2017

(Please note that our store has no computer system to check if we have an item in stock and the only way to do so is to look round the store. Whilst the items have codes they do not help us unless we have the item in front of us to check it is the right one. During a busy period I answer the phone.)

Me: “Good afternoon, [Store]. [My Name] speaking. How may I help?”

Caller: “Hello, I was wondering if you could look for an item for me?”

Me: “Of course, could you describe the item for me?”

Caller: “It’s a grey coat.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll have a look and see what coats we have. Could you give any more details about it? Is it [Store Brand] or [Other Brand]?”

Caller: “It’s definitely [Store Brand]; I can give you the code, if that helps?”

Me: “Okay, I’ll have a look. I’m afraid the code won’t help unless I have an item in front of me because we have no computer system.”

Caller: “Well, do you want the code?”

Me: “No, the code won’t actually help me just yet. I’m just looking to see what we have; can you tell me anything more about the item?”

Caller: *starting to sound annoyed* “It’s mid-grey. Look, can’t I just give you the code or something? It would be much quicker!”

(I have now been looking through all our Store Brand coats and have found nothing to match the description, so just in case she was mistaken I look at the Other Brand coats.)

Me: “Like I said earlier, I am unable to look up the code for the item so it really wouldn’t help me right now. Sorry.”

Caller: “For god’s sake, can’t you just find the d*** thing?! I’m reading out the code now!” *reads code*

(I have now been on the phone to her for about 15 minutes and still find nothing.)

Me: “I’m very sorry, but I’m unable to find anything that matches the description you gave me. I don’t think we have the item in stock.”

Caller: “I know you do; I’ll just give you the code again.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I can’t find anything anywhere. Either you can try and describe the item further or you could contact another store or look online. I’m sorry; we don’t have it.”

Caller: *sounding very annoyed* “Fine. I’ll just find it somewhere else. Bye.”

Me: “Goodbye, thank you for calling. Sorry I couldn’t be more help.”

Caller: “Whatever.” *hangs up*

(Later on my supervisor answered the phone from the manager of a nearby store. Apparently the woman had phoned them to complain about me and try to get me fired, claiming that I was rude and didn’t even look for the item. It turned out that the coat was a brand that we don’t even carry, so naturally we didn’t have any. My supervisor and all my other colleagues had seen me running backwards and forwards looking for the coat and so knew there was no truth to her complaint. In fact, my supervisor even bought me a pack of biscuits for my trouble and politeness to the woman.)

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