Threatening Retail Workers Is The Only Power Some People Have

, , , , | Right | January 17, 2019

(While I’m working on unloading the stock, a customer approaches me.)

Customer: “Is that the only cashier you have in the whole store? There’s a line, and I’m in a hurry!”

(I look up and see that the line currently consists of two people, not including the customer herself. I head to the registers for backup, grabbing the second person in line and directing them to another register, as per policy. Eventually, I get done with him, and the customer who called me over reaches me.)

Customer: “I have a coupon, as well.”

(I ring up her items and try to take her coupon, but she keeps a vice grip on it.)

Me: “Ma’am, if you want to use it, I have to take it.”

Customer: “No, you don’t! I can use it as many times as I want!”

Me: “That’s not true. We keep the coupons.”

Customer: “Well, they let me do it before! You obviously need to learn to do your job!”

Me: “I don’t know who let you keep the coupon before, ma’am, but that’s not how this works. You use the coupon, and we keep it.”

Customer: “They let me do it before, so just do your job!”

(Whenever a customer is being unreasonable and I have a choice to stand my ground or let them have what they want, I ask myself, “Is this worth getting a complaint to corporate later?” Resolving a corporate complaint involves a lecture from our district manager, who would do anything to save a sale. It also requires calling the customer afterward to apologize and offer them something for free, even if the customer is wrong. Her coupon will save her less than five dollars, so I conclude that it’s not worth the hassle. I scan it and let her keep it.)

Customer: *smugly* “I’m going to call to complain about you!”

Me: “…”

Customer: “Who’s your manager?”

Me: “I’m the manager on duty.”

Customer: *literally throws her head back to scoff loudly* “Ha! You’re a sorry excuse for a manager. You should learn how to do your job! You’re supposed to let customers keep their coupons! This isn’t [Grocery Store]!”

Me: “…?”

Customer: “My coupon is still good until [next month]! I can keep using it. Now hurry up and ring up my coupon!”

Me: “I did.”

Customer: “Well, then, do the thing you do at your register!”

(I glance at my register, spin the PIN pad around to read it, and then spin it back to show her where it reads, “Please swipe or insert your card.”)

Me: “You need to swipe or insert your card.”

Customer: “Who’s your manager?”

Me: “[Boss].”

Customer: *victorious smile* “Well, he’ll be hearing all about this!”

(She started to stomp away, nearly forgetting her receipt until she spun around, saw me holding it out to her, and snatched it out of my hands. I honestly wish I had stood my ground and made her give up the coupon, but my boss and district manager would both have wanted me to save the sale, so I know this was the correct route to avoid getting in trouble. I just don’t know why she felt compelled to fuss so much at me AFTER I gave her what she wanted! I guess threatening retail workers is the only thing that makes her feel powerful.)

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