Three: Two To Get Stumped By It, One To Return It

| Working | March 12, 2013

(At the department store where I work, we don’t have a time limit on when items can be returned. On this day, a customer comes in to return a blender.)

Me: “Hello, how can I help you today?”

Customer: “Hi, yeah. I want to return this blender here.”

Me: “Okay, is anything wrong with the item?”

Customer: “Well, yes. I really love it, and I’ve heard they work great, but I can’t open it!”

(Due to our liberal return policy, I’m immediately wary and expect some sort of trick.)

Me: “Okay, well, how about I take a look at it for you to see if I can help you out? I’d hate for you to have to return it if you like the item just for something like this.”

Customer: “Sure, go ahead! I’d like to see if you can figure it out!”

(I’m a little baffled that she approves, since this is usually the point when the customer starts arguing, but obligingly take out the blender to look at it. Surprisingly, although it looks simple to open, it’s actually fastened shut quite firmly, and I can’t find a catch for it anywhere.)

Me: “Oh, that’s…that’s really weird. Uh, okay, how about I call over somebody from the department? They’re probably familiar with the item more than me.”

Customer: “Sure! I think I’m going to return it anyway, but I’m really curious to see how you get it open.”

(I call Coworker #1 over and explain the situation.)

Coworker #1: “Oh, no problem, these are easy! You just push this button at the top and…”

(Coworker #1 pauses as the button does not work, and struggles with the lid for several minutes. It still doesn’t come off.)

Coworker #1: “Well…that’s weird. It’s supposed to come off like this.”

(As she says this, I spot Coworker #2 near the desk.)

Me: “Hey, want to join the party? Maybe you can figure out how to get this open?”

Coworker #2: “Oh, these. I had one of these before. Don’t worry, you open it like this.”

(Coworker #2 takes the blender, but much to her surprise, she also can’t get it open after several more minutes.)

Customer: “Well, now I don’t feel so bad that I couldn’t get it open! I felt kind of stupid at first.”

Me: “…Y’know what. Let me do that return for you…”

(We never actually did get it open. In the end, I had to damage it back to the warehouse. For the rest of the day when I saw those coworkers, one of us would open with a, “How many employees does it take to open a blender?” joke.)

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