What A Mother-Trucker

, , , | Right | January 29, 2018

(I work at a convenience store. I recently moved to the customer service counter, where the tasks of daily and nightly bookkeeping, utility payments, returns, lottery, and the store phone lines are all handled by one person. I’ve been with the store for a while, but the service desk is still pretty new to me,  particularly answering the phones. Usually, it’s people who ask for the pharmacy, which is prompt one on the automated message, but for whatever reason, a lot of people press two for customer service, and then are surprised or angry to discover my extension is not the pharmacy. This night is a bit hectic with lottery and bills, and I pick up the phone when it rings for the umpteenth time.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Store]. This is [My Name] in [customer service]. How may I help you?”

Customer: *an older woman* “Hello, I was told your supply truck comes on Monday, and today is Monday, so I want to know if what I’m looking for is finally there. It’s in aisle one. It’s called [Medicine], it’s spelled [Medicine], and it’s in a pink bottle. It should be there, since it’s Monday.”

(Our truck has just gotten here, a big semi packed with giant totes and tons of boxes. They have just begun to sort it not twenty minutes prior to this conversation. We’re a convenience store and pharmacy combination, and our stores are bigger than most businesses that are similar.)

Me: “Our truck literally just arrived, so I doubt it’s even left the back room if we have it. Let me check on the status back there, and I’ll let you know.”

(I put her on hold just as the assistant manager walks in.)

Me: “Hey, I know the truck just got here, but do we have [Medicine]?”

Assistant Manager: “I know we carry that, but we haven’t even touched aisle one stuff yet.”

(Aisle one is one long wall of medicine, containing everything from painkillers to allergy to antacids. It can be a nightmare to find and put away all of those little boxes.)

Me: “Should I tell her it’s just not sorted yet?”

Assistant Manager: “You have to; the truck just got here. I’m probably going to start telling people our truck comes on Tuesday since it comes so late on Mondays. People call at 8:00 am expecting their s*** to be on the shelves, and the truck doesn’t actually get here until 5:00. Then, we have to sort it all; it’s sometimes 6:30 before we actually start stocking the shelves.”

(He leaves, and I pick the phone back up.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but they haven’t even gotten to aisle one yet. Like I said, the truck literally just came in, and they’re still in the process of sorting.”

Customer: *suddenly indignant* “Well, couldn’t they just look for it?”

Me: “Ma’am, there’s roughly 70 giant totes and boxes to go through. It will be on the shelf either late tonight or tomorrow morning. I’m sorry.”

Customer: “Well, I guess I’ll just go somewhere else, then.”

Me: “You do that, ma’am. Have a nice day.”

Customer: *grumbles and hangs up*

(Calls like that are the reason I’ve been telling customers for a while now that the truck comes Monday, but their stuff won’t likely be on the shelves until Tuesday.)

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