When You Have To Be A Medium To Find A Medium

, , , , | Right | November 5, 2020

I’m ringing up a customer for a few shirts.

Customer: “Oh, and this one didn’t have a tag. But I think it was $40.”

He hands me a blue plaid shirt from a particular brand that is known for being difficult to find in our inventory system.

Me: *Groaning internally* “Oh, I see. Can I actually have you run back to the men’s department and grab a different one? I’d need to find it in inventory, and that could take a while.”

Customer: “It was the last one in a medium. But you can look it up, right? It’s $40.”

Me: “I can try, sir. But it might be easier to just have you grab one in a different size, then, and—”

Customer: “I’m not waiting in line again! See, look: it’s from [Brand], and it’s a men’s size medium blue plaid shirt, and it’s $40.”

Sighing internally, I open our inventory search system and type in “[Brand] shirt men’s” and then narrow the field to display only products we have in stock. There are over forty results. I start sifting through the options, comparing grainy display photos to the shirt I have in front of me, while the customer huffs with impatience.

Customer: *Irate* “What’s taking you so long?”

Me: *Turning the screen so he can see* “As you can see, this brand makes a lot of men’s shirts.”

Customer: “But it’s blue.”

Fed up, I click on one of the results. It immediately displays a list of all the colors and sizes for that shirt.

Me: “Would that be lake blue, ocean blue, sky blue, cobalt blue, fresh blue, winter blue, navy— Well, it isn’t navy blue…”

Customer: “It’s light blue. And it’s $40! Can’t you just call someone to find it?”

Looking the customer dead in the face, I call menswear on the radio.

Me: “Hey, [Coworker]. Any chance you could get me a UPC for a [Brand] men’s blue plaid shirt, size medium?”

Coworker: *Over the radio* “A [Brand] plaid shirt? You’re joking, right?”

Customer: *Furious* “This is ridiculous! Fine! I’ll go to menswear and get it myself!”

He storms off, leaving his shirts at the register. It takes him a full ten minutes to come back. Finally, he walks up to the register with three different [Brand] blue plaid shirts in his hands.

Customer: *Sheepish* “These are all larges. Can I see the one I was looking at earlier, so I know which one to give you?”

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