When Your Boss Stands Up, They Stand Down

, , , | Right | February 13, 2019

(We’ve had a doozy of a customer recently. This lady will come in to do her shopping, but if she changes her mind about what she wants to buy, she’ll just leave the unwanted item wherever she is, such as meat with the bread or ice cream with the canned goods. Luckily both times this has happened so far someone has managed to catch her abandoned items before anything went bad. She comes in one night while I’m the manager on duty and my coworker calls me up to handle her transaction.)

Coworker: “The credit card keeps giving an [error code] error. I tried it twice.”

Me: “Hmm… Well, let’s try it one more time and see what happens. Third time’s the charm, right?”

(I take over the register while my coworker moves to another one to handle the growing line. This time, the credit card runs fine and the customer leaves. A few minutes later, after the store is empty, I notice a pile of groceries on the counter.)

Me: “What’s with the groceries? There’s no one in here, right?”

Coworker: “It was the lady that was having card problems. She said she wanted cigarettes on her credit card first, then groceries on her food stamps. Guess she forgot about the groceries after she got her cigarettes.”

(We shake our heads and put everything away, luckily mostly shelf-stable items. The next night…)

Customer: *storms in and points at me* “You! You were here last night, you remember me!”

Me: “Is there a problem, ma’am?”

Customer: “You and that other girl, you charged me three times for my cigarettes! I want my refund!” *throws her credit card on the counter*

Me: “Ah, I’m sorry about that. Unfortunately, I don’t have a record of that and can’t authorize a refund from a previous day—“

Customer: “Well, didn’t you see it when you counted the drawer?!”

Me: “The owner balances the books; if there was an error he’d be the one to find it. But I can take down your contact information and what happened and have him look into it.”

(I manage to wrangle her contact information out of her, with a line growing behind her the whole time and her stopping now and then to insist that I give her a refund and/or the boss’s contact information.)

Customer: “And I need groceries!”

(I disperse the line before she gets back to the register, ring up her groceries, and run her food stamps. Unfortunately, the food stamps machine is old and grumpy and it crashes twice while trying to run her transaction. She then puts in the wrong PIN and it has to run AGAIN. I finally get her rung up and think that’s the last of her for the night.)

Customer: “I forgot something!”

(Once again, the food stamp machine crashes twice while trying to run her card, but at least she puts in her PIN right the first try this time. FINALLY, she’s out the door and I breathe a sigh of relief, leave the note for my boss, and throw away the piece of paper with his contact information that she left behind. And, of course, I go through the store and put away the things she decided she didn’t want. The next day, my boss catches up with me when I’m coming in for my shift.)

Boss: “So, I looked into the credit transactions from your note, and we definitely only charged her once. I called and let her know that the bank should reverse the held charges in a couple of days, and to call me if it didn’t.”

Me: “That’s about what I figured. Thanks.”

Boss: “I also told her that if she changed her mind about buying something when shopping, she had to put it back where she found it.”

Me: *laughing* “Really? What’d she say?”

Boss: “She tried to say that was the cashier’s job and I said that my cashiers weren’t her personal cleaning staff and had other things to do than follow her through the store and put away her abandoned items.”

Me: “You are the best boss ever.”

(Incident over and a fun story to tell to my coworkers, especially the boss’s verbal beat down. Or so I thought. One night when I’m working, a couple of weeks after all of this, the customer comes in again.)

Customer: *smugly as she passes my register* “Your boss gave me two packs of cigarettes!”

(I didn’t really have time for a response, which is probably a good thing because my answer would have been a less-than-polite way of calling her on her bullcrap. It’s going to be an interesting summer…)

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