Saturday, October 1, 2011

believe it or not

1. Customers don't believe that we don't carry everything, for example, whatever they want.  What sort of perfect world do they think this is where they can call up the first place they think of and find the exact weirdly specific item they have decided they need?

2. Sometimes people's mothers aren't very nice.

3. I spent a good portion of the day directing traffic to the bathrooms.  You know, pointing them in the proper direction, reassuring them that it wasn't too far, chasing them out of closets and offices they thought might be a bathroom (despite signs stating they are not).

4. Sometimes the way people enjoy sitting on a sofa is to sit on a throw pillow on the sofa cushion.  People do all kinds of weird shit to the pillows.

5. Sometimes people have poor luck with an item so they will exchange it.  Makes sense.  The first one was probably defective.  But sometimes they keep having "defective" items and keep exchanging it.  Why would you keep getting an item when you have a history of problems with multiple items?  "This thing is shitty, but I like it.  I know I'll have trouble with this thing and all its shitty replacements because it is shitty, but I like it.  I give it as wedding gifts!"

6.  Sometimes people don't want to pay the change on their total.
"Your total is $20.35."
(hands me a $20 bill.)
I pause, thinking they might slowly be going for change.  After a moment I repeat:
"Your total is $20.35."

See, they think I'm going to pull 35 cents out of a magical non-existant change jar or perhaps my own pocket.  I used to feel sorry for these people.  I fell into the trap of thinking that maybe they were just a little short, you know?  They just needed a few cents, right?  What's the harm?  Well, the harm is that they are fucking faking and they ALWAYS have change.  They have a jangling separate purse full of coin.  They are just being cheap.  And think about it this way:  if they truly don't have enough money to buy their items, maybe they don't need all those items.  One sure fire way to get change fakers to cough up coin is to ask them which items they want to put back.  So, back to my story:

(looks of feigned confusion by the customer when I repeat the total)
"Don't you have a quarter and a dime?  For the 35 cents?"
(they fish the change out of their purse and we finish.)

Keep it simple.  Never accuse.  There is a time and place for accusations and that is the Internet.


  1. 1. You mean like food sealers?

  2. Long time reader, but I don't think I've ever commented before, I also work in retail. The other day I had a (male) customer very loudly & angrily inform me that "All women are greedy witches" (and I don't mean witches) because I insisted he pay the tax on the item he was buying. I swear, where do these people come from?

  3. @ Anonymous - Thank you for sharing! I like to hear those stories from other clerks because people can be so weird, so outrageous that I think I might be making it up. But no, IT REALLY HAPPENS!