This actually happened while I was shopping at another store in the chain of pharmacies where I work, but I’m pretty sure it can apply to any store anywhere.
I spotted a woman rummaging through some bags of chips. One of the bags slipped off of the shelf and landed on the floor with a crunchy plop. The woman looked down at the bag for a moment.
This is part where any person with a slight sense of tact would have the decency to bend down, pick up the bag, and replace it on the shelf. Sure, it takes about two seconds out of your precious shopping time. But it also lessens the likelihood that, say, another absent-minded customer will come along, accidentally step on the bag, and send potato chips skittering across the floor, leaving some poor, underpaid sales clerk to have to clean it up.
Clearly, this woman did not possess the aforementioned sense of tact.
Instead of bending down to retrieve the bag, she uttered an “oops” (loud enough for me to hear from the other end of the aisle) and walked away.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to pick things off of the floor because of clumsy, lazy customers like this. So much time when I COULD be serving you, the customer, is taken out of my work shift because you, the customer, don’t see any problem with leaving me all these small but unnecessary messes to clean up.
Next time you want to be a lazy a-hole, take the time to reverse the situation and put yourself in my shoes. If I was walking my dog, and he just happened to take a crap on your lawn, and I just said “oops,” and walked away, let’s face it, you’d be pissed.
Don’t be a lazy prick. Take those two extra seconds to scoop the poop.
When there’s a long lineup at the register, I open up another cash and clearly call out, “I’m open on cash number 2, I’ll help the next person in line!”
Before the customer who is actually second-in-line even gets a chance to process what I’ve just said, there’s almost always a few middle-aged women who make a mad dash for my register. They push the other customers out of their way, knock over nearby displays, and hurl their purchases at me in the hopes that I’ll scan their stuff first. Those who are not as fast give me a red-faced harrumph as they are forced to wait in line some more, like everybody else.
How do you get a lazy, stay-at-home, middle-aged woman to run? Open up a second cash when there’s a lineup. It’ll probably be the most exercise they get all day, so the way I see it, I’m actually doing them a favor that goes a step beyond their shopping experience.
In fact, I think I’ll add “Personal Trainer” to my CV. Might as well get as much out of this job as I can.
I played the “I’ve been working here for 7 years” card on a customer the other night; that’s when you KNOW I’m pissed. I mention it here often enough, but rarely, if ever, to customers.
It all started when this woman asked one of the cosmeticians for a product that would definitely not be in the cosmetics department. Just as I know nothing about cosmetics, the cosmeticians know very little about the other products in the rest of the store. So the cosmetician asked a floor clerk, who then came to ask me for help.
Apparently the woman was asking for an air freshener that she could hang in her car. I immediately told the woman that we don’t carry anything of the sort in our store, which elicited the lovely response of:
“WHAT?!? How can you not carry something like that in a PHARMACY!?! What am I supposed to do if I need to wipe my hands in my car?!?”
This is the point where I get confused. This lady wants an air freshener… to wipe her hands? She has clearly never been properly instructed on the correct use of air fresheners.
Nevertheless, I ask her to clarify that it was really an air freshener that she’s looking for. It doesn’t sound like English is her first language, so I entertain the possibility that maybe the coworker who had brought her to me had not understood her request.
“No, no,” the woman protests, shaking her head. “I want something to wipe my hands with in the car.”
“Oh, like moist towelettes, or something?” I venture.
“Bellisimo,” she approves.
I should mention here that, after I had finished dealing with this customer, I went to talk about her to the cosmetician, who assured me that the woman had quite specifically asked for an air freshener, even going so far as to explain that she wanted the kind that hangs from the rearview mirror. Somehow “air freshener” had turned into “moist towelettes” by the time the customer had gotten to me.
So I take the woman to the section where we’ve got an assortment of sanitary wipes, many of which are contained in clever packaging made to fit in the cup-holder of a car. She quickly scans the section and turns to me with a scowl.
“No, it’s none of these,” she says. “The one I want comes in a box.”
I try to assure her that this was the only section where we have this type of product, so while we might not have exactly what she wants, all of these wipes would clean her hands just as effectively.
For normal people, this explanation would have been sufficient. But this woman really, REALLY wants her wipes to come in a box.
I offer to take her to the baby section to show her some of the wipes we have there. This suggestion is met with another bellisimo. She seems to have a clear idea of what it is she’s looking for, meaning that it’s most likely something she’s bought before and would therefore recognize if she saw it. Maybe she likes to keep a box of baby wipes in her car for when her hands got dirty? It’s not entirely unheard of.
No luck in the baby section, though. Her tone begins to get less and less friendly as she grows impatient with me. The only other place I can think of looking is the travel section, although in all honesty all of the wipes we have there are also in the other two sections I had just shown her. I take her to the travel section anyway, but with little hope.
Sure enough, she doesn’t see what she’s looking for.
“There must be another place where you have things like that!” she cries. Yes, lady, as a matter of fact, there is one more place. However, being the evil tyrant that I am, I’m hiding your precious box of moist towelettes in a secret section whose location I refuse to disclose to you! NOW YOU WILL NEVER HAVE THE CONVENIENCE OF CLEANING YOUR HANDS WITHOUT USING SOAP AND WATER MUAHAHAHAHA
But seriously, there’s nowhere else I can take her. And she is NOT happy about that.
“I know you have what I’m looking for, but I don’t think you know where it is! Why don’t you ask someone who knows better than you?”
And, ladies and gentlemen, that’s when it happened.
“Madame, I have been working here for seven years (there it is!). The other two employees referred you to ME because they knew that I’d have a definite answer for you. I showed you all the places where we would have something similar to what you’re looking for, but you didn’t want any of it. At this point, there’s nothing more I can do.”
In writing, that really doesn’t come off as being as aggressive as it was. But believe me, I used a tone that was a LOT more hostile than a sales clerk should be using with a customer.
“I don’t like to bother the owner for things like this, but I’m going to have to ask her since I see that you don’t understand what I’m looking for.” Oh great, you’re one of those. Perfect.
She leaves me seething in the aisle while she walks up to the pharmacy counter where the owner is working. Quickly realizing that the owner is way too busy to help her (and quite frankly, after all this I’m pretty surprised that she came to a realization that wasn’t completely self-centered), she returns to the aisle where I’m still trying to lower my heart rate.
Then she starts insisting that I show her where I’m hiding the wipes.
“Listen,” I reply exasperatedly. “I honestly don’t know what else you want me to do. I’ll take you back to the first section I showed you, but you already told me that you didn’t see what you wanted there.”
“Bellisimo,” she replied.
I take her back to the first section. She looks at the products again, shakes her head, and yells at me some more.
“No! I want something in a box! A box!”
At this point I’m so fed up with this lady, and this job, and this life, that I just reach out for the first box of wipes I see, which is literally right in front of her, and shove it at her.
“Here. These are wipes. They come in a box.”
Now, remember, this was our second time in this section. Both times, she had looked at the array of products and found nothing to her satisfactio —
“Ah! Bellisimo!” she exclaims. Then she opens the box (argh) to get a closer look at the wipes inside. “Bellisimo, bellisimo! This is what I am looking for! Could you get me another one though, this one has been opened.”
This is yet another example of the many reasons that I’m convinced that my store is actually nested within a pocket of some nether dimension that overlaps with ours, where logic and sanity must be disregarded at all costs. She hands me back the box THAT SHE HAD JUST OPENED and waits while I hand her another one.
At this point, I’m just happy that I might finally be rid of her. But nope, the story doesn’t end here! There’s still a few extra drops of ridiculous to be squeezed out of this one!
She looks at the box (thankfully without opening it this time) and frowns.
“There’s only 50 wipes in this box,” she remarks. “I wanted a box that has 100 wipes.”
“Well, this is all we have,” I exhaled. “If you want, you can buy two of them. Or, if you still have your old box of 100, you can bring it in and I can use the barcode to see if we’ll ever be carrying it again.”
“No, it’s alright,” she replied. “I think I actually bought that box at [the competing drug store] anyway, so you probably don’t have exactly the same thing. But this will do.”
“Would you like a plastic bag for five cents?”
“No, thank you, I think I can manage.”
I ring up the order and tell the customer how much she owes. She pays. I hand her the receipt. She looks at the pile of stuff she just bought.
“Actually, I think I will take that bag. I parked my car pretty far away.”
“Uh… that… that’ll be five cents.” Five cents that I COULD have added to the total cost of your original transaction, but now have to charge you separately for.
Got a nickel? Got the foresight to realize that you’ll need a bag BEFORE you turn it down to save five cents?
(I know, I know. It’s not about the five cents, it’s about the “principle” of having to pay for something that used to be given for free. Well, my store donates the proceeds from plastic bag sales to charity, so you’re still the immoral person here. Bite me.)
“When you see there’s such a long lineup at your cash, you should call another cashier. People are getting frustrated.”
Of course, explaining to this guy that the other cashier is currently on her break and that the other backup cashier called in sick is useless. He just keeps prattling on about how upset the other people waiting in line are… although he’s the only one who actually seems to be complaining.
But yeah, thanks man. I love listening to instructions from a customer about how to do my job. It’s not annoying at all. Seriously. Keep doing what you’re doing.
I was working in the promo section on the day after Easter, consolidating all the chocolate that we had left. A lady came up to me and asked if the chocolate was all on sale. I told her that it was, but that I was still in the process of cleaning up the section and putting up all the sale prices.
“If you’d like to verify the price of anything, you can use the scanner right over there,” I said, pointing to the nearby support column that the scanner is attached to.
The lady then spent the next 25 minutes (I kid you not!) going through the section item by item, bringing each one to the scanner, checking the price, and then doing one of two things:
1. If the price was to her liking, she would throw the item in her shopping cart, return to the shelf where she had picked it up from, and take about four more.
2. If she was NOT satisfied with the price, she’d throw the item into the nearest basket on the shelf.
She was not satisfied with about half of the things she brought to the scanner.
Despite the fact that I was obviously trying to CLEAN the section (as well as all the dirty looks I was sending her way to try to emphasize this), she was directly creating additional and unnecessary work for me.
Had I offended her in some way, eliciting this conscious act of uptight bitchery? Or was this simply an unconscious act of laziness, albeit annoying-as-shit nonetheless?
This woman who would like fit the definition of the term “White Trash” asked me to help her find a specific type of cold syrup, a liquid that also alleviated mucus. Delicious.
She claimed to have bought it here before, and would recognize the package if she saw it. After a brief scan of the shelf, I actually found exactly what she was looking for (to my surprise; you have no idea how many different types of cold meds there are.). I pointed to the box.
That’s when she started scolding me - yes, scolding - for not showing her the right product, despite the fact that she had only given me a vague description.
Even though she had no right to treat me with such a spontaneous outburst of disrespect (in all honesty, you’d think I’d be used to it by now), I began to apologize. I then noticed that she wasn’t actually listening to me, but instead surveying the shelf I had just pointed her to.
“Oh, here it is,” she proclaimed, reaching out for a box that was literally two spots away from the one I had just shown her. The box she had just chosen was EXACTLY the same as the one I had shown her, except that the bottle contained 250 ml of cough syrup instead of 100 ml. Other than being slightly bigger, the packaging was identical… yet somehow I got yelled at for showing her a product that, uh… didn’t resemble the one she’d said she would recognize?
That’s when she saw that it was the French side of the box that had been facing outward - bilingual province, remember?
“I don’t understand why you can’t place it with the English side facing out!” she exclaimed. I didn’t feel like explaining Quebec’s Bill 101 to her, although I’ll admit that, as a stock boy, none of us ACTUALLY pay attention to which side of the product faces outward when we place them. It’s honestly all done completely at random as we rush to get the job done.
In any case, this lady decides to add insult to injury by shoving all the other boxes on the shelf to one side in her frustration.
While I’m standing right next to her.
After I’d just helped her.
She then walked off toward the cash registers without giving me a second glance.
“You’re welcome!” I sarcastically called down the aisle after. She didn’t turn around. She didn’t even pause.
The photo-printing machine is out of order, as stated by the sign taped over the screen, because all of the photos it had been printing were covered with ink dots.
“Customer service to the digital center,” blares the automated message via the intercom, activated when a customer presses a button on the machine when they need assistance.
Something doesn’t add up.
One of my coworkers goes to answer the call. He looks skeptically at the machine for a moment.
“Oh. I thought the machine hadn’t been working… wasn’t there a sign on the screen?” he asks the customer.
“No,” she answers. The employee looks around the machine to see if the out-of-order sign he KNEW he had seen earlier in the day had perhaps fallen off. Not being able to locate it, he helps the customer complete her transaction.
“Will they print out?” she asks.
“Well, if the machine is working again, they should print. I guess we’ll see what happens!”
Sure enough, her first photo drops out of the printer. Assuming that everything is working as it should, my coworker leaves the aisle while the woman waits for the rest of her photos.
She begins to inspect the photos as they print out of the machine, holding the photo paper close to her nose.
Why, there appear to be spots of ink ruining the pictures! Her features contort into a disgruntled expression.
Meanwhile, me and a few of my coworkers, all of whom distinctly remembered seeing the “out of order” sign earlier that day, gathered in the back of the store to watch the footage from the security camera overlooking the digital center, determined to find out what had happened to the sign. The following is a description of the footage:
The woman enters the aisle and approaches the very apparently out-of-commission photo machine. She takes a fleeting glance at the note of apology that is taped to the screen, looks around to make sure nobody is watching, and rips it off the machine. She then walks up the aisle, stashes the sign on a shelf, walks back to the machine, and starts jabbing her pudgy finger at the buttons on the touch-screen.
After having watched this, the shift supervisor walks to the digital center and retrieves the discarded sign. In the back of the store, we continue to watch on the camera’s live feed. The woman is still standing at the machine, closely inspecting each photo as it is printed.
“There are spots on my pictures,” she complains to the supervisor.
“Uh, yeah, the machine is broken,” he replies. “That’s why this sign was attached to it.”
She ended up having to pay for the photos despite their imperfections. Obviously. I mean, what was she thinking when she’d ripped the sign off?! Hmm, the problem here must be that the screen is covered by a piece of paper with some writing on it. Yes, that must be it. Removing that should fix the problem.
Gee, I’ll bet that our machine would never be broken if SHE was a technician!