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Worst customer in six years

 
 
caprice
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2004 04:33 am
Yikes! What a cow. But as colorbook said, she's likely an unhappy soul and one who wants to make those around her as miserable as she is!

I've worked in retail but if I'd had a customer that rude, it's been erased from my memory. I do, however, recall dealing with someone when I worked as a lab assistant/phlebotomist. I was the only person working the evening shift at a collection site and I had just locked up for the night. I get this guy banging away at the window. Since he saw me seeing him, I figured it was best to find out what his dilemma was. I opened the door and politely informed him that we were closed for the evening. His response, "I thought you were open until 8 p.m." My response, "yes we are but it is just after 8 p.m. now." Him, "not by my watch." Me thinking but not saying "oh the world revolves around YOUR watch." It became painfully obvious this guy was going to stand there and rant and rave, so I decided to have him come in and take his blood. I proceeded to be as polite and accommodating as I could possibly be. During the process he gives me his "I'm having a lousy day" explanation and apologizes. I felt like saying "yeah thanks to you I'm having a lousy day too!" but I wisely keep my mouth shut and just say "no problem" and usher him out as quick as I can. The one bit of satisfaction I got from that episode was the fact he left feeling like a dick.

I understand people can behave like assholes when they've had a lousy day or experience. I hate to admit it, but I've done it myself. (Just once. As a REALLY offensive b*tch. When this kid in one of those big chains was trying to give a sales pitch about purchasing the store warranty. I had been ripped off by this store when I purchased a warranty, so I wasn't about to let my Dad, who I was with, get suckered into wasting his money on it. Ah, but I digress.) So in that respect you can kind of feel for the other person. But when someone else puts you on the defensive, it isn't so easy to sympathize. In the end I've found it easier to paste that plastic smile on your face, be as pleasant as you can muster, and whisk that person out of your life as quickly as you can. A friend of mine got too good at it though and now has to deal with the local pain in the ass every time he goes into her store.

Anyhow, the good news for you is that you likely never have to see that woman again! Smile
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2004 10:55 am
The prospect of never seeing her again delighted everyone at the store.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2004 11:07 am
For some reason this reminds me of a skit where they wire this person up and if he doesn't do something right, they give him a shock. As it progresses, everytime he tries to speak, he gets shocked. "I' Bzzz. 'Hey" Bzzz. "Bu.." Bzzz.

Wouldn't it be nice to have something in the floor where the rude customer is standing?
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2004 11:13 am
I always tried to be nice to sales people because retail is a rotten job. Most people who get frustrated at long lines and complain are embarrassed once they are waited on. This woman wasn't.

Saturday, a man returned a coffee maker. I asked if something was wrong with it and he said they used it several times but realised they would never use it enough to make it pay. Whatever that means. He should have thought about that before buying.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2004 11:53 am
The last two items I returned were TurboTax Deluxe and a 20 lb. bag of partially eaten Basmati Rice, to Costco. My wife didn't want the software and the Basmati tasted funny. Looking at the bag, I realized it was four years old. Odd, seeing as how Costco moves so much merchandise. They happily refunded my money.

I'm wondering, though, if I purchased a bag of counterfeit Basmati. Not only was it a Y2K crop that tasted like Uncle Bens, but the colors on the burlap bag ran, and would stain your fingers. The replacement bag I purchased did not exhibit that problem.
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Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2004 05:19 pm
I always try to be polite. I think it's a dying practice. I know people are busy, but when you hold the door open for people half the time you barely get a grunt in reply.
Common decent curtesy, is it asking to much?
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caprice
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2004 08:04 pm
Ceili:

I know what you mean. I've often gotten absolutely no acknowledgement whatsoever when I've held open a door. Not even a glance. It's as if the person expects that I should hold the door for them...that it is a given and nothing that is worth giving even a quick "thanks".

Speaking of dealing with the public, for anyone who has A & E there is a rather entertaining series being aired called Airline. It's a behind the scenes look at Southwest airlines. Their employees have the added bonus of dealing with drunks. That's one thing I haven't encountered when I worked in retail, although there was the time a homeless guy high on glue came into the store. (I digress.)

I couldn't believe the b*tch they had on yesterday's show. I'm sure her sons were beyond embarrassed. I'm surprised they didn't ask to have their faces blurred out for the episode that aired. I wonder if the woman in question has seen herself on the show and if she is as mortified as she SHOULD be.

http://www.aetv.com/tv/shows/airline/
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2004 11:09 pm
I have three friends who were stewardesses, though appellations changed. Stewardess was, in my life, a real coup to get to be - I lived through a friend's repeated attempts and ultimate rejections, and she got very close but never accepted.

Two of my pals worked for Pan Am (which meant that they knew at least two languages and were, of course, beautiful - and then United, for a while.

I knew one of them from working at a hospital when I was in high school - she was mexican american, which helped, re her command of spanish and degree in it besides, plus, let us assume, her presence as a person. Another, her roommate, a tennis champion from Sweden. Those two could write a book re Airline.......
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caprice
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 12:21 am
Ooo! I'd read it! Wink

Then again, as a kid, I remember reading "Coffee, Tea, or Me?" about the life of a couple of stewardesses. I don't recall the content of the book other than knowing it was something I shouldn't have been reading at the age that I did read it. Very Happy

Here is the book description from Amazon:

Remember when flying was glamorous and sexy, even fun? When airline food was gourmet, everyone dressed up for a flight, and stewardesses catered to our every need-at least in our imaginations? This classic memoir by two audaciously outspoken young ladies, who lived and loved the free-spirited stewardess life, jets you back to those golden days of air travel-from the captain who's as subtle as a 747 when he's on the make to the passenger who mistakes the overhead luggage rack for an upper berth; from the names of celebrities who were a pleasure to serve (and some surprising notables on the "bad guy" list) to the origins of some naughty stereotypes-Spaniards are the best lovers, actors the most foul-mouthed. This huge bestseller, a First Class jet-age journal, offers a hilarious gold mine of outrageous anecdotes from the high-flying and amorous lives of those busty, lusty, adventuresome young women of the swinging '60s known as "stews."
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 01:03 am
I admit to not reading through your coffee tea or me ref, sheer repellance, though I somewhat remember it. Yah, they'd all make a good movie. There was a book before our time, what was it, oh, yeah, The Group, by Mary McCarthy, known otherwise as an intellectual or to some, wannabee intellectual, but in any case a very interesting woman.

To cut in here, by the way, Caprice, I have noticed your posts and welcome you here greatly.

Feel free to tell me I am full of it, I might agree. Glad to see you here.
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 10:07 am
This airline degression is interesting because I saw a piece on tv last night about JetBlue's turning the reservation function over to people who work out of their homes. That reminded me of the big grrrrrr: when Vermont prevented women from making ski sweaters and hats in their own homes. Anyway, JetBlue says these people are more productive. I can imagine that it is a nice way for a mom to work. But I wonder about the isolation of the work and who would you turn to when you had a rude customer? There would be no colleagues' shoulders to cry on.

I was thinking of starting an etiquette thread. When I worked at a Montessori school a couple of years back, there were two women (one had been a television journalist) who wrote notes on deposit slips torn from their check books which drove me and the lead teacher crazy. We don't want to know where you bank and using deposit slips to write teacher notes on creates a potential for broadcasting your account number which could be dangerous to you. Couldn't she have pulled a sheet of paper from her computer's printer or turn a sheet off the magnetic shopping lister on her fridge? Formal stationary isn't necessary but I can't believe that an upper class household doesn't at least have memo pads.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 11:35 am
plainoldme wrote:
That reminded me of the big grrrrrr: when Vermont prevented women from making ski sweaters and hats in their own homes.


What? Really?


I was thinking about this woman, the original customer, and wondering if part of her problem was she didn't like the person who had given her these gift certificates. She hadn't used the one from the previous year. She probably really wasn't much of Williams-Sonoma kind of person so she didn't want to have the balance on a gift card (instead of good old cash) because she didn't really want to come back.

Of course, that's not an excuse for being rude, but I can see her point. I dislike gift certificates because of the hassle of dealing with them, going to the store, doing the "work" that the giver didn't want to bother with.... and then to have to leave $40 on a card because she couldn't get the cash must have irked her beyond all understanding.

No reason to be rude, but it makes more sense.

I'd be interested in an etiquette thread... I have LOTS of pet peeves. Very Happy
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2004 09:30 am
piffka,
You would be amazed at how long people "hang on" to gift certificates and merchandise refund slips. The most common reason why is they simply forget about them. Even customers who come in for specific things will reach the cash-wrap and say, "I forgot my gift certificate." Simply a case of human nature.

Some people also feel they ought to save the money for something special, which complicates the forgetfulness factor. I shake my head over the people who, in my opinion, waste a gift certificate by buying 'stuff' or 'junk.' I'm talking about people who receive a $50 certificate and instead of putting toward a major purchase, like a mixer or cookware, or buying a useful luxury, like a mandoline or a marble mortar and pestle, will buy wine charms and cake mixes. They will tell the cashier that they would love to have a Kitchen Aid mixer but they refuse to save for it or to recognize the boost toward their goal that this certificate is.

The giver may have been someone she dislikes, like an in-law,however, as someone who works in retail, I would rather see someone give a gift certificate than to buy something just for the purpose of buying a gift. Just an example, people commonly pad out a gift for a bride by including dish towels. That's fine if they know the bride is crazy about a particular color or they're matching her dishes. But, during our summer clearance, a woman bought yellow and orange dish towels for a friend, telling me that she absolutely hated the idea of lavendar and pink towels. Do you know what color your friend's kitchen is? I asked. No, she answered. Well, if someone gave me orange and yellow towels, colors I can't tolerate in the kitchen, I'd have returned them. But I would have adored pink towels although my kitchen is blue-white-and-black.

This year, a woman about my age returned a KitchenAid mixer her son bought for her, saying she's had the same mixer since before this young man was born, but,that it was sort of typical of him: he has a generous heart but is a little weak on observation.

I'll start an etiquette thread.
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caprice
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2004 02:08 pm
To ossobuco

Thanks for the welcome! Smile

I usually don't tell people they are full of it. *heh* I enjoy a good debate but I'll normally only rant about something I feel passionate about (don't we all?) or to correct someone that I know has their information wrong (not something that happens often. Wink )
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2004 11:50 am
A view from the other side:

This is the 14th day of being without a car and the temperatures here in MA are freezing. It may be a blessing that I am not working. I walk to the library despite the cold. I needed some fuel for the return trip (one mile up hill) and stopped at Starbucks where I ordered a hot chocolate. After several minutes, no hot chocolate was being prepared (business was very slow, as you might imagine) and I went to the counter and said, politely, "I think you forgot to make my hot chocolate." The guy checked and made the chocolate then gave me a receipt for a free beverage and a bag of what seemed to be a half pound of espresso. Generous compensation for a slip up. But, I think the fact that I was polite paid off.
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caprice
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2004 08:16 pm
Piffka

I dunno. If she didn't like the person she got the gift certificate from, you would think she would at least be appreciative of getting a gift!

I am always appreciative of gifts I receive (as long as the giver is sincere that is) and would never be peeved at getting a gift certificate. I'm sorry but I think the problem is that the woman is a b*tch! *L* Okay, maybe that's unkind. I'm certain there were other things going on in her life and just having someone taken ahead of her in line was just enough to set her off. That to me makes the most sense. What do you think?
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Aldistar
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2004 02:58 am
Oh Gods, I think everybody should work at least one year in retail, if everyone knew what it was like on the other side of that counter...well, let's just say world peace would be within sight.

I have worked in retail since I was fifteen (now am 24) and let me say 'the HORROR'. For the most part it is not bad. You help people out and they thank you and everyone goes about their day, but when you get one of those customers from hell it can ruin it all.

I worked at a Warner Bros. studio store in NJ while I was in college and I remember we had a very strict 'children must be accompanied by parent' rule because we had an art gallery in our store, I'm talking 1,100 dollars for a little glass statue kind of gallery. Well someone (like way to many parents I have noticed) didn't watch their child and since it was close to Christmas we were busy. Anyway, this 3 year old went into the gallery and managed to get a hold of a glass statue. and then proceeded to RUN (on his shaky toddler legs) with said statue. Well, he tripped on his untied shoelace and fell on top of the statue which shattered into a million pieces. My manager and I, hearing the sound of breaking glass, run over and pick the child up and start looking to see if he was injured, miraculousley he didn't have a scratch on him. This is when mom decides she better look for her toddler. She comes running over to us (I was thinking maybe to check to see if her child was Ok or to even apologize) but no. She starts screaming at my manager and I saying she was not going to pay for the statue because it was OUR fault for not watching her child and how could we let this happen. Well my manager is an ex marine and she just puffed up and let this woman have it. After yelling at her about 'how on earth could she possibly blame us' she told the woman to get out before she called child protective services on her for abandoning her child. (it turned out the woman had dropped her 3 and 7 year old off at our store to play while she did her shopping in the mall!)

At a different place I worked for I was at the customer service booth. One day this lady rolls up with about 5 carts of stuff to be rung up. Ok fine, no problem. She has 2 fake trees that she is purchasing and i ring them up last, well she didnt agree that one of the prices was correct on the tree so I called that department and sure enough it IS the right price. She starts to argue about how we should give her a discount any way because she is buying so much. I politely inform her that I can not do that so she asks to speak to a manager. I call one over and they tell her the same thing.She gets even more pissed and says "Fine then I don't want it at all, not any of it!" So I heave a sigh to myself and void the transaction. My manager then starts to wheel away the two fake trees. The customer gets indignant and says "Where are you going with my stuff?!" The manager explains that since she did not want any of it he was going to put it back on the floor. The woman "You idiot! I don't want the tree, I still want everything else!" Biting our tongues(because we both wanted to tell her to just go to hell) I start the long process of re-ringing all the merchandise. I start to finally get toward the end again (she has been grumbling under her breath and stamping her feet the whole time) when she looks at me and says "Can't you go any faster?! My baby is waiting in the car!" This makes my jaw hit the floor. This is south Texas in August, it does not get below 100 degrees F in August here, and this woman has obviously been shopping for at least 3 hors to accumulate all this stuff and it has taken me at least 45 minutes to do this whole transaction has left her BABY out in a car this whole time! I zipped through the rest of her stuff and got her out the door and then proceeded to tell my manager about the baby. He called the police but I don't think they ever caught up with her.

Sorry, but I could rant forever with the things I have seen and had done to me. I am working retail until my fiance gets a new job (he was laid off and the job market sucks in Houston right now) then I quit for good. I went to school to be a professional artist and business is starting to pick up, so I'm looking forward to being my own boss very soon.
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caprice
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2004 03:34 am
I agree, working retail sucks!

Unbelievable about that first women. Uh, excuse me? But who is it that decided to have the offspring in the first place? Whose responsibility is it for said offspring? Oh yeah, it's the manager of the store where she dumped her kid so she could shop unencumbered. *rolls eyes* Did the store ever recover damages?

The second woman...well...maybe if she hadn't been so nasty and if she had bought a huge enough volume of items, I could see management maybe saying "sure we can discount you on the tree"....just for good customer relations and all....but man oh man...what a freak job...and the baby?? You know...if something like that happens again...(hopefully it won't)....get a stock boy or someone to "help" her out to her car. Then you can get the license plate number and report her for child abuse. Unbelievable!
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Feb, 2004 02:34 pm
That is the sort of woman who probably should not have children.
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caprice
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2004 01:36 am
I agree with you on that one plainoldme...for BOTH women! They must have missed out on the mommy gene.
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