A.i.R – Customers say the darnedest things

Let’s hop over to a more lighthearted post after the last Adventures in Retail, because I don’t know about you, but it just bummed me out.

We’ve all heard the saying “The customer is always right,” and we all know that this is B.S. (occasionally) but customers must still be treated as kings/queens. Fair enough. But some of these royals say certain things and ask questions that are ridiculous, pompous, or just so utterly stupid that it makes me question if they’ve had their coffee yet. Or if some other addiction is addling their brain.

So I’ve come up with some things customers have either told or asked me over the years that have baffled me, made me question humanity, or even just want to correct people because I’m scum-of-the-earth mean like that.

(Also some of my comments ARE mean, fair warning, but I never say anything like them to a customer’s face. I’m not-so-secretly a snarky bastard, but I’m not that mean. And I promise I’m not trying to be a know-it-all–I know it’s hard to tell. 😉 )

Job One:
 electronics/tech/phone sales store

“Can you go check in the back for this item? Are you sure you don’t have it?”
Even after checking in our computer and knowing I sold the last one the day before, and after already telling you as much, yeah. Pretty sure we’re outta stock.

 “I can’t get my phone back on. It’s brand new, it must be broken!”
Did you try, I dunno, using the power button? Oh, look at that, it works!

⇒ “The next model of this smart phone came out, so I’d like to buy it. No, my previous contract isn’t up–I’m just going to buy the new phone outright.” Even though it’s $600+.
I wish I had that kind of money just sitting around to use for phone upgrades every few months. (And this guy came in all the time to do this. My goodness.)

 “Don’t you have a, another coworker here? A manager?”
I’m not even exaggerating that emphasis in “manager.” Sure, sir, ’cause I know nothing of electronics since I’m a chick. Let me get my coworker; I’m glad to not have to deal with you.

⇒ “What’s the difference a female cord and a male cord?”
Well… do you not see the difference in appearance? Female has the holes, male has the bits, put ’em together…

⇒ “Will you set up my new phone for me? Every last little thing from my daughter’s unique ringtone to all my contacts and alarms.”
That’s like, half the fun of getting a new phone. Not to mention you can go in these days and change so much in the settings, that we could be here for hours. And your 400+ contacts that most of which you prolly don’t talk to? Ugh.

 “Porch monkeys”
I can’t even remember what the hell we were talking about, but this old man was so blatantly racist my coworker and I had to stop ourselves from laughing in his face. I had to walk away at one point to hide. It was awful. (This is pretty much what we looked like the whole conversation.)

Job Two: dollar store

 “Do you guys have coupons or discount days?”
How much cheaper do you need it? It’s a dollar!

 “Oh. That’s a lot. I don’t have enough to pay for all that. Sorry, I’ll come back another time.”
Thanks for bringing up a cart completely FULL of crap that I now have to put away. Everything’s a dollar–do the math.

⇒ “This… this is for a friend. Job interview coming up. Heh.”
Sure buddy. That drug test is for your friend. Riiiight. Even if it is, does it matter?

Customer just buying a few bottles of Listerine, again.
I saw you walk around the building. And someone else saw you guzzling those bottles. That is a lame alternative for cheap alcohol. Instead, please try to get some help.

⇒ “This item has a very small barely noticeable defect. Can I get it half off?”
I repeat – it’s a dollar!! Plus, we have more–find one that’s not defective.

⇒ “I need to return this. It broke/doesn’t work/is a piece of crap.”
Did you expect much else from a dollar store knock-off? (Also some of you are over the return time limit.)

⇒ I’m only buying one or two items, and you guys just opened for the day. My total is a few dollars. Here’s a $100 I need you to break, and also I’m going to be super picky about the bills I receive as change.
Please just leave. Go to a bank first. Or somewhere that might actually have enough money to break a hundred!

Job Three: gaming/etc. store

 “I want the trilobite hard-drive in my system, not the 500 gigabyte one.”
Pretty sure if I had a ‘trilobite‘ hard-drive it wouldn’t fit in the system. (Think you mean terabyte.)

⇒ “I want to sell this game and get this other game instead. It’s an even swap, right?”
HA. No. Especially not for your old sports games–they ain’t worth diddly.

 “Why are you guys so expensive?”
 “Why is this only worth X dollars?”
I don’t make the prices. I don’t even always agree with them.

“I’m calling to ask what my huge list of games/accessories/systems is worth.” And then I’m going to get mad when the numbers aren’t to my agreement and blame you for wasting my time/say you guys are a rip-off.
Well damn, hope you’re comfy, ’cause this is going to take forever. You could also go online and get more accurate prices, and it would be faster. And not waste my time. Yes it’s my job, but don’t get pissy with me when it’s not what you want to hear.

⇒ “I just bought this system from you guys brand new, but I don’t like it. Can I return it for a full refund?”
Yeah, ’cause I can just turn around and resell that item that was brand new to someone else, now. No–pretty much anywhere you go if you buy something new, you can’t just return opened product simply because you ‘don’t like it.’ Maybe next time do some damn research.

⇒ “You haven’t played this game? But you work in a game store!”
I do indeed! But that doesn’t mean I’ve played them all. If that were the case I would never work!

⇒ “Is this game any good?”
I either A) haven’t played it, so have no clue (and you occasionally get mad at my ignorance)
Or B) Have played it and gush about it but you’re not even interested, so why the hell did you ask in the first place?

⇒ “Do you play video games? / Do you like games?”
No. That’s why I work here–’cause I have and want nothing to do with them. At all.

And the catch-all, because some stupid things can happen anywhere:

 “Why was my card declined?”
How should I know, I’m not in charge of your accounts.

 “How much is this item?”
The sticker is right there. Can you read? (Alt. answer: We’re in a legit dollar store. Take a guess.)

 “Is this the best price you can give me?”
Yes. Hence why it’s on the sticker. I can’t just change the prices to suit you.

⇒ “I wanna buy all this stuff/this expensive thing, and I’m gonna pay for it in high dollar amounts of small change.”
Do I look like a bank to you?

⇒ “You don’t know? But you work here; you’re supposed to know how to help me.”
Thanks for the sly compliment in comparing me to a god, but I don’t know everything. (Cue gasp)

⇒ People who just don’t read
Not making fun of illiterate people, just people who can but refuse to read.

⇒ “Wanna go out with me sometime?”
Sure! ‘Cause this is a great time and place to ask someone you don’t even know this question. Made funnier when asked in front of coworkers–the rejection-face is sweet. (In public of course I’m not actually that mean, but I do wish I could be, sometimes.)

I tell you what… sometimes it’s really hard keeping the sarcasm in check, ha-ha.

These are just some examples I have. Others I probably shouldn’t share ’cause they’re that stupidly bad (though I don’t know how it should ever get worse than outdated racial slurs…) or just not interesting. Or I can’t remember them–I’m sure there’s a handful of those.

I have had a lot of great things happen, though. Children are always fun when kept in check or are well-behaved. And when some of them mistake me for a boy because of my short hair I find it amusing (adults, not so much). Plus the polite ones–ah, they’re just precious. 🙂

And some people are super nice! It restores my faith in humanity just a tad when I get a few good people that genuinely wouldn’t mind having a conversation with me. I understand not always wanting to chit chat (I’m the same some days) but when I greet you, you don’t need to throw shade or curt, grumpy replies. Golly. I’ll try to keep you in a good mood if you try and return the favor! :O


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