Retail Life #29

            One of my pet peeves about customers is when they blame everything in their lives on us retail workers. They come in the store and yell at us for things that are completely out of our control. It gets worse during the holidays because there is more stress going around in general. But that never makes it okay. We are not your punching bags.

         A regular customer came in on a Sunday morning and bought some stuff that included two tension rods for curtains. During her transaction, she argued about an expired coupon, and then after all was said and done, she forgot her curtain rods on the counter when she left. From what I was told, there were people in line behind her and my cashier didn’t notice she’d left them and after some time passed, they were gone. So, the only thing we can conclude was that some other customer picked them up on their way out.

         Fast forward to that evening, she comes back in for her curtain rods. But she didn’t bring her receipt, and it was two different people working that didn’t know about her transaction or forgotten items. So, they couldn’t do anything for her without her receipt. Generally, we let you replace the item you were missing, but we need the proof of purchase. Otherwise, anyone could walk in and say they forgot something and take whatever they wanted. She got mad that she needed her receipt and left.

         Monday morning, I’m at work with one of the people from the night before and she comes back with her receipt. Right away, she’s yelling at both of us. Because 1- Those were the last two white curtain rods so now she can’t replace them with two others unless she wants a different color, 2- Why couldn’t we just call the cashier to see if he knew who picked them up, and 3- she has company coming and needs curtains in the windows, and she’s been up since 3am trying to get her house ready for company, and she doesn’t want to put holes in her wall to use a regular curtain rod, and she’s been getting her entire house redone and just needs curtains temporarily until they come install her blinds, and we just don’t understand!

         I try to apologize, but she doesn’t want to hear that. I offer to just give her money back since she doesn’t want a different color, but that won’t work either. I try to explain that my cashier from Sunday would have no way of knowing who picked up her curtain rods. And even if he did, we can’t just call them to bring them back. And that just makes her yell more about everything she’s trying to do. I calmly remind her that none of that other stuff has anything to do with us and could she please lower her voice, and she grabs two brown curtain rods and mumbles under her breath while I do the exchange.

         We can only do so much to make sure people take all of their purchases with them. I can say “you have three bags” five times, and if you still only grab two bags, that’s on you. Especially if there’s other people in line behind you, they’re ready for their turn and I’m not going to notice until it’s too late if you left something behind. If you’re out of the building, we can only do so much to get your forgotten items to you. If we didn’t see what car you walked to, we can’t flag you down. And we really can’t fix it if someone else picked your stuff up after their turn. Sorry, but not sorry.

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