Retail Life Episode 31

It’s been a minute since I posted a retail story, so how about we talk about that today? I hope the gap doesn’t suggest I have had no one get on my nerves, because that sure is a daily occurrence, ha. But I’ve worked at this store for almost eleven (ELEVEN) years now, so I’m just a professional at keeping my temper at this point. Because I sure wish I could just speak my mind to some of these people, but I also know that it doesn’t make any difference.

For our first tale, let me set the scene. It’s the day before inventory and there are several people working. I’m at the back of the store, on a stepladder. Two people are at the registers and one more is working in the health and beauty section. A woman walks up to me and asks where the children’s melatonin is. I tell her it’s up “this wall” (because I’m working on the wall that the medicine is on, I’m just at the back) on the top shelf. She snaps at me that she already looked there, so we don’t have it. She walks away in a huff. I get off the ladder and follow her up to the front and hear her say to her daughter, “well, I’m never shopping at this f*cking store again.” I say, “It’s right up here, ma’am, I’ll show you.” She turns around to yell, “No, it’s not. I looked.” Calm as can be, I walk over to the shelf, grab the box of children’s melatonin, walk back over to her and put it in her hand. I repeat, “it was on the top shelf” and she just says, “oh.” No “thank you,” no “I’m sorry,” nothing. But that’s okay. You can’t fix stupid.

Next, we have a Saturday morning, old man story. He is a regular customer that never fails to irk me. He comes in and asks where the masks and the belts are. I tell him and then go back to what I’m doing. Sometime later, he comes to the register with a package of masks, a belt, a clearance coat, a half-gallon of milk, two bags of candy, and a soda. His total comes to $38 and some change. He pulls his wallet out and counts out $32 and says, “you said $31, right?” I resist the urge to face palm and repeat the total. He says, “Oh, well I don’t have enough so never mind.” I stare at him for a moment and then say, “so you’re not going to get any of this?” He says, “nope,” shoves the money back in his wallet and leaves. And I just want to scream a little, but I hold it in. I don’t understand why he came in for two specific things, which he could have bought with the money he had, but because he couldn’t buy all the other junk he’d picked up, he figured he needed none of it??? Let me also point out that he doesn’t drive, he walks to my store. So, he walked all the way there, in the cold, and then bought nothing. I just… why?? Ugh.

On top of those specific stories, here are few reminders of how to act at the checkout.

  1. Don’t get in line if you don’t have your money. Go to the car and get your damn wallet before I ring up everything in your basket.
  2. Don’t get in line if you haven’t grabbed everything you need. Don’t send your daughter to the back of the store for “one more thing” when it’s your turn at the counter.
  3. Don’t wait until after you’ve cashed out to ask if things rang up at the sale price or if your coupons worked. Ask when I ring up the specific thing so I can make sure the price is right (or tell you why it’s not what you think it should be). Refunds take twice as long as a regular transaction, so let’s avoid that, shall we?

I guess that’s all for this one. Tune in next time to laugh at my pain some more, haha. The more work I do in my writing life, the more I can’t wait to leave the retail world. Hopefully, by this time next year, I’ll at least be able to step down to a lesser position. That would help so much, I think. Maybe I’d get less angry at these lovely people. Maybe.

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