Why Did She Think I Was Lying? A Retail Rant

man in black suit jacket while smiling

I have been making an effort to not let customers get under my skin. But sometimes it’s just unavoidable.

We’ll start off slow with someone who wouldn’t accept responsibility for her card getting declined.
She does the card the first time – I tel her it’s declined.
She looks at her card and shakes her head. Asks if there’s something wrong with our machine. I say no. She asks if she can try it again. I say sure.
It’s declined again.
She snaps, “Well there must be something wrong with your machine. I’ll go get my other card.”
I don’t understand how her card getting declined would be my machine’s fault. If the machine isn’t working it says something like, “No connection to host,” or “Signal Lost,” or “Pinpad error.” Not declined.
She returns and uses her next card. Side note – in case you didn’t know, our store’s machine makes the same noise for you to take your card out whether it goes through or not.
Anyway. Card beeps for her to take her card out. Receipt is about to print. And she yells again, “you’re going to have to fix your machine or type it in or something, because I have money.”
As the receipt prints, I say, “ma’am, there’s nothing wrong with my machine. And I can’t type it in. But it went through. It makes the same noise either way.” I hand her the receipt. “Have a good day.”
She doesn’t say anything else. Of course we’re not going to acknowledge the tantrum you just threw. It’s fine.

Next is a woman asking for the bathroom. And if you’ve missed the last several retail rants, our restroom is out of order. Yes. Still.
“I take (some kind of medicine) and I’m about to pee on your floor.”
“I’m sorry, the restroom is out of order. They have one next door.”
“I won’t make it next door.”
“I’m sorry. It’s broken.”
“I know it’s not broken.”
“Ma’am, if you flush, the toilet overflows. It’s broken.”
“Then I won’t flush.”
“So, then what am I supposed to do with your pee?”
“Ugh. Don’t you ever pee?”
“Yeah. Next door.”
“Ugh. You’re all going to hell for lying.” Walks away.
In the time it took to have this argument, you could have walked next door to pee. But I forgot, you weren’t going to make it over there. She also walks to the front and buys her items and successfully leaves the store without peeing on herself or my floor. Crazy how that happens.

And last we have the woman who thought I was lying about the cigarettes she was buying.
“I need a pack of L&M light, one hundreds.”
I grab the pack and scan it.
“Are those the hundreds?”
I show her the pack, “yes.”
“They don’t look like hundreds.”
I point to the spot on the pack that says, “100’s.” Then I set them on the counter. She snatches them up and stares closely at the pack. And rolls her eyes and shakes her head and keeps looking from the pack to the cigarette case and back again. Then stares at me like I’m lying to her.
But then she pays and leaves. And all I can assume is that she wasn’t the one smoking them and they didn’t look like what her husband or whoever smoked. But still. Why would I lie about the cigarettes you’re buying? What would I gain from giving you the wrong ones? And especially since the only difference in the hundreds or the shorts is the length of the cigarette. And the hundreds are the longer ones!

I don’t know. 13 years into working retail and people still find ways to amaze me.