April 10, 2019
We've all had first days at jobs that had us in tears because we felt overwhelmed. And when you're working in retail, your training appears in front of actual customers.
But there's a difference between the customer being right and the customer being rude. And certainly customers have the right to exemplary service but they are not entitled to belittle anyone serving them.
The following story is told by a person who worked as a cashier and it's about an encounter she had with a rude customer. Luckily for her, her Manager was completely clued up and had her back.
“A couple of years ago, I worked at an office supplies store as a cashier. I was doing this to earn a little income while working on my bachelor’s degree, and plus I liked the job and the people I worked with.
The worst time for our store was during ‘back-to-school,’ a time when everyone came in during the tax-free weekend to buy school supplies for their children. It was crazy busy, so we had everyone working that day and manning the registers, including my managers.
An upper-class woman with bleached blonde hair carrying a designer purse came up to the register and threw her stuff down on the counter. She then proceeded to toss her coupons at me and told me to ‘run ’em.’
I smiled through gritted teeth and asked if she had found everything okay. She completely ignored me and started texting on her phone while her +7-year-old daughter stood quietly next to her.
I scanned the items and then scanned the coupons. My computer informed me that one of the coupons was expired, so I took a look at it and saw that it had expired a year ago! There’s no way I’d be able to override that. I politely informed her that I would be unable to apply that particular coupon to her purchase as it was expired.
She huffed. ‘But why? It’s a coupon and you guys should take any coupons that the customer gives you.’
I repeated myself and told her that the items on the coupon didn’t even match the items in her purchase, and she was visibly agitated at this point.
‘Let me speak to your manager, I don’t have time for this [expletive].’
Ooookay. I motioned for my manager to come to my register from where he was standing close by, and while he was on his way, the lady leaned down to her daughter and said, in a sickeningly sweet voice:
‘See honey? This is why you go to college and get an education, so you don’t have to end up like her working as a cashier!’
What did she just say??
My face turned bright red and the tears starting forming in my eyes as I muttered to her that I was, in fact, going to college and that this was a part-time job.
At that moment, my manager showed up behind me and asked the lady to repeat herself, which she stupidly did. She had a smug look on her face as she explained that she was the customer and the customer is ALWAYS right and that she just needed this coupon to be applied. I wanted to punch her in the face.
My manager stood there and looked at her for a few seconds, and then began taking all of her already bagged items out of their bags.
‘What the [expletive] are you doing?!’ the witch screeched.
Slowly and calmly, my manager said, ‘Ma’am, I will not let you stand here and ridicule and abuse my employees. I am going to have to ask you to leave. We no longer wish to do business with you.’
She stared at us wide-eyed and red in the face, and then looked behind her to see a long line of customers all looking back at her. She sputtered. She cried. She threw a tantrum. Her young daughter behaved better than this grown woman! It was insane.
She took her purse and cards, grabbed her daughter’s hand, and stormed out while screaming,
‘I AM NEVER COMING BACK HERE AGAIN!!! I AM GOING TO CALL YOUR BOSS AND HAVE YOU ALL FIRED! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!?’
My manager chuckled, and then told me that I could go take a breather in the back because at that point I probably looked like I had seen a ghost.”
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