Retail jobs: the dumbest customer question you've been asked?

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CaptainMarvelous:

Seriously, compulsory year in retail does wonders for human empathy >_>

Which is why I have none or very little depending on the day and whether or not I've had my coffee, lol.

I'm a manager at a McDonald's and the number of idiotic things people say or do could fill a book.

It isn't really a question but this was probably the funniest thing (in recent memory) that has happened:

We had just got done closing the store (cleaning, putting stuff away, preparing for the breakfast crew) and i had forgotten my ice scraper so I had to sit in my car while the defrosters thawed my windows out. Then this guy pulls up into the drive-thru.. with the store dark and all the lights off, including the outside lights, and he sits there. I sat and watched him start getting mad by the way he was moving about in his car it appeared he was yelling at his girlfriend, passenger, or whatever and then I could hear him yelling at the speaker "HELLO? HELLO?"

So I sit here laughing and then the guy pulls back and forward again and starts yelling at the speaker some more before he backs out and goes to the other lane and repeats the process before finally driving off.

My story actually happened yesterday to my cousin. She took a call from a spanish only speaking customer, while none of us in the store speak more than a phrase or maybe two of Spanish. After a minute or so of fumbled conversation she determined that the customer wanted to pay the overdue balance on their account. After several more frustrating minutes, and comments of "No, the account numbers for our accounts are only 6 digits long, not 13..." and "No that the customer's phone number, and last name provided weren't pulling up an account of any kind..." It took my cousin saying our company name 5 times in the course of the ten minute phone call, as well as having to ask of the child, who had replaced the lady in hopes of lowering the communication barrier, point blank "None of your family plays a musical instrument right?" for them to realize that they had called a musical instrument retail store rather than Comcast.

For non US residents Comcast is an Internet Service Provider among other things.

We are not Comcast, despite being in the same building. Sort of similar to a strip mall set up.

This baffles me for two reasons. First, I understand a bit of confusion with a language barrier, However if you know how to work a phone well enough to place a call, why not use the phone number on the bill your holding? I know it has the phone number on it you need to call to make that payment.

Secondly: for arguments sake, even if that bill doesn't have the phone number,( it does though.)
why would you then look up a phone number for a company which despite being in the same building has its own enclosed section of the building which does not overlap in any way with the company you are trying to reach, Rather than looking up their number instead?

I was working as a cashier at a grocery store

I am weighing some nappa (japanese cabbage)

Customer yells "NO! you're weighing the heavy part!" and turns it on it's side

"Mam, the cabbage weighs the same on it's side"

"No! look, the number is lower! you're trying to rip me off"

Apparently cabbages weigh less when they're oriented on their side and everything I've taken as common sense for all these years is invalid. Next time I weigh myself on my bathroom scale, I'll try laying on my side.

V8 Ninja:
As I've never worked in retail, I'll just post a link to Not Always Right and leave my opinion at that.

Yeah; if you want interesting retail stories then that is your best bet (I thought I was the only one here that knew about it!)

Nooners:

Jynthor:

Colour-Scientist:
I work in a store that sells sex toys and lingerie, how much time do you have?

Oh, this I have the hear, take all the time you need.

I second this motion. Let us have the stories!

I third the motion

I got this a lot working a concession stand. Three Cups for Popcorn, Easily distinguishable as larger or smaller in comparison to the others. Prices right Above, Small, Medium Large.

"Which one is a Medium?"

Also...when I worked there, apparently there was a Size I was never educated on. A size all the customers knew about but I was never taught, as a cashier or a stand leader.

That size was known as "Thing". "Can I get a thing of nachos/popcorn/pop?"

I think mine takes the cake. I've literally only been working in retail for six months (this being my first job, and all) so this incident is still fresh in my mind.
I was still a young, fresh trainee and the manager felt that I could handle the job of making the pet food look good. So there I was in the cat food aisle when:

"Excuse me."

"Yes, how can I help you?"

"I want to get some cat food for my neighbors cat. I don't think he feeds it enough so I want to give him extra food."

"How nice of you, and what a good neighbor, too. Any normal cat food will probably do." (which i thought was excellent advice).

Here's the part with the STUPIDEST QUESTION IN THE WORLD:
"Now, I don't know much about cats. Will any of this food kill the cat?"

My mouth dropped for a second, but i managed to compose myself and tell her that, no, none of these foods will, in fact, kill the cat. Call me crazy, but I think that even if you don't know anything about cats, you should at least know how EATING WORKS.

I get the whole "do you work here" alot - i wear a vest with the companies name on it.
today someone asked me "do you carry lunch bags" - I work at a movie/music/video game/comic/book store (hastings).
oh, and yesterday a mentally challenged person walked in and immediately asked me if i could call their mom - he didnt know the number - but he expected me to.

I get alot of people asking why thier accounts have been banned - the store i work at buys all sorts of media and unfortunately we get alot of people stealing movies from walmart and selling them to us. its incredibly obvious when someone brings in all the last 3 weeks major releases blu ray copies (including the ones that were released that day) still shrink wrapped. or when the star wars blu ray set was released we had the same people trying to bring in a copy a day (we ended up with about 13 used copies in like 4 days)

oh, and the classic gem: do you guys have a redbox machine. we are a rental store.

most of the memorable stuff i deal with are assholes trying/succeeding to steal. i was ringing up a wii u for a guy and he tried darting with it. i caught him and he chucked it at me.

or the dumbest theif ever came in TODAY set up an account with their drivers licence (name, address, phone number, email, drivers licence number) then their friend stole a bunch of stuff and they were the getaway driver. i of course called the police with every bit of thier information, and recordings of them on 6 different cameras.

Not really questons, but I work as a call centre agent for public transport in Victoria (Australia). I'm trained in assisting people with timetable information for the entire state (including some of South Australia and New South Wales) as well as making bookings for the regional trains and busses. Never-the-less, I have at least 3 customers a day who will not tell me where they are travelling from.
"I would like to go from here to Bairnsdale."
"Would 'here' be Melbourne?"
"No."
"Where are you traveling from?"
"Y'now. From the post office."
"The post office in which town?"
"Warnambool, of course!"

There's also customers who tell me the line they want to travel on instead of the station they want to get off at, leading me to give the wrong information or having to restart an entire booking, thus altering the price.
*completing booking* OK. So, that's Melbourne to Bairnsdale on-"
"What? I want to go to Sale, not Bairnsdale!"
"Didn't you say to Bairnsdale?"
"I said the Bairnsdale train."
"Did you say to Sale?"
"No."
Oh, sorry. Didn't realise I was meant to read your mind.

gphjr14:
Worked at Walmart in electronics back in 06 had a person ask if we Nintendo games at first I thought they meant game cube or Wii but they meant NES.

At least that person had class

When i was on internship at computer parts store(or computer chop shop(used parts and all)) a coustumer (dude was like 50 y.o.) said he wanted a refund because his "computer wasnt" working like in he saw in tv... Guess what he showed me? A computer flatscreen monitor... Not an iMac or an alternative but just a plane monitor whithout anything... I had to argue whith him about a "coumputer" he brought about for 2 hours and in the end i sold him one and never saw him again...

chadachada123:
I was a cashier for a year at Target (basically a higher-class Walmart).

The most infuriating question/statement, by far, that I received on a weekly basis, when having difficulty scanning an item or locating the barcode, was this: "Oh, if it doesn't scan, that means it's free, right?"

Every one of them deserves a punch in the face.

OHGAWD. YOU ARE SO HUMOROUS THERE IS NO WAY I HAVENT HEARD THAT ONE BEFORE.

smileyboybob:

Here's the part with the STUPIDEST QUESTION IN THE WORLD:
"Now, I don't know much about cats. Will any of this food kill the cat?"

My mouth dropped for a second, but i managed to compose myself and tell her that, no, none of these foods will, in fact, kill the cat. Call me crazy, but I think that even if you don't know anything about cats, you should at least know how EATING WORKS.

you would think but my cat has a condition where if he eats certain cat foods they will kill him, we will get a fair bit of warning before he dies but in a case like that it is a valid question

Working in the frozen meat section of a super market. A girl comes up to me with a family pack of mince and asks me "Would this be enough to feed my family?" No other info. After just being baffled for a good 10 seconds I managed to ask how big her family was.

I work as a barman/waiter in a restaurant and I get some real dumbasses sometimes.

"What's the difference between the prawn cocktail and the prawn and crab cocktail?"
".... One's got crab"

"Why can't you serve me one last beer?"
"The final bell rang 20 minutes ago and I'm about to walk out the door."
"Just one!"
"There are no tills downstairs, all the money is upstairs and we can't take any more stock"
"I have the exact change!"

Dealing with drunk idiots is more annoying than regular idiots.

Lonewolfm16:

Does that happen alot in European countries? Using a English as a langue to speak to people from other countries, even though it is neither of your native tounge, because it is a commonly learned foreign langue I mean.

It has more to do with the Dutch language not being taught in neighboring countries. Plus we're taught the English language starting in the 4/5th grade along with tv/internet exposure to the language. On the other hand, it might be that, as a country, we've gained some renown as speakers of foreign languages :)

Colour-Scientist:
I work in a store that sells sex toys and lingerie, how much time do you have?

Oh do tell

imagremlin:
snip

You're not alone mate, I've never left Australia and I sometimes forget when the State of Origin is on (mostly because I don't care about sport)

aaaaand shifting gears for a second...

I could fill a modest paperback with the dumb questions i've been asked over the years

One lady brought a frozen chicken up to my register and asked "do they get any bigger?" I responded with "No ma'am they're dead"

The oh-so traditional "If it doesn't scan it's free" chestnut, no lady, it's really not.

There are a few more I'd like to post, but i might get in trouble for some of them, so i'm not going to.

Sku1c:

Lonewolfm16:

Does that happen alot in European countries? Using a English as a langue to speak to people from other countries, even though it is neither of your native tounge, because it is a commonly learned foreign langue I mean.

It has more to do with the Dutch language not being taught in neighboring countries. Plus we're taught the English language starting in the 4/5th grade along with tv/internet exposure to the language. On the other hand, it might be that, as a country, we've gained some renown as speakers of foreign languages :)

Something that I shall forever be envious of. Sure, growing up in an English speaking country (UK) may mean that my first language is the best for travelling, but it also means that its very difficult to learn a second language. You have little motivation to do so.

lechat:
you would think but my cat has a condition where if he eats certain cat foods they will kill him, we will get a fair bit of warning before he dies but in a case like that it is a valid question

That may well be, that your cat has an allergy of sorts or so, however that dude apparently didn't even know whether the cat in question has any conditions at all. How on earth should a shopkeeper know then, if a given cat - which he had never met, nor seen, nor heard about - has any illnesses of any kind? You'd think asking the cat-owner such a question is a slightly brighter idea, because it could actually lead somewhere, instead to a facepalm.

When I was in high school, I worked at a convenience store that doubled as a sub shop. Plenty of dumb questions and requests, but none topped this guy.

It started off simple enough; all he wanted way to buy a bag of pretzels. A decent sized bag, probably about 3 bucks worth, one you might bring to a party.

Now, we didn't have an electronic register, so I had to ring up the price manually so I move in to take it and read the price. He stops me halfway and says he would like to use a coupon. We didn't tend to accept most coupons, but I still had to see it to be safe, so I ask him to give me his coupon. He proceeds to tear the coupon that was stuck onto the bag of pretzels that he hadn't even bought yet and hands it to me like it's no big deal. I try to explain to him that you have to actually buy the bag first in order to use the coupon, and he gets confused. I then look at the coupon further and it is actually for some kind of mail in rebate involving proofs of purchase and they'll mail you a coupon later on.

He gets visibly mad, tells me I'm not doing my job right and storms out. I think I had some brain damage from the stupid coming off of him for the rest of the day.

I get these all the time working in a toy shop.
Some of them include people asking if we sell cigarettes pet food was another good one.
And although they aren't technically questions we get customers who flat out refuse to acknowledge that a product is not faulty. Most recently a woman brought back a paper pellet gun saying that it didnt fire 30 feet. I tested it right in front of her then measured out the distance it fired this pellet WITH A FRICKING TAPE MEASURE and sure enough it fired a little over 30 foot. This did not seem to be enough as she came up with other stupid excuses about how the product was faulty till I turned around and said 'Madam the product is not faulty you have seen me test it there is nothing else I can do' and she just stormed off spouting about how I was in violation of her rights.

Lonewolfm16:

Does that happen alot in European countries? Using a English as a langue to speak to people from other countries, even though it is neither of your native tounge, because it is a commonly learned foreign langue I mean.

The languages in Europe are extremely diverse and the cases of people not speaking the language of a neighboring country are actually really frequent.
In my country, for example, you learn foreign languages of international circulation, most frequent being English, French and German. I'm not counting here the minorities, who also study their maternal languages in school.

So yeah, I also, when going to another country (so far I've been to Hungary, Austria, Germany, The Czech Republic, Italy and Greece - all with different languages: even Austria and Germany), first ask if they speak English. Then go through German, French and Italian. If all those fail me, I resort to pointing, gesticulation and drawing.

Back on topic, even though I never worked in retail, I had some experiences with people randomly coming to me and asking me whether the store had a particular size for whatever shoes they were holding. I told them that I didn't work there and after staring at me for a few minutes, they went away.

Also, I was at a restaurant at one point and there were some foreigners at the table next to us. The menu was not in the English language and the waitress was trying to tell them the ingredients of a particular dish but she couldn't remember the English word for one of the ingredients. She came to our table and asked if any of us knew how to say "busuioc" in English. I told her it was "basil". Not really stupid but kind of weird.

Alright, so all the following are from JB HiFi customers (Basically a very large chain of electronics/entertainment stores in Australia). I work as Telco Team leader, essentially selling people phones (cell/mobile), internet, landlines and accessories.

JB is a Telstra dealer (Telstra being the largest and most successful telco in Australia) and being in Australia the cellphone specific stuff might not be totally accurate worldwide because our availability to handsets is lower (for instance we dont have the S3 mini, htc droid/DNA etc)

The first thing I will say is that I have never had "Do you work here?" except for when I actually wasn't working, I was just in shopping myself which is really strange when you consider there is NO uniform at JB hifi, we only wear lanyards.

This one was actually just from earlier today, I know technology is hard to keep up with when you're older but...
Me: Hi, Can I help you with anything today?
Cus: Yes, I need a cable that goes from my iphone to the mp3 player in the car so I can use the bluetooth
(huh?)
Me: So which connection on your iphone do you need the cable to plug into? (Just so I can attempt to decipher wtf is going on)
Cus: The headphones one
Me: Do you want to play music through your car's speakers or use it for calls?
Cus: I want to use the bluetooth
Me: Right, but bluetooth is a wireless technology, meaning you don't need any cabling to use it, you're phone connects to it wirelessly
Cus: Yeah but I want the sound to come out of my speakers!
Me: So you aren't using bluetooth then? You can use this cable (I grabbed an Auxillary) to have sound from your phone play through your car speakers but if you intend to make calls your phone's mic is the only thing that will pick up the sound, you would need to have it docked pretty close to you or you would have to manually put it on loudspeaker for every call, which is illegal with the new driving laws (In NSW)

She then talked to her husband for awhile about what they were going to do, I interjected with my suggestion of a bluetooth car kit.. which she should've come in looking for in the first place. but ofcourse they left with the $18 cable which is going to be near useless instead of the $50 bluetooth car kit.

This one is more rude than anything but still pretty dumb.

A customer wanted to buy a Lumia 920, we didn't have a display model but she wanted to try out the windows interface, I showed her the HTC 8X.

Cus: So how does the nokia compare to the other phones?
Me: Which phones would you like me to compare it to?
Cus: *Really rude tone* I don't know! the samsungs, this thing!
Me: The nokia is pretty well equal to most phones on the market, it has similiar specs to the htc one xl, the razr hd and the one x you are on right now but there are 2 stand outs currently, those being the samsung S3 4g and the galaxy note II - both of those have quad core processors and 2gb of RAM compared to the dual cores and 1gb in the other phones including the 920, among other things the note II has the best battery life for a 4g phone currently and both the s3 and note have some of the highest quality screens available, but these 2 phones are considered the best 2 on the market.
Cus: *Tone just goes to super douche* Says who?
Me: The hardware specs if looked at objectively, most official reviews and myself who has been working in this position for the last 6 years.
Cus: Well I had a galaxy S (she ment the original) and it was a piece of shit
Me: You're comparing Samsung's first ever smartphone attempt to devices that have undergone years of refinement and improvements, the improvements being so good infact they now have the highest market share of any mobile phone maker
Cus: What's your best price on the 920?

Sometimes I just don't understand why people don't trust what I say, even after I tell them I have been working with phones for 6+ years and always have the 2 best on the market, in my pocket which I usually whip out at some point for demos.

This one might be a bit hard to understand so I'll try to explain as best I can.
Telstra is known for it's coverage and 4g speeds, The second largest telco is optus.

In newcastle telstra has 3g coverage citywide and 4g almost entirely aswell, Optus has 1 tiny 4g network that covers 1 suburb and patchy 3g coverage at best, not to mention everytime an event is on everyone in the local area on optus has an outage. (Optus is shit basically, they used to rent off telstra but broke the contract leaving them with mayble 10% of the towers they actually needed for their customer base)

Cus: Hi, do you have any iphone 5's?
Me: We sure do, what size and colour?
Cus: 16gb white, do you guys do optus plans in here?
Me: JB is a telstra dealer actually ma'am
Cus: OUH! I'm not going with bloody telstra, their prices are ridiculous!
Me: Actually Telstras plans are the EXACT same price as optus for the iphone 5 currently ma'am, they are both $67 a month, which is $60 for the plan and $7 for the handset each month. The difference between the 2 plans is that optus offers $50 more call credit ($650 instead of $600) for the same price and Telstra's plan allows you to actually use your phone for things that people get iphones for... like web browsing, downloading apps and making calls.
Customer just storms off

I did get a little snarky in the last one but I cannot count the amount of times I am told by customers how telstra is so bad... I wasn't always with telstra, infact it was the last telco I moved to (before I started working for them) but I will never move back.

I have tried to explain to customers that the main advantage of the iphone 5 in australia is the LTE support, the data speeds are literally 8 times faster than telstra's 3g network and almost 20 times faster than optus' and that they only get these advantages with telstra in Newcastle.

I have had customers, while conversing, actually tell me they have to go outside their house to make a call because they can't get service in their house with optus but then refuse to move to telstra (at no extra cost) where they would get service everywhere and other network advantages because optus gives them $650 worth of calls instead of $600 WHICH THEY DON'T EVEN FUCKING USE ANYWAY, people bring in their bills, show me their $200 call usage but don't think giving up the $50 worth of call credit which is literally irrelevant for a functioning product.

I have little sympathy for any wanker who comes in and complains about optus coverage and then proceeds to tell me telstra's prices are ridiculous or that we can't compete when I tell them (and show them with a real-time coverage map) they wouldn't have coverage issues with telstra. And that's my rant for the night.

I used to work as a manager for a supermarket group here in the UK. I was once called to deal with an extremely irate pensioner who wanted to know why we didn't stock the own brand instant coffee of one of our competitors. When I attempted to explain how own brand products work, in the least patronising way I was able, she promptly exclaimed that my explanation was the silliest thing she had ever heard, utilising several expletives I had previously assumed unknown to someone of such advanced years. It was at this point that I felt the most effective way to resolve the situation was to make her someone else's problem so tactfully suggested that if she wanted our competitors coffee she should go an shop there. This was advice she presumably took as we never saw her again, much to my relief and the relief of several of my colleagues.

w9496:
I work at a small time coffee shop in my small town, so I get "stupid questions sometimes.

"What kind of food do you have here?" We have a bakery literally attached to the counter where we take their orders. You would have to try to ignore it.

"What is the difference between Mocha and White Mocha?" Okay, this has got to be a prank TV show, but it wasn't.

I don't get it. What is the difference?

OT: A woman once asked me, very angrily, where her glasses were. They were on top of her head.

Not my own experience, and not really a question but this story really shows the headaches you can get working customer service.

My mother used to work as a customer service manager at a grocery store chain called "Publix" (They are mostly set up in the south-eastern U.S.) and one of the stores policies was to replace or refund anything a customer returned with a receipt if they were "not satisfied with the product", no matter what condition it was in, so some elderly customers would return bottles of wine with only about an ounce of wine left in it, six packs of beer with one can left, cartons of fruit with 5 perfectly good berries in it, and loafs of bread with only one slice left in the bag, and the store would refund every last penny to these cheapskates. It is not like they were low on money either because the town we live in is a tourist hot spot in Florida, most of the customers are rich beyond compare.

But the worst example is this, the store also had a place where you could get carryout store brand food, things like chicken strips, wings, and salads. Some people would buy a full chicken strip dinner of about 10 strips, and then return the bag they came in about 3 hours later with a tiny piece of chicken inside the bag it came in, claiming that they "were not satisfied with the quality of the food" and get the full refund.

It was the tourist's special way of saying "I have more money then you will receive in your entire life, but I still wont pay for my food"

darthmj94:
Not my own experience, and not really a question but this story really shows the headaches you can get working customer service.

My mother used to work as a customer service manager at a grocery store chain called "Publix" (They are mostly set up in the south-eastern U.S.) and one of the stores policies was to replace or refund anything a customer returned with a receipt if they were "not satisfied with the product", no matter what condition it was in, so some elderly customers would return bottles of wine with only about an ounce of wine left in it, six packs of beer with one can left, cartons of fruit with 5 perfectly good berries in it, and loafs of bread with only one slice left in the bag, and the store would refund every last penny to these cheapskates. It is not like they were low on money either because the town we live in is a tourist hot spot in Florida, most of the customers are rich beyond compare.

But the worst example is this, the store also had a place where you could get carryout store brand food, things like chicken strips, wings, and salads. Some people would buy a full chicken strip dinner of about 10 strips, and then return the bag they came in about 3 hours later with a tiny piece of chicken inside the bag it came in, claiming that they "were not satisfied with the quality of the food" and get the full refund.

It was the tourist's special way of saying "I have more money then you will receive in your entire life, but I still wont pay for my food"

How long did that policy last before management decided they were sick of having their profit destroyed?

Flames66:

w9496:
I work at a small time coffee shop in my small town, so I get "stupid questions sometimes.

"What kind of food do you have here?" We have a bakery literally attached to the counter where we take their orders. You would have to try to ignore it.

"What is the difference between Mocha and White Mocha?" Okay, this has got to be a prank TV show, but it wasn't.

I don't get it. What is the difference?

OT: A woman once asked me, very angrily, where her glasses were. They were on top of her head.

Basically white mocha is just regular mocha except it's made with a lot more milk, hence the white-ish color.

My brother worked at a store that sold cameras and camera equipment. They sold everything from cheap little handheld digitals to the great big honkin' movie-set stuff. He got some stupid questions, but the topper has to be a woman who was looking for a digital camera. She said that she traveled a lot, and she asked, "Do I have to take all the pixels out at the airport before I go through security?"
Yes. All ten million of them. And then you have to put them back in after you're done.

Sku1c:

Lonewolfm16:

Does that happen alot in European countries? Using a English as a langue to speak to people from other countries, even though it is neither of your native tounge, because it is a commonly learned foreign langue I mean.

It has more to do with the Dutch language not being taught in neighboring countries. Plus we're taught the English language starting in the 4/5th grade along with tv/internet exposure to the language. On the other hand, it might be that, as a country, we've gained some renown as speakers of foreign languages :)

Quite so. Most foreigners assume that whomever they meet will speak functional English. They're not often wrong.

It's actually a common complaint among expats, exchange students, or western immigrants that they never get the chance to practice their Dutch - at the first sign of them speaking anything less than perfect Dutch everyone helpfully switches to English.

OT: Honestly I never had much of an issue with stupid questions. Most of them were understandable, and the remainder was either funny, or just a part of the job. I got paid per hour anyway, so stupid questions actually formed a welcome relief from the humdrum of sensible, but boring questions, and all the stuff not involving customers.

And in either case, any and all shenannigans pulled by customers paled in comparison with the comedy put on by the management of the supermarket I had this job at for a year or so.
To start with, their expectations of average speed employees worked at were on the naive side of optimistic - which is quite funny when you realise that means they're expecting teenagers on minimum wages to work their asses off for them.

In practice, this led to an interesting cycle of life, which I'm pretty sure continues to this day.

Step 1: management looks at wages, and decides they're paying way too many hours, and everyone should work faster. Shift managers push everyone to get things done quicker, resulting in people cutting corners. Most notably this leads to products being stocked at the front of the shelf, pushing back the older products.

Step 2: after a month or so, somebody checks the shelves, and digs up a veritable collection of cookies, preserved milk, and other assorted products just past their best-before dates.

Step 3: all staff is called in for a "meeting", and given a scolding, along with the express instructions to make sure they stock products properly this time around.

Step 4: Due to the physical impossibility of "properly" stocking, and meeting the companies optimistic time tables, it gets very late indeed. (My record was that a shift supposedly lasting till roughly 11pm was done 3am. I had a birthday party, and was not amused.)

Repeat step 1.

Hmm .. once worked in Network monitoring for one of the largest retail chains in Australia (if not the biggest), just making sure all their Cisco doohickeys were working correctly (24hr monitoring). A switch in Canberra somewhere was acting a bit funny one Saturday morning, so I contacted the store to check how their systems were doing.

Determined that 'hey, level 1 issues are the most common - let's reset that baby! it was only replaced a little while ago - don't want to send and engineer for just a reset.' Ask the staff member to go to the comms cabinet and try to find a switch with [insert model number here - don't remember) on it.

A minute or two later she's saying:
Girl: 'Ok, I'm looking at a big cabinet with lots of flashing lights and switches. Which one should I flick?'
Me: 'Err .. how many are there?'
Girl: 'Lots and lots. And there's little gauges and dials and things.'
Me: 'Oh sweet Jesus don't touch any of those!'

Not so stupid, just innocently ignorant of IT terminology. She'd gotten a key from one of the managers and was about to start willy-nilly turning on and off the power to different sections of the entire mall!

Hmm .. one other time I worked in IT at the Ministry of Plenty (Australian Taxation Office) - the largest government organisation next to the military - and some company president threatened to buy the company and fire me.

Rrrrrright. Stupid and offensive. I may have slipped and accidentally put him down for an audit on that one (just joking - the ATO would hang my balls from a rear view mirror for even entertaining the idea - thought crime n all).

I work for a hardware store but I'm not on the sales floor so I don't have as many good stories as others at my work place. One of mine however has got to be the guy who asked where he could find the washrooms. He was standing in front of them. Behind me, in his direct line of vision was a sign pointing to the washrooms behind him.

"Do you serve alcohol here?"

-I work at a brewery.

Well, i worked in a supermarkets drinks section (both alcoholic and not). it was great for me since i dont consume any alcohol, so there was 0 temptation from stocking bottles of vodka and other firy stuff.
a costumer would come up and ask me why we dont store Sprite in fridges, when fridges are clearly labeled to be brought by company and not our concern. She went as far as to call a manager to find that out.
another costumer came up to me and complained she bought "Bad eggs". while its not my section i just referred her to find a manager. while i was picking up stock i overhead the conversation she had. apparently she bought eggs a week ago, shaked them every day and now was "hearing sounds" from them so she wanted a refund. Some people are just crazy.
Now there was one that isnt so much a question but still rather silly. a guy came up to me and asked if i knew why he likes strong beer. and as i asnwered no he went on to tell me a "lesson" why drinking strong beer is good. for over 40 minutes. i used that as a "turn off the ears and have a break" thing (hey, it was quite physically exhausting job).
There was also one woman that insisted that she was pregnant and i should carry her stuff for her. And while she was pregnant that does not mean i should run around the store with her like a puppy.
There was one that i guess everyone know by now where a type of brandy was out and the costumer asked for more and when i said there is none left he went on a rampage of how did we not plan ahead of time that more people are going to buy this week than all other weeks.
There was also a guy that came up and asked for "boxes". turns out he wanted me to give him empty boxes, and i did, and he went off carrying 3 empty wine boxes. i guess he needed to pack something, still odd occurence. i guess the shop didnt loose much (altrough they do pay us for paper, recycling is a good business).
Then there are those massive shoppers. Most drinks come either wrapped in plastic (non-alcoholic) or plastic boxes (alcoholic) or paper boxes (strong alcoholic). and a costumer would come up and as for a "pack" of a drink. thats 6x3L pack, making it a 18L of the drink. he actually carried it out and bought it whole. well here goes the weeks stock (was not a popular drink). there were some that would bring their own plastic boxes and ask for a switch and buy whole box of beer (mostly beer in these occasions) but i guess that fits the alcoholic nation profile.

Spot1990:
Where the hell do you live? You can only get fired on the spot for gross misconduct. You could show an employer a picture of your solicitor and they'd shit their pants if they tried to fire you for that. It's actually quite difficult to fire people. They'll more than likely make your life hell until you quit but then you just keep a record of unafair treatment, get a few testimonies from co-workers and report them for harassment.

well that only works in america. here when it comes to private business the boss is the boss. if you look at him wrong he can fire you. and while not always legal, there is pretty much 0 repercussion for the bosses.

thejackyl:

A customer comes up to me and asks me to help them get something off the top shelf, i told them that I don't work there and I go back to browsing. They come back with a manager still complaining that I'm "Not doing my job.". I turn to the manager, he looks at me and to the customer, and tells her again that I don't work there. She throws a fit threatening to call corporate over it.

The manager leans in close to me, asks me my name and if he can "fire" me. So we stage this "firing" and I finish my shopping, and I end up getting a gift card for my "troubles".

Very interesting to say the least.

well, i guess jut helping the guy out to reach something he cant is such a big problem for you then? Regardless if you work there, if someone asks something as simply why not just help him?
and then people complain world is full of assholes....

P.S. capcha: sausages. OH YOU.

Kargathia:
In practice, this led to an interesting cycle of life, which I'm pretty sure continues to this day.

Step 1: management looks at wages, and decides they're paying way too many hours, and everyone should work faster. Shift managers push everyone to get things done quicker, resulting in people cutting corners. Most notably this leads to products being stocked at the front of the shelf, pushing back the older products.
[snip]
Step 4: Due to the physical impossibility of "properly" stocking, and meeting the companies optimistic time tables, it gets very late indeed. (My record was that a shift supposedly lasting till roughly 11pm was done 3am. I had a birthday party, and was not amused.)

here they would check like every few days and scold pretty hard for this. luckily as my products usually had 6months+ exipiry date the only problem i even ran into was when a worker previuosly working my job had managed to "hide" tin cans of beer in the warehouse. he hid them so well that only me being obsessive and having to reorganize whole warehouse (i did that once, but that made the work so much easier later on) found them (under chips no less). they were so old thier expiry was over 2 years ago. When i told them amanger he "taught" me how to get rid of them. that is to put 2-3 of them at the front of the shelf and as ignorant costuemrs pick them up restack, but leave majority fresh as not to have any complaints from costumers that actually care to look. we sold over 100 beer cans that were 2 years expired like that. yeah....
but as for doing the job in time, i was one of those "teenagers that get paid minimum" back then. and i jut went for "ill stock them properly. not enough time to stock them all? tough" and went home at the times in my contract and ignored management complains about "not finishing the job". well excuse me but when you bring in a ton (litterary) of alcohol into warehouse 1 hour before shift ends im certainly not going to unpack it all today. Then again i didnt care too much on keeping that job.

Sometimes I just don't understand why people don't trust what I say, even after I tell them I have been working with phones for 6+ years and always have the 2 best on the market, in my pocket which I usually whip out at some point for demos.

well, there were instances where i was shopping and of course the assistant would come in trying to sell me something and start telling me about how good something is and it ends up with me teaching him stuff because apparently i knew more than he did. Which is fine i dont expect them to be some kind of wizards. But trusting one blindly is hardly a good option. also i dont know the age of your chat as i dont know when what model gets to Australia, but you forgot to mention the awful OS treatment in the newer Nokias. Perhaps those werent out by the time this chat happened though.

$650 worth of calls instead of $600 WHICH THEY DON'T EVEN FUCKING USE ANYWAY, people bring in their bills, show me their $200 call usage but don't think giving up the $50 worth of call credit which is literally irrelevant for a functioning product.

Hold on. people talk though 200 dollars worth in a month? how would you even....
Granted prices may be different but i get by with 10 dollars over 2 months....

Whilst working as a shelf monkey in some horrible supermarket I was asked if we had something that we'd sold out of in 'the back' (I think it was some really tacky wall prints). After explaining that 'the back' is a place of myth that only exists in the customers mind, (everything we got was unloaded straight onto the shop floor for stacking) they asked if I could check there anyway. Now being that kind of polite British person I am I went and hung around the staff room for five mins before returning and saying I couldn't find any.

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