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

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Hmm, now that I think about it I had a woman call up at the bookstore over the phone and go through a list of books she was looking for.

...they were all books on bondage.

She then proceeds to explain why she is looking for bondage books and trying to make me not think she's a freak.

After 10 minutes of listening trying to help her, learning that she was a school teacher, married for most her life, didn't have sex until she was in her 20s, and about as many other things as I could possibly not care or want to know I finally felt so awkward I just handed the phone off to my manager.

Customers *repeatedly* asking for discounts on stuff after ive already politely told them no. My current record is 4 times in a row.
Them "If i grab three of these can i get a discount?"
Me "We do offer discount for RACV card holders but other than that no"
Them "But if i buy three can you drop the price a bit?"
Me "We dont do direct discounts unless you have an RACV card sorry"
Them "They are pretty expensive, if i grabbed three can you just drop the price a bit?"
etc, etc

Occasionally ive had customers come back annoyed asking why their shower caddy has rusted so quickly, after i explicitly told them not buy that one cos its made of chrome (im guessing they think im just trying to make a few extra bucks off them by pushing them towards the stainless steel...)

I once had a customer call me, aggressively asking if he could get a refund for an item bought on our online store without actually returning the item. When I said no he told me to "fuck off" and hung up.

Two weeks later I recieve a phone call from the same customer saying he is billing us for his time as I had said I would call him back 2 weeks ago (which I didn't) and he's had to stay home to wait for a call for 2 weeks.

The insolence.

"Oh, you speak English? Great! Can I buy the iPhone 5 here and take it home and use it there?"

"No, they only work here in Japan."

"That's crazy. Why?"

(Hell if I know)
"They're locked to this region."

Repeat another 20 times. I didn't really enjoy working in retail.

I work in a restaurant, for the public obviously so here's mine.

We have a self serving salad bar in the restaurant which we fill up regularly. Now, there are 6 sauces ALWAYS on display, same 6 sauces every time. Low fat vinaigrette dressing, honey and mustard, mayo, thousand island, blue cheese and red french dressing (or red devil).

People often ask which one is the red devil.

Not only is that the only bright red sauce, but they are also labelled.

Working in the IT teenager area, repairs:
"It throws a pop up that says something" - I always replied "then it's something wrong with your computer". Then they go "that's what I'm saying to you" or they call me an idiot.

People also brought their computers from homes. I found one dead hamster and like three cases filled with dirt (I asked if by any chance they were keeping plants on top of their PCs, "yes", "well, don't", "why?", "radiation from the CPU kills plant life", "oh my goodness...").

Or working in another IT area when I was a teen, sales:
Talking with customer for 15 minutes, asking him questions about what he will do with his computer, going through all computers we have on sale. So I point out the best one for him (you know I'm being a consultant, he like asking for my help, it's also not his first PC, but an upgrade, and he used his PC for Word, IE and mIRC) - "oh no, that's too cheap", selects hi-end somewhat workstation type - I say yes this will last longer, but it's better to upgrade for a cheaper one earlier. Then he ignores me the second time (oh yea a god damn expert is telling what suits your computing needs, nah, ef that!) and buys a PC with the same CPU, less RAM and a GOD DAMN 6800GT (that was teh shit, after that summer's job I bought 6800GT and drooled at Doom 3) for his text processing and IE (yeah he said "games are stupid and a waste of time").

But later I learned how to be an IT salesman - "what do you need it for? aha.. aha.. aha.. buy this one, perfectly balanced with good CPU and good VGA, NEXT!"...

And now I'm working as a .NET developer. All should be rainbows and unicorns, like no more grandmas bothering you. Oh hell no. You're halfway through a project, bam "slight specification modifications" come in - two week's work gone down the drain. "We will have to delay your project for 2 weeks" - "hell no!"; "then you will have to pay more for our overtime" - "hell no!"; "good bye and you are not getting your deposit back" - "screw you imbeciles". Aight.

Or the odd request to program something close to a god damn Skynet, lol. Like "this should crawl through our competitor websites, learn new design if they update their site, read news and stock info and predict the god damn future prices (together with fuel prices calculating shipping costs!), get a photo of some product in various angles and add to our listings beggining from front/left side/back". Well we name realistic price for that, like more than a million euros and they call us incompetent imbeciles, because his nephew could do this in a month for a hundred if he had the time with Turbo Pascal and HTML.

imagremlin:
I'll turn around the thread. This is a fairly stupid question I asked, and probably the among dumbest this hotel clerk ever heard.

I had been in Australia for less than a year, and had to travel for work. I must add I don't care for sports in general. I was staying in this hotel in Brisbane, and upon checking out I noticed that one of the four nights I had stayed was being charged fairly higher than every other night.

Naturally I asked why was I being charged like that.

Turns out that night, there was a big Rugby match, one on the State of Origin series, and those nights, scores of fans travel to the appropriate city to attend matches, maxing out the hotels.

In my defence, I had no way of knowing, but everyone, and I mean everyone in Australia knows about it. Its a big thing

We do? Sure, I'm not from Brisbane, but I have a hard enough time remembering what month the AFL Grand Final is in, and everyone know that. I'd ask the same question as you, I have no fucking clue about State of Origin. XD

OT: Having only done work experience in retail, I only have one stupid question. There I am in K-Mart, putting up a display, when this guy comes up to me.

Him: "Excuse me mate, do you know where the high visibility work clothing is?"

Me: (bear in mind this was my last day of the singular week I'd be working there, so five days in the store, mostly spent out the back unpacking stock) *looks around* "Oh, they're right over there, sir."

The thing is, where I was standing, there was a pole (and lots of clothing obscuring the way as well) between me and the high vis stuff. Where he was standing? Clear line of sight, to the high visibility stuff, and him only a few metres away at that.

Facepalmed once he'd gone.

Bernzz:

imagremlin:
I'll turn around the thread. This is a fairly stupid question I asked, and probably the among dumbest this hotel clerk ever heard.

I had been in Australia for less than a year, and had to travel for work. I must add I don't care for sports in general. I was staying in this hotel in Brisbane, and upon checking out I noticed that one of the four nights I had stayed was being charged fairly higher than every other night.

Naturally I asked why was I being charged like that.

Turns out that night, there was a big Rugby match, one on the State of Origin series, and those nights, scores of fans travel to the appropriate city to attend matches, maxing out the hotels.

In my defence, I had no way of knowing, but everyone, and I mean everyone in Australia knows about it. Its a big thing

We do? Sure, I'm not from Brisbane, but I have a hard enough time remembering what month the AFL Grand Final is in, and everyone know that. I'd ask the same question as you, I have no fucking clue about State of Origin. XD

OT: Having only done work experience in retail, I only have one stupid question. There I am in K-Mart, putting up a display, when this guy comes up to me.

Him: "Excuse me mate, do you know where the high visibility work clothing is?"

Me: (bear in mind this was my last day of the singular week I'd be working there, so five days in the store, mostly spent out the back unpacking stock) *looks around* "Oh, they're right over there, sir."

The thing is, where I was standing, there was a pole (and lots of clothing obscuring the way as well) between me and the high vis stuff. Where he was standing? Clear line of sight, to the high visibility stuff, and him only a few metres away at that.

Facepalmed once he'd gone.

Well to be fair if I go into a store to buy stuff I rarelly use (like something for my car or some nails) and I know that I won't identify that rare stuff just by glancing over, I go inspecting items one after another and yes sometimes consultant shows up offering help and the item is next to me, because I haven't got there yet.

Although high visibility clothes... Hmm...

Not retail, but when I worked in food service, I had worked at a pizza buffet for a year and a half. Someone came up and asked for a pizza with only pepperoni on it, and the brought it back complaining that we had put cheese on it, too.

I worked at a train station in the UK and if we were closed at the weekend (engineering work) the front barriers would be closed, all the gates would be closed and I would have a solid wall of poster boards saying station closed coupled with constant announcements saying station closed no service etc.

Customers will still open the gates, move the boards aside, and crawl under the gates in order to access the platforms then ask me when the next train is

The mind boggles

Working at Walmart, the questions I get are numerous. The common ones are things like:
"Do you work here"?

"Are you the only one working right now"?
As if I just like standing behind the till and directing 12 people like a traffic cop.
"Can you open the cabinet"?
Wouldn't be doing my job if I couldn't

But my favorite is when people will ask about an item in the flyer, which is national by the way. When they discover that this store didn't get the shipment become enraged to the point of not wanting to know that the store 10 minutes away did get it and still has half a dozen left.

Overheard a couple.

Starbucks at Stansted airport, the woman in front of me reached the till and asked, "Do you sell coffee?"
At least she found the right place.

And once in a Games Workshop, waiting for my boyfriend to finish shopping, someone came in asking "where are the games?". It sounded like they were quite used to that question though, and politely directed the customers to the nearest GAME.

Not really a question, but I never tire of telling this story.

When I was 18 I was working in my second lumberyard and on one dreary Saturday this homeowner, in a desperate attempt to "help" the guy he had contracted to section off one room and make it into two, came in to pick up the 2x4 studs. Now I don't expect everybody to know that 2x4 isn't exactly 2 inches by 4 inches (it's more 1 1/2"x 3 1/2"), but this guy went berzerk on me, accusing us of cutting them down. He was also quite upset that they had things like knots and wanes (all common in spruce and fir lumber) and decided that he was going to use a rough face cedar 2x4 because they were exactly 2 inches by 4 inches. I obliged him, changed his invoice so we were billing him for cedar instead of spruce and sent him on his way, doing my best to not crack up as he drove out of the yard. About an hour later the contractor comes back in with the cedar and changed them out for the spruce, while we had a great time laughing about how stupid that guy was and how after getting reprimanded by the contractor, he went into his office and closed the door.

In terms of questions, a lady once asked me if it was bad to eat the concrete mix.

scarletStiletto:
Overheard a couple.

Starbucks at Stansted airport, the woman in front of me reached the till and asked, "Do you sell coffee?"

Oh I don't know aboyut that being a dumb question. Depending on who you ask what Starbucks sells isn't coffee so much as near black piss. :D

Northern64:

But my favorite is when people will ask about an item in the flyer, which is national by the way. When they discover that this store didn't get the shipment become enraged to the point of not wanting to know that the store 10 minutes away did get it and still has half a dozen left.

Oh I never found that nearly as taxing as the people who would come in saying "I saw such-and-such in the ad for this
price but it's marked another price." So you helpfully pull out the copy of the ad you keep near your work station for
just such occasions and begin looking for the item. At which point the customer snatches the ad from your hand, quickly
leafs through it and when they discover that it isn't in there, flings the ad back at you angrily declaring that you
must have taken it out. The pages in those ads have consecutive numbers. For a retail employee to have "taken it out"
they would have had to scan the whole thing in to photoshop or a similar program, re-lay the entire page and print it
back out on the appropriate size of newsprint. All to deny the customer their 20% off of one item.

I worked in tech support for a company that had a retail side and I've taken a lot of stupid questions from customers and dealt with a lot of grief because the sales associates blatantly lied to make a sale. The best though came from a co-worker who had a customer say "So I was cleaning my shotgun and didn't realize it was loaded. It went off and now there's a massive hold through the centre of my computer. I was just wondering if you guys could do anything for me?" The company took it off his hands and gave him a new computer because the engineers wanted to see the damage for themselves.

While not retail, I am a paramedic, and work both on an ambulance, and in an Emergency Department, one of the largest in my state. Being a medic, I do most of the IV starts, as nurses are not very good at them (they opening admit this). I also seem to get someone annoyed with me because they are "afraid of needles". Okay, I can handle that. You are still getting the IV, but I can understand that. The stupid ones are the people that tell me this, and are covered in tattoos and look like they feel face first into a tackle box.

Sansha:

chinangel:

Sansha:

My barber can have my hair cut and dusted in fifteen minutes, he's a marvel.

I should've pointed out that I worked in a hair salon, not as a barber: there is actually a rather major difference. Hair styling is for girls typically (not always but usually) with our customers typically having long hair that needs to be washed, cut, blow dried and styled, a process that takes usually around half an hour or up, depending on the skill of the stylist, the length of hair and the difficulty of the haircut.

Plus you have a lot of other different htings like colouring, roller sets and whatnot that can also be done.

Basically, in a hair styling salon, nothing is ever really 'quick', and added on top of that: we're closed. If you can't make it during the 8 hours that we are open, then that shouldn't be our problem.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to criticize. I do agree that your work is much more complicated than some quick-snip haircut. When I was a child, mother took me to her salon for my regular haircuts... yeah, I don't know either. Forty bucks for a child's fucking haircut, I don't know. But yeah, seen some pretty cool stuff.

And yeah. I wouldn't open the fucking door either.

FORTY DOLLARS FOR A HAIRCUT? Jesus Christ. I have long-ass hair that requires a fuck ton of maintenence and I pay only like, $25. And that's NOW; because of inflation, that $40 is equivelent to some higher amount nowadays, good lord o.O

Imagine, if you will, working at a popular fast food chain that specializes in "southern" [US] foods, the most notable of which being fried chicken and biscuits. Now imagine again, if you will, a customer coming up to you and asking for a staple of many Chinese food restaurants: shrimp fried rice.

With a straight face.

"How much does this cost?"

Might sound like a legitimate question, but mind you I work at a Dollar Tree. It's a dollar store. Everything is exactly one dollar or less. In fact, it's plastered up on our walls and on our windows that everything is a dollar or less, and is even in the announcements we make on the intercom...

... yet, even still, I get dozens of people who don't seem to understand the concept of a "dollar store" at all.

I've never worked in retail, but a friend used to so I'd go to his store and hang out. As a person in their early 20's even without identification people would assume I worked there. I'm also quite polite so people would come up and start rattling stuff off and end 10 mins later and I'd just get in "I don't work here", and they'd be frustrated and leave.

But I had heard a few questions that were pretty stupid.

This was during the phase when games were both on PS2 and PS3, "Which one will work for my Playstation?... Ours is black and has 2 controllers."

When looking at a fighting game, I think it was Tekken 6, "How violent is this game?"

A girl came up to me with a Kirby game, "Is this too hard for my little brother?"

Phone section was right next door, "Will I be able to use my sim card in both at the same time?... Yeah but shouldn't I be able to make calls between both for free?"

"Can I speak to the manager?" - "What about?" - "I can't find something (Wiggles dvd of a specific concert...) and I want to know if you have it in stock."

(Very common) "Could you tell me which console we have?"

"Will this work in my dvd player?" - "Yes it's a dvd the blue ray ones have blue cases and a sign above them saying Blue Ray" - "But you never know, what about these HDMI ones" - "We don't stock HD dvd's as Blue Ray is the only supported format of Hi-Def dvd." - "I KNEW IT, so you fat cats just run a monopoly only selling Blue Ray dvds." - "No the developer just stopped supporting that format, we had no control over that situation at all." - "Yeah right like I believe that"

Alternatively

"Where are the Blue Rays?" - There's a Massive sign that says Blue Ray and all the cases are blue... >_>

I work at a JC Penenys (clothing retail) and I'm one of 5 guys that work at the store, 2 older men as janitors, one gay gentlemen in the salon and me and a Belizian guy. At least once a shift a customer will come up to me, stare blatantly at my name tag and ask "Do you work here?" I've been working there for almost a year and a half and I still get this. Just because I am a straight male I cannot work in a clothing retail store? Seriously?

dfphetteplace:
While not retail, I am a paramedic, and work both on an ambulance, and in an Emergency Department, one of the largest in my state. Being a medic, I do most of the IV starts, as nurses are not very good at them (they opening admit this). I also seem to get someone annoyed with me because they are "afraid of needles". Okay, I can handle that. You are still getting the IV, but I can understand that. The stupid ones are the people that tell me this, and are covered in tattoos and look like they feel face first into a tackle box.

Yeah I don't get that either, girlfriend has a ton of piercings but absolutely craps herself whenever she has to get an injection or blood taken. She has a tongue piercing and one through the cartilage in her ear, needles should be nothing compared to that.

While I was working at Dunkin Donut, one time this hott chick came up and asked me "Do you have a phone number?" I was like "Obviously no, we only sell donuts, muffins and coffee..." What an idiot.

Phasmal:
...
Customer(annoyed): Well how am I supposed to know which ones are buy one get one half price?
Me: Everything is.
Customer: Well I don't see any signs!

image

That reminds of how when EB Games (Aussie brick and mortar game shop) have a sale they absolutely PLASTER the entire store with BIG banners LOUDLY proclaiming "SALE!" (I am not kidding on this...)
image
And I suspect that a couple of people may have missed the fact...

I once had a woman come in who didn't know what a computer was, but she thought that having a monitor, keyboard and mouse would do the trick. Oh, and she was easily in her mid 30's.

thejackyl:
This is from an experience at a store I DIDN'T WORK AT. I went over after work, still in uniform, no name badge. The store's (employee)dress code was black shirt and khakis, my work uniform is blue shirt and khakis.

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.

If it's ok with you, I'm going to post this story on my FB page. I have got to share this

SageRuffin:
Imagine, if you will, working at a popular fast food chain that specializes in "southern" [US] foods, the most notable of which being fried chicken and biscuits. Now imagine again, if you will, a customer coming up to you and asking for a staple of many Chinese food restaurants: shrimp fried rice.

With a straight face.

Was the person perhaps Chinese? Because in China, KFCs do sell rice dishes. I found it strange too but there you are.

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.

>:(

I have worked at a 7 Eleven for years... and yes, every fucking time! "That means it's free, right?" No shit head, it doesn't, and that wasn't funny the first time I heard it... never mind the 1oooth.

I do love it when people come in and ask us if we sell cigarettes though :D

solemnwar:

FORTY DOLLARS FOR A HAIRCUT? Jesus Christ. I have long-ass hair that requires a fuck ton of maintenence and I pay only like, $25. And that's NOW; because of inflation, that $40 is equivelent to some higher amount nowadays, good lord o.O

This is what you get for taking your children to a fucking salon for their snip-and-brush haircuts. Pocket change to my rich pricks of parents.

Fuzzed:
While I was working at Dunkin Donut, one time this hott chick came up and asked me "Do you have a phone number?" I was like "Obviously no, we only sell donuts, muffins and coffee..." What an idiot.

*shoulder pat*

I'm so sorry.

When I was in high school I worked in a liqueur store.It was a cavalcade of bad questions but the one that stuck was somebody coming up to me and asking where the, "O.K.-toberfest," beer was. I asked him if he meant, "Oktoberfest," he spent ten minutes yelling at me about how I shouldn't correct my elders and how they spoke.

I work as a super market cashier, so I often get people complaining about the price of something like I some how have power over changing it. A lot of people also obsesses over the price per pound of a product, they don't care about the actual price of the product, just how much it is per pound. Oh and one time I was having this great conversation with a lady since she was a alumni of the college I go too, which I enjoy because with most customers the conversation goes like this

Me: Hello, how are you doing today?
Customer: *grunts*
Me: That's good, where you able to find everything you where looking for?
Customer: Yes

So yeah, I'm happy when I actually have a nice conversation with one of them. The customer after that comes up to me and asks "did I know how long I took with that customer?", "you took ten minutes with that customer, I was waiting while you talked away." it took a lot of personal control to not say anything to her.

I was a basic attendant at Dunkin' Donuts for three years. And dear lord I'll never forget the stream of questions I got there in a single day on the much slower afternoon shifts.

"Do you have coffee?"
"Do you have donuts?"

In the drive-through, while they are staring at a HUGE MENU that says we HAVE those very same things.

"Is this Dunkin' Donuts?"

Once again, IN THE DRIVE-THROUGH WHILE THEY'RE LOOKING AT THE HUGE MENU THAT SAYS DUNKIN' DONUTS!

I don't know, maybe it was because it was one of those Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin Robbins stores. And then of course, back in the freak blizzard in March 2009, we had to close because the conditions were getting too bad out. We actually still had people coming through the drive-through WITH A BLIZZARD GOING ON.

Although that might just be people that really want their coffee.

I don't normally frequent the forums, but in this instance, I've got to chime in. While I was i high school (and for a couple years after graduation, before college) I worked as a chef. Generally, I didn't have to deal with front of the house stupidity (at least relative to the wait staff, hostesses, etc.). However, at one point I worked in a hospital's kitchens. One day they were shortstaffed in the cafeteria sections (think a mall's fast food court) and asked if a few of us could cover.

In any event, I'm now chilling in a Quiznos, popping out sandwiches. There are four stations in this mini food court, a Quiznos, a little burger grill joint, a salad station, and a smoothie shop. They form a simple 'U', and all the menu's are displayed not only back wall of each area, but on the little glass sneeze guard positioned, at most, A FOOT AND A HALF from the customer's face. Yet, and I shit you not, over two hours, I recieved requests for fried chicken, tacos, and LASAGNA. This is a Quiznos, we sell submarine sandwiches, that's it, nothing else, stop asking for random shit. And if you do ask for random shit, do not get irate an loud when we do no produce said random shit at your behest.

I suspect it's commonplace for people to storm into a McDonalds and demand a filet mignon, shrimp scampi, potatoes au gratin, and a glass of merlot.

I worked at Toys R Us for about a year. During that time, being a manly man (shut up, I am!) it was part of my job to bring items down to customers which were too large to fit on the sales floor. Bikes, swingsets, and sandboxes of both the large wooden variety and the smaller plastic varieties. So a customer brings up to the cash a slip which tells the cashier what to call and ask me to bring down. After going up a flight of stairs, rooting around to find that someone had put the tiny plastic sandboxes behind the larger wooden ones and moving those, I brought the sandbox down to the customer.

That is when I got the stupidest question I've yet to get in my six years of retail."Can you bring me another sandbox? This one is dirty."

The box. She was going to take home and put dirt in. Was dirty. IT IS A BOX FOR DIRT.

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