This was originally posted on November 09, 2009.
Most of us in retail have been there. You're on your break in the mall walking or shopping and people come up to you and want help, either cause your in uniform or, worse, they recognize what store you work in.
I work in a CD/DVD retail outlet in a major shopping center out in Soul-Rotting Suberbia, Western Australia. I often hang around and do my shopping before and after my shifts, still wearing my uniform.
I was in a shoe store one day, doing what you do when you look for new shoes: picking them up, trying them on and walking around, all the usual, "I'm a customer and I'm looking to purchase a snazzy new pair of footwears," sort of behaviours, certainly not, "I work here and am looking to serve customers" behaviours.
Anyway, after a short amount of time another customer approached me and asked if I could please find x shoes in x size.
No dramas, it's common mistake.
I laughed it off in a friendly way and politely pointed out that I work for a different retail store. She did the usual customer thing, acting all embarrassed and spewing apologies, so I went back to trying on shoes.... but she just stood there watching me.
After a while she approached me again, this time looking a little annoyed, and said, "Well? Can I get these in a size 7??"
The rest of our exchange went something like this.....
Me: "Umm... No ma'am, yet again I don't actually work here..."
Cust: "Well can you go and get somebody who does??"
Me: "....No. I'm buying shoes."
Cust: *insert here a random tirade of how customer service is going downhill, how sales assistants never want to go the extra mile for the customer, rarararara*
But the story doesn't end there, RHU, oh no.
A couple days later I got a call from the area manager of the company I actually work for. The same dipshit actually took note of the name and store I worked at on my name tag, and filed a complaint against me!
Fortunately the area manager thought it was hilarious. Oh, but still, the story goes on.
Not only did Ms. Dipshit complain to my company, but to the manager of the shoe store. Apparently she was quite upset when she was informed that the manager there could not take disciplinary action against staff from other stores.
God I have so many of these stories. I have rather distinctive shoulder length dreadlocks and wear purple-framed glasses, so I'm pretty recognizable. Unfortunately, the shopping center is also my local, so I'm constantly getting customers come up to me when I'm doing my shopping on my days off (so I'm obviously not in uniform) saying, "Hey! You're that chick that works in -----, aren't you? Is it your day off? Oh, could you help me with this anyway?"
Short answer? I will break your fucking neck.