I used to work in retail very very long ago (I'm old) when people weren't as selfish and openly hostile to others when they didn't get their way. I'm now in an office where we wear suits every freaking day. I'm certain I cannot handle retail at all anymore and don't want to imagine a world where I have to do it again, but reading this site continually has made me be a better customer. I wasn't ever rude or mean, I am certain none of my transactions were memorable, I'm just buying crap, but I'll admit I'd get annoyed with the credit card or extra purchase questions. Now I now to chill out about it.
So today I'm out grabbing some food at a burger place owned by five people who are guys. The young man at the counter, I'm guessing he's high school or college aged, asked how I was, to which I replied "Fine, and you?"
All is normal so far, right? He responds not with the typical "fine" as you'd expect. No he says that he just had his ass handed to him by his boss in a cheese stacking contest.
That may be the most unique thing I've ever heard. I know there are people behind me but come on, I need to know more. I looked at him and say "I'm intrigued; go on."
So he explains how not only did she beat him by a wide margin but also while helping customers but at least he wasn't as slow as that other guy (pointing to someone else).
I didn't really know what to say so I said, "Well that shows you aren't a total loser and I'm sure if you stick with it I can see cheese stacking greatness in your future."
To which he responded, "I can only pray."
I lost it, and just placed my order laughing damn hard.
Instead of calling out the number as normal for pick up the guy that came in last carried it to me at my table. When I got home I found I got a shit-ton of fries in my order too!
I wanted to get new sandals or shoes similar to them for work, as the shoes I currently wear are basically flip-flops with a thicker sole. I wanted something that could be closed with a strap or similar. And since I recalled that the mall I work at had the shoe store near the entrance have a sale, I went there. A pair of nice, closed sandals for only 9€?! Yes, please.
But didn’t get anything at this store (their shoes tend to be too narrow, so my instep gets scraped by the straps and who wants that while standing for hours on end at work?), went to look at other shoe stores as I was sure they would have sales going on, too. Second store, no purchase (holy crap, 90€ as the special sale price for regular shoes!?) and I keep going.
Third one I entered, they also had a sale going on. I looked for a display of the shoe-type I wanted and they were on sale. And there was a sign: “Another 20% off at the register” Sweet! I looked at some, grabbed one box and when I grabbed another box of different shoes, an employee passed me, greeted me and asked if I needed any help. She quickly saw I had shoes to try on and didn’t require immediate assistance, so she said if I needed anything, just to tell her.
No problem. I try the shoes on. First pair looks great, but they are tied with shoelace-like string and felt like they were slipping slightly at the heel; definitely not cut out for standing work. I could already imagine the imprint the lace would leave. Second pair, the type of sandals closed with velcro-straps. Try them on… fit well. I can squat and they don’t seem to unpleasant push anywhere. They don’t feel like slipping and walking in them is comfy. They were also the cheaper of the two pairs – 20€, rounded up – and I reminded myself that there was the extra percentage off.
Put the not-chosen shoes away in their box where I got them from and headed to the cash register. Yup, 20% off and the shoes were now 16€. The employee who asked if I needed anything was ringing me up and I felt compelled to somehow show her some gratitude for being attentive and how this purchase is making me happy.
I wanted to say more, but – again – feeling awkward. But she seems pleased. Then she tells me about the shoes getting spotty if I wear them barefoot a lot, because the inside is fabric and I’d need to use something to clean it. She turned and showed me a bamboo spray for the inside and outside of the shoe and how I could clean.
I couldn’t help but think, “Oh, no. Please, don’t try to sell me anything, I really don’t have much…”
But my momentary fear was unnecessary. She showed me a cheaper one, but all she did was explain what they did and didn’t try to push them as a sale on me. Asked me if I had everything I wanted, paid and left with my new shoes.
I am just so happy about that entire time in that store and I think she helped make it good for me. Sure, the shoes cost a bit more than I felt I was really okay with paying – despite them being already discounted and the extra discount – but, all in all, she made me feel like it was worth it. I have less in my account than before and didn’t have all that much to begin with, but… Thank you. It felt like the right thing to do.
Background: I work at a small, privately owned retro game store. You name it, I have something for it.
Now this tale takes place a few days after GTA 5 came out. You see, on this slow day at work I was killing time doing what I usually do: playing SNES games on one of our displays. On the rare occasion when a customer would come in, I'd pause my game, greet them and offer whatever help I could provide, then make my way to sit in front of the computer that doubles as our register and browse the internet while people wander around the store.
Now it had been an hour or so since I had last had anyone in the store, so I was itching to sell something when Mom and Kid came in. I jumped up and gave them my spiel, and they assured me they were fine and were just looking. Well a few minutes go by when Kid and Mom come up to me with, you guessed it, GTA 5 in hand. Kid has that look of pure bliss on his face. The one where you just know he is envisioning the future just minutes away from him where he has popped that brand new game into his 360 and is merrily running over civilians and blowing them apart with every weapon under the sun. Except there is one thing between him and that future. A fell and powerful guardian. That would be me.
I should take this time to mention that for the most part I don't like telling people they can't buy something. It is sad not only because I'm missing out on a sale, but I'm also a gamer and it sucks when you get that happy feeling of having a new game or system and its ripped away from you. "Your card was declined," "You have to be 17 or older to buy this," etc are phrases I dislike.
Except in some cases when they are the sweetest things in the world. For you, the entitled, the bratty, the liars, the assholes, the pricks, the scammers, the schemers, etc. To you, I find those words delicious and oh so damn good you just know its fattening.
Back to the story. So whenever a minor or someone that looks like a minor tries to buy a M rated game, I am required by law to ask for an ID or get verbal guardian approval before the sale can happen. Now most parents fall into one of two general categories: The "I don't care, I just pay for the damn thing and assume every thing is okay now take my money" type, and the "I'm actually have an idea about what is going on here and I'm totally cool with it, now take my money" type. Those are the ones that just say yes and, having done my duty and covering my ass legally, I move on and make the sale.
Not Mom. No, when I tell her about the M rating, she actually stops and ASKS ME WHY ITS M RATED. My heart stopped. I heard choirs and bells and that little tone we all know and love when Mario picks up a coin. This honestly never happens. I've worked at this job for nearly four years and it is safe to say less than twenty to thirty people have actually asked to be informed.
The kid's heart drops at this. But you can still see hope in his eyes, hiding right there behind the fear as he turns to me and every part of his body language is just screaming "Dude... be cool."
I like my job, and I like to think I do it well. I'm paid to play and talk about games from the Atari on up to the PS4 and Xbox One after all. So when someone asks me about a game, I'm going to tell you EVERY THING about it. And that's just what Mom gets.
First blow: Language. Mom's approval doesn't take any visible damage; Kid is optimisitc and reassures Mom he is mature enough to handle it.
Quick second punch: Drugs and alcohol. I think I saw a grimace....but Mom recovers quickly. Kid again whispering assurances and praise in her ear like Wormtongue in LoTR.
I'm getting serious now: Violence. Finally, a crack in the armor. Mom starts to show some concern and wants to make sure Kid REALLY wants this game and can handle it. Kid puts on his most mature look I swear if he had a tux, monocle, and top hat, he would have magically donned them at this point to complete the illusion He does, he can, he could pay the damn mortgage right now he's that mature.
You're doing well in keeping the situation favorable Kid, but I have a secret weapon: Nudity. Yep, as some of you know, GTA 5 didn't get the 'partial nudity' rating that could qualify as anything from some exposed ankle to side boob. Nope. Now this is what Kid feared was coming and hoped I either didn't know, or wasn't going to share it, but I did.
Critical hit. TKO. Mom was out. She refused to get it, and told Kid he wasn't going anywhere near that game until he was old enough. I thought that was the end of it but damn, Kid was quick on his feet. He played the "Friends already have it" card followed quickly by, "Dad will be okay with it, call him."
So she stepped out of the store for a moment to call dad and tell him. Meanwhile I'm left in the store getting the most venom/hate/spite/rage filled look I've seen. Seriously, I think if looks could kill this one would have done a number on me. Not that quick and easy kill me on the spot stuff. Oh no, I mean slow and painful, years of torture kind.
Well Mom comes back in and is on the fence again. Apparently Dad wasn't against it, but she still was. I'm given the phone and asked to tell him exactly what I told her, and I do, and Mom gets the phone back. This time she stays in the store and I must have convinced Dad because this time she hangs up and tells Kid he is not getting the game.
Let me tell you I have seen some tantrums, explosions, complete personality turn arounds, etc in my time but DAMN! Kid takes the cake. All illusion of maturity flies out the window as he plays every cliche trick in the book. He screams, he threatens, he cries, he begs, every thing. I would love to go into detail about exactly what transpired here but it was a while back and he went on for nearly 30 minutes, so I'll just give you my three favorite parts because I can remember those nearly verbatim.
Favorite 1: Kid is in that state where he transitions from rage to bawling seamlessly, but is sniffling and snotting and generally grossing me out the entire rampage. Why is this hilarious? Because while doing all this he is telling Mom that he is mature enough to handle the game, and that the nudity isn't even a main part of it and he won't look at it, and he doesn't have to do it, etc. Except it actually is a main part for at least one story mission. So yeah. Also the tantrum technique? Not exactly the best when trying to claim you are old enough for something
Favorite 2: The "xxx has it so screw you I'll just play it there." Now kudos to Mom, she handled this like a pro. Her response: "You won't when I call every one of your friends' parents and tell them you are not to be anywhere near that game. I'm also going to ask them if they know exactly what their kids are playing."
Favorite 3: This one was just stupid, which made it all the more pathetic and hilarious. Kid yells at Mom telling her he doesn't need her and he'll just come back and buy the game in a few days himself. Mom, not fazed or even looking at me, asks me if he could buy it without her. To help her get her point across I ask if he is 17, she assures me he isn't, and I tell them that without an ID proving he is 17 or older no one can legally sell him that game.
The night ends with her dragging his bawling, snot dripping, raging ass out of my store, apologizing profusely for his antics, and before they get out of earshot I can hear her list off the loooooooong list of punishments he's going to receive after his behavior.
I love moments like that. It had it all: Drama, laughter, lies, betrayal, threats, crying, bargaining, and a parent actually acting like a parent.
Oh, and Kid was about 15 by the way. Be honest, you all thought he was 10 didn't you?
From Milne Court Petro-Canada's Facebook page:
From Captain Ham:
I don't know what aligned ever so perfectly to lead to my shopping trip this afternoon but I would like to shake hands with the puppeteer of good circumstances.
Bit of backstory before I start this tale of what feels like ridiculous good fortune: I go to conventions and have been tearing my hair out trying to find one last item that will pull everything together. It's commonly sold in fall and had I known my friend group was going to do this costume set in fall I would have gotten it then. Unfortunately I did not know until maybe a month and a half ago. I also have really bad anxiety at times and today has been a rough day for that and the angry rude self depreciating thoughts that come with it.
So, despite feeling like shit and having a bit of a breakdown during a drive and coming home to shake for a while, I went out to the favoured zombie apocalypse setting- the town mall. I really need this item for this costume, Mother's Day is coming up, and I had a few other errands I've been putting off and just hit the point of "augh screw it let's just get it over with".
Before I left I thought I should call around to see if any stores besides the Big Blue Old Lady Store have what I want to get for my mom, because BBOLS has crap fabric designs for plus size. I called them first on the off chance I might learn something new. That was a headache and a half with an inaudible loud or infuriatingly quiet automated system that just drones on for ages designed to eat up your minutes. Eventually got to a human- though she seemed as done with everything as I was and kept trying to explain things I wasn't asking- I know I said heaven and this is hell so far.
I give up and call another "Airy", more hip store to ask them. Crystal clear automated menu, beyond helpful associate who informed me of their sales relevant to my situation and nothing more, and upon realizing their store had nothing that would fit the need she gave me a TON of helpful advice and different places to try and told me about a new unaffiliated store that I didn't know had opened.
I called around to her suggestions and met most of the same answers, the associate at "La Lady" store (looking for a gift card for a hard working mom with no budget for herself and very few of those things) was very helpful as well and super apologetic they didn't have anything either. She was very sympathetic after she asked what I was looking for as I gave my best mess of an explanation. It was basically: "Uh. Bras. But for a size X. Um thats the shirt size. I don't know more than that. I was just getting a gift card but want to make sure she can find something here"
Phone tag wears out and I figure I should get walking before I fully crashed for the day. I ended up going to BBOLS because it was the only place I could get to reasonably.
They had gift cards available and brands available that would work for my mom after a very awkward quick sweep. And- wouldn't you know it- in a nearby section they had exactly one of the things I needed for this costume! But oh no- it's a few inches too short. The color, the fabric type- everything but the length was perfect.
A very nice BBOLS associate was helping me out as well looking for it, and she deserves to be blessed by any gods she believes in or to be showered in puppies and kitties- she saw how excited I got and then how defeated I was as I tried to puzzle out 'well if I cut this thing I have at home I can maybe get it long enough, or I could stretch it, or-' she said if I thought I could make it work she could give it to me for 30% off- and my broken heart nearly 'sploded out of thankfulness. I almost teared up. She explained since it was the last of that stock and since I was so desperate for something like it with such a short timeframe considering the modification and detailing work (very intricate designing to add to it by hand still) that it was no problem for her to do that for me.
My day did a complete 180, it was just so much kindness after kindness and help after help. Meanwhile I'm standing there holding in all this dread and terrible feelings and trying to keep smiling and be kind myself- it was literally a 2 hour trip to heaven I think.
On the way out as well I found a store my grandmother loved was having a sale and popped in to pick her up a little something- and again the associate just going above and beyond for me. She asked if it was for mother's day and showed me all the nostalgic and throw-back scented items since I mentioned my grandmother loved their products. She helped me find a really good one and then showed me a similar one (actually an even softer scent and more enjoyable) that was on sale as well.
She even made sure to wrap it in a cute little bit of paper and to carefully attach the gift receipt, just in case. And I know stores like that do that sort of thing but it was just really really sweet to me. She was very careful and made sure it was wrapped with enough to keep it safe and a surprise instead of the 'one sheet crumple and go' kind of thing.
Little (or.... rather long ooops) slice of retail heaven for a change. Even though worker and coworkers can be asshats and a pain, there's good people out there too being diamonds in the rough shining bright to help ya out.
Now I'm off to send some feedback about some really great employees who need a bit of recognition.