Hi! I'm 3lli, and I've had the... pleasure... of having a retail job before. Don't get me wrong--it wasn't all bad, but I do have stories to tell! This happened quite a while back, at my first job as a cashier at a local grocery store. Many customers at this store were very entitled, and the managers and assistant managers didn't help with any aspect of the situations. This is one of those examples.
One day, after a very confusing mishap (manager made me work at the deli for about an hour even though I'm a cashier, before realizing her mistake), I was back at the front of the store working at the 20 items or less register. For a while, it was just a slow flow of normal customers, but then it got busy.
A woman comes up to my register with a lot of cleaning supplies... and a lot of coupons. These were coupons that I had never seen before, but I had been told several months prior that I was able to enter them in manually. I start to enter in the coupons, but there are tons. The line is growing, and one of the managers comes over.
Manager: "3lli, what's the problem?"
Me: "Well, ma'am, I'm just putting in coupons that this customer brought in."
Manager: "What?! You can't use these coupons. And it's against store policy to enter in coupons manually. When a customer comes in with this many coupons, send them to a manager. I'll go ring them up over there, and I'll talk to you later."
Me: "Yes, ma'am."
At this point, my stomach had sunk. I was sure I'd get fired. The next customer didn't help my situation. She has well over 20 items, was rude, and wouldn't help bag her groceries despite how busy we were and how much she was holding up the line. Our exchange went like this.
Rude Customer: "Why in the world would you take a customer with so many coupons?"
Me: "Well, miss, we're told to help all customers and not turn them away unless absolutely necessary."
RC: "I used to work here, and we were allowed to turn down customers that would pull crap like that."
Me: "It seems that the rules have changed since you have worked here."
RC: "I've just never seen such an incompetent cashier. You held up a line, and some of us have places to be!"
Me: [cue sarcasm] "Oh, yes, miss. You are totally right. I shouldn't have done that. Yes, yes. You're very right." [smile]
RC seemed to be happy with my response, and the people behind her started to turn their heads to laugh. I felt good, despite how awful this woman was being. Eventually, I finished checking everyone out, and two managers come over.
Manager 1: "3lli, we need to talk to you about the coupon incident. You're not allowed to enter them manually. Now, I'll be willing to chalk it up to the fact that you may not have been trained properly--"
Me: "Oh, no, ma'am. Incompetent Assistant Manager told me that I could to that. In fact, I used to call a manager every time something like this happened until she told me I could enter coupons manually."
Manager 2: "Looks like we'll be having a talk with IAM soon."
They then left me to finish up my work for the day. Thankfully, I didn't have much longer on my shift. I just couldn't believe that I almost got fired because I took the advice of an assistant manager.
I believe she got in (very minor) trouble. A few responsibilities taken away, but not much.
That day will stand out as being (one of) the worst days I worked at that store.