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Retail Games For Surviving Sunday Depot Hell

Depotaislej From Incognito:

It’s been an interesting few weeks at work. I think the summer heat makes people’s IQs drop. Also, I’ve noticed that customers are far crankier on Sunday afternoons than they are any other time of the week.

My theory on this is that they go to church, feel bad about all the sinning they’ve done all week, feel even worse that now they feel guilty, so they go shopping and take it out on us retail slaves.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been chewed out by customers for a slew of random things.

My favorite so far was when a customer asked where an item was, so I told them...

They went and looked for it, overlooked it, and came back to blame ME for their blindness.

Then they got all huffy when I took them directly over to the item.

At my very orange hardware store, I happen to work in a department where people will come up and ask all sorts of questions about hardwood, carpet, and how to tile showers, floors, backsplashes, etc.

Now I’ve never actually tiled a bathroom before, but everyone in our department has had extensive training on product knowledge, participated in demonstrations (including laying tiles on backerboard, grouting them and sealing them) and general helpful tips.

All of this would be perfectly acceptable to the customers if I were a snarky middle aged man... however, I’m a young adult girl who likes to actually look like a girl!

As a result, most customers dumb down their questions for me, until I start going into detail on how to tile their bathrooms, when they’re always surprised that I know as much as I do.

We also have an older lady in our department, one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet (and just as well-trained in tile) and she’s had customers refuse her help before and demand a man, ANY man.... AFTER she’d already answered all of their questions.

So, to keep our days interesting, one of the guys in another department and I have taken to prank calling the other departments for entertainment when business gets slow.

We put on an accent and pretend to be a customer asking for something ridiculous.

Keep in mind, we call the departments from one of our department phones, and they usually fall for it.

Thus far, we’ve called:

1. Kitchens, to ask if their floor model refrigerators were running. Carolanne 072z

2. Plumbing, to make sure the display toilets are down “where I can sit on them before I buy them. I spend a lot of time on that toilet and I’ve gotta make sure I like it first!”

3. Hardware, to ask if they can duplicate a key. To your girlfriend’s heart. “She said I lost it...? So I need a new one.”

4. Tool Rental. “Yeah, I need to rent about 150 green light bulbs for around 5 hours next Sunday...”

5. Paint, to ask if they sell body paint. Or nail polish. Or makeup of any kind. 6. Paint again, seeing if they sell paint that will set underwater. “I’m just so tired of the blue in my pool.... I want it yellow.”

7. Garden, asking for a tomato plant that grows in the dark. When we have a shift with someone we’ve already pranked, we do Customer Challenges. This is where we give each other a word that we HAVE to use with every customer we help during the day.

My last one was “matrimony”. Have fun explaining that to a customer... “Yeah this tile has a certain matrimony with that color of grout.”

His last one was “egregious” (which means “obviously bad”). We’ve also had Plumb, Meow, Cute...

Guess that’s all I have for now. :)



Music Maven

"As a result, most customers dumb down their questions for me, until I start going into detail on how to tile their bathrooms, when they’re always surprised that I know as much as I do."

This always irks me. Middle aged men looking for classic movies are the worst. "Miss, you probably haven't heard of this movie, but do you have Philadelphia Story. It's with Katherine Hepburn *sigh* you've probably not heard of him either."

When I respond with the rest of the stars of the movie and then follow-up with other Katherine Hepburn (or Cary Grant, or Jimmy Stewart) movies I like they, either smiley and act surprised, or they get grumpy because I took the one thing away that made them feel superior (Those kids and their noisy music and their weird hair... when I was a lad...). I have hope that the surprised guys will not ask the next cashier in such a condescending manner, but the grumpy ones won't change, ever.


I was really afraid that your story about prank-calling your coworkers in a silly accent was going to lead to a story about how a REAL customer with an honestly silly accent called to ask for something ridiculous, and you thought he was your coworker, so you said something silly in return, and then hilarity/getting into deep shit would ensue. Thankfully, I was wrong. It sounds like a fun way to pass time on slow days. =)

Timekeeper's Twit

haha we used to do that all the time. We'd call other stores in the company, or other stores in the mall we were friendly with and ask for crazy things. We got the cellphone place next to us pretty good once.


Your Sunday theory? Part of the reason I refuse to work Sundays. Though my theory is more like "They all go and confess to their sins, so they have to get right back out into the world and create new ones."

I hate Sundays.


Well if they have caller id, this would be simple. You can tell if it is inside the store or not.

Postal Slave

I can totally sympathize with the "females know nothing 'manly'"

Before my exciting career as a postal slave I was a plumber. The looks on guys faces as they realized that a 24 year old female was there to solve the problem they couldn't fix was priceless. It also helped that I spray painted my tool box and work boots pink.

Fellow Slave

Well, I've actually had my internal line ring and a customer be on the other side of the store and end up ringing me, so nothing surprises me anymore for that.

Depot MEA

At my Depot, we call them ACA's...After Church A$$holes. They act all high and mighty because they went to church and we are lowly and going to hell because we didn't since we were working. And we crank call each other at work too, but we call the store's number, then the extension, so it showed up as an outside call!! My favorite was when our night crew leader called my sister in paint and asked if she could make paint that was the color of poop because he was tired of cleaning his bathroom walls when he misses. My sis is very shy, so that made it even funnier


I like to take advantage of this sort of thing. At my store, there are different departments, and no matter which one you work in customers ask cashiers questions about merchandise that they haven't been trained in and don't have answers to. That's why I like to work in the hardware department. They take one look at me and ask if I can get someone who can help them, which I'm happy to do.

However, it sucks for the female saleswomen in hardware, because it's hard to get male customers to trust them. I've heard one talk about the time a customer demanded that the male cashier at the time help him pick out a grill, and ignored the very experienced female saleswoman standing right next to him!


Little story: I went to the orange hardware store last week to buy a lawnmower, my first one since I bought my house (I had a lovely old fashioned push mower which did a good job, but I just can't push hard enough anymore!) So along comes this nice sales woman to help me, and she was what you might call a big, brawny girl! I picked out what I wanted and she hefted that box and plopped it into my cart like it was a loaf of bread. Yay for weight training! I really should give it a try myself.


All right meow. We all need to calm down meow. "Do I look like a cat to you boy? Am I jumpin' around all nimbly bimbly from tree to tree? Am I drinking milk from a saucer? DO YOU SEE ME EATING MICE?" I love Super Troopers, awesome movie!

I get the movie thing now and then. I love horror movies, and guys will ask for this or that, and when I start gushing about it and recommending others, I get the look. "How can YOU know about this, you're just a little mommy-type librarian". True, I don't look the "type", I'm a simple plain person. But get bent, dude, my husband and I met and fell in lurve because we were discussing zombie movies at a Harley run.

Grocery Slave

Lol, one of my managers will prank call customer service. He also knows his work phone's extension line so well that he can call it on his cell phone from his pocket. He seriously left my coworker and I during our lunch breaks because he had to "return to the front end to clean up a spill" leaving us with a rather annoying customer.

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