Samus here to spin a tale from my holiday. All in all I didn't have near the batshit insane-o customers I had previous years, although apparently my co-workers did.
This tale comes during my dreaded buy 2 get 1 free sale. Thankfully I didn't have any game slinging customers when they realized the cheaper game was the freebie but I did have one moron that couldn't understand what a coupon with the fine print saying "Not valid with any other offers" meant. I hadn't started the transaction, one of my minions Shepard did. (He's a Mass Effect fan). Shepard is a good kid, I really think he sees a future in retail but sometimes he is not at his best. A stone that needs a little polish to survive in retail land. This story pretty much explains some of Shepard.
So moron picks out his 3 games and wants to use a $20 coupon on top of it. Of course it doesn't work. Moron starts to get a little irritated which in turn makes Shepard irritated. Sunshine happens to be out on the floor at this time too and goes to assist. I'm in the back talking to my Store Manager (SM) while this is going on, and Sunshine comes back after dealing with this guy for a few minutes to tell us what's up. I go out to handle since by this time SM has been there for 8 hours or so and is just fried.
Me: "Yes Sir how can I help you?"
Moron: "I bought this coupon and I wanted to use it today but you guys won't let me!"
Me: "I understand that sir, but our promotion clearly states that it isn't valid with any other offers."
Moron: "It's not an offer, it's a coupon! It's money!"
I think I stroked out at this moment cause I could feel my face screw up into a WTF did you just say? So I did my best to try to explain to him that yes, while he did "buy" the coupon with points he's earned from the store, it isn't the same as using, say, a gift card. It isn't money. He can't exchange it for $20 in cash in the store.
This is a moron, however, and despite me trying to explain he keeps cutting me off and interrupting me which was infuriating. Now I'm getting frustrated cause this guy is getting louder and louder and angrier and angrier. This went on for several grueling minutes - him asking why his coupon wouldn't work, I'd explain, and him refusing to understand why it wouldn't work.
Suddenly I see him from the corner of my eye - Shepard rushes to my side and sticks a finger at the guy and says "If you would just let her explain, she will tell you why it won't work!"
Whoa! Alert! Alert! I immediately turn my attention to Shepard and ask him to calm down and go cool off.
Moron has to pipe up and go "Yea! You settle down fella!"
Really macho buddy - Shepard is barely into his 20's and this guy had to be in his 40's. At that point I knew it was game over. I mean...Moron was gonna win and SM would have to cave to his bullshit demand and I was gonna have to discount the game. As if on que Sunshine comes out from the back (where SM is and where I sent Shepard) a moment later and tells me to go ahead and give this guy what he wants. I did apologize on Shepard's behalf stating that he is a chivalrous guy and he was just defending me which sort appeased the guy and he fucking got what he wanted anyway so, really, piss off.
The store had settled enough for me to run in the back and check on Shepard. I had to relay the story to SM, who then freaked out that we were going to have a bad review - Corporate takes that crap seriously. I did my best to diffuse yet another situation - Shepard really takes things to heart and he doesn't take bad performance issues well.
SM knows this and he's a super nice guy so both SM and I kind of tag team talk to Shepard stating that crap like Moron is going to happen. Problem is just keeping your cool. Nothing came of this incident thankfully, and hopefully it will be a good lesson for Shepard in future altercations.
Sometimes you have to bow. Sometimes you have to bend. Don't let them break you though.