About two years or so ago, I worked at a fairly well known donut and coffee shop as a summer job. I wasn't crazy about this job, it definitely wasn't one I was keeping after that summer, because the customers weren't too friendly, the employees were worse than the customers, and the managers didn't really have our backs during confrontational customer interactions.
This story will be about the latter.
So it's towards the end of my shift and I'm wandering around the counter, wiping down machines, pulling up donuts, passing time, we all know that feeling. This woman walks in. She is on the phone.
Now, I don't necessarily hate it when people order while on the phone, I just prefer they didn't do so. I'll settle for them telling their companion to "hang on" or something to that nature. To let the customer know I'm ready for them, I start the conversation out with a polite, "hi, how are you today?" I do so to this woman.
Without taking the phone away from her ear, she says to me, "dozen donuts," and tosses a coupon onto the counter in front of me. A little rude, but I've had worse.
I enter the dozen into the register and go to add the coupon. It doesn't scan. I go to add the PLU in. It doesn't pop up. I go into the coupon lookup to enter it in manually. It is not there. I check the date. As you can gather, it has expired.
I look up at the woman and say, "I'm sorry ma'am, I can't accept this coupon. It expired two weeks ago."
The woman looks at me, raises her eyebrows, and takes the phone away from her ear finally. "Excuse me?"
A bit intimidated, I repeat. "I'm afraid I can't accept this coupon, as it's expired."
The woman taps her pointer fingernail on the counter and says, "oh no, I'm using that coupon. Go get your manager."
I hold back the eye roll and fetch the manager on duty. He is outside receiving a food/product delivery. I apologize for interrupting and explain the situation, emphasizing that I told her the coupon had expired. He follows me inside to the counter.
The woman watches us approach with beetle eyes. She is blocking the phone's mouthpiece. My manager gives her a cheery smile, overrides the denial of the coupon using his passcode, and walks away without giving the woman any word. I groan internally and reluctantly unfold a dozen box. "What kind of donuts would you like today," I drone.
In between rattling off donut flavors, the woman proceeds to complain (in the same menacing tone) how rude I was not to accept the coupon, and rude the manager was to her, how "these donuts are too expensive without the coupons, it's not even like they're that good anyway"
THEN WHY ARE YOU HERE?!
She leaves. I angrily stuff the coupon and receipt in the drawer.
This kind of thing would happen constantly. The owners and managers operated solely on the "customer is always right" crap because they were terrified of losing any business. Even if that meant not having their employees backs in situations like these. This was not outright rude on my manager's part, but dude like... At least back me up. Coupons have expiration dates for a freaking reason. It was small stuff like that, on top of employees and shift supervisors treating me like absolute dung to the point where I cried on shift more than once, that helped my decision to leave right on schedule.