I have been in retail for a number of years, off and on, and I believe that I must finally leave. I don't get paid a competitive wage and I have missed out on too many holidays and weekend get togethers with my family due to my job schedule. It's just not worth it anymore. I will miss my wonderful customers but I will not miss the crappy ones. LOL I will also miss my wonderful co workers. I just need to put my family first. So here's a story. The absolute worst customer I had in my time in retail.
A woman and her boyfriend come up to the service desk with an air mattress. It has been inflated and deflated and has no packaging. She claims it won't stay inflated (they never do...) Our policy is that we only do exchanges on air beds and never without a receipt. These things get expensive and people will use them once and return them afterwards. The woman has no receipt but claims that she paid for it with a debit card. If we can find the exact mattress on our shelf, we may be able to use her debit card to find the purchase in the system and do an exchange.
So my manager instructs the department employee to inspect the customer's mattress and do his best to compare it to what we have on the shelf and find the one that they purchased. The department employee and I are both thinking that this is a total waste of time and labor, but my manager insists that we owe it to the customer to do what we can to help them.
As we are waiting at the service desk for the department dude to find the right mattress, the woman attempts to harass me. She says things like, "I don't understand why this is such a big deal." and "Why do you guys always make it so hard for me whenever I come here? Why can't you just give me another mattress? This happens to me all the time. Every time I come here you guys always give me a hard time." All the while she is holding her phone to her ear but she is not carrying on any kind of conversation.
Out of curiosity I call up the department dude and ask him how he is coming with the search. He says that it is difficult to tell which mattress they have, but he doesn't think it's any of the ones on the shelf so he is going to look in the back room.
I hang up and turn to the woman to inform her that the employee is having some trouble finding the right mattress but he is still looking. She looks right at me and calls me a bitch. I apologize for the wait and step off to the side. There are no other customers and my service desk partner is out on lunch. I am all alone with this psycho.
I call my manager and told her that this customer is getting aggressive and I feel I need backup. She simply reiterated to me that we owe it to her to make an attempt to find the transaction in the system and told me to reassure her that we would do whatever we could to help her.
Unfortunately this is par for the course with this manager. Anytime we call for backup she is never willing nor available to help. She constantly passes off responsibility to other lower managers in the store in all the departments. I could be alone at the service desk with a line of 20 people and when I call her she'll tell me to call someone else. I can't WAIT to be rid of her.
So I am a sitting duck at the desk while this woman verbally assaults me, all the while holding her phone to her ear. She begins to taunt me.
"You're a bitch. Yeah, that's what you are. [My name] is a bitch. [My name] bitch. [My name] bitch. [My name] bitch."
I simply refuse to respond. She's fuckin nuts and there's no way that any interaction with her is going to be anything other than disastrous.
This continued while another department employee came to the desk to collect the returns from his return bin. He looked at the woman and said, "Who, her?"
And the woman said, "Yeah, she's a bitch."
He quietly left with his returns.
I call our loss prevention detective. She's on lunch.
She arrives at the desk and says, "Excuse me, are you calling people names?"
The woman says, "Yes, her. She's a bitch."
My manager says, "Ok. You can leave now. We were trying to help you and you can't treat my people this way."
Later my manager comes up to me, gives me a hug, and apologizes. Ugh. Too little too late!
She still hasn't changed. The morale in our store is way low, lower than at any time in the two years I have been working there. Even one of the long time managers have said that it's way worse now than it was even a year ago.
So I'm getting a job at a bank. Yes, it's still customer service but I am hopeful that the higher pay and better hours will make up for the occasional difficult customer.