Retail Problems: When Customers Ignore You
Customer Rejects: The Fit Nut Brings Cheetos Craving to an End

Mistaken Identity: An Unwitting Accomplice In The Game Of Custys


2 Uniform CarolanneFrom mydreamnotyours, IDontWorkHereLady

So the other evening I'm in a store rather late, let's say it rhymes with mall fart, I'm in the electronics section trying to find a particular pre-paid card for a mobile phone for a relative who has tasked me with getting this for them (longer story than I want to tell here so I'll spare you all).

I'm wearing black jeans with a navy sweater vest type thing another relative got for me during the holidays, but of course it hasn't occurred to me that this might become significant in any way whatsoever.

I'm racing around trying to find this certain type of card but it's eluding me. Ironically I'm about to try to find an employee to ask where the cards are when it happens.

I hear someone cough, but it's the season when people get sick so I kind of move away from that general direction and keep looking for the card and/or an employee. The cough somehow gets closer and louder so I turn to look and there is an old man (OM) standing about three feet (one meter) or so away from me.

OM: (louder than necessary) Well!?

I look behind me because I figure he must be talking to someone else, but there is no one there.

OM: Don't look away from me when I'm talking to you!

Carolanne cigar 1Me: I'm...sorry?

OM: You'd better be! Now I need you to open up that case over there and get me one of those video games for my grandson!

It takes a second, but I realize I'm in an IDWHL moment.

Me: I can't do that, sir, because...

OM: Let me guess, you're on a break, right? All you people are always taking breaks! You'll all so fucking lazy! Get me your manager!

Apparently a manager (M) heard this, because one showed up without any further action. I'm thinking this is great news. Not only can this manager explain to OM that I don't work here, but the manager can help me find the mobile phone card I need.

But if it went down like that, it would barely be worth posting here. Instead...

OM: (jabbing a bony finger in my general direction) Your employee here won't open the case so I can buy my grandson a video game!

Manager: (to me) Really? Again? I showed you how to open the case yesterday! It's not that difficult! And where is your name tag? (to OM) I'm sorry, sir, he's a new hire and...

Me: I don't work here!

Manager: Not with that attitude, you don't! Go stand by the counter and wait for me while I help this customer! (to OM) Sir, I'll be glad to get you the video game, just let me get the key...

I'm not even angry at this point, so I go lean against the counter as instructed. I'm thoroughly amused and wondering if this can get any better. It does.

Jason HellThe manager gets the key, obtains the video game for OM, and brings it to the counter for him. OM is smiling a shit eating grin at me, the kind that shows he's accomplished his evil deed for the day. I smile right back, the kind that shows I'm glad I don't actually work here so the jokes on you.

A few minutes later, OM is slowly making his way from electronics and the manager turns to me and smiles.

M: Sorry about that. That man is a regular here, always wanting something for the grandson. He thinks anyone wearing blue is an employee and he won't be told otherwise, but he's quite harmless. When I heard him shouting at you, I knew what was going on. Thank you so much for playing along. Can I help you with anything?

I'm stunned, but ask about the mobile phone card. He shows me where they are (one of the few places I hadn't yet looked in electronics) and I get one and he walks with me so I can pay for it. There is a little Pepsi fridge next to where you check out.

M: Thanks again for playing along. Would you like something to drink? Help yourself to whatever you want in there on me.




Kai Lowell

That is actually kind of funny!

What is it about Mall-Wart customers and immediately latching onto any shade of blue, no matter what it is? I had a lady mistake me (yes, five foot two inch, perpetually baby-faced, doesn't look old enough to work anywhere me) for an employee while I was waiting for someone to help me load up a desk I was buying. Solely because I was wearing a bright blue T-shirt. Not even a vest, or something that could look even remotely dressy. At least she listened and apologized, and an actual employee who was walking by at the time sympathetically mentioned just about anyone who wears a blue shirt to Mall-Wart tends to get that...


So they reward the jerk customer by making him think he's right and let him continue harassing customers instead of telling him that he's not welcome if he can't behave himself. If you've told him that people in blue aren't employees, then you DO tell him they are employees, you just make the problem worse. They made one customer happy at the expense of the multiple customers that he continues to harass.


Yeah, doing something just because it's easier on them makes it worse for everyone else, when that manager isn't around.

At least the person got a drink out of it...

The comments to this entry are closed.