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Retail Hell Memories: Holly Berry Lady



From atlasmoths, Tales From Retail:

So I've worked in a "paint your own pottery store" for the past couple of years, and for the most part, our customers are great. But, like most places, every now and then we get a rude one.

Now, I'll preface this by saying that our store was partly at fault for this incident, due to an innocent mistake. However, this lady's reaction was way out of proportion.

We do custom painting, wherein a customer buys a blank piece and has our staff paint it for them. We get a TON of these orders right around the holiday season. People wanting their family name on a Christmas plate and whatnot.

About two days before Christmas, a woman comes in to pick up her plate that she had custom done. I was not the one who painted the plate, in fact, I had never even seen the order before. Nevertheless, I was able to find it and show it to her.

She seemed pleased until she noticed one small detail. In the corners of the plate, were several tiny holly berries. Or at least holly berry leaves.

You see, whoever had painted the plate had accidentally painted red berries onto a red background, and after the piece was fired, they no longer showed up.

And this lady was pissed about it.

Now, I understand being upset that something you paid for didn't turn out quite right, but this was barely even noticeable. In fact, I wouldn't have even seen it if she hadn't pointed it out, and the rest of it looked really, really nice. But no, in her eyes, it was ruined.

Despite this, I apologized profusely and told her we would repaint the berries and re-fire it free of charge. Unfortunately, because it was so late in the season, it would not be ready before Christmas. Our standard waiting time is one week, not to mention we were in the middle of a holiday rush and had literally no room in our kilns.

She was having none of that, so I ask her if she would like a refund instead.

She glared at me and said "No, I'll just take it like this, give it to me."

Before I could even react she yanked the plate out of my hands and stormed out of the store, slamming the door on her way out.

About ten minutes later we got a phone call that my coworker answered. It was the same lady, bawling her eyes out and demanding to speak with a manager. My coworker basically told her no and hung up.

So apparently we ruined this woman's Christmas. Whoops.






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