Mistaken Identity: I don't work here lady vacation edition
Unforgettable Store Names: Fried In Steam

Retail Hell Memories: The napkin ring secret shopper


Carolanne 024a

From u/xanderbitme Tales From Retail:

/u/misscrochetfingers's napkin ring tale reminded me of a secret shopper I had about 20 years ago.

I worked for in a housewares store (picture a smaller version of Bed, Bath, & Beyond). It was shipment day, so we were busy unpacking the merchandise from boxes and putting it away.

I'll be "Me", secret shopper will be "SS", and my boss will be "Boss".

Me: Hi, welcome to NameOfStore. Can I help you find anything?

SS: Yes, where are your napkin rings?

Me: They're just over here.

I escorted her to the endcap where the napkin rings are located.

Me: Is there anything else I can help you find?

SS: No.

Me: Ok. I'll be at the checkouts if you need anything.

About a month later my boss pulled me in the back.

Boss: We had a secret shopper about a month ago, and I'm afraid you scored very poorly.

Me: What? Why?

Boss: Apparently a customer asked you about napkin rings, so you showed her where they were and then you just walked off.

Me: No, I showed her where they were, asked if she needed anything else, and when she said "No" I told her I'd be at the cashwrap if she did need anything.

Boss: Well, you didn't go over the benefits of the product with her.

Me: Benefits? What benefits? They're napkin rings. They're purely decorative, and absolutely useless! Am I supposed to go over how this one is acrylic, this one is rattan, and this one is wood? There are no benefits to go over! Plus, it was shipment day.

Boss: I know, I know. Just telling you what corporate said about the secret shopper's report. Plus, you also got dinged on appearance.

Me: Appearance? I always follow dress code.

Boss: I know. She objected to your earrings.

(I'm male, this would've taken place sometime between 1995 and 1997, and my earrings were plain titanium studs... nothing dangly or eye catching).

Me: My earrings are within the dress code!

Boss: I know, but it's on the report.

Me: Whatever.

Boss: Yep.









Misty Meanor



I swear, there seem to be secret shoppers that literally are only secret shoppers so they can piss in someone's cheerios.


There was an episode of Grounded for Life where the spoiled teenage daughter became a secret shopper as her first job. Her mother didn't think it was right for her to judge people working a job she had never done. The daughter was so nit picky and nasty that company actual came and watched her do a shop and fired her for being "psychopathically unpleasant". Only thing I remember about that show.

It should be a rule that you have worked in the field you "shop" in before you can judge or grade people.


Pagan duck, I don't remember that episode of "Grounded for Life" and I'll look for it. I do remember an episode of "The Simpsons" when Homer became the Springfield newspaper's food critic and he was so critical of every restaurant in town they all wanted to kill him. They rigged a cream puff with explosives in the hopes it would blow up Homer but Flanders got in the way.

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