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Retail Hell Memories: No, we don’t carry any 3/4 inch plugs smaller than 3/4 inches



From u/DeadMiner Tales From Retail:

It’s mid-winter in a small northern town, the hardware store has slowed down predictably. A costumer strays in and says “brrrr.” We were in the middle of a bad blizzard and a long cold streak, so many of us had run out of clever ways of saying “It’s cold.”

Me: “Good afternoon, can I help you with anything?”

Customer: “Yeah.”

Me: “What can I help you with?”

Customer: “I need a 2/4 inch black pipe cap.”

Me: “1/2 inch black?”

Customer: “No, 2/4.”

Me: “Well it’s the same thing, just making sure we’re on the same page.”

Customer: “I meant 3/4 inch.”

Me: “That’s fine, follow me.”

We make our way over the fittings, I hand him a black 3/4 inch cap.

Customer: “No, this isn’t it.”

Me: “Well what’s wrong with it?”

Customer: “Everything, it’s too big, I asked for brass, and it’s supposed to go inside the pipe.

Okay, so first of all, this is why I repeat to customers what they asked for. I heard black, I said black, he didn’t argue with it. Second of all, if it goes into the pipe it’s a plug, not a cap. Admittedly I ignored the “too big” comment under the assumption that it was redundant as it would be smaller fitting in a pipe than it would be fitting around one.

Whatever. I hand him a 3/4 brass plug.

Customer: “I told you, it’s way too big!”

Me: “Is it possible you meant 1/2 like you initially said, or maybe 3/8?”

Customer: “When I say 3/4, I mean 3/4.”

Me: “Well this is 3/4.”

Customer: “It’s too big, what don’t you get?”

Me: “Sir, you asked for 3/4, this is 3/4, says it right on the bag. This is what you asked for. Would you like me to show you the smaller fittings?”

Customer: “Are they 3/4?”

Me: “No, they’re smaller.”

Customer: “Then you don’t have them, what a waste of time.”

He left, and scowled when I said “Have a nice day!”









Victoriano O Hernandez

Dont't sweat it. I ran a hardware store for 9 years and people still amazed with the stuff they came with. My favorite is the "professionals" who ask for the most absurd things and get uppity that we don't carry an item that doesn't exits. An example is around the x-mas holidays and they request extension cords with two "male" ends. As much as I try to explain that it's dangerous, they assure that they bought here before and is code legal. I tell them they have to rehang all the lights again and then call me names and demand to speak to a manager, because I know nothing of electrical code like they do. At this store before you get hired, you must pass a 20 page test covering all aspects of electrical, plumbing, paint, and basic handyman troubleshooting. If you pass and get hired, you still get sent to the local community college to do a refresher on basic construction trade. By the time an employee leaves, they can pretty much be a professional handy man.

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