From Peach, February 2010:
So I've been reading over some of the stories on here, and finally decided I needed to contribute. So here is a tragic story of the stupidity, pretentiousness, and impolite behavior we all face on daily basis, all rolled into one.
I was having a pleasant day at the bookstore I slave away in for 20-30 hours every week. I was at the registers, doing my thing, when a woman comes up to my reg empty handed. I smiled and asked what I could do for her, and looking back, I'm wishing I had just walked away. There was no way for me to know this would be the longest transaction in the history of all transactions.
She just stood there, staring at me expectantly, so, confused, I asked her again what I could do for her.
She says: You put a stack of books on hold for me a week ago.
I blink. Not only is it silly to expect me to remember your face from a week ago, there is another problem; we have a fairly strict policy that allows us to only hold books for twenty four hours.
Me: I can definitely check under your name to see if they're up here, but our policy says we can only hold books for twenty four hours.
Crazy Pretentious Bitch: You told me you could hold them till I came back into town this week.
Me: That's not our policy, however I understand that there may have been a misunderstanding. I'll check.
So I check to see if this lady's books are behind the counter even though I know they won't be. Alas, sometimes I hate when I'm right. So I oh so apologetically inform her that they are not here, but that I will gladly find someone to help her track down the books again. This is where it starts to get ridiculous. She glares at me and scoffs.
CPB: Well, what books were they?
I am speechless. I figure I must not be understanding the question. She can't possibly expect me to remember what books SHE put on hold a week ago. That can't possibly be it. I stare blankly at her for a moment while I try to grasp what other possible meanings that question could have.
CPB: You can't expect me to remember what books I put on hold. I don't remember, that's why I put them on hold! So I could just come back and pick them up! Are you telling me you don't know what books I put on hold??
Me: ... ma'am, I don't keep track of the books put on hold. However, I am always sure to remind our guests that we only hold books for twenty four hours. I'm sorry that there seems to have been a misunderstanding. If you can think of any of the books you put on hold, as I said, I will gladly have someone help find them for you.
CPB: I just wanted to stop by quickly to pick up the books YOU told me would be held. YOU were the one that did the transaction and I watched YOU put them on hold. Don't you remember?
I lie and tell her that I do in fact remember, but that this does not change the fact that our policy is that we only hold books for twenty four hours and that I have never told any customer anything different.
At this point, she is enraged. Why she can't remember a single book from the pile she had me put on hold is beyond me. Why she expects me to remember them if she can't is another story. I've held it together fairly well and, while I've lost my sugary smile, I am still calmly and politely dealing with her douchebaggery.
She grudgingly decides she will go look for the books, and with a sigh, I am content that the ordeal is over. Oh how I was wrong.
Approximately half an hour later, she is at my register once again with a pile of books. I smile and begin her transaction, falsely assuming that there will be no more hitches, and this lady will be out of my hair in a matter of moments.
CPB: I also have the Corporate Card for my 20 percent discount.
Me: ok, great! Can I see your card so I can scan it please?
CBP: I don't have the card anymore, remember? Last time you had to have someone find the number for it. So just put in the number.
Me: Well, I don't have the number on me, and our other associates are rather busy. If you'd like to start the process to start a new card, we can do that for you so that your future transactions will go much more smoothly.
CPB: You just did this a week ago, just put the number in that you looked up then.
Me: *staring blankly* ...ma'am I can't remember a sixteen digit number that we looked up a week ago.
CPB: This is getting ridiculous. After we're finished here, I'd really like to speak with a manager, this whole experience has been incredibly inconvenient.
Me: The process for looking up card numbers is very time consuming, and technically, we're not even suppose to do it. It's against our policy. We did it for you last time because we understood that you recently lost your card, however, it's not something we can do on a regular basis, and considering I can't remember sixteen digits from a week ago, I'm afraid I can't give you the discount.
Of course she wailed about wanting to speak to a manager, and my spineless GM ended up forcing another associate to help me look up this ladies card number so that we could give her the discount. The other associate went into the back room, and spoke to me via radio to get the information we needed to find it.
Me: She needs to know where you work.
CPB: -blah blah clinic of blah blah city-
After spending ten minutes sifting through possible matches to this company, she reads off the name of the company on the card, and the name of the holder.
I ask the woman if this is her name, and she glowers at me impatiently.
CPB: That's not the company I have the card with, my OTHER job is the company I have the card with.
It is now that I begin to lose absolutely all patience with this woman. WHY IN GOD'S NAME WOULDN'T YOU GIVE ME THE NAME OF THE COMPANY THAT CORRELATES WITH THE CARD WE ARE TRYING TO LOOK UP?? Really?? Did you think I was asking because I think we get along great?? I just wanted to have a fantastic conversation with you while you stared at me like I was some sort of incompetent insect?? Or are you really THAT stupid?
Of course, because I value my job (actually, all that I really value is my pay check), I said none of this, and instead asked her what company she intended to tell me. She gives me the name of the other company, and we spend another ten minutes looking that up. After finally finding it, I write down the number, type it into the computer for her god forsaken discount and hand it to her.
Me: You'll need to contact customer service to receive a new card, as we will not be doing this for you again. Give them this number so that they can find the account and issue a new card to your company.
I finish ringing up her transaction and hand her the receipt which she scours for (I'm assuming) her precious discount.
CPB: Why didn't I get a discount on *some fucking item*?
I no longer cared. Pretending not to hear her, I walked away to hide in the sanctuary of the back room for a while.
Nobody can understand the stupidity of mankind until they have worked retail.
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