Appreciative Customer Makes Grocery Store Supervisor's Day



From theBoucher, Tales From Retail:

Hi r/talesfromretail, its me, your friendly grocery store front end supervisor, back again with a bit more of a cheerful story for our cold, retail hearts.

So the beginning of this started a couple weeks ago, which basically involved me helping an older customer who wanted maple breakfast sausages, which we were out of, and instead recommended honey and brown sugar breakfast sausages, which she bought. Beyond that, I though nothing of it, simple standard interaction.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, and I'm just in customer service minding my own business, when a customer approaches the desk. C is customer, M is me.

C: Hi, I just wanted to thank you for that recommendation you gave me a while ago.

M: Oh, you mean the sausages right? Glad it worked out.

C: Oh yes, everyone loved them and even thought that I had made them myself. But that's my little secret.

Just the fact that she even remembered me and what I did put me in such a good mood for the rest of my shift.








A Tale To Melt the Hell of Working Retail During the Holidays



From  sarahbee_1029, Tales From Retail:

When I was working retail right at a year ago, I had an amazing encounter with such a precious customer. This time of year reminds me of the experience I can't wait to share.

One morning on my way to work, I stopped to check the mail to see if a certain package had arrived. It had (yay!). I had ordered what I thought was a small battery powered heater (like the equivalent of a necklace fan thingy, only a heater). Turns out, it wasn't batter powered (dang it!). I was wanting something I could take outside with me to stay warm on smoke breaks and on my walk home. Oh well, so I just decided I'd find someone to give it to at work.

I was about five steps away from walking through the double doors to the back room to clock in when I was stopped by a customer. She was very soft spoken and very polite, but something about her demeanor made her seem emotionally exhausted. This small lady, probably mid 30's asked me if I could please help her or point her to someone that could.

Knowing I could adjust my clock in time later, I said, "Of course I can! What can I help you with?"

She was looking for a certain brand of blankets that had been on clearance and were in a display bin last week. I worked in the back room at the time and it just so happens I was the one to take the display down the previous day and knew exactly where they were.

When I asked how many she needed, she said, "As many as $20 will buy." I thanked her for being so generous because I knew there were so many people struggling to stay warm this winter (assuming they were for charity). She smiled at me and I went to retrieve her blankets.

When I returned, I still had the heater under my arm (not sure why I hadn't stopped and put it in my locker while I was in the back room) and asked if she would mind taking it to donate with the blankets.

That's when she burst into tears. She explained that her house had burned down and was living in her friend's shed with her two young children and was just trying to keep them warm until after the weekend when they could find a better place to stay. I immediately knew this was why I had been sent the wrong heater.

She didn't want to accept it at first, but then I convinced her that I sincerely wanted her to have it. It was the tiniest gesture. A heater I was just gonna leave lying around. But she was incredibly grateful and gave me the best hug I've ever received from a stranger. We cried together for a minute and then parted ways.

The next week, I got a Christmas card thanking me for being so kind to, "me and my kids." No name on it or anything... and then it dawned on me. The heater was still in the box it had been shipped in and had my address on it. I will never forget this woman and how rewarding it was to be able to make a difference.

Edit: Wow, this story got way more attention than I thought it would. Thank you all so much for your kind words! Sometimes just being a decent human being to someone can create such heart felt response. You never know what people are going through and how far a very simple gesture can go.




Retail Hell Memories: Kindness Brightens the Season


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From AviGABS, Tales From Retail:

I want to share this because it's all too easy to only write about the horrible customers in retail.

Back when I worked in the terrible mall store (the same one as my other story, "Stuck in the Middle,") I met this man who was looking for a Christmas card for his nephew. I greeted him, and it was obvious that English was not his first language. He could have been anywhere between thirty five and fifty, my guess would be mid-forties or so? He was a small man, a little frail, and he had hollow cheeks and a beard and a little toque. He gave off a sweet, gentle vibe.

I tried my best to help him, though it was a bit difficult with the language barrier. He asked "Spanish?" I shook my head and apologized. "French?"

As a Canadian, I've taken twelve-ish years of French lessons, but can I remember a word of it? Nope! I smiled, embarassed, and said, "German?" No luck.

Despite our language woes, he managed to tell me that his nephew likes Star Wars. I show him where the Star Wars Christmas cards are, all the while trying to be as kind and courteous as I can. I understand what it's like to be in a country where you can't speak or understand the language--I know it can be stressful, and that sort of situation doesn't improve when someone is impatient or condescending with you.

With all that in mind, I excuse myself so I don't hover over him, and before I go he says (In broken English,) "Thank you for your kindness, thank you. I will never forget it." I don't think I'd ever felt the joy of the season quite like I had then. I saw this fellow a few times after that, but he didn't recognize me.





Retail Redemption: A Sweet Story




From fluffybeans, Tales From Retail:

Just a short and sweet one. I have been in retail for a while and as any retail worker knows you end up with more crappy customers / stories / interactions than good. But this is not one of those tales.

This morning a older gentleman came in to my store to ask directions to the nearby donut shop. I happily gave him directions and he accepted them with appreaction. He was quite joyful and left me with a smile on my face.

It has been a slow morning so when the door jangled about a hour later I was surprised to see the same delightful gentleman and his equally delightful wife walking in to the store carrying a small box. This box contained a donut for me! They had gotten to the donut shop, enjoy the fruits of their labors and decided to bring me one as well!

So I am now enjoying a delicious fresh donut with a smile on my face which I predict will last all day!

Thank you wonderful older couple, the world needs more like You!






Retail Kindness: Customer Shows Appreciation After Cashier's Kind Act


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From  Lietenantdan, Tales From Retail:

I'm a cashier at a grocery store. A lady had a greeting card, and informed me that she forgot her wallet at home, but she had a cheque book. At the store I work at, if someone hasn't written a cheque there before, they need an ID number otherwise our system won't accept the cheque. She didn't have her ID on her, so I paid for her card. She thanked me profusely, saying she would pay me back then left. A couple days letter, she came back and handed me an envelope with a $20 bill and this note:

Dear Dan,

You may or may not remember me. My name is Sara Person. Last Sunday I forgot my wallet at home in Belgrade and so tried to buy a greeting card with a check without my ID's. It turned out my check was rejected without and ID. Without a word, you pulled out the $3.79 I needed for the card. I was very surprised and immensely grateful.

It is refreshing to meet a young man so generous. Thank you for the money, even more, thank you for being you! It was wonderful to see God's love vividly displayed by your action. I have no doubt that you are a man of the highest character.

Sara Person.

(I typed this word for word, other than changing names)






Inspiration To Get Through Retail Hell: An Unexpected Customer



From Neurotic_Marauder, Tales From Retail:

This happened a few days ago. The names of those involved have been changed to protect the innocent.

I was on register duty at the clothing store I work at.

A customer came up with an insulated jacket. Her head was down, so I couldn't really see her face. She was searching something on her phone.

"I'm just checking to see if the coat is down, I'm allergic."

I shrugged and scanned the coat and removed the security tag.

As I was putting the coat into a plastic bag, the customer let out a small gleeful squeal and did a little jump.

"I'm just so excited! I love this coat!"

Again, I thought her behavior was a little odd... but strangely familiar.

I moved on to asking the customer for her e-mail to see if she was in the store's system.


As I typed in her last name, the gears began to slowly turn inside my head.

I haven't heard that name in years... the only person I knew who ever had that name was-

I looked up, and for the first time in 17 years I was looking at the face of my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Jacobson.

I didn't know what to say, I actually covered my mouth and muttered "oh my god" several times before finally saying:

"You're Mrs. Jacobson"


OCTOCAROL 256It was then that I realized that I was about 2 feet taller than I was the last time I saw her, and I now had a full beard and glasses. There's no way she could possibly recognize me.

"I don't know if you remember me, but you were my 4th grade-"

Her eyes immediately widened and darted to my name tag.


She immediately wrapped me in a hug as I was still trying to comprehend what was happening.

We briefly caught up with each other - she told me about the family she has now, I told her about what I did after high school and college, etc.

Finally, after promising to add her on Facebook, she left and I was left with my dumbfounded co-workers staring at me.

My manager immediately came on the radio and asked:

"My wife is never that happy to see me, who was that?"

Despite someone stealing shoes later that day and an older customer complaining to me about shirt prices for several minutes, I couldn't shake that smile I had after seeing Mrs. Jacobson again.

tl;dr I reunited with my 4th grade teacher after 17 years while working the register at my store