Retail Memories: Illiteracy or Wrong Plant?



From  aj9811, Tales From Retail:

This happened about 3 years ago, so the dialogue might be a bit rusty.

Preface: I worked in the outdoor lawn and garden center at a home improvement store that often had the "LOWest" prices around. Typical weekday evening, except that my closing buddy, was preoccupied doing closing activities.

Setup for the Day: Different sales on almost everything, everywhere!

Story: (About time right?) I was walking around, helping customers and performing my closing duties in between, when I get a call on my walkie:

Customer Service: Outside Lawn and Garden, please pick up.

Me: Outside Lawn and Garden, this is aj9811.

Customer Service: aj9811, we have a customer saying that his tomato plants are ringing up incorrectly. Can you please come to register 3 and confirm the price for us?

Me: No problem, on the way. (Travel to Register 3).

Upon arrival, Customer: This is ridiculous! The sign says two for 4 dollars!

Me: Hi, what can I do for you?

Register: These plants are ringing up 4$ ea, but the customer says that the sign says they are 2 for 2 dollars.

Me: Ok, no problem! (To customer): Sir, could you show me where you found these plants?

Customer: This is ridiculous! Fine, I'll walk you over to your own sign!

(We walk all the way back to the lawn and garden center to where the tomato plants are.)

Customer: See? Right here!

Me: Yes sir, the sign says "2$ each when you buy 2 of the (low ounce containers). You have 2 of the (high ounce containers), which are not covered by the sale. (Insert customer service smile)

Customer: ........ This sign is misleading.

Me: I'm sorry sir. If you'll look here at the sign, it mentions the size...

Customer: THIS SIGN IS MISLEADING!!! If you want to hang a sign here, it should apply to all the plants!

Me: I'm sorry sir, it appears that you just misread the sign.

Customer: (Whips out a pocket knife and begins sawing at the zip tie holding the sign.)

Me: (backing away because, well, he has a knife) Please sir, you don't need to do that...

Customer: (cuts through zip tie and the sign falls to the ground. He walks toward his car in the parking lot)

Me: Have a nice evening! (I walk back to customer service)

Customer Service: What happened?

Me: I'm not really sure. He got really mad when I showed him he had the larger plants that weren't on sale. When I showed him the sign, he got mad and cut it off! Coincidentally, do you have any extra zip ties?

Customer Service: Sure, here you go.

TLDR: Customer can't or didn't read tomato plant pricing sign. Wound up cutting off the display price because he was proven wrong. Sign was reestablished less than 3 minutes later after customer drove off.

-- aj9811





Entitled Customers: "Get Me My Box! It's YOUR Job!"



From GoldMidnight, Tales From Retail:

I thought I'd go ahead and post this short but not-so-sweet story from yesterday, when I was cashiering out in the garden center. My store has a booth for two of the garden registers, and on the main side there's a little open cabinet type thing with cardboard boxes to hold your plants in so they don't spill in the car or whatever. I was on the side that didn't have boxes at this point in time. I'll be me, and the customer will be C.

My coworker was ringing up C and I was putting a guy's payment through when C flagged me down, completely ignoring my coworker.

C: "I want boxes for my tomato plants."

Me: "Oh, we have some just over there." She was about four steps away from the boxes, literally.

C: "I have to get them myself? It's self-serve?"

Me: "Yeah, you can choose which boxes you want that way."

C took a couple of steps before turning back to me with a huffy look on her face: "No, it's your job to do it for me, so you get them!"

I stared at her for a moment since she was two steps away from the boxes and way closer than I was.

Me: "I'm with a customer right now, but once I'm done I'll help you." Cue bright retail smile.

C glared at me and ended up getting her own damn boxes. My customer's receipt printed out two seconds later, and I kept an eye on C and my coworker to make sure C wasn't giving her a hard time. We're more than happy to get polite customers boxes for their plants, most people honestly just prefer to pick their boxes themselves.

TL;DR: Customer wanted me to get boxes for her tomato plants even though she was closer than I was, and I was with a customer.






Monstrous Customers: Sorry, not sorry.



From  Laurasaurus1009, Tales From Retail:

I work at an outdoors supply store and we sell buckets full of worms. These sell very quickly during the spring and summer and usually are by reserve only. Meaning, if you want one, call a day or two ahead and leave your name for however many you want.

This usually isn't an issue, but I had the pleasure of meeting this gem today. The customer (C) walks into the store and comes to me directly at the front counter:

Me: "Hello sir, how can I help you?"

C: "Uh, I need a bucket of bait."

Me: "Okay, did you have one reserved?"

C: "No. I've never had to before."

I can already tell at this point he isn't gonna like anything I have to say.

Me: "Well, I usually could just sell you one, but the only ones we have left are already reserved. We'll have fresh bait, but it will probably be this afternoon before it comes in."

Customer walks to the friend he came in with and starts bickering where I can't hear a few feet from the counter.

Me: "Can I help you, sir?"

C: "So you're out of bait?"

Me: "Yes sir, I'm sorry. It's just that in the summ-"

C: "Uhh, I've never had to reserve bait before. I always just come in and buy some. How are you out?"

Me: "Well sir, in the summer they sell pretty quickly. Usually we sell more this time of year than we can keep up with. If you know you're coming down, call a day or so ahead and reserve one."

C: "But I've NEVER HAD TO. I drove a hundred miles to get bait here and you're telling me you don't have any."

Me: "I understand sir, but usually it's best if you reserve one. Like I say[sic], we'll have some probably this afternoon."

C: "I'M NOT DRIVING ALL THE WAY BACK HERE. If I'd'a known y'all were out I would just get them in __________"

I start just seeing to the next customer at this point, as I'm clearly not getting anywhere. On his way out the door he says back to me, "I'm just gonna get my bait ________ from now on. That's YOUR LOSS." I call back with my sweetest, fakest voice "Alrighty, have a nice day!"

This dude was almost as bad as the people that buy bait and expect it to live for 2 weeks in 90+ degree weather.

Seriously, fuck that guy.

-- Laurasaurus1009






Retail Hell Memories: "But Won't That Make us Sick?"



From  CappuccinoBreve, Tales From Retail:

I work in a small garden center. This happened several years ago, but I was recently reminded of it.

Customer: "What's the best soil for my vegetable garden? I want to use something all organic."

Me: "Our Super Harvest mix is an excellent soil for veggies. It's all organic and has compost, kelp meal, worm castings..."

Customer: "Worms? Like... real worms?"

Me: "Earthworms, actually, their castings... worm 'leavings' you could call's really good for the soil"

Customer: "So the worms would be in my vegetables?!"

Me: "No, it's just their castings, they're good for the the soil"

Customer: "So when we eat the vegetables will there be worms?"

Me: "No... no worms, just their castings in the soil"

Customer: Yes, but won't the worms be in our vegetables when we eat them??"

Me: "No... no worms... "

Customer: "Are you sure????"

Me: "Yes!"

Customer: "But won't their 'leavings' make us sick?"

Me: "No, it will help your vegetables grow and become part of the soil...."

Customer: "Ohhhhh kayyyyyyy.... well I think I'll just go buy "Fantastic Grow" soil at "Big Box Store" instead"

Me: Facepalm

(It's a good thing I never got as far as telling her about the chicken manure and bat guano)

-- CappuccinoBreve






Retail Memories: A Rose For Her Son


Carolanne 005

From RabidBlueberry, Tales From Retail:

I worked at a rose farm awhile ago. It was half sales lot and half garden. We sold heirloom and Old World bushes. I wore many hats and one of them was selling rose bushes to customers.

I was just about to head home one day when an elderly lady pulled up. I stopped what I was doing and greeted her and asked how I could help. She wanted a yellow rose bush for her son.

It took me a bit to find one since the roses weren't in bloom around that time and all I had to go on were the weather worn name tags. I showed her a pic of it in full bloom on my phone. She smiled but it was such a sad smile.

I carried the bush to the table and began writing up her receipt. I told her that her son was going to love this rose.

Then she lost it. Her son had killed himself ten years before and the bush was to be planted on his grave. We ended up spending two hours together, her just talking about her son and me just listening. We were both crying. I told her to take the bush free of charge, that my boss would just take it from my pay.

My boss was usually a monster but when I told her about the lady, she let it slide and didn't even dock my pay.

I dealt with a lot a-hole customers there, and I met some really interesting folks too, but that lady will always be my favorite.