Retail Heaven: My first wonderful experience with a customer


Carolanne 006

From  rally_parakeet, Tales From Retail:

This happened on Tuesday during my shift at the grocery store. I'm almost always running the express lane, but the schedules were shifted around that day, so I was on a regular register, meaning I had to deal with all the extreme couponers, huge orders, rain checks, and other problems you don't get on express.

So I was looking ahead to what I figured would be a pretty stressful 5 hour shift. 30 minutes in, I get an elderly lady who has a whole cart full of canned food, soda, and meat (she was getting ready for a cookout) but only had $160 on her EBT card. Start thinking "here we go again" and bracing myself for a bunch of meat go-backs. We get over $160 and I try to help her figure out if she wants me to take other things off, or just take everything else off the belt. At this point the lady behind her offers to pay for her remaining $50 worth of meat. Now this by itself, seeing someone do a nice thing for a fellow customer like that, just about made my day. I ring out the rest of the meat on the conveyor, the old lady expresses her appreciation, even gives the other person a hug for paying for her food, and then leaves.

Then I'm moving onto the nice wonderful customer's large order and thanking her for doing such a nice thing, when she mentions that she remembered talking to me about my upcoming trip to Minnesota about a month ago, and she wondered how it went. Now TBF she is originally from Minnesota (and we live in New York) so that would obviously stick out in her mind, but the fact that she remembered an interaction with a random grocery checker from a month ago just blew me away. And she seemed surprised or even put off when I thanked her again for being so kind... as if this is how she treats everyone. (Holy shit people from Minnesota are soooo fucking nice).

At the end of the sale I used the little up arrow button that feeds extra paper through my receipt printer to create some blank space at the top, and wrote her a note that just said "thank you for brightening my day". No idea if she saw it.

Nice lady from Tuesday afternoon: I know you probably don't read this sub, but thank you again for going out of your way to be nice to random people at the grocery checkout. The world needs more people like you.

There's absolutely nothing fun about working a minimum wage job to try to earn money for college, especially when you know you have no intentions of staying in the retail industry and working your way up to management. Every afternoon I put up with long lines of incredibly rude customers who think I exist to cater to their every desire. These jobs can be soul-crushingly boring almost every day, and when I get to interact with people like you, it's just the boost I need to get through a shift actually feeling like I like my job. Thanks again.

-- rally_parakeet






Retail Hell Heaven: The Silly Bus


Jason 005

From  MissPookieOokie, Tales From Retail:

At my store we have little metal model cars on display. There are all kinds of makes and models. As I was checking out a customer his, maybe 4 year old, son wondered over to the display.

K will be kid, d will be dad and me will be me.

Me, "Ok will that be everyth....."

I'm cut off by loud and very contagious laughter. This wasn't just a giggle, this was deep from the belly laughter. Kid runs up holding a bus.

K, "Look dad! Look at this. It's a bus!"

Looks at me and between laughs says

"Why do you sell these? It's a little bus! Why? These are so silly! Who needs a small bus?!"

I couldn't help but start to laugh. He was the cutest and his joy in our little bus was so contagious.

Me, "How do you think ants get to school? They need a bus!"

K, "That's silly!" Still laughing his little heart out.

I then show him the doors open and the stop sign swings out. This only started another round of laughter.

D, "Ok, son put it up now or the ants will be stuck at school."

K, barely able to talk "Ok."

As he's walking away I asked the dad if I could buy it for him. He declined but I insisted. There was no way that little boy was walking out without his bus. They left happily and the boy was giggling all the way out with his new bus. It just made my whole day!

The silly bus:

Bus-- MissPookieOokie




Pet Store Heaven: Unexpected Appreciation Warms A Cold Heart



From  sockowl, Tales From Retail:

So today I helped some customers pick out supplies for a puppy they're getting next week, super common and I have all the speeches memorized by now "you don't need x, until the puppy reaches whatever age". Helped the customers for 45 minutes, they seemed to be having fun.

Then they asked about the free pet tag coupon, which does exist and I did give to them. The only problem? Our tag machine is broken and we had to send it back to corporate to be fixed. I tell them this. They ask where the next nearest store in our chain is. I tell them that it's in "y" town. Turns out they live in that town, I say

"Well then, looks like you have somewhere closer to home you can go to"

Totally taking me off guard they reply

"But you're not there!"

Totally made my day!!

 -- sockowl










Thrift Store Fun: Two People That Really Underestimated Each Other


Carolanne 073

From DoctorUnkman, Tales From Retail:

I work at a thrift store and am 28 but look about 19-21 depending on who's guessing. Anyway this one older lady, had to have been at least 60, called me over to the puzzles and handed me something with small print that she was struggling to read.

I looked at it and knew right away that it was an Atari Flashback. Those systems that have a dozen or so Atari games on one small console. I, assuming she had no idea what that'd be, explained to her that it's "This Atari video game thing from the 70's." Her face lit up and then she went on about how much she loved to play Galaga and Space Invaders.

She said, "I'm surprised that someone your age even knows what that is." I told her that I thought the same thing about her. So we both laughed and ended up talking about Atari for the next 10 minutes.

Tl:dr: Don't judge a book by its cover. Video games aren't just for young people.








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.








Two Stories: The Happy, And The Strange


Carolanne whootFrom Puppies In Prada

I have two short stories for you:

First: the happy.

So this weekend, Missy brought me into her office to do an annual review. Apparently I just squeaked in under the deadline as having worked at the Animal Shelter Thrift Store long enough to count (6 months). To my very happy surprise, I basically aced it. My marks were all in the Excellent and Very Good range. The ones I was below Excellent in was basically due to my still being relatively new and still ironing out my knowledge base. I got a raise (the highest she's allowed to give me at this point in my position and career)!

Also, can I stress yet again how much I love Missy? Not only is she a manager who's actually human and treats everybody else like one, but if she really doesn't have anything to put in the Needs Improvement mandatory section of the review, she won't make bullshit up. She just pretty much says that there's nothing that really needs improving short of simple experience.

Also, holy crap, she's even freaking relatable. She laughs... LAUGHS with us over silly/stupid/facepalm bullshit that customers do or say!

Me, holding up a boot: "You know, the pair to this is in my section... I found this one on a random fixture halfway across the store. Couldn't they at least take both boots?"

Missy: Laughing "I know, right?!"

Dearest Thrognar, I don't know whether I'm dreaming or whether I died and went to Retail Heaven. Missy is the one and only manager I've ever encountered that really and truly is worth doing extra crap for that most retail slaves learn (the hard way) never to do. I'm going to be heartbroken the day she moves on to better things.


Jason oopsSecond: the strange.

I walk into work early, usually to spend time waiting to clock in with a good book. As I pass by the back door, Steve turns to me, highly amused.

Steve: "So... somebody donated this today."

He holds up a Cat-O-Nine-Tails bondage flogger and a trademarked Indiana Jones braided whip toy (which is approximately 6 feet long).

I'm stunned speechless. There are no words in this moment.

Steve: "I'm pretty sure we don't have a Marital Aids section of the store..."

What. Is. Even. The. Fuck? Somebody donated their (likely used) sex toys to a thrift shop. What the fuck is wrong with people? WHY would you donate that? Quite frankly someone, at the door at least, now has your face to recall to pair with what you do in private. And while your..... thing, is your thing.... not everybody wants or needs to know that.

Please, please, PLEASE dispose of "marital aids" properly, people!

--Puppies In Prada