A couple of months ago, I got a job working at an upscale convenience store called
Famima!! (and yes, the double exclamation points are included in the
title - I don't mind publishing the name of the company, as I am more than likely going to be quitting soon anyway). I took a step down from office management and procurement into
retail so I could have some flexibility with my school schedule while
making some money. I make just above minimum wage, which is fine, I
don't have any major expenditures anymore.
This is my first time
back in the retail industry in about three years, if you want to
include the one month I worked at Cardiff Seaside Market in San Diego. Before that,
it had been about a year or so before I worked in an industry that
required face-to-face customer service. During the interim, I've had
jobs where severe customer service was required over the phone, but
that was no big deal. I could easily fake a visible facetious smile and
still hang up with the customer as satisfied as ever.
been at my current job for two months for as long as it has been open
(my first day was on the grand opening of the store), but within three weeks of working, I've
had to deal with quite a few characters. Some of whom have learned, the
hard way, that I am not a people person and not your typical customer
In three years, I have almost forgotten how awful
retail customer service can be... and I'd like to share with you my
stories of horrible customers, funny days at work, and other random
happenings since I don't want to talk to anyone else about it.
A Jewish woman (I can pick them out of a crowd - don't ask) came in one
day bearing one of our promotional, grand opening coupons for a free 12
ounce iced coffee.
Woman: I have a
coupon for a free 12 ounce coffee. I was wondering if I turned in the
coupon and paid the difference, could I get a salad instead?
Me: Uh. No.
Woman: Really? Are you sure?
Me: I'm positive. Really.
Woman: Oh, OK. Well, what if I just got a soda or something?
you not fucking read that the coupon is for COFFEE ONLY? You should be
grateful that we're even giving it away for free, you wench!
Me: No, sorry.
Woman: Oh, OK. Well, what are these coupons for?
coupons state, in bold print, that they are for a free 12 ounce coffee,
iced or hot, and an all-beef hot dog for the amazing price of one
Are you fucking serious?
Me: Um. It's for a free 12 ounce iced or hot coffee and a one dollar hot dog.
Woman: Well, what if I just give you the coupon for the hot dog and get a salad instead?
I about blew a gasket. What the fuck was her obsession with having a cheap salad?
Me: No, sorry.
Woman: Oh, alright. I'll take a hot dog then.
ring her up and tell her it's a dollar and I walk over to the hot dog
grill, put some gloves on, and grab a bun. Right as I clip the frank
between the tongs, she stops me.
Woman: You know what? Forget it, I changed my mind, I don't want the hot dog. Thank you anyway.
A gorgeous blonde girl walks in with her hipster boyfriend, who is a
regular customer of mine. I'm pulling expired stock off of the shelves
and right down the aisle from me is the "Ramune" (Japanese lemonade
soda) section. Ramune comes in a strawberry and a melon flavor, as well
as regular which is just the lemon-lime flavor. About fifteen minutes
after mulling over which flavor they want, the girl walks up to me with
a regular flavor Ramune.
Girl: Excuse me, I was wondering... what's the regular flavor? What is this?
Me: It's lemonade... like, lemon-lime.
Girl: Oh, is that like lychee?
Did you hear what I just said?
Me: Uh. It's lemon-lime.
Me: ...like Sprite.
We sell Icee, subtitled as "Famima!! Freeze," at our store. We have
three different flavors: Coca-Cola, Blue Raspberry, and the obligatory
Cherry flavor. Our Icee machines have been kind of weird lately.
Something happens to them so that it doesn't dispense properly, so we
have to reboot the machine and shut it down for a few hours. When we do
this, we put up a large "Out of Order" sign smack dab in the middle of
the machine, which is right in front of the Blue Raspberry dispenser.
It's quite clear when neither of the dispensers are working as the
liquid just sits there and stops producing icy slush. Most of my
customers have been good about realizing that when the product itself
isn't spinning, then it isn't working.
One woman came in with
her children while I was going back and forth between cleaning the
backroom and ringing customers up. She came to the counter after I had
finished ringing one customer up with her daughter in tow. Her
daughter's clothes, face, and hands were covered in a mysterious shade
Woman: Uh, hi. Are all of the Icee flavors out of order, or is it just the one in the middle?
Um. All of them. When all of the dispenser displays stop spinning, it
means they're not working. There's also an "Out of Order" sign on the
Woman: Oh. Well, I didn't know if that was for the middle machine or for all of them.
Why didn't you just ask if you were unsure, dumbass?
Me [faking a smile]: Well, it's for all of them!
Woman [gruff attitude]: I see that now, and now my kid is filthy.
How is that my problem?
Me: There's a bathroom in the back, she can clean herself off.
Woman: Uh, you should put an "Out of Order" sign on all of them so everyone else can see it.
Me: Uh, just because you're stupid doesn't mean everyone else is.
I'm surprised I haven't been fired yet.
I've had five different people come in on the same day looking for
soft-serve ice cream. But before asking me about it, they would
actually browse each and every aisle looking for a soft-serve ice cream
machine. When the fifth person, who was probably about 17 or 18, came
in looking for it, he spent about a good 10 minutes in each aisle
hoping a machine would magically appear. And like clockwork, he
approached me at the counter.
Kid: Hey, I looked around the store and I was wondering if you guys have a soft-serve ice cream machine?
Me: Um, do you see one?
Yeah. I'm still employed.