They’ll Be (Per)Fuming

| Duluth, MN, USA | Bosses & Owners, Pranks

(There is a rumor that our stockroom is haunted. According to legend, the stockroom smells strongly of perfume right before the “ghost” shows up. My department happens to have its own, very small stockroom that is hardly used.)

Me: “Hey?”

Coworker: “Yes?”

Me: “Can you help me move a shelf in my stockroom?”

Coworker: “Sure!”

Me: *in the stockroom* “Gee, doesn’t it smell strongly of perfume in here?”

(There happens to be two shelves of perfume, RIGHT NEXT TO HER.)

Coworker: “Oh, GOSH, it’s the ghost!” *runs out*

(I do this again several times to other coworkers. Some are scared, some amused. Word spreads through the store that the ghost ALWAYS turns up in my stockroom. Nobody thinks to notice the perfume. Finally, two managers take notice that the other workers refuse to help me in my stockroom.)

Manager #1: *who is a skeptic* “What is this about your stockroom being scary?”

Manager #2: “Is it the ghost?”

Me: “I don’t know; want to see?”

(We all enter the stockroom.)

Me: “Doesn’t it smell strongly of perfume in here?”

Manager #2: “Oh! The ghost!”

Manager #1: “There’s a whole bunch of perfume back here. Are people actually falling for this?”

Me: *dying of laughter*

Manager #2: “YOU…! YOU!”

(She ACTUALLY hit me several times with her clipboard before stomping out of my stockroom.)

Manager #1: “Sooo… If you agree to stop this prank, and not sue for hitting you, I might decide to not write you up.”

Me: “You want to write me up for asking people if it smells like perfume in a stockroom with perfume in plain sight?”

Manager #1: “Good point. What if I promise not to tell all those people you were fooling them? Would you promise to stop? Because I’m pretty sure an angry mob would want payback.”


Will Help You Hell For Leather

| UK | Awesome Workers

(I work in a home furniture store, and am doing something when I see a customer wandering through our display sets giving off “buying, not looking” vibes. My coworker, who is closer, smiles and greets the customer.)

Customer: “Do you have any fabric samples?”

Coworker: “Yes, of course! What kind of fabric were you thinking about? Material or leather, patterned or plain?”

Customer: “Well, I’ll tell you what happened. My husband and I bought a set of six black leather dining room chairs from [Competitor, located next door]. The chairs were delivered today, and we were unwrapping the paper used to cover them. My husband’s hand slipped when he was cutting the wrappings, and the scissors went straight into the seat of the chair!”

Coworker: “Oh, no! Did the leather tear?”

Customer: “Unfortunately, yes. He could have kicked himself – the brand new chair was ruined. So I was just next door at [Competitor] to tell them what happened and see what they could do to help. They refused to do anything.”

Coworker: “No way!”

Customer: “Yes. I’m happy to pay for the fix, of course, but they wouldn’t even let me buy a piece of leather to patch up the seat of the chair. So I was wondering if you have any leather that you use for your furniture? As I said, I’m happy to pay for it. All I need is a small piece, about three inches squared.”

Coworker: “That’s surprising for [Competitor] to be so unaccommodating. You stay right there, ma’am. I’ll have a look at what’s in stock and I’ll be right back.”

(She goes to the sample drawers and starts rooting through them for anything that’s black leather. After a few minutes, she returns to the customer with five different samples which are each a slightly different shade.)

Coworker: “Here you go, ma’am. These are all the different leathers we have in stock at the moment – hopefully one of them will be close enough that it won’t be noticed when the seat is fixed.”

Customer: “Oh, thank you so much! You’re a lifesaver! How much for these?”

Coworker: “Don’t worry about it! These are free samples that we give out to customers, so there’s no charge at all.”

(I have rarely felt pride in the two-and-a-half years I spent in retail, but I definitely was proud of my coworker for gaining that customer’s business after our competitor completely failed her expectations. The customer didn’t buy anything that day, but she regularly came back to our store from then on. And *that* is what customer service is about.)


An Alarming Shift

| USA | Bosses & Owners, Overtime

(When the assistant manager was hired, she specifically told me that she’s not a morning person and would work best if she came in between 11 and noon and that she’d want at least a 6 hour long shift. I AM a morning person so this works out perfectly, I come in from 9-4 and she works 12-6, except when we need to cover days off for each other. One day the district manager calls and says that my assistant had complained that she gets all the closing shifts. So for the next week I have her come in earlier so she can leave earlier while I work an unnecessary open to close shift. The following ensues when she comes in:)

Assistant Manager: “Ugh. I don’t know how you do this every day. I was dreading my alarm going off this early all night.”


They’re In No Mood

| OR, USA | Bad Behavior, Coworkers

(I’m pretty grouchy in the mornings, but I don’t like to ruin others’ day, so when I need to interact with people I make a point of psyching myself up and putting on a cheery grin. This happened last time I did that.)

Me: “Good morning!”

Clerk: “No such thing.”

Me: “I’d like to get these rotary blades sharpened.”

Clerk: *sigh* “It just got worse. If they’re chipped we won’t do them. You can pick them up tomorrow because I’m NOT dealing with them during store hours.”

Me: “Um… okay.”

(The mood dissonance was so big I couldn’t stop laughing after I left. She was a lot happier when I went back the next day; I guess I caught her on a bad one.)


‘They’ Have Baggage

| Stirling, Scotland, UK | Criminal/Illegal, Employees, Non-Dialogue

I am in a small souvenir shop with my wife, browsing and looking for something to bring back home. We are the only customers, and I notice the shopkeeper – an older lady – very clearly keeping an eye on us at all times. I find this a bit odd, since there is nothing out of the ordinary about our appearance or behaviour, but I don’t think too much of it.

In the end we choose to only buy a small packet of biscuits, which we intend to eat right away.

I go to pay, and as I am getting my change and the receipt, I reach for the biscuits which I have placed on the counter. The shopkeeper snatches them and says “Oh, no, I need to put them in a bag! Otherwise they will think you stole them!”

Perplexed, I let her put them in a bag. I take my bag, thank her, and leave the store. Once outside, we sit on a bench, take the biscuits out of the bag, and eat them.

Whoever ‘they’ were, they never appeared to question our right of ownership to the biscuits. Had they done so, I would have been lucky to have the bag – not to mention the receipt…

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