Overhelp Overkill

| KS, USA | Bosses & Owners, Extra Stupid

(Our store has a team of about 20 people who come in early in the morning to unload the day’s shipment and restock. They work their way around the store like a wave, always within a few aisles of each other. Right before the store opens, we have a meeting.)

Store Manager: “We’ve been getting low survey scores lately, and we think that part of the problem is that the unload team isn’t customer focused. From now on, our policy is that you offer to help every customer you see. I’ll be working with you this morning so I can watch how well you do.”

Unload Team Member #1: “What if someone else has already asked?”

Store Manager: “Unless you were standing right next to them, go ahead and ask again, just in case.”

Unload Team Member #2: “Won’t people get sick of being asked over and over whether they need help?”

Store Manager: “The surveys say this is the kind of service people are looking for when they shop here. You’re just being helpful! What could be wrong with that?”

(About 15 minutes later, a customer wanders into the aisle where Store Manager] is working.)

Store Manager: *loudly, obviously trying to set an example* “Can I help you find something?”

Customer: “Are you f****** kidding me? You are the sixth person to ask me that already, and I haven’t even been in the store ten minutes yet. In the last aisle, I got asked by three different people! Why can’t you people just leave me the f*** alone and let me do my shopping on my own like an adult? If I hear one more employee asking me if they can help me find something, I’m gonna drop my basket right there in the middle of the aisle and leave. No! No, I do not need help!”

(Oddly, the new policy was never spoken of again.)

Not So Nuts About The Service

| Denver, CO, USA | Bad Behavior, Employees, Rude & Risque

(Since it is spring break we’ve had a lot more teens in the store than usual, and lots like to pull pranks. We have an intercom system that some of the teens know the code for so we get a lot of afternoons like this:)

Teenager: “Attention all [Store] employees. I busted a nut… I repeat, I. Busted. A. Nut.”

Women: *storms up to me, who is a cashier* “That is completely inappropriate. My daughter is four years old and I don’t want her hearing that type of language.”

Me: “I do apologise ma’am, but I don’t think she understands the double meaning of nut, so I think you’re safe.”

Daughter: “What kind of nut was it, mom? A cashew? I like cashews.”

Women: *looks at me expectantly* “Well? Tell her. It’s your store.”

Me: *stumped* “Uh… let me get my manager.”

(Needless to say, we did NOT give that girl a sex-ed talk but gave the women a $10 gift card for any inconvenience.)

Some Employees Just Can’t Cut It

, | Houston, TX, USA | Employees, Ignoring & Inattentive

(My young son and I are picking up some lumber at a well-known home improvement store for my husband. I find the cutting station and wait for Employee #1 to finish another order. While I am waiting, Employee #2 approaches me.)

Employee #2: “Can I help you find something?”

Me: “Yes, please. I need two 40-inch pieces of 2-by-8.”

Employee #2: “2-by-8? That’s over here, let me show you.”

(I follow Employee #2 into the lumber section and watch him pull out a 2-by-4.)

Me: “Isn’t that a 2-by-4?”

Employee #2: “Yeah, it’s a 2-by-4-by-8-feet.”

Me: “No, no, sorry. I need 2-by-8.”

Employee #2: “Well, how much do you need?”

Me: “I need two 40-inch pieces.”

Employee #2: “We have 2-by-8-by-4-feet, 6-feet, and 8-feet.”

Me: “I guess I need 8 feet, then.”

(Employee #2 walks me over to the correct lumber.)

Employee #2: “Here they are!”

(Because I have my young son with me, I have no way to transport such a long piece before it’s cut.)

Me: “…”

Employee #2: “Did you need anything else?”

Me: “Yes, I need it cut into two 40-inch pieces.”

(Employee #2 grabs two 2-by-8s.)

Me: “No, I just need two 40-inch pieces, not two whole ones.”

Employee #2: “Oh, you need it cut?”

Me: “Yes, please…”

(Employee #2 and I walk to the cutting station and he cuts *one* 40-inch piece for me.)

Employee #2: “Here you go!”

Me: “I need one more of those…”

(Employee #2 cuts another 40-inch piece for me and also gives me the leftover piece. I just take it at this point.)

Employee #2: “Anything else?”

Me: “No, that’s it, thanks.”

(I’m amazed he managed to cut it the right length!)

We’re All Buddies Here

| Grand Rapids, MI, USA | Coworkers

(This exchange happens entirely over walkie-talkie. It’s about 20 minutes until close.)

Coworker #1: “Okay, guys, just a reminder, make sure to use the buddy system when you’re leaving tonight.”

Coworker #2: “Why, is there a boogey-man in the parking lot?”

Coworker #1: “Well, there’s been some shady people out there, I guess.”

Coworker #3: “That’s super encouraging…”

Coworker #4: *who has just recently returned to work now that the school year has ended* “Are you sure you didn’t just see your reflection in a car window, [Coworker #1]?”

(I can hear Coworker #2 laughing hard before getting on the walkie.)

Coworker #2: “Oh, we’ve missed you!”

Sorry-Not-Sorry: Holiday Special

| CA, USA | Awesome Workers, Employees

(I am in a huge electronic store. It’s before a holiday and myself and five people are patiently waiting for help from the sales rep. A woman walks up with a smarmy smile on her face.)

Woman: “Oh, my husband is waiting for me in the parking lot. I’m sure you won’t mind if I go ahead… I need just one item.”

(We reluctantly let her go ahead. She gets the item from the rep and thanks us all with the same false smile. She passes me on the way to the check-out lines.)

Woman: *still smiling* “I’m really sorry.”

Me: *in a low voice only she can hear* “No, you’re not!”

(I turned away at that moment but my mother, who was standing behind me and hadn’t heard what I said, saw the woman turn white.)

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