My family has always used that line, "It's a hell of a day at sea Sir!" when it has been a crazy busy day at the store, or when we've had more than our fair share of interesting customer interactions.
Well let me tell you, it has been a hell of a day at sea Sir!
For starters, we were very short handed today. We were down 6 people. Before I ever got to work this morning I got texts from Ariel (Oreo) telling me that it had been an interesting morning and to not be mad if she was drunk when I got to work.
I got here and started trying to clear up some of the morning confusion, while also holding my son who insisted on being held all the time. He would have epic meltdowns the second his feet hit the floor. I did my best and got as much done as I could while holding him. I finally convinced him to sit down and watch a Mickey Mouse movie and have some breakfast while I got some stuff done.
As the morning progressed I had a string of interesting retail experiences that made me actually put a little credence in the whole Friday the 13th phenomenon.
It began with the man who was complaining about his paint and how it didn't cover. He kept repeating the same story to me, and no matter what I suggested he argued and just repeated, "It didn't cover." I fully refunded his money and told him that I was unable to offer any other solution. He wanted a higher quality paint, even though the one he had was a very high quality. The only thing I can think of is that he has poor lighting that can be affecting the appearance of the paint, or he was using a poor quality applicator, both are things you cannot suggest to someone without offending them. It was easier to refund the money.
Next up was a man who began our interaction with a rather abrupt, "Isn't there anything you can do about the price on this? I paid less for this same one up in Canada with our dollar being weak!" When someone begins by aggressively demanding a discount, it doesn't put me in the best mood. Then he proceeded to tell me that he didn't even really need the leaf blower, but just the bag that came with it because he'd forgotten his bag in Canada. I checked, even though I was in no mood to help this person out at all, and in fact I didn't have any wiggle room on the price. And as soon as he left (with his newly purchased leaf blower) I went online and started checking the prices on that model and discovered that we were priced the same as pretty much everyone out there.
I always love it when people tell me how much cheaper they can get something at "Insert store name here," because I always check when they leave, and probably 9 times out of 10, the price they told me they could get is nowhere near what the price actually is. I just smile and thank them for coming in, knowing that I will have fun myth-busting that price once they have left.
I also really enjoy the "I'm a good customer" blackmail. It takes different forms, "I've been coming here for 20 years," "I spend a LOT of money here," "I've known your Dad for years!" And usually those interactions are always the ones where they want me to do something that they know is unreasonable, and that's why they take that tactic. My most recent favorite was the man who got really mad at me for not wanting to take his 3rd party rebate check as part of his payment for his purchase. His $1 3rd party rebate check... from Ace. He pulled out all the stops... he's a good customer who has been coming here for 20 years (we haven't had the store that long) and he's spent a lot of money with us and can't believe that we would give him trouble about a $1 check. I took it just to make him leave quicker, but the back of the check even said that it could not be accepted as a 3rd party check.
And I do not know if I will ever understand why couples fight in stores. Really? Your argument can't wait until you are back in your car? You have to make an entire store uncomfortable? And worse still are the ones who are fighting with someone on their phone, and we have to hear the whole (one-sided) conversation while trying to help them, only to have them be impatient that we aren't helping them fast enough when they won't stop talking on their phone and tell us what they need. At least I can take comfort in the fact that I have helped heal the relationship between fighting couples as they bond over the incredibly stupid girl at the hardware store who was slow and couldn't even tell them where to find what they were looking for. (Because they never told me, just gave me partial words and random gestures and expected me to know what they were looking for while they continued their conversation or argument and then got mad at me).