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Retail Angst: Past and Present Clerks

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Intro and list of dumb customer questions [17 Jan 2006|02:14pm]

[ mood | blank ]

My name is Jade, I'm 21 and I work at Petco. In fact, I've been at the same store for four years, and I have my fair share of horror stories, whitch I will tell to you all in good time. I'm really glad I found this community, finally there are people who can understand what a pain it is to work in retail.

And now for your enjoyment: a list of dumb questions I've been asked by a customer with answers I really wanted to say. Behind the cut:

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Hiya! [16 Jul 2005|12:13pm]

[ mood | grumpy ]

Hello! I just joined your utterly fabby community today, and thought I should introduce myself (i don't usually, but meh) and join in the bitching :) I'm Jemma, i'm 19 years old and I work in a chocolate and ice cream shop in a shopping center/mall in Scotland.

Yesterday at work was like the day from hell. Between 1:30 and 4pm I was left on my own, having to deal with every single customer that came into the shop. Most of which wanted ice cream, which is messy and time consuming, and some wanting boxes of chocolates wrapped or iced.

One guy came in, he could see the queue was long, and probably clocked my "trainee" badge. He wanted to buy a chocolate car model, and I told him £7.50 or however much. So he handed me a £10 note. Then I gave him his change, and he was like
"Didn't I give you £20?"
Now I know that he didn't, because it's our company policy that if someone hands you a note you have to shout out the denomination. So when he gave me it i had said to him "that's £10." I explained this to him, and he looked at me blankly. Also, we stash £20 notes underneath the coin buckets, and I didn't lift them up. I told him this too, and then opened the till and looked through the £10 notes. Which is where I would have put it if I thought it was a tenner. It wasn't there. He got all huffy like "well if the till's £10 up tonight you'll know why" and I said "i'll take your name and phone number and we'll phone if it is." so I wrote it on a napkin. I knew the till wouldn't be up, so i just wiped my chocolate ice creamy hands on the napkin and chucked it in the bin. Ha!

Later on that night, when it wasn't so hectic, an old woman came in and asked if we had any more bags of toffee. I said "we have some in the back..." and then she said "it's for a gift, and this stuff's all stuck together." I told her the stuff in the back would be the same, because of the way it's packaged. I offered to bang it on the counter for her, to separate it. Then she said "No, it's a disgrace. I wouldn't sell that."

Ok, it's toffee. You all know what happens when you put a bit of toffee in your mouth. Your teeth stick together like nothing else. Now imagine putting 15 lumps of the sticky stuff in a bag with each other, stacking other bags in a box with it, and putting it on the back of a lorry for a few hours. Of course it's going to stick together! and even after you separate it when the delivery arrives, from time to time it's going to stick together again. I'd understand if it was chocolate or fudge all in a big lump, but it's to be expected from toffee.

I replied to her "well it even says on the packet that you should tap it before opening. It's nothing to do with our shop or storage, it's just the substance of the matter."

working in retail sucks.

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[12 Jul 2005|06:04pm]

I worked at a college book store for a year. Like a previous poster said, at a college book store you would expect people to be a little less stupid . . . but no . . . . never.

There were many, many things I hated about being a cashier. And I am extremely glad that I quit. I was truly starting to lose faith in humanity and I am a pretty up beat person. One of the most annoying things was when customers would say something like "Well! It must be free" if someone forgot to put a price tag or bar code on a piece of merchandise. What bothered me about that is that every single person who said that thought they were being clever and original when it was something I swear I heard about ten times a day.

Once someone came in and asked if they could sign up for classes there to which I replied "No, this is the book store." However, then I had to explain how one does sign up for university classes. When you work at a privately owned book store that sells college books people expect you to be a guidance counselor as well as a cashier and servant to their every need.

So many stories. I can't really think of the good ones. They'll probably come back soon but I have probably mostly blocked them from my mind.

*shiver* never again
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holy...crap, EW [12 Jul 2005|04:02pm]

[ mood | nauseated ]

There's this man who regularly comes into the dep - the same guy who was ranting about how the holocaust "never happened" a few months ago, and the same man who started giving me nightmares around the same period. Anyway, he came in today, and holy SHIT, he reeked of piss. Seriously. I've never, ever been in the presence of anyone that smelled that bad. Ever. Never ever. Anyway, you get the point.

He paid for his soda in rolls of pennies, and he stood there drinking it for about fifteen minutes. I could smell him from the other extremity of the store, and I very nearly puked. I finally got my manager to go to the front until he left, and I went to the back and hid my face in my hands - only to realize, to my utter and complete horror, that my hands smelled of his piss. I then proceeded to vomit in the sink.

My manager called me back up, and I picked the money he had given me from the cash with a kleenex, put it in a bag, tied it shut, and stuffed it into the change box. But it was too late - the smell had impregnated all of the money there already.

He came back about an hour later, with the same results, minus the puking. But that's only because I didn't have anything left to throw up.

God, I hate my job.

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A community for clerks? To good to be true. [01 Jun 2005|05:38pm]

So.  Now I have a place to make fun of all of the moronic people who come into my store.  I wuv you sed.
2 comments|post comment

[01 Jun 2005|05:20pm]

[ mood | cranky ]

I thought I'd post a little about my job, seeing as thats what this community is about. I work at Sumaer Petroleum. We're a Marathon franchise I guess, since we have Marathon signs, and there's a Marathon gas station on our lot. Though we aren't affiliated with it. Which is fun. People thinking you're the gas station, and getting pissy when they can't pay you for gas. Fun. I mean, walking the extra 20 feet to the gas station would JUST KILL YOU.

Our store also has several signs on the front door. One reads very simply: No Restrooms. This is for a good reason, as the only restroom in our building is upstairs, and there is only ever one person working. You would think people would get the hint. But you know what 8 out of ten people ask me upon entering my fine establishment? "Where's the bathroom?". And I am not exaggerating. That many people. And then they begin begging to use the bathroom, even though I've told them that there is one at the gas station. ONCE AGAIN. 20 FEET WILL JUST KILL YOU.

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New member [23 Nov 2004|10:29pm]

hey you guys, although i myself have never worked for a retail store (or at all for that matter), my dad worked for Belk's for 25 years, so i guess that counts. in later postings i will probably tell stories of his job, but to begini want to tell this one:
my dad and i both like to read, so we go to the WaldensBooks in our pitiful little mall all of the time. so we were in there one night, and it was just us, the cashier named Heather( who now works at lowes hardware), and this other couple who looked a little scuzzy. they come in after we do and ask Heather for a Webster's dictionary (it can't be merriam webster's, just webster's) for their child that they homeschool. well, after looking for five minues trying to find the book, the blimp of a wife starts to yell at her. then, she settles on a Mer.Web. book and wants to ask for the homeschooling discount even though she doesn't have a lisence *sketchy*. Heather tells her about that technicality and the blimp yells at her again and then leaves. my dad and i are in line behind them when it happens and as they leave i say as loud as i can: "Man, i guess she needs to climb down off that little peadestal that she's on." and i don't care if she heard or not, but i knew Heather felt better b/c they are stict about not talking back to clients @ Walden's.
4 comments|post comment

[07 Nov 2004|11:25pm]

[ mood | in awe ]

So the other day

This guy calls Home Depot 5 minutes before closing and asks if he can make a payment on his credit card over the phone using another debit card.

I simply state that I am not legally permitted to do that, and neither is anyone in the store.

Now, if he had just said "All right, I'll come in tomorrow and make my payment." and hung up, there wouldn't be a story for you guys now would there?

Oh no, I had to say this to the fucker at least 50 times before I put him on hold and asked my manager what to do...well, ask him if he'd get this guy to fuck off, more like it.

He wouldn't, and asked me to transfer it to the service desk.

When I transferred the call, it rang for a good minute. My coworker wasn't available to answer the phone because she was extremely busy with more important matters (i.e. customers who have a clue.) so I answered the phone using a different voice, told the guy 50 times that I could not take his fucking debit card over the phone...in fact, the conversation went a little like this:

"I'm sorry sir but I am not legally permitted to take payments over the phone."
"But I cannot drive because of the fog."
"I understand that sir."
"What can I do?"
"You can come in tomorrow and make your payment."
"But then it will be a day late."
"I'm terribly sorry sir but that is really the only option."
"Can't you just take my debit card over the phone?"
"Sir, I am not legally permitted to take payments over the phone, nor do I have the necessary equipment."
"But I cannot drive because of the fog."
"I understand that sir."
"So tell me what I can do"
"You can come in tomorrow and make your payment."
"But then it will be a day late."
"I'm terribly sorry sir, but there is really nothing else that can be done."
"What if I give you my debit card number?"
(multiply that by about 15 times, then)
"Hold please."

Eventually, my poor coworker took the phone. Wash, rinse, repeat, then put him on hold again.
Then another coworker took the phone to say the same thing and that was when the guy hung up.

2 comments|post comment

[24 Oct 2004|01:30am]

[ mood | nostalgic ]

I have not worked at a till since September of this year.

I have been gainfully employed at Home Depot which has it's share of retards (surprisingly, for a DIY place), originally as a cashier, but have since transferred to the phone center.

Basically, they pay me eight dollars an hour to answer the phone for eight hours.

And that's not without it's benefits. I'm constantly on cue from the time I clock on till off (with an hour lunch break in between).

There are times, yet none specifically notable, when I get customers on the phone who drag on as to what they want, which particularly make me pantomime ripping my face off, yet I manage to keep my pleasing tone of voice for the customer who cannot see me.

I don't know what I'd do without it though. I'd spent a considerable amount of time unemployed, and this was during a time when my life was merely existance. I mean NOTHING was going on.

I tip my hat to those who manage to stay within the convenience store confines. I almost went back after some hard times at Home Depot...but yeah, that's the key word "almost."

I will never forget my last day at 7-11 though.

This one SUV driving soccer mom bitch comes in to return a carton of milk.
Seeing as I damn near knew all the names and faces of the Caldwell, ID 7-11 customers, I could safely say I never seen this woman before in my life.

Quite frankly, I was fed up. I called my boss at home.
"Sorry to interrupt you from your personal activities, Jag, but I have a customer here who wishes to return a carton of milk, despite the fact that not only does she not have a reciept, but I've never seen her before in my life, and quite frankly we don't know whether or not she got it here in the first place" During my speech, interjections of "OH PLEASE!" and other rude comments were heard from this crazy bitch. In the end, Jag told me to return the carton anyway, and the last thing she said to me was "You better find a new job!" or something. I told her "Joke's on you, bitch! It's my last day!" *double-flip off salute*

Small pride...but that doesn't make it any less hilarious.

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Fuck quarters! [23 Oct 2004|01:07pm]

[ mood | bitter ]

Right, so, I really it when someone comes in to make a small purchase (i.e. something 25 cents or LESS) and they pull out their change and inspect each fucking coin and then they're all "Oh! this one's a Texas, I can't spend this one!" so they pay with a fucking $20 bill instead.

sorry. just thought i'd get some activity goin'.

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Has anyone ever... [19 Jun 2004|02:10pm]

[ mood | sleepy ]

fallen asleep on the job? it's so dead in here today that i almost dozed off. i fell asleep babysitting once, but not since i've been working here. just curious...

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Interesting Idea [08 May 2004|12:33pm]

[ mood | hungry ]

So I stumbled upon this community today, and I thought it was rather interesting. I work in a bookstore, and while I don't have a lot of stories, I do have some every now and then.
Like the other day...this lady comes in, brings a ton of stuff up to the counter, and pulls out like five different coupons to use when she checks out. Now at our particular store you can't combine coupons, and she should know this because she's a regular customer. And she asks me if she can, and I tell her no. So then she very rudely says "Can I just make this into a few different purchases?" And while I don't want to do that, and we're not really supposed to, I said ok. Then she hands me the first coupon and it's expired. I told her this, and that I couldn't accept it, and she proceeds to say "well can you just check to see if your computer will accept it?" Now with our computers, we have to manually enter coupons in order for the discount to work, and I told her that. The coupon won't work unless I enter the discount, regardless of whether or not I scan it. She impatiently persists: "well can you just check?!" and I'm thinking "ok lady, WHAT do you want me to check?! I just told you that I'm the one who has to enter the coupon, nothing's happening unless I do it." She kept arguing with me for 10 minutes, and one of my coworkers had to come over and try to explain it to her AGAIN. I don't think she ever got the picture, she didn't get her discount on her humongous pile of stuff, and left in a huff. Oh well :)
So that was a really long explanation and probably not nearly as good a story as some of you can tell, but that's the first one that came to mind. But I definitely empathize with you guys.
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[28 Apr 2004|03:43am]

I got in a screaming fight with a customer last night at work. Me: "You know, just because I'm a cashier doesn't give you the right to be rude to me." Him: "Shut up. I could get you fired." Me: "Get me fired, here's my name and our phone number; call my boss tomorrow, because this job isn't worth standing here and letting people be rude to me." Him: "Shut up. You shouldn't be in public, you should be at home babysitting." Ugh. Part of me wishes that I had been the bigger person and just swallowed, but goddammit, he was so rude (hard to explain in type), and I'm kind of glad I stood up for myself. All in all, I thought it was really funny. Here's this like 40 year old guy totally going off the handle at a gasstation clerk. ha!

(Previously posted in my personal journal, but I found this community and thought it would be appropriate...the worst part was the "babysitting" part... I just got my BA and am going on to grad school...that mfer just figured that just because I'm cute, female and a g.s. clerk that I'm stupid and worthless!)
2 comments|post comment

newbie... [11 Mar 2004|06:04pm]

hello there... i couldn't believe this community existed... anyway, i work at a convenience store at my school (university of colorado at colorado springs/UCCS), and you'd think, with it being a place of higher education and all, people would be tolerable/intelligent, but they're not. they're just as stupid and annoying than everyone else- maybe even worse...

some annoying customers would have to be Tourette's Syndrome Penny Guy- he has Tourette's Syndrome, ADD, and some other disorder and he comes in just about everyday to sell me anywhere from 2 to 7 dollars in pennies and i have the joy of sitting there watching him count out each one and then after he leaves, i get to put them all into those stupid coin wrappers. this guy really exists, i kid you not.

the other day, there was a shit load of kids visiting the campus for some science fair and this almost-retarded middle schooler held up a chocolate-chocolate chip cookie (packaged in clear paper no less, with the flavor written on the front) and asked "what flavor is this?"

then there's jon bon jovi man- this guy who looks EXACTLY like jon bon jovi only 2 feet shorter. he comes in everyday wearing his stupid cowboy boots and buying cinnamon trident gum and tries to flirt with me. it's disgusting.

i could go on forever, but i guess i'll stop there for today- my journal is dedicated to bitching about my work, but i may share a story here every once in a while :)
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[04 Sep 2003|01:51am]

I used to work at a video store. The most annoying part was the Direct TV set up that played the -same- three minute long commercial on a constant loop.

Isn't that the same technique used to break prisoners?
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[09 Aug 2003|10:57pm]

oh come on, somebody other than me's gotta have some stories! Hell, even if you rip it off Clerks, say something man!

I want to work in convenience stores again just so i can have the opportunity of a set of weird twins pointing at me going "ONE OF US! ONE OF US! HEHEHEHEHEHEEEE!!!!"
5 comments|post comment

Fuck 7-11 [19 Jun 2003|06:35pm]

[ mood | determined ]

Kitrin, your store must still be corporate, ours is a franchise.

My boss had the audacity to patronize me for a "sloppy" lottery report.
He's all like "Do you need training for a lottery report?" I almost slugged him, god I wanted to so bad. I work my fucking ass off over there, fucking doing every god damn thing, cleaning, tending to customers, filling up a billion pots of coffee, all in about five minutes over and over and over fucking over and HE has the audacity to fucking talk to ME like that, THIS IS NOT FUCKING WORTH SIX BUCKS.

I'm thinking of going back to Jackson's full time this time. Different store. The only problem I had was with the manager at the store I was working at. Plus my ex was giving me panic attacks from beyond. That was just a me thing though. I think with the experience I gained at 7-11 more than Jackson's will help me move up there. That and to be in a place where they don't know me. I'll gladly give up the laid-back atmosphere, the right to wear whatever I want, the right to play whatever music I want, for something that will give ME my work's worth. 7-11 doesn't even have benefits, or diferentials. It's fucking bollocks is what it is. That and me and Jennifer get so few hours, and yet my boss' Indian friend, he gets fucking 12 every day. He's probably making more than us too.

Fuck this. New job. New job. New job. Help me out here people, if you're into wicca, voodoo, Jesus, anything man.

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[10 Jun 2003|11:50pm]

[ mood | amused ]

Imagine a disgustingly fat guy with gelatinous arms comes up to your register, looking absolutely filthy. Grey-brown (used to be white) t-shirt, suspenders, and ripped up filthy shorts.

Now imagine one of the gelatinous arms has "BORN TO LOVE" tattooed on it.


7-11 definitely has it's perks. Like me laughing at the guy with a mullet and red wifebeater picking up a motor magazine and condoms (As I snicker to myself "yeah, right").

Only at 7-11 can I pretend I live in a bigger city.

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[17 Apr 2003|04:10pm]

kitrin and I now have something in common :)
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Time to celebrate! [05 Apr 2003|09:24pm]

[ mood | happy ]

I no longer work at Jacksons!!!! Woohoo! No more people saying, careful, the ink is still wet when i check notes, no more rude customers, no more getting abuse from kids you've just ID'd... I am free!!!!!!!!

(Hope you get away from your Jacksons soon Sed! )

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