I've Just Been Told To Go Fuck My Mother

Man, its an unpleasant experience. I’ve had a lot of things said to me in my time (and most of those were well-deserved), but this, this REALLY sucked.

Long Story Short (well, long story still kinda long), I work in a place that sells timber flooring, and tiles and such like. I like the work, but the management are SERIOUSLY strict on certain rules and practices. But hey; it’s their business, I just work there. I may not like the rules, but I’ve gotta implement them.

Anyrate, one rule is to do with taking deposits on sales; we’ll hold any material for a customer, as long as they pay a deposit. Catch is, if we’re holding goods for you, and you just go off and see something you like better in a different store, we won’t give you back your deposit. That’s fair, I guess… we were holding goods for you, goods we could easily sell to other people, but held them for you, and now you just change your mind, and we lose out? Ok, I don’t mind that rule so much. Except….

Except these guys I’ve been dealing with lately, a middle-aged, very respectable couple (I think they are both teachers). Basically, not to bore you, they wanted 2000 euros worth of Tiles, and 2000euros worth of timber. SOLD. I took a deposit of 1000euros, held the goods for them, until they came to pick it up today. Basically, they spotted tiles elsewhere, and wanted to cancel the tiles I had held, give me an extra grand, and just take their timber.

Management did NOT like this. They instructed me to tell the couple that they could pay me 2000euro for their timber, take it away, and we would hold the original 1000euro as deposit on anything else they might buy in the future.

The customer did NOT like this. And another policy our company has, is everyone handles their own sale, so I had to go out and fight in our corner, and stand our ground in regards to this policy, even if I don’t really agree with it; shit pall, gimme the grand, take your timber and be gone. It’s not worth pissing off a customer that’s gonna badmouth your company across the country. But hey, I don’t run the show, I’m just a grunt. I have to do what I’m told; that’s life. Oh, and also , I had to tell the customer that this whole thing was MY decision, and it’s not company policy to… blame company policy. You can’t just say, hey, I just work here pal.

So, much arguing proceeded, with the customers pulling apart our bullshit policy, with me lying like a politician as to how firmly I believed I was right, and what I was doing was fair. These guys, well, they were nice (until today) and we’d gotten along quite well. I was hoping they’d see it in my eyes that hey, I’m just a guy doing is job, I’m on your side, and if it was up to me, I’d sell them the timber, and that was that.

Then, they turned nasty. Shit, they always do; legal action was threatened, they threatened to badmouth our company all across town (fair enough), and of course the old my-brother/ sister/ aunt-was-going-to-come-here-for-stuff-but-I’m-telling-them-not-to-now-look-at-the-business-you’ve-just-lost schpiel (sic?).

So, He told me to go fuck my mother, and she (pointing to a facial scar I have from a punch I got in a nightclub years ago for, well, standing in the wrong place) told me she was glad I’d gotten a bottle smashed in my face. They then stormed out.

I coulda burst into tears, I tell ya. It was honestly one of the most horrible things to happen me in my life, and all for a shitty job I don’t believe in.

Gotta be easier ways to get paid than this.

Man, that sounds horrible. I would be royally pissed if I was the customer, and it seems like you would be, too. I actually hope that they try to sue the company so maybe the owners will give up this stupid rule of theirs and stop making the sales people’s lives miserable.

What would have happened if you told them they could leave without paying the deposit (but still paying for the flooring)? Would you have to pay the company out of your own pocket?

I just can’t believe that holding tile for someone for a few days is actually keeping you from making a 1000e sale. Is tile such a hot commodity where you’re at? Geez.

Unfortunately, you’re the face of the business that the customer sees, so you bear the brunt for stupid management decisions. Bearing their disquiet and threats of legal action or defaming the reputation of the company is part of your job, but frankly that should stop at personal abuse and humiliation, for which there was no reason, call, or indeed, purpose, except to give vent to pent up aggression and other baggage.

What kind of rationale does your management have on this policy? Is this for materials that have been special ordered and can’t be readily returned, or just normal stock that you were holding especially for them? I can understand holding a deposit (to assure a sale against lost sales), and charging a modest restocking fee for materials held against sale and not purchased, but a 50% charge on returned/unsold material is usurious; I don’t think you’d be able to enforce this in the United States and have it hold up in court. And of course, it’s a really stupid business practice, especially in the case of a customer who is otherwise interested in buying materials. I don’t think I’d want to work for a company that does this as a matter of policy.


You’re not gonna do it, are you? :o

Dang…beat me to it, tabby.

So, the policy is the deposit has to be 25% of the worth of the goods? Or where did the 1000 euros number come from?

That sounds terrible. I’m not even in retail and we have one bitch on wheels here who can reduce almost anyone to tears. Horrible.

You’re dealing with a couple of really stupid rules there, but the worst of it is, you’re dealing with stupid and cowardly bosses.

Basically, in this particular instance, you gained part of the sale, but you lost a customer. It wasn’t even like the buyer walked away from the whole sale. What exactly is this policy supposed to gain for the company? You boss has managed to tick off customers and staff, lose a customer, and get some incredibly bad word of mouth for the company, all in one feel swoop. And you’re actually supposed to let people believe that you’re only doing this on your own? Man, I’d be looking.

I’m sorry you had to deal with this. Something like this is what managers are for. It’s why they make the big bucks. :slight_smile:

I think I’d quit. No one should take this shit from anyone.

I think I’d quit on the spot, without a notice, letting the owner/management know in no uncertain terms that their business practices suck. I might even do it in front of a few customers.

There are times when you can make a sale, or you can make a customer. Flexibility in policies like this are when those times occur. Sounds like your management doesn’t understand that. Could you not have walked out and told your manager they had to deal with the customer? This kind of BS is exactly what “let me get a manager to help you” was invented for.


There is so much wrong with that story, but the fact that you have to pretend that the store’s policy is your own is the worst of it. That’s way beyond the pale.

It’s your bosses who should go fuck your mother.

Or something like that. :dubious:

Making you take the blame for the store policy shows you work for a spineless ass. It’s time to bail.

I agree whole heartedly. What a craptastic set of rules to have to work by. They make the rules but you take all the blame. Nice. :rolleyes:

It reminds me of when I worked for a language school. I had the responsibility of overseeing the entire financial part of the operation, and if something went wrong, I took the blame for it. Yet I had zero authority to do anything about it. If employees didn’t get paid (and they almost never did), they came after me. But I had no authority to sign paychecks.

As my mother said at the time, responsibility without authority is a losing battle.

If you know the policy ahead of time and know it’s a total bullshit policy that you’re going to be asked to enforce you need to clearly state it to the customers ahead of time and make sure they are clear on it before taking their money.
Something along the lines of “Let me be clear that this is a NON-REFUNDABLE deposit. If you change your minds I CANNOT refund your deposit.”
Have them agree and sign their name to it.
Bullshit policy or not you have to be proactive and protect yourself.

I’m a cashier, and, years ago, after refusing to sell a guy without ID some beer, was told, among other things, to go fuck my mother, as he was on his way out.

I just said, “Will do!” in a cheerful manner. I think it pissed him off more…

I’m a State employee, & have been regularly told that thrice before lunch.

And I had to smile & take it.

But they didn’t cancel the order, they just modified it. No one had to go put it all back in stock, just the tile. So keep the portion of the deposit which was for the tile, 500 Eur would be my guess, and have them pay 1500 to get their wood. Keeping the deposit on both the part of the order they took and the part they canceled is just BS.


I don’t care what my managers would have told me…since they were forcing you to deal with it I definetely would have played the “I’m just the middleman here, I don’t make the rules, if it were up to me I’d…” card in a heartbeat, because then those folks would have had no other choice but to ask for your manager, and then they’d have to deal with it, which they should have done in the first place.


Is this normal in sales? I have the impression that sales people are always blaming things on management with a wink and a nudge.