Working Retail=Stupid Customers

Inspired by this thread because something stupid happened to me today, but I didn’t wanna take over the other thread.

I am loading yogurt and talking to a co-worker of mine who is telling me about her family…

Her: I love my brother-in-law, he’s sweet, great to my sister, and lives in Wisconsin, so he has the accent, and I love his accent.

Me: Oh yeah I love the accent. All of my cousins and stuff have it. (I am from Wisconsin, family lives there, and my co-worker knew that). Talking about the (in accent) Packers, Brett Favre, Miller Light.

She and I laugh about that.

Customer: Um, excuse me peope from Wisconsin don’t sound like that.

Co-Worker: Yes they do. That’s exactly how my brother-in-law sounds.

Customer: (Walks away to husband) “They were making fun of Wisconsin…”

Me and my co-worker were just dumbfounded because the customer was standing by us THE ENTIRE TIME. Hearing the fact that her brother-in-law was from there, and my family was from there.

Don’t think she’s stupid yet?

I was wearing a Milwaukee Brewers T-shirt.

I honestly think some people look for things to be offended by, to show how open and sensitive THEY are!

I lived for years in Minnesota and never heard that accent they used in Fargo.
So it would strike me as odd when people would try to talk to me that way as a gag.
Then they’d get mad when I didn’t catch on and think I was “super sensitive”. But I just never
connected the accent with Minnesota so the “joke” went over my head.

Don’t think her hearing about your co-worker’s brother-in-law being from Wisconsin has any bearing on whether she was stupid or not (if she was even listening). She’s probably a person from Wisconsin who doesn’t have an accent. Not all of them do.

Well, sure they do, just not the same kind or “strength.” :slight_smile: As a Chicago suburbanite, I have a residual Wisconsin accent that pretty much only native Illinoisans can distinguish (and rib me about, especially the nasal O). Most people outside the Midwest can’t detect a difference between my accent and my husband’s, who grew up in the western Chicago burbs.

It gets stronger when I talk to my mom, who’s still a resident of the state. My husband and I were in a bar in my hometown and heard the usual mild accents, until a few people with very strong varieties of one of the state’s accents started loudly discussing the basketball game on the TV, and we had to keep from laughing at times since it was as strong as the accents in Fargo. There’s a variety of Wisconsin accents, and that bystander just didn’t understand or want to admit that.

Which is understandable…but she was outright offended by what we were saying (again even saying we were making fun of Wisconsin). I know not all of them do (my parents don’t), but we were saying we loved the ones who do.

I work in a store and I’ve seen people get downright pissy with my cashiers for no good reason. It’s senseless.

When I worked in a video store, a coworker and I were complaining about when you’re a customer somewhere and the clerks ignore you because they’re busy talking to each other. Just as we were saying that, a customer walked up to us to ask if we had a certain movie. I cut her off by saying “Excuse me, we’re having a conversation here!”

Jocularity, jocularity.

Hehe a long time ago as a teenager I got the security guard called on me at Disney World for talking in a fake Canadian Accent. For the sake of My Canadian friend I was putting on the most over the top “What Aboot that Ya Hoser, Eh?” and cracking him up. Some lady about 6 people back started yelling for a security guard, and I had no idea why. When they showed up, she told on me, and wanted them to throw me out of Disney World for insulting Canada and wrecking her experience. The security guards looked incredulous, and when they realized she was serious pretty much said “Then don’t listen”.

This is something I just need to say about dumb customers. I work as a bank teller and, of course, sometimes have to work in the drive through lane. The dumbest thing (well maybe not dumbest but pretty dumb) is when people put their stuff in the first lane’s drawer and then leave their hand in the drawer on top of the papers. All of the drawers are equipped with clips, weights, etc. that are more than sufficient to hold the papers in and keep them from flying out. Anyway, they leave their hands in the drawer and then say something rude like “I’m waiting for you to close the drawer, duh.” when I ask them to remove their hands. Don’t they realize that I can’t close the drawer with their arm sticking out of it?

Thanks for letting me say that! That feels soooo good.

My stupid retail story comes from New Mexico. Infact, ALL my stupid customer stories come from there.

I worked at the local fabric store as a cashier/cutting clerk. At this time, I was at the register. It was around lunch time, and I knew there was a bit of a line at the cutting table, so a line would soon follow to the register. I cautioned the new register clerk to take her time ringing out the customers, so as to not make a mistake – causing a manager to come from the back office. We had 3 people in line at the register ONLY 3! When the 2nd lady came up to ring out… she said “Can you HURRY UP already. Some of us WORK for a living.” Now, in my MIND, I wanted to turn to the other clerk and say “hey volunteer… let’s go if we aren’t getting paid”. What really came out was nothing… we just moved along with the line as normal. What a PITB! Ohhh… the other stupid stories I can tell…

My favorite is still the time I was working in the electronics department in a retail store and a lady walked up to my counter carrying the shelf display model of a digital clock. The clock was displaying the time in glowing red numerals.

She asked, “Is this electric?”

Smile real big, lean in and with big laughing eyes, say “no, it’s magic!”

Actually, that’s surprisingly close to the smartass answer that ran through my head at the time:

“No, ma’am, it’s powered by the ever-present magical energies of hyperspace.”

What I actually said, of course, was, “Yes, ma’am.”

This was an older woman — noticeably older than my mom but somewhat younger than my grandmother — and thinking about it afterward I suspected she was drawing some distinction that said electric = plugs into the wall socket, as opposed to running on batteries. So my answer, while technically correct, may have been incorrect from her point of view — I don’t recall now if the clock could be operated both by battery power (which it was running on while on display) and by plugging it in. But it may have just been a case of someone from an older generation using terminology in a manner that had become obsolete/archaic.

I love it when I answer the phone at the ER, and the first thing out of the caller’s mouth is, “Are you open?”

Not exactly “retail” as per the OP, but seems relevant.

I had a dumb customer moment today at work and couldn’t wait to put it here. As previously mentioned, I work as a bank teller. Before you start making any mental images, this woman was early to mid thirties, brunette, fashionably dressed in a decent car. First, the customer pulled in the drive through going the wrong way, stopped, looked around, then pulled forward (almost colliding head on with a car going the correct direction. I guess she turned around in the parking lot and came back through going the correct way.

After I greeted her, she asked the first dumb question: “Is this the drive through?”

I replied: “Yes, ma’am it is the drive through. Can I help you?”
(Should have replied: “No. You’re inside the bank. It’s amazing how we can teleport you car right inside.” or something even more sarcastic that would really throw her off like “Sorry, you’re in my child’s kindergarten class. Could you pass the paint?”)

She said: “So I can deposit my money here?”

I replied: “Yes, I can help you with that. Do you have accounts with us here at **** Bank?”
(Should have replied: “Nope, we don’t accept money. Just firstborn.” or “Sorry, we just eat cash here. We don’t actually keep it safe for you.” or “Why are you depositing money? This is a KINDERGARTEN CLASS. Paint please?”)

She said, “I have to have an account with you? Can’t I give you money for my account at **** Bank?”

I said, “No, ma’am. That’s a totally different bank. We’re not affiliated with them. I can tell you where the nearest one is or we can open an account for you here. Which would be best for you?”
(Should have said: “Yes, that magical teleporter that brought your car inside the bank can also magically teleport your money to your bank!” or “Of course! All banks are connected! That’s why some banks are going bankrupt and other aren’t. It’s because we’re all branches of the same bank.” or “I asked nicely for the paint. We’re trying to teach all the kids to share. Could you please pass the paint?”)

She opted for directions to the nearest location of her bank, which was a few blocks away… down the same street, no need to “take a left here then a right there” or anything… just turn right and go two blocks.)

She then thanked me and as she was putting her car in reverse (with another car waiting behind her… she corrected before actually colliding) she said, “Thank you! See you next week!”

I replied with a simple, “Bye.”
(Should have said, “We’ll still have the teleporter then!” or “Next week we’re working on penmanship. Bring your lined paper!”)

“(Expensive Resort) Reservations, this is whiterabbit, how can I help you?”

“Is this (Expensive Resort) Reservations?”

sigh bang head on desk “Yes, it is.”

“Great! I need a room…”

This happens at least once a week. It’s minor, but it does get incredibly annoying.

Yep, I get that one often enough to be annoyed by it. My other favorite hotel-specific one is the weekly telephone caller who wants to know whether we’re open all night. I always want to offer a smart aleck answer (“Nope, we clear out the rooms and close between the hours of 3 and 5 am so that I can have my lunch break.”) But I’ve avoided saying that out loud, so far…

Maybe it’s just that the phone distorts a bit when it’s first picked up, so they miss the first few words. Wasn’t that the whole reason why they came up with ‘Hello’ as a way to start a telephone call? Or is that an urban legend…

Anyways, I often miss the first few words on a call and it’s annoying when it’s the company name. Perhaps if you said ‘Good morning, (Expensive Resort) Reservations…’ that might solve the problem?

I’ve been on the other end of ths one, too. If you’re forced to recite “(Expensive Resort) Reservations, this is whiterabbit, how can I help you?” 237 times a day, is it possible you’re saying it really fast and/or not enunciating enough?

I know there’ve been plenty of times I’ve called a business and the person who answers speaks so quickly/mechanically/bored that I have no idea what they just said, and need to confirm I’ve called the right place.