Friday, January 24, 2014

Retail Encounters of the Awkward Kind

When you work any job that requires constant interaction with customers, you're bound to have some weird encounters. Here are four stories from my ever-growing collection.


(Selling Despicable Me to a customer and her friend)

Me: Oh! Good choice. I love watching this movie with my little niece, she used to call it the Min-on movie.

Customer: (condescendingly) You mean the minION movie?

Me: Uh, yeah. I guess my 2 year old niece had trouble pronouncing minion.

I would have forgotten about it if I didn't overhear the woman tell her friend:  "People like her make me happy I got through school."


While working in the photo department of a large retail store, a man walked up to the counter holding a large poster frame. I asked how I could help, and he irately asked "Why doesn't anyone sell horizontal poster frames anywhere?!”. I asked him if I could see the frame, and upon seeing that it had hooks for both vertical and horizontal hanging on the back, I flipped it onto it's side. He stared at it for a second before sheepishly taking the frame and walking away.


(It’s almost Christmas and some of the most popular video games are sold out.)

Customer: Do you have any NBA 2K14 for Xbox? My son really wants it for Christmas and I can't find it anywhere.

Me: Sorry sir, we actually sold out of that one yesterday. We might be getting more tomorrow if you want to call in and check.

Customer: That’s ok. I’ll just wait while you go tell them to make another one.

Me: Please?

Customer: (very slowly like I'm stupid)  I'll wait here while you go in the back and have them make me another one!


I used to work for a popular shoe store chain that had a ‘returns anytime for any reason’ policy.

Customer: I want to return some shoes. They fell apart.
Me: Aw, I’m sorry to hear that. Let’s get that taken care of. Do you have the reciept and the shoes?

The customer then proceeded to hand me a receipt and set the box on the counter. I took the lid off the box to reveal a muddy, smelly, well worn pair of boy’s gym shoes. Glancing at the reciept, I realize that it’s over 9 months old. While I'm doing this, the customer is telling me about how her son “hardly ever wore them!” and “These shoes are brand new, and (shoe store) is just terrible!”

I pointed out the date on the receipt and she started yelling at me that clearly it was a misprint, and she had definitely bought those shoes just a a couple of weeks ago.

I was alone in the store, so I went ahead and returned them to get her to go away happy. To this day I’m amazed that someone would abuse the system just to get $14.99 back on a pair of her kid’s ratty gym shoes.

Have you ever had any goofy/awkward/bizarre encounters with a customer? Share in the comments! I'd love to read them. :D


  1. My favorite recurring one while working in a sandwich shop was customers asking how long our 12in sub was. Happened at least once a week.

    Not mine but more good ones:

    1. That is pretty sad/hilarious! I am convinced that a lot of people don't process what they are actually saying sometimes.

      I love that website! :)