Angry Panties

Today, I had a customer come to the register with a pile of panties. I tell her a sale started this morning, which she’s utterly happy about. We get along just fine, until I scan all of her panties. There are promotions: buy ‘X of full-priced panties’ for Y dollars (3 for $25, 4 for $30, etc.), and she only needed one more for that promotional price. I tell her this.
“But they’re all on the same table,” she states.
“Oh, I guess we marked some on sale, but they didn’t remove the sale from the table. Did you want to get one more of the full-priced panties to get the discount?”
“But they’re on the same table, it says I get them for that price! They’re all on sale, right?”
I’m looking at the sale panties which are cheaper than the promotional price. I push the button on my walkie-talkie headset, and I speak into it, “Can the person in the panty section make sure to remove the sale items from the promotional table immediately?”
“I don’t know why there are sale panties on that table.”
“Don’t worry miss, I just told them to remove the sale panties, it’s all being handled. Do you want to get one more of the regular priced panties for the discount?”
She agrees and heads back there. I tell the person back there to help to woman with the panties. Sadly, this was only partly effective considering my coworker didn’t hear me, nor understood what was going on. I only hear a faint, “What did you say?” on the walkie-talkie.
So the woman returns with another pair of sale panties, which doesn’t activate the promotion. (You need four panties for promotion, or the register won’t accept it.)
“Oh, you grabbed another sale panty, I’m sorry–”
“What? What are you talking about? She said they are all on sale! You aren’t making any sense at all!”
And my coworker from the panty section says, “No, these are on sale,” she points first at the sale panties, then at the regular priced panties, “But these are full-priced, but also on sale.”
I gasp inside my head, because now I’m trapped between a confused customer, and a co-worker that is just as confusing. I try to tell the woman she’s picked several sale panties, and a few full-priced panties. For the discount, she needs one more full-priced panty.
She starts to yell, saying I’m not making any sense.
Another cashier comes up to me saying, “What’s going on here?!?”
I’m already over it, and I say, “Okay. Fine. I will give them all for the discount price.”
And the customer says, “Good.”
“So I’ll mark them all up to the discount price, because the sale panties are cheaper. Okay?”
That seemed clearer than anything else I said, because the woman suddenly didn’t want me to give her the discount, nor was I willing to bend at this point since I don’t like being yelled at.
“Wait, these sale panties are cheaper than the promotion price? Oh! So you’re saying I just need one more full-priced panty and those will be cheaper?”
“Yes.” I think to myself, “It says four for X dollars.”
“Oh, I get it now.”
I ask her if she just wants one more black, since those colors don’t generally go on sale. I decide to run and get the full-priced panty myself. The woman leaves happily saying she’s sorry about the confusion and wishes me happy holidays.

Epilogue: So another cashier comes up to me after the transaction and says, “So when you were talking on the walkie-talkie saying you’re handling the problem, I didn’t hear anything. You weren’t even pressing the button.”
I smirk a little.
“That’s a veteran move,” he says.
I nod, and quickly run to take all the sale panties away from the promotional panties.

Customer Type: Agreeing to Disagree, Big Baby, The Deaf

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One Response to “Angry Panties”

  1. Policy, Say What? « Memoirs of a Retail Salesperson Says:

    […] “Hello, thank you for calling,” I say as kindly as usual–to which I’ve received compliments from people on how polite I am. “Um, hello? Hi. Well, I have a question. I don’t know. You see, here, I bought a jacket for my daughter but it’s too small. And well, I have to see, I want to know, can I exchange it or something?” I’m already thinking, looking around, “Oh no, I don’t want this phone call!” I calmly reply, “Of course, do you have the tag the item came with? We can check its availability.” “Oh sure. I have it here.” Following the sound of ruffling and crunching, “Yes, here, I have it. What number do you want?” I explain to her where the number is and she finds it. She rattles off the number like a phone number, you know, the ones where they blur it all together, so all you hear is, “Fourseveneighteightnine… Six, two.” Closing my eyes tightly, I take a breath and ask her to repeat it, because I didn’t get the entire number. Of course, you know, she repeats it at the speed of snail. “Four… Seven…” I suddenly feel like I’m the dumb one in the conversation, which obviously she already believed to start with. “Oh, this item is only available online currently, or in another state.” “What does that mean? I can’t come in and pick it up from you?” As she asks the inevitable question, and much of our conversation becomes stagnant and preemptive, I search for the price of the item, and it’s a super-cheap sale item. No wonder it’s not available anymore. “You can come in and exchange the item for something else.” “No,” she raises her voice, “I want that jacket in a larger size! Where can I get it?” “It is available online,” but I note there is less than two-dozen left, so she would need to act fast if she wants that specific size. “So, I have to go online, and pay shipping fees to get this item?” “Yes. If you do want that specific item.” “No, are you saying I HAVE TO go and buy it online to get it?” “It is only available online or in another state.” “No, you aren’t answering my question!” “Excuse me?” She sighs loudly, yelling at me, “Can I speak to someone else! You don’t understand what I’m asking! I need a manager or something…” My face turns red, and her exceedingly low-intelligence has just busted my last nerve. I tell her I am a manager, and ask her specifically what she’s asking, because she said she wants an item that isn’t available our store. “I am asking if this is the policy!” “The policy is that you can come into the store to return the item…” “No! You aren’t answering my question! Is it the POLICY that I have to go online and order the item, if you don’t have it in the store?” My eyes roll into my head. Who is this woman? Where is her mother? Because her mother needs something. It’s called a slap. “No, that is not the policy. Because we do not have the item, and you want the item, in order to buy the item you need to order it. There is no policy for that. If we don’t have the item, our policy is we can let you exchange the item for something else.” “So how am I supposed to get the item!” “You buy it online.” “Oh. How much does that cost?” For some reason, at this point she stops yelling at me and starts talking to me like a human being once again. We work through the process and eventually reach an understanding. She hangs up happily, and proceeds to call online to order the item. End of story. Actually, no it isn’t. This woman reminded me so much of another encounter several months ago: Angry Panties […]

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