Someone on Reddit recently described an altercation they had with a customer when they worked in retail. On a busy day, this customer was rude, selfish, insulting, and holding up the line with her incredibly awkward request. Thankfully, karma struck a moment later. Here’s the story:
The Original Poster (OP) starts by explaining they used to be an assistant manager of a retail store that sold art supplies. It was an affluent part of town, and many of their customers were, as OP puts it, “bored housewives who’d drop $500 because they wanted a hobby.” On the day of the incident, the company had decided to offer a single-day coupon for Black Friday.
The Store Was Swamped
The coupon worked a treat and attracted swathes of customers into the store that weekend. Saturday and Sunday were both totally swamped, too.
OP Was Running a Register
OP was running a register that weekend, doing their very best to help customers as efficiently as possible to stop the line from getting too long. That’s when the star of this particular show entered the picture. OP refers to her as Debbie.
Debbie Made an Awkward Request
When Debbie arrived at the checkout, she didn’t want to buy anything. Instead, she landed three bags full of art supplies in front of OP and said, “I want to return all of this stuff and rebuy it.” Why? Because she bought it at the store where should lives, which happens to be 1500 miles away, where the tax rate’s higher. She wanted to return and buy it there so she could pay lower taxes.
After explaining what she wanted OP to do for her, Debbie told them to hurry up because she was tired after driving all day.
OP Didn’t Have a Choice
As awkward as it’d be on such a busy day, OP had no choice but to handle Debbie’s request. They knew it was ridiculous – after all, it was going to save Debbie about $2.50 – but that was their job, so they got started.
It Got Worse
Unfortunately for OP, when they were doing the return, they realized the totals weren’t going to match up. After seeking advice from a support rep, they ended up having to manually adjust every single price to make the tax and totals align. The whole time this is going on, Debbie’s complaining. OP, she says, is taking too long.
The Insults Began
OP eventually finished the return, but Debbie was more annoyed by how long it had taken, saying “It’s about time. You’d be done already if you weren’t so stupid. Now I want to buy it all again.” OP managed to keep calm, but – seeing as they’re so stupid – decided to make absolutely sure they rang up each of Debbie’s dozens of individual items correctly.
OP Took Their Time
OP was in no rush at this point, but Debbie wasn’t happy by how long the process of scanning items (and looking up any that didn’t scan) was taking. She got increasingly frustrated, issuing more and more insults as time went by. As you’d expect, the other customers waiting in line weren’t happy either.
Finally, everything was done and OP gave Debbie the total she had to pay. But here’s the thing. Recall that coupon the company had been running? Well, it was no longer in the system. That meant Debbie’s new total, despite paying a lower tax rate, ended up being much more expensive than the previous one.
Debbie Wasn’t Happy
As you can probably guess, Debbie didn’t take this news well. In fact, that’s an understatement. She literally screeched. Words became noise. Loving this unexpected twist of fate, OP apologized, telling Debbie the coupon was no longer valid. In a fit of anger, she paid, picked everything up, and left the store.
What Do You Think of Debbie?
There’s only one villain in this story: Debbie. As anyone who works in hospitality or retail can attest, the customers make a huge difference to your experience each day. Someone who is polite and smiley can make your day. But someone like Debbie can leave you upset and bitter. What are your thoughts on how OP handled the situation? Would you have done something differently?
Drop a comment to let us know.
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