On my first day of working retail, I had a customer ask for help finding a box of bandaids. She was a little old lady and she spoke with an accent I couldn’t place, but I remember her being very polite. She had an empty box with her, and she was unable to find the correct replacement on the shelves. I helped her look but I couldn’t find it either. I ended up calling a manager to help.
The manager came over, and the first thing out of his mouth was: “Oh, so YOU’RE the band-aid lady!”
The lady broke into a huge smile and nodded eagerly, holding out her box of bandaids. I gathered she must have been a regular.
Manager: “What’s the problem here?”
Me: “She’s trying to get this exact box and she says she found it here before, but it’s no longer on the shelves.”
Manager: examines the customer’s bandaid box “Oh, I’ve got it. it’s this one here.”
The manager picks up a box from the shelf of the same size and brand, however, the packaging is visibly different.
Customer: “No, no, that not right! It look different.”
Manager: “Yes, that’s because the company changed their packaging recently. You can see the barcode is exactly the same.” He points to the numbers on the barcodes, showing that they are identical.
Customer: eyes wide “Oooh.” pause “But I can’t buy this, I need this one.” she points again to her brought-from-home-box.
Manager: “I promise you, it’s the exact same product by the same brand, they just changed the packaging.”
Customer: nodding furiously “No no I know. I understand. But my husband want this one. He no understand.”
Manager: “Your husband?”
Customer: “My husband … he…” She is visibly struggling, like she’s trying to find the right words. “His head, it - it like brick.”
The earnesty on her face combined with the unexpectedness of that line destroys my composure entirely. The customer looks at me and starts chuckling too. The manager’s face is also cracking but he manages to have more self-control than both of us.
Manager: “Well if your husband doesn’t like it, he can come in to the store and we’ll be happy to show him the barcode numbers too and explain to him how it’s the same product. Is that okay?”
The customer did find this acceptable, and ultimately left with the new box of bandaids in their new packaging. To my knowledge her brick-headed husband managed to accept the change without coming in and complaining.
Of all the customer interactions I ever dealt with at that job, that one was by far my favourite.
NAR Community: Wdyt? Is it suitable for NAR, or is it more of a “you had to be there” story? Also, the woman’s accent made her extra endearing to me, but if that tone doesn’t carry over properly to NAR then I’d rather not submit it either. Thanks ^^