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Strange things asked for


Enchantra
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I've worked at Michaels now almost four years. I've seen people come and go. I've seen Customers who have come in practically running in heels to get an item they just felt they couldn't live without in the middle of a snowstorm. But what makes my day sometimes is the laughter I get sharing with my coworkers the strange things people have asked me for. Me and several coworkers now have a running list of the strangest items we have been asked for. Some of them are almost beyond laughable. Keep in mind, for those of you who don't know, Michaels is a craft store in most of the US and Canada.

 

Here's a comprehensive listing.

 

-Personal lubricant (This came in one year a few days before Christmas. At first I thought the person on the phone was looking for lubricant to use in an airbrush, when I realized what they wanted I politely informed them we didn't carry it and to call a Pharmacy. If any of you on this board have ever called a Michaels store, the standard greeting is, "Goodmorning/Afternoon, This is Michaels arts and crafts in (insert city/town here), how may I help you?" No excuse to NOT know after that greeting that we are not a pharmacy. After I hung up the phone I laughed myself silly in the employee breakroom.)

-Box fans

-Ceiling fans

-Snowshoes

-Horseshoes

-Magnetic dart boards (One of Today's customers.)

-Hockey Sticks

-Long Roofing nails

-Washers

-Plumbers' putty (No they were not into minis.)

-Large gallon jugs of acetone

-Thick nylon twine (This isn't horridly strange, but it gets asked A LOT.)

-Drill Press

-Ibuprofen

-Bags of sugar

-5 Gallon drum of turpentine (Why would you need so much??)

-Boy/Girl scout patches

 

The stupidest questions ever asked. I used to believe there was no such thing as a stupid question until working at this store.

 

-"Is there glue in gluesticks?"

-"Is there paint in paintpens?" (Both of the listed uttered from the mouth of a woman who was homeschooling her three children. I'm scared. I pray she is getting help from other more intelligent people to teach those kids.)

-"What is this called?" (Package says on it in huge letters, "Gold Leafing flakes." And yes, the person could read.)

-"Is this able to be eaten once baked?" (Woman holding up a block of sculpey.)

-"Is this your sticker Aisle?" (Woman pointing at the wall of stickers she is standing in front of. My only thought, "Duh!")

-"Do you work here?" (No, I just wear this huge blinking beacon of a red apron because I have an obsession for the color red. )

-"Where is your Memory Book Department?" Uttered by a woman who just entered the store and is standing in the department as she enters surrounded by scrapbooking paper and the books themselves. I just pointed up at the huge sign hanging over my head that read, "Memory Books."

-"Where is your yarn?" Uttered by a woman standing in the main yarn aisle.

-"Oh this isn't a bookstore?" Uttered by an older woman who came into our store and asked where the Children's book section of our store was and if we had an area where she could sit and review them before purchasing them. I wouldn't have believed the employee who had this customer say this had I not witnessed the exchange.

 

Stupid things uttered or done by fellow employees:

 

-"Where is the direct freight that needs to be put away?" ME: The same place it has been every day that you have worked here, right next to my desk." (This coming from a guy who asks me this almost regularly, sometimes more than twice in a 5 hour period. We do pray he is sterile and won't be able to reproduce. He messes up EVERYTHING he stocks. The only thing we have found he is good at is helping me unload a truck because he is tall and strong.)

-The firedoor in receiving says "Alarm will sound when opened." One of the pre-Christmas stocking crew apparently didn't understand this and I had my lunch rudely interrupted by being paged to receiving to take care of it with my keys.

-The box says "Fragile, Glass." The cashier who is handling said case of glass for a customer proceeds to slam it down onto her counter. All you hear is clinking of shattered glass. Result: A stupid cashier and one ticked off customer. Cashier's reasoning for slamming down the box, "It was heavy." Well duh, it's glass, get help lifting it!

-During the Christmas Season it's my job to slide artificial trees out the receiving door into Customer's vehicles. I get paged within 30 seconds for two different trees by two different cashiers. No biggie. Not 10 seconds later one of the same cashiers pages me to come to their register. What part of "I cannot come, I'm hauling the trees you just paged for, do you not understand?" The Manager who was in the stockroom with me made a face at the page. Her only comment was, "What the #$*&^(# , they just paged you for trees, you cannot do a price check at the same time." She took care of the register issue while I hauled the trees.

-A cashier who was doing stocking and acting as backup for the registers brings me a box of broken pottery. She looks at me and asks plain as day, "Where should these go on the shelf out there? They are broken, but not badly." I blinked. I held my tongue and was as polite as possible. "They are broken, whether only cracked or chipped, a customer won't buy them. Leave them here, I'll damage them out." She didn't last long after that.

 

So what funny things do you have to share?? Stupid things you have been asked?

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welll when I was working days & early in my illustrious career at Alby's, a hispanic man came up to me & said something in Spanish, I was like uhhh here?!, no no bla blah, took him to somewhere else-here?! no no after about 10-15 mins he finally spit out in English BATHROOM!!, I was like oh over there. ::D:

 

 

Randy M

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Those are hiliarious.

 

This just happened last week. I am a salesmanager at a car dealership, and I get a call from an older lady who wants to trade her 1997 Crown Victoria for a new Grand Marquis. So my salesman says he needs to bring it to her because she broker her foot and can't drive. No problem. I talk to her on the phone, "I only want a light color, it has to be a 2005 or only one year old with low miles and no more than 20K difference. Again no problem. So I send my salesman out to her house with a 2004 beautiful ice blue Grand Marquis with about 10K miles.

 

He comes back about 45 minutes later and said that was the meanest old lady he ever met. She yellled at him it was not a new car nor sliver and had leather. Then she slammed down the garage door with him standing in the way.

 

So I get her on the phone. She again told me it had to be new or only a year old. I reminded her that a 2004 was a year old. She agreed that she had said a one year old car, but not a 2004. :blink:

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For the old woman thinking the Michaels as a bookstore, I could see it happening at the one closest to me since there is a Barnes and Noble right next door.

 

Most seem pretty tame. When I worked at Computer City, we had people come in all the time looking for televisions, washers and dryers, and refridgerators. They'd confuse our store with being Circuit City. I even had one guy come in wanting to pay on his Circuit City credit card.

 

A lot of people these days expect stores to carry more than just basic things. Michaels gets confused with Garden Ridge or Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby gets confused with Michaels or Hobbytown USA. Garden Ridge is mistaken for a gardening center and people go in looking for plants (you won't find any there, despite the name) or they think it's Pottery Barn.

 

Of course it doesn't help when you have all those stores lumped together into one giant area and people are suddenly confused about where they are.

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Although it has nothing to do with chain stores, it does have to do with my friend and his experience at Taco del Mar.

 

friend: How much for the large fish taco?

cashier: Uh.... beans... cheese... sour cream....

friend: No, how much is it?

cashier: ...

friend: How much is the large fish taco?

cashier: ... beans... fish... cheese...

friend: @##!%&*!!1

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I don't even bother asking for help at the Michaels in Nashua, NH, most of the staff are incompetent there. I've just learned to never ask for help. I'd go elsewhere, but it is the closest one that is tax free. The one in Chelmsford, MA is much nicer, there is a significant increase in the number of active and functional brain cells. It's more expensive though with the taxes and all.

 

Before I stopped seeking help from the staff...

 

Presuming I could pry the teenie boppers away from gabbing with each other, or the senile older woman at Customer Service hears me.

 

1)

I ask if they carry a specific item, and inform them I have searched the aisle for the past 20 minutes. They bring me back down there and look for like 2 seconds. "It's not here."

NO $%^$*$##%%% why do you think I am asking if you carry it. I looked. I said I looked in the specific aisle you are taking me to. I said I looked in the specific area you are looking at. There's this neat thing called inventory. It says whether it is even available at the store or not.

 

2)

"Are premium paint brushes such as Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sables kept in a locked display somewhere or do you not sell them."

"What's that?"

"A very good, very expensive paintbrush. Do you have them for sale?"

"We sell Winsor and Newton paints."

"Paint Brushes."

"Those are in the Fine Arts aisle."

"Yes, I know. I am looking for a specific brush. Winsor and Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sables. Most places keep them in a locked display case because they are very expensive and easy to shoplift. They are not usually stored with the other brushes. Do you carry them at all in your store? They were not in with the other brushes, I looked thoroughly."

"What are Kolinskys?"

"Thank you. Have a good day."

"Okay. You're welcome. If you need any more help, let us know."

 

I almost rang her pretty little empty blonde neck.

 

3)

"Hi I am looking for Liquitex Slo Dri Fluid Retarder. I could not find it on the shelf in fluid, only gel form. Do you stock or sell the Fluid version"

<Brought to paint additive aisle>

"We have this" <holds up Gel Retarder> "This is the same thing."

"No it isn't. This is gel. It is completely different. That is why I asked for fluid. It is in an orange bottle, not a tube."

<gets Green Slo Dri Blending Medium>

"How about this?"

"No, that is different too. It's also in a green bottle. What I want comes in an orange bottle."

"Oh. Really? But this says Slo Dri too."

"Does it say Fluid Retarder?"

"Nope, Blending Medium."

"Then it's different."

:grr:

 

 

I think your idiot customers deserve my idiot sales associates Enchantra.

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I worked in a gas station. And the batteries where on an end cap just past the security area, on the other side of the store, so they did have to walk a little ways to get to them. However, the ONLY people who ever asked me where the batteries were, were standing in front of the batteries. I mean, that was one of the most common questions I would get, and every one of them were standing right next to them. Literally in front of them!!

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I have had two absolutely off the wall requests/incidents in my years at half price books... one was while i was stocking the children's non-fiction section in a store in one of the more upscale suburbs here in dallas - had a nice looking soccer-mom type lady with her two children come up to me, look around furtively as if to see if anyone was watching, gets really close in to me and really wide eyed and ask if we sold any skeletons. It being a bookstore and all, I assumed she meant books about skeletons so i showed her where those were, then she clarifies that no she didn't want a book about skeletons, so i asked if she was wanting a model, but she again clarifies that no she was asking if we happened to have a REAL human skeleton she could purchase, or know where she could find one - now we often see some strange things when we do buys, but never have I come across a human bone of any kind, then she really creeped me out when she asked if we could buy one if someone brought one in - apparently because of the way i started looking for somewhere else I needed to be when she asked that she explained that it was because she was homeschooling her childern and her son was wanting to learn anatomy, I suppose that she was wanting to know if she could sell it back when he was done - but it was incredibly creepy none the less - homeschooling the next generation of necromancers I suppose...

 

The only other memorable incident was after a transfer to another store in a less affluent part of town - an older woman that came in incredibly upset about a CD she had bought that didn't work because when she put it in her car stereo nothing happened we had offered to refund her money but she wasn't interested she wanted us to make it work... Being the resident computer geek, she got pawned off on me (it seems to my co-workers knowledge of computers equates to in depth knowledge of video games, comic books, movies, history, science fiction, horror, roleplaying games (ok that one is accurate) and anything that involves electronics or plugs into a wall) I mentioned that she might need to check the volume control, and to see if there was some kind of power button, and that there might be something in the owners manual, but that i really wasn't too knowledgeable about car stereo systems since I don't have anything more advanced than a dealer installed cassette player in my car, and that if she needed more in depth information she might try asking at a place that sells electronics or car stereos such as the best buy or tweeters just up the road - I was trying to be calm and rational and as helpful as I could be with what little knowledge I had but she kept interrupting and shouting obsceneties, eventually she apparently got tired of yelling at me and stormed out screaming about how she couldn't believe than there was NO ONE in the store that could tell her how to operate the stereo in HER car (without seeing it or anything) when she left and actually put her keys in the car and started it, that "malfunctioning" CD player started blaring music across the parking lot.... according to a co-worker on a smoke break who came in to investigate the commotion she had apparently just been sticking the cd in while her car was turned off...

 

then of course there's the typical ones.... customer wanders in and just says "I'm looking for a book...."

"ok what's the title?"

"well I don't really remember"

"author?"

"uhm... not sure, but I need it for a class... and it's purple I think, or maybe blue, and it's about this big" *makes motions with hands*

 

 

and of course I am always getting "axed" for a "pacific" book - I keep wanting to send them to the oceanography section every time I hear that one

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Heh, got one from my days working at the Humane Society... I had a lot of awesome stories too but the best I heard happened to another guy.

 

A couple found a dog and called in to have it picked up. When the officer arrived he found they had locked the dog in their back yard inside a 6' tall chain link fence. First problem, the couple had misplaced the key to the padlock and searched for several minutes before the officer asked if he could just take the dog thru the house. The wife adamantly refused the idea which obviously seemed reasonable enough to the husband. So reasonable in fact that he opted to pull out his chainsaw(!) with the thought of either cutting off the padlock or somehow cutting thru the chainlink. Fortunately, before anyone was killed/maimed the officer noticed that the key to the padlock was still in the padlock...

 

This really doesn't seem all that unreasonable given the area. It's an odd thing, between the town I live in and the town 5 minutes south of us there appears to be about a 20pt IQ drop for the average person. Really a remarkable thing...

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Although it has nothing to do with chain stores, it does have to do with my friend and his experience at Taco del Mar.

 

friend: How much for the large fish taco?

cashier: Uh.... beans... cheese... sour cream....

friend: No, how much is it?

cashier: ...

friend: How much is the large fish taco?

cashier: ... beans... fish... cheese...

friend: @##!%&*!!1

ha ha

 

now there some great current customer service work right there. Shows what or how some people are when they are behind that register.

 

Randy M

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I don't even bother asking for help at the Michaels in Nashua, NH, most of the staff are incompetent there. I've just learned to never ask for help. I'd go elsewhere, but it is the closest one that is tax free. The one in Chelmsford, MA is much nicer, there is a significant increase in the number of active and functional brain cells. It's more expensive though with the taxes and all.

 

I think your idiot customers deserve my idiot sales associates Enchantra.

Qwyk, just ask me. I know the answers.

No we do not sell series seven brushes.

No I have not seen the green labeled Slo Dri. It's probably the only liquitex product we don't carry, and I've been trying to figure out why.

 

As for your problems at that particular store, have you spoken with their manager about the issue? If you did and there was no resolution to the problem, I would find out who the district manager is and get ahold of him/her.

 

The really unfortunate thing is that for a base pay of $6 an hour, which is minimum wage here in NY, you are not going to get decent help. If someone with a brain does apply, they usually laugh at management when told what they will be paid. Corporate won't allow them to pay someone more either. So the result? We get some highly incompetent people working for us. And unfortunately in my store these incompetent people all seem to be stocking crew and cashiers. On more than a handful of occassions I have had to clean up problems caused by these less than able-minded people. If it wasn't an improperly stocked product, it was a pissed off customer.

 

I started at Michaels as a part time cashier back when I was working Full-time at JCPenney in the Mall. I only went to Michaels on a more permanent basis because I was being harrassed by my supervisor at Pennies and so I told her off and quit. Otherwise the intelligence level seemed to be much higher at Pennies. As a company though and the benefits they offer employees, Michaels was a better choice than Pennies by a longshot.

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Wow. The green bottles of Slo Dri Blending Medium were always carried at EVERY Michaels around here. It contains a little gloss acryllic medium, a little Slo Dri Retarder and a little Flow Aid. It's premade gunk sort of. I liken it to the equivalent of starting with a jar of Spaghetti sauce and then adding in more seasonings and crushed tomatoes, etc.

 

They just started recently carrying the Slo Dri Fluid Extender (orange bottles) again, but only in those dinky little 2 oz bottles.

 

Most of my incidents happened between 1 and 2 years ago, closer to 2, when I was first getting lock stock and barrel into the hobby.

 

I've actually talked to the manager when looking for things in the past because the floor staff couldn't find the floor they were walking on. That was how I found out at least locally, none of their stores even stocked the SloDri Fluid Retarder. It wasn't even available on their computerized inventory for ordering. Even the manager was surprised about that. "Wow, it looks like we carry everything but. That's odd."

 

I just, whever possible, give my business to another place. There's a wonderful little art supply store in Arlington, MA where I can get most everything I need.

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Ok, I work in the explosives industry so we don't have a lot of idiot customer problems. We do however have one. One of the side products that we make is a UREA solution, used as a fertilizer. Urea solution is a clear liquid, but we cannot sell it as suck because the majority of the farmers we deal with have a "if it's clear it won't work mentality." So we end up putting a blue dye, basically food coloring into it. All of the sudden the pruduct works... go figure.

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When I did time at a software etc., one very unwashed man came in to try to purchase some specific adult novelties. I just won't go into the specifics.

 

And although I've thankfully forgotten most of the stories, I did have one very rude man in a white t-shirt and a bra come in once.

 

There's one horror story to tell as a customer, too. I remember walking into a record store just outside Detroit with my parents. They were trying to get one of Alice Cooper's less popular albums. When they mentioned the name, the clerk asked "what kind of music does she do?"

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Working tech support for a software product our company sold to home care nurses, I was walking a new customer through the installation. Her screen resolution was skewed, and she says, 'my words and letters are all big and stuff'. I think ok I'll walk her through changing her resolution. I asked her to right click on the screen, and she says 'right click? What's that?' Now I know there are people out there that are not computer savvy, but to be working on a computer, in your job, installing the new software for your job, and you don't know right click?

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