Very few times at my job am I able to be vindicated in a conversation with a customer. I usually end up apologizing to them and doing what they ask and pray they don’t get mad. I have very little power in retail so I use what I have as best as I can.

I Had a husband and wife come in looking for an item for their daughter and knew exactly what they wanted. Their daughter gave them a list and they came prepared. Or so they thought.

The item they wanted doesn’t exist.

It was a combination of two items that are separate and where, at one time, together all in one system but was an original model that overheated and they stopped making them. The wife insisted that the newer model still did the job of 2 machines when in fact it did not. I explained to the customer that what they wanted did not exist and that I had the original model that did all that they wanted but the slimmer model was not able to do the work. Big surprise, they argued.

A lot.

They said they were sure that their daughter and her man (husband, boyfriend, guy friend?) knew what they were talking about and was I sure  I knew what I was talking about. I assured them that yes I knew what they wanted and that in fact I knew specifically that the model does not exist and yes I know their daughter was smart, but she is mistaken.

They called the daughter.

Through hushed whisper on the phone, they asked her if she was sure. She told them, yes she was right. She told them to go to a different store because I didn’t know what I was talking about. She claimed to have the newer model system that did everything she wanted and she wanted another.  Through the side of the phone conversation I heard, I could practically hear the “He is an idiot and doesn’t know anything” conversation happening.

Its OK, I am used to it.

They finally decided that they would bring in the system to show me that I was wrong and they were right. This is after thirty minutes of talking.

In a retail environment.

Half an hour, and they were going to take another 15 minutes to come up and prove me wrong.

I sighed.

So we wait for them to come in. I help other customers, make a phone call or two just to make sure I wasn’t forgetting to do some weird wild circumstance that I missed. I was agreed with on all fronts. Finally they come in. I check the system serial number and the settings and do my checks. I then check the system function that was in question.

Surprise, surprise, I was right.

The daughter and the guy were flabbergasted. How was I right? They were sure they checked the system. How was I right? Did I do it correctly? Was I sure? This was impossible. In all this the father broke in the conversation. He asked her to stop questioning me and that I was right to the fullest amount, and she needed to apologize to me.

Shocking, no?

The daughter mumbled something and they left without buying anything. The mom and dad came by, thanked me for my time and patience. They shock my hand and left.

I get very few wins in retail. I get even fewer apologizes. I chalk this up to a win.

Hug a pony my friends.


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