Although I have a lot of back stories that I wish I could write, I'm just going to have to start with today, and if I feel the need to tell a story sometime, then I'll go back in time and pull out a good juicy one.
There is this horrible, horrible feeling that you get in your chest when you wake up late. And you know you're late. You just know. For me, I don't know exactly how late I am until I put on my glasses. So I lift up my head, and I'm thinking to myself, "Ok, how late am I? How much do I have to haul ass to get in on time?" On time being 9:45am. Usually I'm there at 9:50, but whatever.
It was 10. I was fifteen minutes late before I even got out of bed.
So the first thing I thought to do was call my boss. Foolishly, I did. This, of course, ended any chance I had of covering my ass with a good 30 minutes late excuse. You can't have a really good excuse if you've called 15 minutes into the damn thing. I spent my whole shower trying to figure out what the hell I could say, and eventually on my way in I actually called my mother to ask her for a good excuse. She, of course, thought I was insane and said I should just tell the truth. Silly woman. So, excuseless, I went in. I did, however, figure out how to partially cover my ass. The first thing I said, out of breath, was "I know I'm late, I'm sorry, I figured since I'm half an hour late, I won't take lunch today." Rob, thankfully, took the bait.
"Oh are you ok? Is everything alright?"
"Yeah, no, I'm fine, thanks."
"Ok, well, that's good."
"Yeah, so, this basket of stuffed animals, do they need to be priced and shelved?"
Didn't have to explain why I was late, didn't have to get any grief about it, life was good.
We always get at least one weird customer everyday, and today was no exception. It was a busy day, which usually means we're lucky enough to get more than one crazy, but today, only one was really memorable.
This woman was a previously-seen customer. The last time she had come in, she was looking for a sketchbook. When Rob took her to them, she picked one up, flipped through it, put it back, and then reached in and pulled one out from about three deep. Rob looked at her and said, "Is there something wrong with the first one you had?" She looked at him and replied, "There was a crease in the cover." Rob, of course, got annoyed with her, and his response was actually pretty funny.
"Well, you know how that happens? Customers come in and they look at things, and then they put them back on the shelf and purchase a different one and leave the one they already handled."
The woman looked at him, nodded, and said, in all seriousness, "That is terribly frustrating, isn't it?" Rob just stared at her.
She then went to the Thomas the Tank Engine section and was looking at trains. From a distance, Rob watched her open a "George" train's packaging, examine the train and run it across a shelf, and put it back on the shelf. Yet again, she called upon him for help. This time she wanted to know if there were any more of the "George" engines in the storeroom.
"Well, there might be, but are you getting two? There's already one on the shelf."
"No, but this one looks like it has already been opened."
"Well, ma'am, you remember what I said earlier, people come in here and they open the toys and then they don't purchase the one that they opened."
"Well, do you have any more?"
Rob went and looked in the computer. The inventory said there should be about 10 more in the storeroom. Occasionally the inventory is off by one or two, but not 10; there should clearly be plenty down there.
"We might, let me go look."
So, as Rob later said, he brought up a new "George," against his better judgment, but in the hopes that the woman would leave and not come back.
Today, when the woman came in, she brought her son with her. She was looking at a Bob the Builder toy that moved around and danced. She took it down off the shelf, and she and her son tried it out and she let him hold onto it while she went and found an employee. Again, she managed to find Rob.
"Excuse me, do you have more of the Bob the Builder dolls?"
Rob recognized her, and he looked over and watched her son playing with the Bob toy still strapped into his packaging.
"Are you looking to buy two?"
"Well no, but there's only one on the shelf, and I would like a fresh one."
Rob says that at this point, he wanted to smack her, or at least say, "Remember what I told you before about people who come in and handle toys and then leave them? They're usually repeat offenders." He did not, however. He looked at her and replied,
"Ma'am, the toy that is on the shelf is perfectly fine, but you know, the reason that the toys might look handled is because people take them down off the shelves and they let their children handle them; that's why we keep those particular Bob toys on a high shelf so children can't reach them by themselves."
"I know, that's very frustrating. Do you have any more?"
"I will look in the computer."
I myself missed the entire exchange, and I only saw Rob come up to the counter looking quite vexed, holding the offending Bob toy.
"No, we don't. This is the last one."
There were twelve in the inventory, meaning at least ten or so in the store room.
The woman, of course, pulled her son away from the other toys he was then molesting, purchased the aforementioned Bob the Builder, and left, kind of in a huff, but not yelling or cursing.
One of the best parts of some of these stories is seeing how agitated Rob gets just in the retelling of the incident.