Retail Horror: Part 3

Today, a story from Toys “R” Us!
This one, of all my retail horror stories, is the only one that could be considered at all my fault. This lady came up and bought a lot of small items. I don’t remember exactly how many, but it was over a dozen items, and the total retail value was over 100 dollars. It was only my fifth or so day at the job, and the woman asked for gift receipts for each item, as most of the gifts were for a lot of upcoming birthdays.
Gift Receipts are receipts that don’t include the price, so that a person may return an item without knowing how much you spent on them. Which is kind of stupid, because you can just look up the price of something online. But I digress.
Now, at TRU, in 2004, there were three options we were presented with, when it came to gift receipts. The first was No Gift Receipt. This was the most frequently-used option, as most people were just buying things for themselves. The second option was Single Gift Receipt, so all the items would be placed on one receipt with no prices listed. This was the Gift Receipt option that I saw used the most that wasn’t none. Finally, there was Individual Gift Receipts, where one Gift Receipt is printed for each item being purchased, resulting in a multitude of receipts at the end of the transaction.
Also, it was totally still my first week, and this particular TRU store, at least at the time, did not do a very good job of training. I had three half-days of working with another employee, who showed me the basics of everything we do in the “R” Zone (video game section), and on my fourth day (which was my first full day), I was left alone to run the “R” Zone all by myself. I think this particular event took place on my first solo Saturday. Obviously, there were other people in the store, but not as many as you’d think.
The woman, in addition to asking me for individual gift receipts for each item, also asked me to hurry up. Apparently, she had left her child at the nearby Chuck E. Cheese’s, and wanted to quickly get back to him. So, in my attempt to hurry, I accidentally hit the No Gift Receipt option, out of the habit I’d already formed after just a few days on the job. And the lady freaked out about this mistake, and demanded that I fix this situation, and re-do the entire transaction so she could have her gift receipts. Also, I had to hurry, because she had abandoned her child.
For the record, the only Chuck E. Cheese’s nearby was one that was on the other side of the shopping center from the TRU at which I worked. Like, her kid could’ve walked over to TRU and it wouldn’t have been a big deal at all. So it’s not like she left her son very far away.
Now, why the heck this lady was paying for a dozen or so toys in the “R” Zone is beyond me – I was not the only register open, and you had to go completely out of your way to get to me, over any of the regular registers. Secondly, after exiting the “R” Zone, you had to go past all the regular registers, anyways, before leaving the store! So this lady thought that coming over to me, way out of her way, would be faster. Of course.
In addition, in order to void out her previous transaction, I had to call over a manager. But the store was always understaffed, because TRU corporate didn’t give us enough hours to go around. So it took something like 15 minutes for a manager to get over to me, even though I had a walkie-talkie unit that I used to radio them, directly.
And, of course, by this time, there was a line of people who just wanted to buy one or two games lining up behind this lady, who was still complaining about the fact that she left her child alone at Chuck E. Cheese’s.
LISTEN, LADY: YOU ARE THE MORON WHO ABANDONED YOUR CHILD. That is NOT *my* problem. Yes, I made a mistake. But if anything happened to your son, that’s your own damn fault for being a fucking moron and leaving your kid unattended.
PLUS! I don’t know what kind of sissy she raised, but if I was left alone at Chuck E. Cheese’s for an extra 20 minutes, I wouldn’t even have noticed. Or I would’ve considered it extra time to play Whack-A-Gator and Air Hockey. Or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game, if this story took place back when I was a kid. You know, back in the late 80s, when there were a LOT more skeevy people wandering around places like that, and security was nonexistent. And, uh, I turned out fine.
Which leads me to a thought about the media: There are SO MANY stories of child molestation and/or abduction out there right now. What about the 99%+ of the kids out there who are absolutely fine? This isn’t to make like of things like that happening; They absolutely do, and we need to all be aware of such a thing happening to not only our own children, but everybody else’s kids, too. But the fact of the matter is, these particular Toys “R” Us and Chuck E. Cheese’s locations were in the nicer part of town, and both places were always totally crowded with loudmouth kids on Saturdays. So nothing was going to happen, and if anything did, they wouldn’t have been quiet about it.
And, hey, look, I’m not saying my hitting the wrong key wasn’t my fault. It absolutely was. But this lady went to the “wrong” register in the first place, while leaving her kid alone. And one of those was far more of an issue than me accidentally not printing her up some gift receipts.
So, anyways. The manager on duty comes over, helps me get through this whole fiasco, and then GIVES THE LADY A $20 TOYS “R” US GIFTCARD FOR HER INCONVENIENCE. THE INCONVENIENCE OF HER BEING AN IDIOT?!?
I could not BELIEVE that when it happened.
Hey, if something happened to that kid, I’m really sorry. But since we never received any complaints, the kid was probably just playing Skeeball for an extra 20 minutes and didn’t even notice. And she was rewarded 20 bucks for being an asshole in every metaphorical sense of the word.
Meanwhile, I got yelled at by her for 20 minutes, and basically scolded by my manager, who told not to make that sort of mistake again.
I quit Toys “R” Us two weeks later, and shortly afterwards got employed in a cafeteria to clean tables, which was a FAR better job.
The moral of this story? Don’t get jobs in places you like to shop, because the other customers are fucking insane.