GETTING MORE TALE #642: Who Was Your Servant Last Year?
I had a few big pet peeves at the Record Store, but I absolutely hated those customers who needed me to do everything for them. I don’t mean “Can you put these CDs back for me?” I don’t mind that. If I put them back at least I know they’re going back to the right place. I’d prefer to put them back myself. I’m talking about things far less reasonable. (Note: some of these stories previously appeared in Klassic Kwotes.)
Imagine this scenario.
Customer: “I heard a song on the radio, and it goes like this.” They sing a snippet. “Do you know what it is? They never say the names of the songs on the radio.”
Me: “I can’t tell from that, but I always advise people to call the station when they hear the song so you can ask them what they just played.”
Customer: “Come on you have to know the song. It’s really popular!”
Me: “Sorry I don’t, but the radio station will be able to tell you.”
Customer: “Can you call the radio station for me and ask?”
Whaaaaat? Do you want me to sing that out-of-key snippet too? Come on people. Do your own homework. You heard the song, not me. Be a grown-up and ask yourself. Fortunately, record store kids probably don’t get this question anymore. Radio station websites list all their recently played music now.
Another real favourite: “Can you watch my kid for me while I go to Canadian Tire?”
Who the hell trusts a random record store guy to watch their kid? Bad parenting, people. Never ever do this.
One person asked for a list of everything he bought from us. What? We don’t keep that data. It would be something of an invasion of privacy if we did!
Another gentleman had an SACD (Super Audio CD) that he bought at our store, but was dissatisfied. When he played it at home, the little SACD logo on his player didn’t light up. Why? I don’t know. I’ve never owned any SACDs or any SACD players. But this guy was quite insistent. “I want you to write to Sony and find out why my player doesn’t light up when I play the Super Audio CD I bought here.”
I did not write to Sony and ask. I also couldn’t believe he’d ask me to do it.
One guy lost his entire CD collection. Whether it was in a fire or to theft, I cannot remember. He asked me to help with his insurance claim. He needed retail prices for all the CDs he lost, and he had an extensive list. I complied with his request because sometimes in the past, people would replace their CDs by buying them at my store. I once made a huge $1000 sale off an insurance claim. A lot of people liked coming to a used CD store to replace CDs because they’d get a lot more music for their money.
I went through his list and provided the best estimates for retail prices I could, which took a few days. I did this at home using my own bandwidth. There were some that were out of print that he wouldn’t be able to replace easily, but I got him most of the prices. We then discussed replacing them.
“I could probably get most of them for you used, for half the price, right away,” I told him.
“Oh, I don’t want used,” he demurred.
“That’s what we sell,” I explained, having already done all this work for him.
And I didn’t make a sale – not even one disc. Two days’ work and all wasted, because this guy didn’t bother to check what kind of store he walked in to. He took his insurance claim and went to Future Shop. I guess there’s a sucker born every minute and I was one.
Finally, there was one older gentleman who wasn’t a jerk. Yes, I only have one story about a guy who asked for a lot of help, who wasn’t a jerk.
The man walked in and asked if I could find a CD for him. It was a combo that he had seen play at a resort. If they had CDs for sale, he would like some. Most of the time it’s best to ask the band while you’re at the actual gig if they have merchandise for sale. He knew it wouldn’t be easy for me to find out, so he paid me for my legwork. He handed me a $20. I didn’t want to accept the money but he insisted. “Just let me know if you find anything,” he said, and I got to work.
I found the website for the hotel but there was not much there. I contacted them with as much information as I could provide, hoping at least to find out the name of the group. They never got back to me and I eventually gave up the search.
Yet that was the first customer who asked for a big favour and actually appreciated the effort. I won’t forget that. It’s too bad that there are jerks out there that treat retail employees like their own personal servants.