In October 2011 there was rain, rain and more rain. Ok, this is Ireland, we're used to that, but this time around we got a month's worth of precipitation in under 24 hours. Our shopping centre got hit with a MAJOR flood (Look it up on Twitter and Youtube. Hashtag whatthefliuch). This is relevant.
The Flood hit Monday night (about 25mins after I went home, thankfully). Tuesday the centre was closed to the public so that cleanup could go into effect. Wednesday the centre opened, and was reported on national radio to be so, but "individual stores may remain closed."
Our store is located on the Ground, Lower Ground and
My day on the door went pretty much like this:
ME: "Hi, we're sorry but we can't actually open, today."
Most Customers: "That's ok, do you know when you will be?"
ME: "We hope next week, but we'll need to make sure we're safe to do so. Our nearest other branches are X, Y and Z."
Most Customers: "Thank you, hope you get back running soon! KTHXBYE"
Occasionally someone would ask if any staff had been hurt, and one kindly older gent reminisced about a local flood years ago (before SC ever opened), which was ... nice. The nice ones were few and far between.
But the Majority of my day went like this:
Me: "Hi, we couldn't open today-"
THEM: "WHY NOT?!"
Me: "Um, well, you may not have heard. There was a massive flood--"
THEM: "I'm AWARE of that! Why are you not open!?"
Me: *fairly sure I just explained why not* "Well, we were flooded quite badly-"
THEM: "THEY SAID ON THE NEWS YOU WERE OPEN" (yes, they said it in CAPSLOCK)
Me: "No, what the news report stated was that the *centre* was open, but that there would be individual store closures due to the flood hitting." (I was never so proud of being able to recite by rote in my life.) "We hope to be open by next week, but our other branches..."
THEM: When's your Flood Damage Sale?
Me: I'm not sure we can sell that stock...
THEM: When is it?
(As it was, that stock that wasn't sent back to the insurer and was salvageable was not fit for sale to the general public, and so staff were given the option to buy it on the understanding that they wash the Hell out of whatever they got before wear. Food was destroyed.)
Also, you know how Hallowe'en is, like, only the most important day, like ever, in a child's life? (I don't remember it that way, myself) Well, our stores do kids' and adults' Hallowe'en costumes. Which were inaccessible due to our being closed to repair structural damage and clean up. So when customers arrived to pick up their little darlings' cossies there was all but murder.
One woman *actually* told me that we'd ruined her kid's childhood. Nothing I said sank in, I think I had the same three sentence conversation with her three or four times.
It was all I could do not to say that that had been my plan when arranging for the flood to happen :P
In the end I told her that all costumes had been shipped to our branch on the other side of the M50. And then I added sweetly that at least nobody had died in this freak accident of nature, and wished her a good day.
This next one is the one inspired by the recent posts ;)
One day a customer made it past both staff and the extra security that had been hired to guard the half-closed shutters (the electrics had fried when they were about halfway down, and they didn't dare shut them fully in case they trapped people inside) and picked her way past debris, through the strip-lit, stinking (literally - that river water was NOT CLEAN) shopfloor to the Customer Service Desk - where all our belongings were (our staff only level was shut for a week longer than the rest of the store) - and started asking people to fetch her order.
She was surprised and irritated to be turned away, because, "it'll only take a minute!" No, it will take considerably longer than that, because we're on emergency generator power, and ALL the tills are offline. Not to mention all orders were diverted over the M50. So not even in this branch.
Wow, this got long fast.
TL;DR God said to Noah "there's gonna be a floody-floody", and so the store is closed. People's brains do not compute store flooded with store closed.