“I work in a very high-end chocolate store, and I kid you not when I say we make the best chocolate in the world. How high end, you ask? Some of our coworkers wanted to jazz our days up by attaching spoons to the pens we use for credit card receipts and draw some smiley faces on them. Our boss sat us all down and explained that we were way too classy of a store to allow that to happen.
We usually give out samples of fudge or ice cream whenever people ask for them, but when it’s really busy and the store is full, we just put out a plate and let people go after them. A little risky perhaps, but we seem to have faith in the goodness of our customers, something I tend to doubt from time to time.
One busy day, we had a bunch of caramel bars out in the store for people to sample, and a group of people were gathering around them, all of a sudden, we heard a voice call out above the others.
‘Oh my god! I found a tooth in the chocolate!’
My manager and I snapped into action. All these companies and other industries had been in a lot of trouble when people found body parts in their food, so we wanted to defuse the situation as fast as possible. Unfortunately, if you find a tooth and start shouting about it in front of a bunch of people, you will start what we in the retail world refer to as a stampede.
My manager handled the situation wonderfully. She apologized profusely, gave the lady a bunch of free chocolate, and took the tooth away and threw it out. Our whole store emptied out, as no one wanted to buy the toothy chocolate anymore. Our manager also donned our version of a HAZMAT suit and removes the tooth from our proximity.
A few minutes pass, then we see the tooth lady open our door and walk back into the store. She walked up to the manager and in a very quiet voice tells her, ‘So that actually was my tooth, it just popped out in the bar when I chewed it and I didn’t want people to know. Could I have it back?’
My manager was very calm and explained she had acted as if the tooth wasn’t hers, so we handled it the way we had to handle it if we found a foreign object in our product, we throw it away immediately.
The lady has a meltdown, ‘You stole my tooth! You have to give it back! It’s mine!’
To which my manager responded, ‘If you had been honest with us and not tried to incite panic from our customers, we could have simply given you back your tooth. But you decided to cover up your problem and create one for us. Luckily, we address our problems immediately and effectively, something you could stand to learn from.’
The lady, obviously humiliated, straightened up, took one more caramel sample, and walked out the front door, minus one tooth.”