In case you didn’t know, I am rude, unhelpful and a thief.
It’s getting close to closing time so I naturally begin what we call our “closing list”. One of the tasks on this list is to wash the front door. I dutifully get what I need, get down on my knees and begin scrubbing the door. There was one spot that was bothering me and I guess I was focused intently on it as I didn’t see a customer approaching the door wanting to enter.
This actually happens a lot, and most people smile and wave or knock gently on the door to get my attention. This particular customer just decided to yank the door open so I nearly topple over. She then pushed past me and dropped her over sized bag of things she had with her on the floor at the front of the store. Awesome.
I just went on with my business and continued to work at the counter, completing the things I needed to do to be able to close the store on time. As I’m filling out some paperwork I hear someone start yelling from across the store,
“HEY. HEY YOU. I NEED SOME HELP HERE?! EXCUSE ME!”
As we hadn’t made eye contact I decided that she couldn’t possibly be talking to me, so I did what any good employee would do: I completely ignored her. I am worthy of some respect, am I not? (no.)
In a huff she stomped over to the counter and started banging on it to get my attention. I politely looked up, and in my sweetest voice, I said:
“Can I help you?”
She was already walking away demanding that I follow her mumbling about our quiche. She yanked a package of quiche labeled “ASSORTED” from the freezer.
Cust: “I want to know what kind of quiche this is.”
Me: “This is an assortment of quiche. It’s more than one kind.”
Cust: “Yes, but I want to know WHICH kinds.”
Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m actually not sure. It looks like it could be cheese and spinach, but perhaps you’d like to read the ingredients to be sure?”
Cust: “Ugh. Whatever. Why is this package of 24 quiche the same price as this package of 18?”
Me: “I’m not sure. We actually don’t do any of the labeling or pricing at this location, it’s all done at our warehouse and we don’t have any control over it.”
Cust: (glaring at me) “I’ve been in this store plenty of times and I’ve gotten far better answers than that. You are so unhelpful.”
Me: “I’m sorry, but we really don’t have any control over labels or pricing. As I said, it’s all done at our warehouse.”
At this point I excused myself and walked away. Since I am clearly unhelpful, I figured there wasn’t much more that I could do. I made my way back to the front and continued with my work.
A few moments later she stomped up the aisle and dumped a pile of items on the counter. I immediately moved to begin scanning them (to get her out of the store as quickly as possible) when she snapped, “Don’t touch them. I’m not done.”
I’m sorry, but when I shop I generally don’t throw things onto a counter until I’m ready to pay.
Apparently I’ve been doing it wrong for years.
Again, I apologized and went back to my work. A few customers wanted to check out so I had to push all her items to the side to be able to have some counter space until she was finished. She stormed around the store for another minute or two before bringing up another item and demanding that I read out all the ingredients for her. Satisfied that the product was what she wanted, she was ready to go.
I rang her through and gave her the total, and she rummaged through her wallet for her debit card. We are trained not to handle cards where possible, especially with the new chip technology. People tend to forget them in the machines less if they complete the entire process themselves, and it’s more secure. So, naturally I instructed her to insert her chip card into the machine and complete her purchase.
Her response was to shove the card and the debit machine into my face and say,
“My hand hurts. YOU do it.”
It took everything in me to smile politely, slide her card into the bottom of the machine and hand it back to her. I turned my back until she was finished, and of course, she had no trouble pulling the card out of the machine.
Putting it in is much more difficult.
By this time there are other customers waiting to cash out but she still has her things spread out all over the counter as she put it into her bags. When she was finished she put her grocery bags up on the counter, looked around and said,
Cust: “Alright, where is it.”
Me: “Where is what?”
Cust: “My bag. Where is it. Where did you put it?”
Me: (utterly confused, staring at the grocery bag in front of her) “Your grocery bag?!
Cust: “Ugh, NO. The bag I had when I came in. It was RIGHT here and now it’s gone. You took it.”
Me: (Pointing to the bag she had dropped on the floor earlier) “You me that bag? RIGHT THERE?”
Cust: “Yes. You moved it.”
Me: “Nope, it’s been there since you left it. Have a nice day.”
She shot me one last dirty look (just for good measure) grabbed her stuff and hauled it out the door.
I think she’s my new favourite customer.
And just remember: if anything ever goes missing, I probably took it. I’m just unhelpful like that.
Ten more shifts… ten more shifts… ten more shifts…