Sunday, August 24, 2008

Let Me Give You a Little Secret -- The Customer is Always an Asshole!

*Title taken from Mallrats. Naturally.

I spend a bit of time reading Customers Suck and True Porn Clerk Stories and I just giggle madly and nod knowingly the whole time. Because I worked in retail for years, from the time I was 17 and I got my first job as a cashier at Arby's. And you name it, I've pretty much had it, from people calling me names to throwing things at me to threatening me with lawsuits. It was fun. Ok, not at the time, but it is now. What is wrong with people? Seriously. I've gotten some really bad service. (I live in New Jersey. There IS no customer service here.) Yet, I would still never THROW SOMETHING at a snotty cashier. Or tell her that I hope she died. So, here are some of the more amusing and egregious examples...

  1. I was working as a pharmacy tech one summer. This woman, who would come in regularly, was SUCH A BITCH every time. OH MY GOD. There was a problem with her payment method and I had to take it aside and fix it while she's glaring daggers at me and huffing like it's taking a year. (It took like, 5 minutes to fix.) And of course, the other techs had to ring up other customers, so by the time the problem was straightened out, they had deleted her order from the register. I had to sheepishly ask her for the prescription back so I could rescan it. (I knew she wasn't going to like that.) SHE FUCKING THROWS IT AT ME. And I don't mean she tossed it to me. She CHUCKED it AT me. Well, I ducked. Unfortunately, the other tech, T. was kneeling on the floor to get something out of a cabinet and just happened to stand up...right then. And it hit her on the head. No one was hurt, getting beamed by a bottle of pills isn't especially injurious and we all had a good laugh about it after she left. But what a bitch. Ugh.
  2. A guy once called me a "fucking bitch" for refusing to let him open an account at the video store I was managing because he didn't have a phone. That was store policy: no phone, no account. Then his girlfriend apologized to me after he stormed out and I switched from being pissed to feeling really, really sorry for her. I mean, at least I didn't have to hang out with him later.
  3. Another time, at another video store (that was in kind of a crappy neighborhood. Not dangerous, just kind of dirty. Mostly full of students and drug addicts, but the friendly kind!) a couple of regulars came in, clearly stoned on something. The woman* asks me if I can recommend her a movie. "Sure!" I said. "What's a good movie to watch when you're stoned?" "...Um. I don't know...The Wizard of Oz, I guess? Pink Floyd's The Wall? I don't...know?" She seemed stunned that I didn't know of a good movie for that particular pastime. And like it was a TOTALLY REASONABLE THING to ask. (Hint: It's not.)
  4. Guys who would hit on me when I was shelving porn at the video stores. Yeah, let me give you a tip: when I see you perusing Beverly Hills 9021-HO (Actual title!), I am not going to be your special lady friend. It's not nearly as romantic as you think it is, you eying me up under the red neon "ADULT!! XXX!!" sign.
Ahh, good times. Ok, I know some of you have some good retail nightmare stories! Hit me with them! Especially you, Mame and Two of Hearts. I know you've got 'em!

*If you don't believe me about friendly drug addicts, the lady in question once panhandled $2 off of me. And then came into the store a few days later and paid me back. Now THAT is like some Chicken Soup for the Addict's Soul shit, right there.


Anonymous said...

I don't know why I feel compelled to point out that at least one of your sited incidents happened in Pittsburgh, PA NOT NJ. I guess we conclude that there are dumb idiot consumers everywhere. As you know, in my particular field the worst are from TN.
Love, Mom

Two of Hearts said...

Wow, I don't even know where to begin with the horror. My nominees would be:

A) People at the sporting goods store searching for assistance in the exercise department who look my fat ass up and down when I say I can help them and go "I don't think so..."

B) The woman at the pharmacy who started out looking for face wash and eventually ended up giving me a 20 MINUTE LECTURE about how I would be SO beautiful if I could just lose some weight, it's about eating right and I really should exercise and "I don't know your history, but..."

C) The 90 year old man who got so belligerent and violent in the pharmacy while threatening people with his cane that I had to call the cops and have him arrested

D) The woman who put her foot on the table in the cafe and proceeded to CUT HER TOENAILS in the middle of a food establishment

E) Two in one, because it may or may not have been the same person: The Phantom Shitter from the sporting goods store who would take a dump in the ladies room and then smear their feces all over the stall and all the fixtures. I'm pretty sure this is the same person who used to hit the bookstore, too, when I worked there. I also suspect this is the same person who took a dump in the aisle in the camping department.