It was not long after noon, during a bit of a lull when an older woman came to my counter to enlarge some knitting patterns that she couldn’t read. No problem at all. While I’m helping her, Superhag rolled up, seeming like a nice person at the time. She was doing some shipping but still needed to pack up her boxes, so I let her pack while I helped the older lady, and when Superhag signaled she was ready, I turned the computer around for her to type her shipping info, and resumed the copies.
At Office Ghetto, copy slaves are basically trained to multitask. If you can’t, you’ll never make it. I’ve actually been complimented many times on my ability to take care of several customers at once; they all seem to understand that I’m helping them all, and therefore delays of a few seconds will happen, but that I’ll keep moving and taking care of their jobs. I pride myself on making sure none of them feel left out. So I kept an eye on Superhag while running copies for the older lady.
Superhag was having trouble with the computer. I helped her whenever she called for me. It was just her and the older lady there, but I could see Superhag getting impatient, so I tried to be available the second she called. Then, OF COURSE, the computer for whatever dumb reason dumped one of her shipping manifests and she had to type it again, which, while annoying, only takes a few minutes. While she did that, I finished with the older lady and had her go ring out up front because Superhag was now ready.
While I’m printing the sticker for the first package, another woman walks up. I tell her it’ll be just a moment (per Ghetto rules, we have to acknowledge anyone waiting – and I’d feel bad about ignoring someone anyway!) and keep helping Superhag. After I ship the second box and start on the third, (a process that needs no input from the customer btw. We do it all ourselves.), the woman waiting speaks up and says she’s just there to pick something up and she doesn’t mind ringing out up front. So, while the third sticker is printing, I take exactly three steps from the computer to pick up the lady’s boxes.
Superhag explodes into a gusty sigh. “This is ridiculous!”
I set the boxes on the counter for the lady waiting, grab the sticker from the printer, and walk to the third package to find Superhag glaring at me and snarling, “I can’t believe you, you’ve waited on three people since I’ve been here! That is unacceptable!”
Me: *stunned* “I…I’m sorry.”
Superhag: “You know what, you ARE sorry. This is ridiculous.”
Me: *beginning to tremble* “Would you like me to call a manager?”
Superhag: “No, I’ll take care of this online.”
I should have called for a manager anyway, but at that point I was in the middle of an anxiety attack and was unable to speak, and just wanted to get her out. I put the sticker on the box, and I guess Superhag hadn’t unloaded enough, because she exploded again: “And I suppose you’ll probably smash my boxes now, so I will be taking out a complaint on that.”
Me: (Surprise at such an insinuation taking over my fear for a moment.) “Wh-what? I won’t do that.”
Superhag: “Oh really?”
Me: “Of course not, I would never do that.” (I mean yeah, she’s a bitch, but I’d never destroy someone’s stuff on purpose out of vindication.)
I take the barcodes to the register and have her sign the store’s copy, which, for some reason, she makes a point of scrawling all over: “Please do not break these boxes!” I didn’t feel like telling her the mailperson will never see that note because these papers are for our records only. She then insisted on copies of her signed sheets, which I gave her. Right about then another lady walked up and got in line.
Then, when I ask how Superhag wants to pay, she says she already gave me her card. I tell her I don’t think she did, (starting to panic anew that she did and I somehow lost it even though I was 100% sure she never gave it to me) when she finds it under the papers. Obviously she had set it on the counter and one of the papers fluttered over it. She throws it at me, snapping, “Here it is, you shoved it back at me with the papers.”
I finish the transaction, she snatches the receipt from me, and storms away. I take a step back and try to breathe, and the lady waiting glances after her and goes, “Well, she wasn’t a very nice person!”
This, apparently, was my cue to start sobbing. I’m not proud, RHU. I wish I didn’t cry so easily. But this woman rattled me. I started to panic that she would write a bad letter full of lies to the company, and that somehow her boxes would get damaged and she’d come back and yell at me, and I would be fired, (after I was JUST made full time!) and my family/coworkers would be disappointed in me and I’d never be able to show my face at the Ghetto again and I wouldn’t be able to make my car or insurance payments or help my mom with bills and it just kept spiraling. On top of which, the reviews affect the whole store, and our store hasn’t had many surveys this year, so I know my boss is under pressure from the DM to get more. A single bad survey would ruin our average at this point. I love my boss, and letting her down breaks my heart. So I’m crying preemptively over disappointing her, too. It was horribly embarrassing, I hate that I can’t be cool and stoic. I tried to apologize to the woman waiting between sobs, who was really nice and saying, “Oh honey, what did she do? It’s okay, don’t worry.”
Then, suddenly, she took off at a stride down the hallway. I assumed that she was going to get my manager, but it turns out she was going after Superhag! After a moment she came back, saying that Superhag had gotten in her car and “got away this time.” I don’t know what she was planning to do if she’d caught Superhag, but knowing that she’d gone after her at all was amazing enough! She then proceeded to tell me everything would be okay again and that karma’s going to bite some haggy ass one day. (Which I do believe.) There are some really great people in the world.
In the end, everything was basically okay. My coworkers were sympathetic, I apologized to my boss for if we get a bad review (to which my boss replied, “if she writes a bad review about you, then she can kiss my tushie.” My boss is the best. <3) and I know my job is safe and my car won’t be repossessed and we won’t lose the house. (Gotta love the ridiculous things anxiety makes us think, eh?)
Yet Superhag’s ghost haunts me, even a day later. I keep remembering her sneering at me and how cruel her tone was. I don’t understand what I did wrong. The old woman I was helping was there BEFORE the hag, so logically she should get help first, and I tried to always stop and help Superhag whenever she asked and worked on the other job only when she was typing. I guess I could have made the pick up lady wait, but all I did was grab her boxes and set them on the counter for her. It took five seconds, and I did it WHILE a sticker was printing, so it wasn’t like there was anything I could have done for Superhag during those five seconds anyway. I don’t even know where that “you helped three people” thing came from since I only helped two…and why would she accuse me of smashing her boxes?! I’m so afraid now that somehow they’ll be damaged in transit and she’ll come after me, or that she’ll lie and claim they were damaged. We all know corporate doesn’t care if crusties lie, the customer is always right!
WHY am I letting one bitchy ass crusty get to me so much? Crazy flash drive lady is a silly memory! Jerkhole paper guy means nothing to me! I LAUGH about the woman who said I needed plastic surgery! But fifteen minutes with Superhag and I can’t even come home and chillax with some pie without getting a stomachache when I remember her words. (And fuck her for that, too. Dessert should be sacred and should not be allowed to be ruined by memories of jerks.) GAH. Retail Gods help my sanity if she actually does write a bad review. I may have to rent a room under a rock for a few days.
I hate haggy customers. May they stay far away from you all!
-- <3 BookAce
PS: What is “you ARE sorry” supposed to mean, anyway? Did she think I wasn’t really sorry and it means “you SHOULD BE sorry?” Is it short for “you are a sorry excuse for a person?” Is sorry a descriptive word, like “you are awful?” Damn it Superhag, if you have to haunt me why couldn’t you be more specific?