So aside from a brief stint in college where I had work-study in the library (and adored it) the only job I have ever had is in a charity thrift store. You know – people donate stuff, we sort it and price it, you buy it, and troubled kids get money for school and therapy and whatever else they need. Pay is decent, coworkers are awesome aside from a few I’d like to punch, and I’ve been there six months longer than anybody else, so the mangers count on me and it’s nice to be needed.
Anyway. Have gobs of stories, all just as rambly as this one, but I just thought I’d share the most recent.
So. Saturday I get called in early ‘cause a coworker has to go to a funeral. I like working Saturdays – the busyness is exhilarating, and the girl I want to punch never works then – so that’s all dandy.
And then I get this guy.
He calls me over to a bin full of cell phone cases, which we usually sell for a dollar, and the first words out of his mouth are “So, 10 cents?”
Let me tell you now that if you want to piss me off, the first thing you should do is suggest a price for something. We may be secondhand, but we are not a flea market or auction or whatever. If it doesn’t have a price tag, you probably tore it off and I now hate you.
Me: “Actually, I think those are 49 cents.”
Me: “No, sir. 49 cents.”
Me: “Well, actually, they’re usually a dollar, but I can go 49 cents.”
He doesn’t respond; I walk away and hope I’m rid of him. ‘Course, ten minutes later as I’m straightening the racks….
Cheap Bitch Guy: “So, I don’t get uptown much, but I know these are 49 cents. Why are you selling them for a dollar?”
Me: “I don’t know, sir. I don’t even know what those are.”
CBG: “Well, I’ll buy them both for 49 cents. That’s what they are uptown.”
Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I can’t change the prices without knowing what they are. My manager prices miscellaneous and I can’t really argue with him.”
CBG: “Well, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. These are 49 cents uptown.”
(The ‘she’ really struck me at this point. Why is he assuming my manager’s a chick? Also, what the fuck is ‘uptown’ and why can’t you buy them there if they’re cheaper?)
I just shrug exaggeratedly and go back to straightening shirts; eventually he wanders off… only to come back with a radio he wants me to test. It’s got a note on it saying ‘antenna is broken but radio works’ with a (male) coworker’s initials, but he wants to see for himself. That’s fine; they always do. He does the ‘she might not know what she’s talking about’ thing again, in reference to the initials, and I plug the thing in and tune it. Haha, it works, yippee.
CBG: “Hm… I don’t know though. Five dollars….”
Me, thinking: Are you fucking kidding me?
CBG: “Hm… okay. And I’ll get these, too, even though they’re cheaper uptown. But I’ll be coming back to tell your manager she’s wrong.”
So he buys the radio and tool dealys, while I wear a pasted-on smile. Finally, I can’t take it anymore – as he pays, he’s still griping – so I say what a coworker always does to shut people up. I’m thinking maybe he doesn’t realize where the money goes, despite our rather obvious store name and the prominent “These are our children. They could be yours.” posters all the hell over the place, and that I’ll have to explain to him what we do.
Me: “Well, at least you’re helping out kids, so you can feel good about that.”
CBG: “What kids?”
Me: “Well, the kids at the ranch….”
CBG, dead serious: “Yeah… but who’s going to help me out?”
Me, speechless: “…?”
CBG: “Yeah, I mean, I need help too. Who’s helping me?”
And with that, he walks out. What I wish I had said was something like, “Well, you’re a grown man who presumably has a job and can take care of himself, rather than an abused and drug-addled ten-year-old who’s never had a bed before, so… fuck you.”
Luckily my next customer came up and said, “Oh, you looked like you had your hands full with him. But you handled that with class.” So that made me feel better.
For every five or ten or twenty “Oh, that 25 cent item isn’t half off? I don’t want it then.” cheap bitches, we do get the occasional, “I refuse to pay only two dollars for this wagon. Make it ten” and keep-the-change types.
‘Til next time….