Greetings, fellow retail slaves! My coworker and loving girlfriend Cou linked me to this site some time ago, and I've been reading it religiously ever since. She got a couple articles posted, and now I figure it's my turn to join the fray.
I've been working at my grandmother's half-off card store for almost a decade now, starting at stock a few hours a week when I was 10, and moving up to full-fledged cashier/clerk over the next few years. During this time, I've had a myriad of horrible custy experiences, enough to make me hate humanity in general.
I'll start with my three latest encounters that surpassed basic stupid custy fare and went to complete douchebag-retard-fucknut level, all of which occurred in the last month:
I'm on my lunch break. My store is located near one end of a decent-sized strip mall, and all of the restaurants are on the other. I'm making the walk to the pizza place, when someone (I hesitate to use the word custy, as, you know, we're not in the fucking store) asks me when the buses to Atlantic City leave. Our store is a ticket vendor for a company that runs buses to Atlantic City and Mohegan Sun, both of which are about 3 hours away from the store.
Anyway, my mind panics. Our store doesn't have a uniform, just a dress code of black shirt and pants, so I'm not obviously an employee. I'm hoping he's stupid enough to think that any random person walking a strip mall knows when charter buses run from there, not retarded enough to think that a store's employee will gladly help anyone while not on the clock and off store premises.
Without stopping, I just say I don't know and hope, desperately, that that'll be the end of it.
"But don't you work at the store?"
Fuck, he's retarded. "Yes, but I'm on break, and I don't know off the top of my head." (That's a lie, I have everything memorized.)
"Well, can you come back with me? I have questions."
Seriously? Does he think I left the store unattended? "I'm on my break, sir. My coworker will be more than happy to help you. In the store." I walk off, and he stands there, apparently dumbfounded that I didn't help him.
I go and get my pizza and walk back, thinking that it's done; he talked to my coworker and is now long gone. No such luck. He's standing in the store, right behind the door, where we have full schedules to every bus run posted. I briefly consider walking around the strip and going in through the back, but I go through the door anyway.
He's got this huge grin on his stupid face, like he's got me now and I'm powerless to resist answering his questions. My coworker, by the way, is sitting behind the counter, doing absolutely nothing.
"So, can you tell me-"
"Sir, I'm still on break. You can talk to my coworker there or you can wait 20 minutes."
He says something about how I helped him last time he bought tickets (probably when I was on the clock and behind the counter), but I was already halfway to the back door by then.
I take my 20-minute break, and come up, positive that he got impatient and talked to my coworker or, God forbid, read the schedules and left.
He's standing there, almost shaking with anger. He talks like he's addressing a small child who doesn't speak English: "What. Time. Do. The. Buses. Run?"
Me: "7:50 every morning to Atlantic City, 8:00 and 11:45 every morning to Mohegan."
Him: "What. About. Tonight?"
Me: "The only night buses are at 5:45, Friday and Saturday to Mohegan."
Him: "When. Do. They. Go. To. Atlantic?"
Me: "There's no night buses to Atlantic City, just the 7:50 every morning."
Him: "FUCK!!" *storms out*
Me: "Have a nice day!"
After it's all said and done, she pushes her stuff over to the edge of the counter space to get her purse's contents in order. Annoying as fuck, but plenty of custys do it, and it wasn't a problem to just work around her to ring up the next customer.
She gets everything together, takes one Kleenex out, slings the bag over her shoulder, blows her nose, puts the soiled Kleenex on the counter, and goes to walk out.
I spend all day cleaning up after adults. I still hate it, but I've grown largely desensitized to the cards ditched anywhere, Lotto tickets left on the counter, etc. But some old bitch's used snotrag? I draw the line there. I'm almost at a loss for words, but I manage to get some out.
Me: "Excuse me?"
Her: *turns around* "Yes?"
Me: "Your Kleenex."
Her: "Oh, that's garbage."
Me: "Can you throw it out? Garbage is right there."
She begrudingly walks back towards the counter, picks it up, and throws it away. As she leaves, she self-righteously says "You don't have to be so rude about it."
I'm a pretty neurotic person, I don't even like touching someone's garbage when it's a losing Lotto ticket or an unwanted bag. But how the hell can you possibly expect a stranger to handle your bodily waste, and then be offended when they object? Did the school system fail you to the point where you have no concept of how germs work?
Bit of backstory/explanation for this last one: Our store's counter is in the front of the store, and runs down the side wall. There's about a 4-foot gap between the front window and the counter, which is set up as a Lotto center. We post the jackpots, winning numbers, and our big winners there, in addition to having shelves for people to fill out Lotto slips and scratch off tickets on. It is quite obviously NOT a service counter though, as the wall between the center and the counter is 5 feet high, not counting the promo toppers, which are about 8 inches tall.
This takes place on the day before Mother's Day, our single busiest day of the year. It's about 6pm, so things have toned down somewhat, but it's still far worse than the average day. For some reason, the traffic seems to come in waves. We'll have lines 5 people deep for 15 minutes, then it'll be dead for 15, and so on.
It's busy, and this 4'10" custy in her mid-20s with an incredibly thick Carribean accent comes in with a friend who stands by the door. Let's just call her Bitch, I'm not feeling creative today. She waits on line, comes up to the counter, buys a Take 5 scratch-off, and goes to the side to scratch her ticket. About one minute later, I'm running Lotto for another custy, and Bitch (who is, again, about a foot shorter than the wall) is on her tiptoes, poking her ticket through the toppers.
I tell her she has to wait on line, and she does. About 2 minutes later, it's her turn. She gives me her ticket, I scan it.
Me: "That's a dollar."
After a few seconds of silence, I deduce that she meant "I'll just take the cash, thanks." I go to give her a dollar. I was apparently wrong.
Her: "I wanna nudda one!"
Maybe you could've said that then, cuntface? Or implied that? Or done anything besides stand there and tap your fake nails on the counter? I put the dollar back in the drawer, and give her a Take Five. She doesn't move.
Me: "...Anything else?"
Nothing. I go to take the next customer.
Her: "Nudda Tay Fi!"
O... kay then. I tear off another one. I turn around, and she has the dollar bill up against her chest, obviously not prepared to give it to me. We have a pretty strict policy with the Lotto, get cash, then give the tickets. We've had a few Nasty Ass Thieves that've attempted to pull scams over the years, it's just far simpler this way.
Her: "Gimme de card first!"
I'm just stunned. Like I said, I've been working for years, and she was only the second person that ever had a problem with the policy. (The first one's a story for another day though.) I had been through hell for the last 6 hours, I really didn't feel like playing these games. I just reach for the dollar.
Her: "FUCK OFF!!"
She storms out. No, wait. She just goes back to the side and scratches her card. Her friend's still standing there.
I think at this point Bitch mounted an offensive to piss me off as much as possible. She calls someone on her cell, and goes on line talking LOUDLY. She buys her ticket, goes over the side. This time, she just goes to the front of the line and just drops her ticket on the counter, on top of the cards that my current custy is buying. I push it off, and just say "Wait on line."
She does. She gets up to the front, and throws her ticket on the counter. I pick it up, and she starts ranting about... something. From what I could understand, I had insulted her honor and with the way they do things down South, I would be killed. She had won a free Take Five ticket, and I gave it to her. She says "I'll be commin back," and walks out. Her friend, who had been standing there the entire time, goes with her.
I was dreading her return, but she thankfully never came back.
Well, that's about it for now. 'Til next time!
-- Marc (I'm not good with nicknames :/)