I have been suffering Anticipatory Grief for weeks, knowing the Christmas retail season was around the corner. It's supposed to be a happy time of the year, and several major religions celebrate holidays of deep, inspiring meaning to elevate humanity. But shoppers exhibit their most rotten, petty behavior at this time of the year.
We get beaten up all day. It's hard to take. I remember working Christmas Eve last year, and feeling like a drowning rat with people shooting bb pellets at my face. Three people were kind and said nice things to me, and I actually broke down and cried to be the object of kindness.
We are one of the businesses that stays open latest on Christmas Eve. I can understand people having been unable to finish their shopping in time, but do I deserve to be the object of their wrath?
Ten Minutes to Close: "Christ! I can't imagine how picked over this place is? I don't see ANYTHING I want." "I don't know what to get for Grandma, so I guess I'll try a parakeet. Can I return it (in the frigid weather) if she doesn't like it?"
We see our busiest times and longest lines. Entitled Suburban Mom was making a large purchase of an aquarium and all the fixins, and laid lots of large items - tank, 6 large bags of gravel. etc on our only check out counter, and we were ringing her up. Another Mom she knew walked into the store, and they started chatting, and faced away from the register.
As we had a long line waiting, I suspended the ticket and without saying a word started to move stuff off the main counter so I could ring someone else up. Entitled Suburban Mom saw and shrieked, "EXCUSE ME! EXCUUUUSE ME! I am a CUSTOMER, and I am trying to spend MONEY at your business. I am NOW having a conversation with a friend of mine! Treat me with respect."
I gave my sweetest smile and in my most cheerful voice said, "I meant no disrespect. I'll just have your stuff here whenever you're ready to check out."
I rang up people for about 10 minutes before she was through conversing with her friend, and the other customers had to line up around them, because they wouldn't leave the counter. And I'm the bad guy? Well - at least she didn't call the owner to complain about me.
Yes, I am a punching bag for bitches and bastards on the holiest night of the year, but the managers always take the night off, and the owner wants every penny he can get, and our instructions are to let people talk any way they want to us.
--Polo-Necked Strip Mall Monkey