This....this is a weird one, but bear with me.
So, where I work, we get a general grab-bag of customers. Some are nice, some are awesome, some are tired and just want their stuff so they can go home, some are assholes and then, there are these customers. The ones who come in and basically have a built-in repellant shield constructed of loneliness.
Now, before I get yelled at in the comments, I am fully acknowledging this here: I am a hypocrite when it comes to these customers.
I've been in this position myself, due to issues both well inside and well outside of my control. I have a family member who's recently been forced to become a hermit instead of the semi-social butterfly she used to be and it's taken its toll, both on the rest of us and on the poor employees of any store she goes to now. So I do know and can somewhat understand what some of these customers are going through.
But fuck me if they aren't among the worst we get in our store. The only custies that top them are the drunk assholes and the last minute door-dashers that don't understand what we mean when we say 'state law says we're closed NOW'.
Excepting a few, every problem customer I've had since I started working this job was a 'lonely customer'. Here are just a few of their stories:
There was one lady who out of the blue decided I *had* to know her doctor tried to kill her (long story short, he accidentally prescribed her the wrong thing) and proceeded to completely dominate the register to keep me in conversation with her. She talked right over my attempts to end the conversation, was flapping her hands around so hard that she nearly hit not only me but the customers behind her and basically made an absolute bitch out of herself. She was also talking so loudly, the entire fucking store could hear her and trust me, that's a feat worthy of an award. My coworker almost literally had to physically force her out of the store so we could get the line moving.
There's a guy who's a little too invested in learning the educational levels of myself and my coworkers, then he proceeds to let us know his many, many worries about his own kids and their educations and how his eldest is wasting his life doing....something. I tuned out at that point because he does the most annoying thing where he will talk to both of us (me and my coworker and it *had* to be both of us, other customers be damned), walk off to 'window shop' in the store, then come back over to pick up the conversation, again with both of us, even if we're helping other customers at that point. Both my coworker and I are always on edge by the time we finally get him out of the store, since he lingers in the parking lot looking like he might come back in to talk some more.
There's this other lady who absolutely no one will talk to. My coworkers literally dragged me into the back room the first time she came in after I started working at the store and they warned me not to speak with her unless I absolutely had to. Why go to this extreme? Because if you talk to her, she won't fucking leave. I'm serious here. And she either knows we have this unofficial rule in regards to her or she's so wrapped in herself and her 'tragic' loneliness that she doesn't care/uses it as fuel to keep up her drama.
She makes these horrible little whimper noises like she's in pain or about to cry, often limps around like she's got a broken foot/ankle (only to make a miraculous recovery on her way from and to her car) and always has this look on her face like something horribly tragic just happened, all in a bid to get someone to talk to her.
Another customer made a mistake of talking to her once and he opened the flood gates to an HOUR's worth (we timed it while trying to rescue this poor guy from her) of emotional drama and 'cry talk' (aka pity talk aka 'isn't my life so horrible? Quickly, cheer me up!') and way, way too much fucking info on her personal life. Even after we managed to rescue him, she stuck around in the store until fucking closing (which translates to an hour and a half, bringing her total of sheer wasting our time to two and a half hours), the whole time trying to engage the rest of us in conversation so she could, I dunno, cry herself out/emotionally 'cleanse' herself.
But the best and worst of them is this one lady. She comes in, always heavily bathed in perfume and literally projects loneliness like some kind of emotion sucking sponge. It is physically depressing to be around this woman and for some reason, she always gravitates to me to talk to. It's very irritating too, because she'll follow me around the store, trying to talk to me and the few times I do speak with her, it's a trial of patience. She talks exactly like how I'd imagine a turtle would speak: slowly, very very softly and with constant long pauses.
Like, she'll say something, pause long enough that I think she's waiting on me to respond or that the conversation's over, then suddenly start speaking again when I'm either responding to her or moving away to try and get work done. Normally, I wouldn't mind talking to her for a few minutes, but she almost always comes in when we're busy and I don't have the time to spare to stand there and listen carefully to her to even hear what she's saying.
To give her credit though, she's the only one out of the others who actively sought out more social interaction than just locking employees in conversation. The last time she was in, she told me she had recently joined a church group that a neighbor introduced her to and it visibly did her wonders. She still talks like a turtle though.
Oh and if anyone's still curious about that mutual friend I spoke about in my last post, my boyfriend and I finally had a very overdue talk with her. As some of the comments suggested last time, she didn't realize she was being a bitch to us and has been working on her behavior when it comes to bitching about work.
Till next time!