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!
Whack-A-BITCH: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN AN IRRITATING CUSTY PLAYS THE GAME
Jackass Custys are (Totally) the New Black
As it happens on occasion, whilst working within the realms of Retail Hell, we meet a particularly egregious offender of the common good and perpetuator of the extreme Custy Asshole-ness gene. Someone, who if they met Dante Alighieri would have inspired extra rings to his Inferno. I'm sure I am far from alone in this affliction, in fact.
My most recent addition to the night-terrors that are my regular spate of custys is - charitably - a NAT and Discount Rat hybrid ... a new(?) breed of horrors: a DNAT(?). In the interest of fairness [and the lack of typing out her full series of iritatation-inducing-titles which would put any European royalty to shame in length and bredth], we shall simply refer to her as OHMIGAWDDTHATBITCH.
To best describe OHMIGAWDDTHATBITCH one should start with her Crystal-Meth face; now, I'm not saying I assume she does it, I'm just saying her face looks like you dumped her in a Meth Lab and she made sure there was nothing left. Her hair is so strung out it makes hay bales look deep-conditioned. Her smoker's mouth wrinkles make her under-40 look almost-60. And, look, I'm not one to comment on anyone's addictions to caffeine [many an ode to my love of my bitter, bitter black coffee can be found on my web-page], but dayumn, gurrl practically has a Starbucks tattoo (which would go with her bevy of truckstop hooker-style tattoos which even the hardiest Hipster would scoff at).
In other words: bitch be ratchet.
Surprisingly, OHMIGAWDDTHATBITCH didn't initially appear as a full-scale NAT-attack.
When she first began to stay at our property she was humorous. She was fun and funny to have pop by the Front Desk. She would come out with the most engaging little stories from her Retail Hell job (waitress). She was entertaining and accomodating. She paid her bills on the regular. She was all-things that one delights in in a customer [I loathe calling ANYONE a guest ... don't ask, long story]. She was ERMEHGERDDOHTHATLADY. And we all had fun with her - from my Front Desk staff all the way through to my Housekeepers.
But, every silver lining has a grey cloud full of Custy Hate Hail.
The first clue that the winter of my discontent was on the horizon was when she quit her job at the restaurant up the hill from my property (within walking distance, what with her having no car). She did so with no notice and all the while bitching and moaning over how the staff there was a "Fucking clicque".
When you join a team already-in-operation OF COURSE there are relationships already in-play and friendships formed. That's just basic, common knowledge. It's how you handle these preexisting relationships that defines how your role will play out.
Of course, when you're an entitled and self-obsessed [which is different from my raging narcissism] Custy Asshat this situation will not be an option or challenge on how to win friends and influence people ... no ... this will be the Red Flag of Doom issuing forth a challenge worthy of gauntlets and Medieval times.
So, she quit her job - she and her boyfriend-du-jour both hold retail, barely-above-minium-wage jobs - and then began slipping on her payments.
So, what with the boyfriend-du-jour now being the only job-holder, their room payments began to decline. Her conversations with myself and my GM began to be peppered with promises of "money down the line" and "don't worry, I'll pay". Her debt began to build up (and even with her massive "extended stay" discount, that adds up fast). It wasn't long until this situation caught the notice of our District Manager [whenever a guest's outstanding bill exceeds over $500 the computer flags it in her reports] who began breathing down our necks.
She soon thereafter began to refuse to answer her room phone and cell-phone. Our attempts to lock her out of her room met with failure, what with her not leaving the room unattended (by herself or one of her children [three teens all from different fathers]). We were stymied by her refusals and incommunicative actions ... that is ... until one afternoon I caught her as she snuck out to get her caffeine fix.
I politely brought her into the dining area of our lobby where she refused to meet my GM's eyes or mine as we tried to hammer out her payment plan and a way for this to be pleasantly resolved.
To best describe the 'pleasantness' that emanated from her during this conversation I would suggest imagining your 'favorite' Discount Rat's reaction to being denied their favorite discount treat.
Now multiply that by ten.
And add a make-up meltdown max factor of twelve and you may just get the extreme bullshittery that spewed from her pie-hole. After an uncomfortable half-hour of whining, cringing and catty remarks, promises were made on her end that were supposed to be enforcable.
Cut to a week later when of the promised 4 payments of $200 (one every two days) to stem the massive financial hemmhoraging has not appeared in the ledger. Cut to my complete and utter shock at this. Cut to my ... wait, I wasn't shocked. I wasn't even mildly surprised. What I was was annoyed. And as the Assistant General Manager it was on me to enforce the rules and agreements in situations like this [oh Happy Happy Joy Joy].
I'll admit, what I did to get her attention? Wasn't the nicest. It probably wasn't even kosher. But it worked:
I told the housekeepers that they were UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES allowed to give her anything/clean her room until she came down to speak to me.
I know. I know. [I know]
But, again, it worked.
The very next day OHMIGAWDDTHATBITCH was down at the front desk - right before we had a deluge of teen-agers due in from a series of buses (playing host to a muscical competition! Ka-ching! Ker-ching!) - and haranguing me; peppering her caffeine-and-PBR-fueled soliloquiy with words like "harrassment", "illegal" and "bullshitting liar" all directed at me. Now, to paraphrase Joan Crawford [Mommie Dearest], 'this isn't my first time at the rodeo ... don't fuck with me', so I was well and prepared for the usual level of vitriol spat upon me from an irate and insipid custy. Sadly, I seemed to underestimate the sheer batshittery capable of being plumbed by OHMIGAWDDTHATBITCH and her intense desire to personally piss me off.
[She actually set out purposefully to piss me off and push me from some perverse custy asshole-centric line of thinking; I learned from her bragging about this to my staff.]
Between her causing a scene in front of guests, her repeatedly (and purposefully) cutting me off with condescension and insulting comments and her calling me a liar my temper was fraying. I'll admit it. I'm not perfect. I come from a long line of 'That's Enough I Can Only Take So Much'. So when she called me a "bull-fucking-shit liar" for saying that YES I HAD DONE THE COMPUTER RECORD PAYMENT AND REVERSAL ... OH AND HERE'S PROOF LOOK AT THE COMPUTER SCREEN my last ounce of give-a-fuck was used up as she slapped my hand and told me to shut up.
The camel's back? Broken.
Pulling in the snarl as I watched her face light up with NAT and Discount Rat glee [are we still musing on DNAT?] at seeing me finally get fed up I turned away from her and stormed into my office. Pulled the fire door shut. And proceeded to make the most painful mistake I've had a temper-loss to be ...
I punched the door.
Now, anyone with common sense knows that 1) losing your temper and hitting ANYTHING (inanimate or animate) is WRONG 2) self control is for situations like that annoying/insulting/horrible custy and 3) hitting your knuckles against a METAL DOOR hurts.
Like, really hurts.
That was almost 3 weeks ago now and having won her personal victory over causing me to lose my cool and pretense at give-a-fuck-ery with her I am now Persona Non Grata to OHMIGAWDDTHATBITCH ... and honestly? That's fine with me. Whether I like or dislike a custy is neither here nor there - whether they pay their bills to me/us ON TIME and IN FULL matters.
I loathe shopping in places that pay commission. I feel so guilty if I don't wind up buying anything.
One of our local furniture stores makes their salespeople stalk people around the store. So even if you say you aren't buying and just looking they still have to follow you.
They look miserable and it makes me so uncomfortable. Whenever I go in, I wind up rushing out as soon as I see what I need to see; that way they are free to move on to a customer that is actually planning on buying that day.
Shoutout to the special snowflake who took ages to get his money together and then kept me standing at drive thru with the window open to talk to him. I also definitely appreciated him blowing cigarette smoke into the store. It's not like I'm allergic to it and asthmatic or anything.
Him: Why don't you have a jacket on? Aren't you cold?
Me: Well, you can see me shivering, right? I mean, it's about 14F out, the window keeps freezing shut if I have it closed for more than twenty seconds, but I took my jacket off to deck scrub and mop, since we close in fifteen minutes.
Him: Oh yeah? You guys do that mopping stuff early!
Me: *fake smile* I was almost done, but then all these cars wanted drive through, so here I am, talking to you with the window open.
He finally took the hint. It's 14 degrees outside, asshole. I don't want to stand here with the window open and talk to you! The window had to be pried open every time too, because it literally froze shut anytime I closed it. Thanks, condensation!
--Purveyor of Pizza
A background on the creep (who I will dub "Hoarder"), first. Hoarder's truck was easy to pick out in the drive-through during late-nights. Big clunker with rust orange paint that had room for only one person inside. All the extra space was filled with trash. You can't see out of the rear-view mirror, it is so full. There is a Hoarder-shaped hole inside of his truck's garbage.
If you ignored this first warning sign that something was up with the guy, the second comes in the order taking. He tries to come up with the cheapest order possible without going away hungry, thus taking up time when ordering. The shortest time it took for him to order, EVER was 90 seconds.
We can take an order, your money, and have you out in that amount of time, if you order something that's of the same price as what he did. Of course, no crusty-ordering is complete without asking you to do something that is against health code or damages supplies (such as sticking something in a non-microwavable container in the microwave).
Even better, when he comes up to pay, he asks for more things, hoping dearly that it doesn't cost. While I fume about the amount of time Hoarder's taking to fish out of a soda can the cash to pay for his meal, he's trying to hit on me. I'm sorry dude, but ewwww.
Hoarder is only a few years younger than my mom. When I don't reciprocate, Hoarder asks for his friend, Grill Guy. If GG is in a good mood, he'll hog up my window space, and chat for FIVE MINUTES. FIVE MINUTES. That's about 7 minutes wasted now. After shooing Hoarder away (and yelling at GG for keeping the window open), Hoarder gets his food and munches on it (while on our timer), before driving away.
Last night, the GM had it. Not only did he ask for three requests on the order that we told him repeatedly that we cannot do, he still tried to add more at my window when I took his cash.
We were in a rush, so I was trying to take orders as well. Hoarder begs for me to stick his crap in the microwave, asking me if GG is free. GG had told me before that he did NOT want to talk to Hoarder. So I am trying to block Hoarder from badgering me, prevent Hoarder from seeing GG, take Hoarder's cash, and take orders ahead.
Hoarder finally got the message and went to the next window. For some reason, he decided that if I wasn't going to cave, the GM was. GM was already dealing with bad news and was upset because I had problems grabbing the orders. She flat told him that she was not going to tolerate this anymore. He takes up too much time hitting on her employees, making these strange requests, he was out. She told him not to come back.
After the GM calmed down, she informed the rest of us his ban. GG and I cheered. GG explained to the relatively new sandwich-maker and floor-person while I told the GM how relieved I was. (Apparently, I lifted her mood because she "never heard me cuss before" until I told her that Hoarder scared the shit out of me).
I found out I might need to change my name. Recently, my coworkers, who I work the dinner rush with, have taken up mocking me. I tend to be very energetic when I take orders (to the point almost being a bit "squeaky") and I have some hearing loss. Whenever I say something that turns out "squeaky" like "okay!" or "alrighty!" I can hear them mocking me with screechy voices.
If I ask a customer to repeat something because I couldn't hear, one of my coworkers will yell at me for not hearing. The manager working at this time, Cici, tries to cut this down, but she can only do so much.
One particular day, my coworkers were picking out nicknames for each other. This discussion is going on the headset as they are in different parts of the store. (Note: I don't hear them if I'm taking an order) Just after I finished taking an order, I hear this on the headset:
"Psy is SUCH a tramp!"
Cici catches this when I do. Normally, Cici would ask them to cut it out, but, she had something better in mind. Cici knows I like anime (my favorite being Gundam). So, the response I hear before I could turn on my headset:
"No, Psy is an ANIME tramp!"
(I will now apologize for the butchering of language that is about to happen.)
Me: Cici, you might want to turn your headset volume down.
Cici: *smiles, turns the volume down*
Me: *turns on the headset speaker, with my energetic voice, now layered with diabetic-inducing sweetness* Why, arigato Cici-ni-chan~! That name ga is sooo kawaii desu desu ne~!
The screeching heard from the back of the store was absolutely priceless.
The night crew I close with suggested I get a nametag that says "Anime Tramp," although I couldn't wear it to work. But whenever someone tries to mock my voice, the floor guy and I would try to compete with each other to see who could compliment the other in the most "weeaboo" way possible. Although, I think I'll stick with Psy still.
Now, I need to wash my mouth out for even typing up that abuse of the Japanese language.
Sorry it's been awhile folks, been having some serious non-fun juggling the two jobs and some family drama/illness.
I've been half holding onto this for a bit, waiting to see if it'll be resolved soon. My guess is she'll magically appear tonight since I've given up and written in. Sorry if it's a little long. We'll call this woman Runner.
Runner comes in to get her poster, running number, and sheet with finishing times/placement/etc from the 2012 Boston Marathon. Brave and I talk with her a bit, congratulate her on finishing, and talk options. She wants it as small as possible, but still wants all the items in the frame, but given the size she wants to keep it to, we can't get it all in without covering a large chunk of the design on the main poster.
We spend almost 2 hours going over what the size would be if we just did the poster without the number & placement papers, how small we could get everything if we did have everything in, price differences between the two sizes plus all the regular glass/mat/frame options. We offer to save the options in the computer if she's worried about wall space so she can go home and measure to see what would fit, but she insists she wants to get it ordered today. Finally she decides to have all the items in the same frame, as small as possible, without covering the main design of the poster bust covering some stuff in the corners.
Wonderful! About $400 later, her order is all put in and she leaves. (I will go ahead and mention that the smaller size without the number & placement pages only dropped the price ~$35. Poster was big as heck anyway, and at the time, she was nice, and we liked her, so we didn't charge the extra labor for the fancy stuff we were doing.)
Fast forward about 3 weeks later when she comes to pick up her piece. Because this is on RHU, all you intelligent people can guess that Runner didn't like it. Or more to the point, "You did a wonderful job, but it is just too big."
I call Brave's cell phone, we pow wow for a few, and come up with a game plan for what we're telling her.
"Ok, normally, since this was a custom order, you'd have to pay to have it redone. We're going to redo it for you once for free, but after this, if you want to change it again, we're going to have to charge you. Ok?"
Runner's entire demeanor suddenly changes "But if I'm not happy, you have to fix it. I'm not happy now, and if I'm not happy then you have to make me happy. That's how this works."
In the course of three sentences, she has gone from someone sweet, who I didn't mind, to loathed. "Well, we try to make customers happy, but corporate also can't just keep redoing things for people for free if they change their minds. This was all custom ordered, meaning we can't use it for anyone else, and anything else we order as a replacement will be the same. We didn't do anything wrong with your order; we did what you asked. We're being nice and giving you one free redo, which we aren't supposed to do. I'm just required to warn you we won't be redoing it again for free."
Now Runner is kinda stamping her foot every few words to make a point. "This wasn't what I wanted. When I first came in, I said I wanted it small so you didn't do what I asked and I won't pay for anything. You talked me into that huge thing, it's not what I wanted. You need to calm down, you're getting hostile with me!"
I just raise an eyebrow at her. "Ma'am, I'm not getting hostile, I'm not yelling or stamping my feet. I'm trying to explain to you what we can and can't do, and why, so you understand. I'm not asking you to pay for anything now, I've just said several times we're redoing it for you this time for free, I'm just informing you that beyond that, there won't be any free re-workings. You may have said you wanted it small, but you all wanted all these items in the frame. If I hadn't been part of the team taking the order, you might get away with saying it wasn't what you wanted, but the other girl and myself went through all your size and assembly options several times and even suggested several times you go home and measure the space so you could be sure if it fit or not. Furthermore, you signed on this sheet of paper saying you understood what we were ordering in and doing for you and that you agreed to it. So, you can either work with me to decide on something smaller for your one freebie, or you can sign that you picked it up and leave unhappy."
She decided to work with me. We then went back and forth for another hour about how wide her new mat would be. She wanted it a 3/4ths of an inch. I warned her that a mat smaller than the frame can be visually distracting. (It generally looks like you were trying to force something. The other complaint I've heard is that people end up staring at the mat trying to figure out why their brain is telling them something is wrong instead of looking at whatever is in the frame.)
Runner whines, "But if I make the mat as wide as the frame, I'm only taking off 4 inches of the total size!"
"If you put it where you want it, you're only taking off 5 inches of the total size. It's an inch difference overall. Really, we'll stick to the re-doing this for free once. We'll hold it for you if you want to go home and actually measure the space you want to put it in. We'll put the re-order in when you come back." Again, she wants to get it done today. She makes a decision, I have her sign off on the paperwork, in which I have also noted she understands we're only doing this once.
Four days pass. I get a call from the new kid in the frame shop (who is looking like he'll last longer than 2 months, but that's another story). "You remember Runner? She called today. She wanted to cancel the re-order and just pick stuff up as it was. I know she was your customer and how frustrating she's been, so I didn't want to say anything until I checked with you."
After all that, she's willing to just take it? Now that we can't cancel the order anymore, the company is out the money, which we will get blamed for? "Don't worry kid, I'll call her when I get in."
Oh boy, did I. I told her if she just wanted to take it, she was more than welcome to come by and pick it up- it was hers. However, if she then got it home, changed her mind again and did want it smaller, her free re-do was already used because it was too late to cancel the new order we had put in and she would be paying for any changes. Alternately, when the new frame and mat came it, we could put the frame together so she could see how big it was compared to the old one, but for the time being leave the poster and everything in the current frame if she decided she'd like to keep the original.
The other caveat to this was that whatever she decided on the phone with me would be final and any other phone calls about changing her mind again would be ignored. We'd given her the opportunity to put off the decision until she had all the facts from her home in both instances, which she hadn't wanted to do, so we were putting our foot down at this point that she either took everything or waited for the new stuff to get in, period. She complained that this would count as her free re-do, but finally decided to wait for the new frame.
So, her new frame came in a few days ago, we're just waiting for her to come look at them. I can't wait to get this woman out of our hair.
May all your custies be decisive.