Retailicious Awesome Custy Encounter
This time it's a sickly sweet mooshy gooshy story.
I know how everyone LOVES those.
So I'm at work during the lunch rush, and we're slammed. Slammed to the point where your feet are glued to one spot slammed. You know the drill. And I see my favorite custy walk in.
Here's the deal about my favorite custy - to make it short, think Forrest Gump. He comes in with his friends sometimes (who're er, like him? I've never bothered asking what he specifically has)
Now, I adore this custy. I love this guy. He comes in and always says "Yes ma'am. No ma'am. Thank you ma'am." The ma'am thing is a quirk of mine, you're supposed to call strangers ma'am or sir in my book.
He's never on a cell phone, he never has the "running away" disease that so many custys seem to have. He never leaves a mess. When he comes in with his friends, he makes them do the same thing and if they don't understand, he explains "the rules" to them. Often times he comes in with his mother - this is the kind of cute part. Even though he's with his mom, she makes him pay for his own food because he works at Wally World and pay for his own stuff; it makes him feel good. He likes making his momma proud.
He came in during the rush, sans mom or friends, and I was stuck on the register. No one had been able to clear off tables because of the rush. So what do I spy my favorite custy doing?
Clearing off the tables. Picking up trash and putting it in the garbage. Even picking the nasty used napkins up off the floor that some custys leave. Brushing crumbs off tables, putting trays back where they belong.
You know, I'm a pretty tough girl in this place. I'm an "old dog" (I'm only 21..eh..whatever.) I'm HBIC, I don't freak out during rushes and dismiss crustys with the slightest of ease...
But this guy?
This guy who as far as I can tell is Forrest Gump's cousin, is cleaning up all this crap? I had the stupidest biggest shit eating grin on my face that custys thought I'd gone mad.
So when he finally made it down to me, I gave him a cookie.
It wasn't much, but Hellbelly's cookies are damn good, ok?! Who cares if it screws up our inventory later, homeboy deserved a freaking cookie.
10 minutes later his mom comes through, and he's got this smile on his face and shows her the cookie.
FG, pointing at me: She gave me a free cookie!
FG: Uh..I dunno...
Then he got all bashful and she asked me why he got a free cookie, and I explained to her what happened.
Then his MOM started tearing up a little bit.
Me: That was the nicest thing anyone's done for me all day.
Mom: You should see him around the house, I never have to clean ANYTHING.
Me: So...can I borrow him?
Ahaha. I know. It shouldn't be that big of a deal, but my nicest, most well behaved customer is a little slow - but it doesn't stop him from being polite, which is more than I can say for my ahem, average custys. It's a cruel irony. But I firmly believe that this kiddo was raised right by his momma. Kudos to that woman!
-- Buck Bait
Posted by: synykl | Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 01:23 PM
Slow? Like Forrest, it's people like this that do a damn good job reminding the rest of us what life is really all about - help other people, don't make a mess, and nothing beats a well-earned cookie. I say hats off to him. Maybe we're actually the *slow* ones, running around pointlessly, being rude and sloppy. We could use more like him (and his Momma).
Posted by: Mcarp555 | Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 03:56 PM
You're very right, OP; being "slow" is absolutely irrelevant to whether you're a kind-hearted person. Anyway, who freaking cares if you can't do long division and have Velcro on your shoes instead of laces? Civility is a great deal more important.
Posted by: Callista | Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 05:07 PM
I find that people with "differences" (or whatever is P.C. these days) tend to be the most polite and friendly, whether they're my customers or I'm theirs. They try to be kind and courteous, and it shows. I appreciate that more than I can express.
And I have to admit your story brought a little tear to my eye.
Posted by: Luka | Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 05:16 PM
This brought a smile to my face. Humanity could stand to learn a few things from the "slow" members....
Posted by: WMDKitty | Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 05:52 PM
Maybe they're not actually slow.
Maybe it's just everyone else being too busy rushing around and being dicks?
I wish there were more people like this in the world. I remember a guy from the city I used to love. His name was Benny and as he said "Ebe'buddy know me" and he was so sweet and nice. Just talked to you about anything. My ex-husband couldn't handle him though, he was just "weirded out" by the guy. Which was kind of sad, because I liked when Benny would come up to me for a chat and say how beautiful my daughters were.
Posted by: Kristin | Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 06:58 PM
I once sat next to a guy who was "slow" back in high school. He was one of the sweetest and most polite people I knew. Kudos to you, for treating him like a human being, and to him and his momma for being proper human beings!
Posted by: Wynn | Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 07:07 PM
Nah, "slow" people can be jerks, too. What, just because you're different, you've suddenly got to be an angel? Not so. People are just people and that's all; they make the same moral choices as anybody else. But this particular guy (and his mom) obviously made the right choices.
Posted by: Callista | Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 08:01 PM
Callista is right that you can't judge everyone so generally. But in my own *personal experience* a vast majority of people with some kind of mental issue (regardless if it's mental retardation as with a cousin of mine, or with something considered 'manageable' by the public like depression or OCD) have been the kindest. Perhaps because of some innate sense of knowing what it's like to be different, perhaps (sadly) being taunted or hurt by the public some people are more compassionate through it.
Posted by: Pagemaster | Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 08:11 PM
I work for the same company you do Buck Bait. :D
Posted by: josh | Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 08:36 PM
Whenever I see special needs folks working at various places. I see that they re working very hard to do a good job. They truly LIKE to work and enjoy what they do. Thanks for giving him a cookie!
Posted by: Lori | Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 09:44 PM
@Lori -- and often times we have to work twice as hard just to keep up with you "normal" folks.
Posted by: WMDKitty | Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 10:57 PM
Excellent story Buck Bait. Big smile from me.
One word of not really "caution", but more "heads-up":
Be prepared to delicately handle the situation if your favorite custy decides he romantically likes you (one clue is the going bashful all of a sudden).
If you're aware of the possibility, you can be sure to properly control 'signals' he might misinterpret. His mom can help explain that he's your favorite customer, nothing more, if you need her to.
The fine line between 'friendly' and 'interested' gets blurred with these nice folks sometimes and you don't want to accidentally lead him on or hurt him.
Other than that awareness on your part, keep treating him like the special person he sounds like.
Posted by: MrSpellcheck | Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 06:48 AM
MrSpellcheck is unfortunately right. Back when I was in school that happened to me. There was a "slow" (what do you say these days?) guy in a wheelchair, and every day I'd return his tray to the kitchen because it was hard for him to do. He ended up asking me to prom (which I had no intention of attending anyway), and saying no was...difficult.
Posted by: The Admiral | Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 11:14 AM
I think he got bashful because he couldn't put into words why he got a free cookie. Communication is sometimes a skill that he has a hard time with. Most days I treat him like every other customer. But goddamnit that day he deserved a freaking cookie.
Posted by: Buck Bait | Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 11:43 AM
Wow. I'm going to kidnap that guy and have him teach my son how to clean house. Either that or I'll kidnap him myself and let him out every Saturday to clean my apartment. I'm still sore from last weekend.
I believe the PC term now is "mentally challenged", but don't quote me.
My brother is believed to have one of the Autism Spectrums, and he is a real jerk. Very self-centered and lazy. It didn't help that growing up my mom spent his whole life telling him he was "different" and that he didn't need to do things like other kids because of it, so things can go both ways. I'm glad you had a good experience and met someone who was raised right. I wish there were more mothers out there doing the right thing.
Posted by: Humor_Me | Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 07:12 PM
That's soo cute!
It reminds me of this girl with Down syndrome I was in high school with...probably 10 years ago now. I helped her with her combination lock once, and ever since then, she's ran up to me and given me a hug when she sees me, it's adorable. Seriously, half the people I went to school with are too rude to even acknowledge each other, but she always says something, it never fails.
I agree with you, I definitely give the parents of children with special needs a *LOT* of credit.
Posted by: Nocturnesthesia | Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 10:42 PM
Oh, no question he deserved the cookie that day. My 'heads-up' was just that, nothing more.
Glad to hear that he works, but is Wally World going to his strengths? If they've got him stuck at greeter, maybe his mom could see about having them try him at stocking or keeping shelves orderly?
Cudos for treating him like a human being. That happens too little these days.
Posted by: MrSpellcheck | Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 07:27 AM
I can definitely say people of all mental levels can have all levels of manners/workability (two kids I went to school with - one with mild autism a total workaholic and talented Mo-Fo, the other most likely mildly autistic as well or at least Asperger's: lazy as fuck and priorities all out of whack).
I sometimes take a "dirty" table at coffee shops or wipe up the mess at the condiments station since it's easy and keeps it cleaner longer. Why can't some people just toss their napkins/clean up the small drink stain they made when they are done? >=P
Posted by: Fuzzy | Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 10:05 AM
This story is awesome.
There's a home that always coming shopping with some of the more highly functioning patients. One of the kids used to creep me out because he asked me what car I drove and if it had an alarm, but then one day he asked me if I was married. I said no, and then he asked my supervisor (who is like 24, we used to be friends but I hooked up with her friend who used to work at Costco and now we don't speak) if she was married. When she said she wasn't, he asked her why she hasn't married me yet.
Posted by: Triple C | Tuesday, November 02, 2010 at 04:28 PM