Cujo to RHU: What makes a Custy Miserable?
Hello again RHUers!
I don't have any horror stories of pet store travesties today, I actually just had an idea for what I think may be a fun activity. It requires participation, so I hope that anyone who is up for it will contribute.
Before we get started, I'm going to tell you about one of my old clients from many years ago: Maryanne.
Maryanne was my client at a salon that I worked at when I was a teenager (prior to being a puppy pimp I have done many many different things, one of which was cosmetology) and she came to me to get her hair colored and cut for a few years until I eventually chose to end our professional relationship due to the fact that she was such a difficult client. Actually, let me correct myself if I may: she was a wretched bitch.
Despite keeping her hair long and blonde she always wanted something different, some variation of what she already had. Each appointment was accompanied by a picture of a hairstyle that she wanted to emulate. It was always a picture of a famous news anchor, or an actress from Friends... ...one time it was even Britney Spears (back when Britney Spears was still someone you would want to look like).
Each time I saw her the picture would come out, and we'd discuss how to make her hair look more like the picture, as she told me that it wasn't quite right last time, and maybe it should be more gold, or less whispy around the face, or something. To this woman's credit, I will admit that she had awesome hair. It did anything that it was supposed to, and her requests (add bangs? Okay...) were simple, unlike her satisfaction which was too complex to be dissected enough to be earned. Working on her hair was awesome, it ALWAYS came out exactly like the picture with pretty much no effort. If I could have had the hair without her attached we would have been in business.
But they came as a package deal.
She was never EVER happy, always asking me why I couldn't get it right, or yelling at me that I just didn't get how to do it. She even threatened to find someone else to do her hair (PLEASE!! I would have paid for the appointment if someone else would take her) saying that she didn't look like the picture, that the way I had done it made her look OLD, or made her face look FULL.
The problem I realized, was that she looked old because she was old. Her face looked full because it was full. I know now that these are the things that she wanted to change, and by thinking that if she had the hair she believed she would be more like the women in the pictures: young and thin and sexy, and pretty... ...talented, accomplished, well-liked...
No matter how much she yelled at me and complained about the hairstyle I gave her I knew that it had nothing to do with the hair. It didn't even have anything to do with me. The hair wasn't really the problem and neither was I.
What was really the matter was that she wasn't satisfied with who she was (which I might not necessarily have guessed since she dealt this with issue by YELLING AT ME CONSTANTLY.)
Working with the public we get exposed to all sorts of hideousness.
While a lot of the times the bitching about stupid stuff like getting the wrong order, or having to wait too long in line or whatever isn't terribly complex, sometimes it's more. Those times when you haven't done anything except deliver service that is good or great, and someone responds by antagonizing you or screaming or swearing for no apparent reason, it makes you have to ask yourself, and maybe them: What's really the matter?
Because you know that when some person you barely know is threatening to have you fired or attempting to rip you apart as a human being simply because you can't accept their expired coupon, the coupon is not the issue. Something else is. Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with you, and it has nothing to do with the situation you're in.
So this is where the participation comes in.
For fun, list any reason why a customer might be miserable... ...to the point that they punish the world. Any reason at all that you can think of.
What' REALLY the matter?
1 - Upset about not looking like Britney Spears.
Anyone who wants to contribute please do so, numbering your reason (if you submit one) as we go along (I did reason one, whoever comments next would be reason two, and then reason three, and so on....). Please submit as many as you want to, the community could benefit from the insight.
If you have an anecdote to accompany your reason by all means feel free to share it.
And until next time, PERSEVERE! (because it's probably not your fault).
2 - Loud kids with lots of sugar, high prices, and heat that could probably turn pavement into a griddle.
Posted by: MouseMastered | Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 09:56 PM
Reason 2: Upset about their pizza got to their house before they got home.
Posted by: adfergf | Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 10:00 PM
Hahahaha! It surprises me that customers think that getting a hairstyle in salon to look like their favorite celebrity is going to going to literally make them look like them. Can you say delusional?
Posted by: Queer Geek | Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 10:00 PM
3: Their dog just died so they have no need for dog food (or store credit) but they can't find the receipt and they have other things on their mind
it's happened before. I felt so bad for the lady.
Posted by: Music Girl | Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 10:09 PM
Depression or other mental health issues could certainly do it.
Posted by: WMDKitty | Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 10:25 PM
Financial woes would most likely be the main reason for exploding over an expired coupon. Like, they thought they were gonna be able to afford to eat that day, and suddenly, it turns out they're a day late on the coupon.
Posted by: McSparkles | Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 10:38 PM
They aren't getting any .
They got too much and a critter along for the ride.
They are just miserable.
Posted by: UriGagarin | Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 11:10 PM
They've got someone in their life that takes great pleasure in stepping all over them. Could be a boss, or a wife/husband - anyone really - and somehow it makes them feel better to step all over people they don't know. I tell myself this and it makes me feel better. Plus - the more you smile and not get upset, the MADDER they get. Which just totally proves my point. BTW, I see we've done with the numbering. lol.
Posted by: SugarMoon | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 12:21 AM
9. The world persists in continuing despite their disapproval. They complain all the time and yet nothing changes.
Posted by: Spider | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 01:07 AM
10. Their teenage daughter storms out of the house and doesn't come back for days if anyone so much as looks at her wrong. True story.
Posted by: Stockroom Slave | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 01:24 AM
11) Walked in and found hubby in bed with:
a) the secretary
b) the babysitter/nanny
c) the teacher
d) best friend's wife
e) daughter D - 8)
f) the pool boy
Posted by: Humor_Me | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 03:13 AM
Most people are just jerks, period. We live in our own little internal worlds, and retail slaves are the people who intrude most into these realms, so that's who gets the brunt of not recognizing how wonderful/entitled, beautiful/desirable, or even tragic/heroic we think we are inside. Sometimes there are external causes, like abusive relations, difficult home/work lives, etc. But I think by and large, people just bare their teeth at you if you step into their territory. Or if you ask them to put the fucking phone down long enough to tell you what kind of burger they want you want to shove down their gaping maw.
Posted by: Mcarp555 | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 03:45 AM
Thank you so much for posting your story! Made me feel so much better after an incident at work today.
Two ladies asked to speak to our manager today after their meal and complained; one of their complaints was that I was "rude" to them by (politely!) telling them the table they just took was already occupied and they were welcome to sit elsewhere.
I wasn't rude in the slightest to them - apologetic even - and yet they still felt they should complain :/ There were a couple things that they were right to complain about; like not receiving cutlery/extras that they ordered, but I didn't serve them their meals so that's not for me to worry about personally.
Even though I know I did nothing wrong, I still feel crappy. At least my boss didn't yell at me, she knows I would never be rude to a customer('s face). Perhaps they just took it the wrong way. Most people are fine and apologise for taking someone's table, like the two other tables I had to speak to the same shift.
I think in this case they were just bitches who were upset because they're fat and ugly. I could sense a bitchy air about them as soon as they walked in! Sigh!
Posted by: CaramelloKoala | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 04:10 AM
I LOVE these answers! They're fucking AWESOME!
One thing that I've found myself telling countless customers about retail and service industry people is that we are not stupid, and I think that the reasons everybody is coming up with are really very demonstrative of that, because they are insightful and they uncover the real underlying issue.
Furthermore, I'm also seeing a lot of compassion towards these miserable people too which is really inspiring, since as tempting as it is to dismiss rude people entirely it's really great to hear people in positions such as ours keeping sight of the fact that they're still human beings.
Even if they hardly EVER act like it ;)
Posted by: Cujo, the miserable sexless cheap illiterate customer puppy pimp | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 06:36 AM
How about the death of someone close to them. Normally, it's more sadness than anger, but I had a lady call in one day who was so frustrated. Her mother had just died, 2 months prior her husband died, and the day of her mother's death was the anniversary of her daughter's murder over a decade before. True story. She was frustrated because she had to go through and get all the passwords on her computer and for e-mail, etc. because her husband had been the one that used them. She didn't know them. She had to pay HP $60 to retrieve one and was calling me for the e-mail. She broke down on the phone after we were talking for a while. I didn't know what to do, so I just said how sorry I was for her loss and got her taken care of. It was a rough call.
Posted by: SkullCandy | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 06:50 AM
42. (sorry, lost count of actual numbers) Projection. People tend to project thier shortcomings/flaws/failures/insecurities on the people around them...so they had a rough time in school; therefore all retail slaves are dropouts. They dabbled in pot smoking and got busted; therefore all retail slaves are drug-heads. They speak/treat people in a abupt/rude manner; therefore all retail slaves are rude no matter what they say. They have no desire to shop for an item themselves; therefore all retail slaves are lazy. They couldn't divide 87 by 64 if their life depended on it; therefore all retail slaves are stupid...and so on.
Posted by: Spritzy | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 07:27 AM
87 divided by 64... 1 and 23/64ths (please for the love of god don't ask for decimals).
16 (I think): They have a genuine complaint about a decision made by management and erroneously believe the slave has any say in the matter.
Due to hiring issues (at one point, we were down to one cashier as opposed to the five or so we need), management decided to only run self check at night. Logically it makes sense, in theory most late night shoppers are only getting a few items anyways, and it's the only way a single slave can handle that volume of customers. Unfortunately, quite a few are doing their grocery shopping, and really don't appreciate having to check their own groceries. And since the person running self check just stands there and pushes buttons (it's a low work high stress job, things can go to hell in seconds), and since the managers aren't in sight, the slave who had nothing to do with the decision gets their anger taken out on them.
Not that I'm bitter or anything.
Posted by: Grendus the Self Check Guy | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 07:44 AM
This is a brilliant idea! I agree with all posts, and I think that the reasons vary with each custy, but I have to add the fact that many female custys will treat female cashiers like crap yet will flirt like mad with my male co-workers. I just chalk it up to them feeling insecure about themselves and most of the time I try to be nicer or even ignore any guy they might be with.
Posted by: trekkiebabe31 | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 07:54 AM
18? I work at a maternity store, so I assume the reason my custys are bitchy is hormones.
Posted by: Minderella | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 08:06 AM
19. She is a snappish bitch in a hurry because she left her tiny dog in the car in extreme heat and hates the distraction of its loud panting when she is driving.
20. She screams that you are incompetent because you aren't, in fact, a mindreader.(She expected Johnny Carson and his hat)
21. The coffee is never "Fucking right, you stupid bitch!" because she has no idea how to order what she wants due to Starfuck's pretentious labelling.
22. Someone did, in fact, pee in his Cheerios this morning.
23. He sexually harassed everyone because his gf isn't sleeping with him. His ego demands to know that he's 'still got it.'
24. They throw money down on the counter with the idea that our hands are filthy and germ ridden. Forgetting this upon holding their hands out for change. Completely ignoring how cocaine coated American money is.
25. He rages and curses when he doesn't immediately get his way because Mommy never bought him a pony.
26. Hellspawn generators valiantly defend their young out of guilt over leaving them to be raised by television and the public school system.
27. The stick is so far up her ass that it is effecting her brain.
Thanks for letting me share my love of crustomers. :-)
Posted by: Surly Barista | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 08:50 AM
My hairstylist never cuts it *exactly* like the photos, because I don't look *exactly* like that person. I'll say "should it be a bit shorter in the front?" and she'll say "no, honey, your face is too round."
And I let her have her way with me and I always look great when she's done. She's the expert, that's why I pay her.
Posted by: many bells down | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 10:43 AM
I have to tip my hat to Surly barista, I'm not even kidding. Those are the only words that I could muster up. Your reasons are AWESOME!
And THANK YOU Trekkiebabe! I thought it would be fun and I'm glad that you enjoy it. Some girls are a little bitchy to me too when I flirt with their boyfriends... ...of course, I'm also a man though, so I think part of it is a little irrational fear. Oh, wait, that's a reason that I didn't see:
29 - Your straight boyfriend seems to be enjoying the flirtatious attention from the male puppy pimp...
Posted by: Cujo, the miserable sexless cheap illiterate customer puppy pimp | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 11:15 AM
30. They think the world revolves around them, and since you're not treating them as such (in other words you're treating them like the 100 other faceless customers you've dealt with today), you're rude.
31. You've had the nerve to interrupt their terribly important phone call to ring them through and have them pay for their purchase.
32. You're doing what they should be doing. Parenting their child who is doing something stupid/potentially dangerous. No matter how nicely you tell junior to stop doing whatever the hell it is, mommy gets mad at you because "it's okay".
Posted by: NC Tony | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 11:33 AM
Because ALL RETAIL SLAVES ARE DRUGGIE DROPOUTS THAT CAN'T DO ANYTHING RIGHT AND I COULD DO THIS JOB BETTER AND FASTER AND WHY CAN'T YOU COUNT RAWRRAWRRA...
Oh, I see, the price includes tax mybad.
Posted by: rhuer formally known as circle jerkette | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 11:45 AM
33. She's 54 years old wanting feathers, and wondering why she doesn't look like Miley Cyrus.
Posted by: Mir | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 11:54 AM
34. Someone cut them off on the way to the mall.
35. They hit every light on their way to the mall.
36. They got stuck behind someone doing 30 in a 50 mph zone.
36. Someone stole their parking spot on the way to the store.
37. They had to park out in bfe.
38. Some inconsiderate ass didn't hold the door when they were right behind them on the way in the store.
39. Some inconsiderate ass didn't hold the elevator on their way to the correct floor.
What can I say? A lot can happen on the way to the mall ;)
Posted by: Wingtip Workhorse | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 01:33 PM
Haha, Wingtip, I'm pretty sure I've had all of those things happen to me (not all at once, but all of them in separate situations in the past year or two) and can honestly say I never felt the need to take it out on a retail slave.
Now, I could have been mean to the bartender a few weeks ago who took a good ten minutes to get me my beer at a practically empty bar because they had to inspect my ID over and over again, and it was 95 degrees outside and I was pissed that the parking lot was almost full and some douchefuck had parked his car so that two of the spaces around him were unusable, but I was mostly patient and just enjoyed the air conditioning while I waited for my friend and my beverage to arrive.
Posted by: Rookie | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 02:19 PM
40. Their in-laws came over to stay. For a month.
Posted by: Spider | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 05:39 PM
I'm their cashier, not their damn psychologist. There is *never* an acceptable excuse to yell at a retail slave. I don't care if their mother died on their way to my store.
Posted by: SammyKat | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 06:22 PM
Heh heh heh. Time for round two... Fight!
41. Her teenage daughter borrowed her uber expensive makeup and let it melt in a backpack forgotten in a backseat.
42.(<3 Douglas Adams) Someone rang her doorbell and ran away. At 4 am.
43. Nobody at the local happy hour asked to take him home, therefore all women are fat, selfish whores only out for money.
44. His kid mailed back a porn in the Netflix envelope.
45. Parent/teacher conferences. When the teacher has a cop waiting next to her desk to discuss his "precious Sneauxflayke."
46. We really DO rearrange the whole store every night just to confuse our "guests." Mwahahaha.
47. She abuses and curses because she is suffering from a truly evil Ke$ha earworm.
Posted by: Surly Barista | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 08:58 PM
Their Catheter is slipping.
Wanted to submit without further comment, but have you ever tried to sell someone disabled something, and absolutely all they want to do is complain at you about the fact that the government won't pay for this or that? Well, the government doesn't particularly care if I freeze to death either, sir, have a nice day.
I get it, you're disabled. That sucks. No need to be miserable on top of it.
Posted by: Less Than Zero | Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 10:23 PM
Unfortunatley most of em are in the self-entitled category. But, I do know there are just times I am curled up inside myself, but, instead of taking it out on someone, I just keep quiet and meek. People think that whatever their problem is, it's always someone else's fault, and that it's OK to take it out on the rest of the world. Those are also the same people that would come unhinged if someone treated them like that. it's the double standard crap, do as I say, not as I do.
Posted by: bizhub bitch | Friday, July 01, 2011 at 09:31 AM
49: you have the audacity to tell their hellspawn not to go near an oven thats cooling down at the end of the day, and they feel like a bad parent for not noticing
50: we no longer offer certain vegan baked things because they are too hard to make in bulk (red velvet cake, tis delicious but almost impossible to make for us) and the real reason must be because we are all too lazy to actually do it right, because they have a grad party to bring it to in an hour
51: Its a plant, so they must not care if it gets destroyed (MY plant from home, named Audrey II, kept in a special terrarium at the counter) because they were emotionally scarred by Little Shop Of Horrors when they were younger
52: since Audrey II is a carnivorous plant, it must be ok to dump the remainder of their burger into to, and when i tell them not to i must be being rude because carnivores eat meat
Posted by: CookieRose | Friday, July 01, 2011 at 04:08 PM