Hello fellow retail slaves, it’s Paint Lady here.
Had a lovely experience with a fellow today that I just had to share, only to try and vent the burning ‘graaagh’ feeling I’ve had bottled inside me since.
I don’t know about you guys, but when you’ve worked in retail too damn long, you get to know some of the customers fairly well. There is one old guy who is a vaguely regular customer (we get a visit from him about once a month) who is a nasty piece of work. He will expect you to run ragged for him, if you don’t have what he wants; he’ll expect miracles for you to get it and all topped off with the expression of a wrinkled prune.
Anywho, today I was called round to our garden section, to take off one of our staff members for their break. As I came round, I peeked out into our car park to see our member of staff with the dreaded customer who I knew and recognized. Too late to run, my colleague saw me, gave me a look of ‘Good luck with this one’ and bid a hasty retreat. (Cheers mate)
The conversation went as follows – me being ‘PL’ and him being ‘AF’ (Arse Face)
PL: Morning Sir, how can I help you today?
AF: I would like to purchase one of the Arbours you have in your car park.
He begins pulling out a cheque book.
I don’t know how it works in the USA, but in the UK, cheques are pretty much obsolete. A lot of UK stores don’t take them, and I haven’t taken a cheque in this store for years.
PL: I’m sorry sir, but if you wish to pay for an arbour, it has to be cash or card. We haven’t taken cheques in years.
PL: Well, I’m sorry sir. I have no way of taking a payment in anything other than a cash or card. You find most places don’t now. (I said, with a smile)
AF: Well this is ridiculous. You’re going to lose this sale if you cannot take a cheque. I shall take my business elsewhere.
PL: I’m sorry sir...
At this point he interrupted me, with what I can only describe as a look of hatred on his face:
AF: Well, I’ve had it up to here with this place. I’ve a bucket full of ‘sorrys’ back home you’ve offered me everytime I come here, for all the things you cannot help me with. This is beyond the joke. Where is your manager? I want to speak with him immediately.
PL: *putting on best sweetest retail smile on* I’m sorry but she is on her day off at present. She’s in again Monday.
AF: Well! What about your head office??
I write down the head office number, hand it to him still smiling, as he grabs it and storms out the door. At this point, my co-worker was back, looked at me, and covered the till as I ran to the staff room for a small tear and a much needed cup of tea.
15 minutes later, when I was round there again, sorting out another customer, he walks back in with his card and proceeds, as if nothing has happened, to pay and order a bloody arbour for delivery. I laid on thick the ‘ patronising retail smarm’ (that I can never understand how people don’t realise is actually an insult) that he was mollified enough to even offer me a grunting ‘goodbye’ when he left.
Remind me again how working retail is classed as an ‘easy unskilled job’?