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!
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.