From DFowler , February, 2010:
I haven't worked retail in a long time, but the nightmares of those years help me appreciate those who do work the front lines, especially during Christmas.
After watching "The Wizard of Oz" a few nights ago, my wife decided we needed to go to the mall for a little late night Christmas shopping. So, in no time I find myself a long line to pay for some stuff at a mall specialty store and I am enjoying watching the Christmas crowds and shoppers.
In front of me is some woman loaded up with gifts and she's berating the girl behind the counter to be careful with every item as they are rung up. I swear if she said "Be careful with thaaaat!" one more time I was going to kick her in the ass so hard she'd taste my shoe! This fat bitch is wearing more jewels than Elton John in Concert and a full length fur coat (to go shopping in the mall!?) She's carrying one of those purses with the logo patterned all over it. She's a walking billboard for "I got money and you don't!"
It came time to pay and she pulls out a credit card. No problem but the card is declined. She insists that the girl somehow did it wrong and tells her (doesn't ASK her, she TELLS her) "Do it again, only this time try a bit harder."
The girl dutifully does it again and it is declined again.
The woman reaches into her wallet and produces another card. Guess what? Declined! AND again, she tells the girl to run it again explaining (like to a 4 yr old) how to hold the card so that the magnetic stripe is facing right. (I have to give it to the girl behind the counter, she kept her cool and followed the bitch's stupid instructions if for no other reason than to prove to the Rich Bitch that the card wasn't working) Each time the retail girl works the machine, the Rich Bitch turns to those of us waiting and gives us the 'eye roll' like we all know the girl is doing it wrong and aren't retail slaves just the worst, blah blah blah.
3 cards and 6 charge attempts later, she pulls out the 4th card and says to the girl behind the counter "And get it right this time, Missy, these people are getting tired of your fucking mistakes."
The venom with which she says this causes a woman behind me in the line to actually gasp and my blood begins to boil. Actually it had started boiling some time before, only just then it boiled over.
I snapped. I stepped forward and my wife grabbed my arm as if to say oh noooo please nooooo but it was too late. (I've done this before, and my wife refers to it as becoming the Retail Hulk! (..."don't make me angry...you wouldn't like me when I'm angry...")
"No," I start, "what we're really tired of is people like you who can't seem to get their credit in line and take it out on other innocent people." My wife has stepped back to give me room.
The Rich Bitch swiveled her piggy eyes toward me and looked like she was about to give me a clever wise-assed come back, so I took a deep breath and let her have it between the eyes.
Retail Hulk had arrived... "And another thing, these people aren't slaves and even though they may be paid what we laughingly call 'slave wages, they don't deserve to be treated that way - by your or anyone else! They work in one of the most thankless jobs there is: retail. In no other employ will you have to be doing one job in the morning, and another job before lunch and yet a third job later in the day!" (I have a much unused degree in voice and I'm giving this speech in loud tones for no other reason than to get people to stop and listen. Even the people in the mall are stopping and staring.)
"They unload the trucks, unpack it, price it, haul it out to the sales floor and arrange it neatly it on the shelves, where, 20 minutes later they have to rearrange it after some high and mighty yet totally messy shopper like you has destroyed their careful work. But then they also have to sweep the floors, clean the glass windows and even unplug the fucking toilets because basically working retail really is one step above being a slave!"
I was on a roll, and even the manager had come over to see what was going on.
"Then they have to work the cash registers where they have to deal with entitled rich bitches like you who treat them like shit and can't seem to find one fucking credit card that will work and YOU end up hold up a long line of other customers, all the while insisting that it's HER fault (pointing to retail slave with eyes as big as saucers) that YOUR overcharged cards won't allow you to charge more on them! And when you can't get them to work, your blame HER! Then when you have to leave without paying, who's job will it be to return those items all to their proper place again? Any idea? I'll tell you: HER, but only after she takes care of all these other patient people and locks the doors at night. Then once the items are back where they belong, she will again vacuum and sweep the floor, clean the counters, re-arrange the shelves and count out their drawer for the night all while you are cozy at home bitching about how she didn't do HER JOB right? (Sarcasm drips from the end of that statement.) So, if I were you, I'd get down off my high fucking horse and apologize to the entire line for delaying our shopping, apologize to this young lady for basically being such a raging ASSHOLE WITCH and insulting her and then get the fuck out before someone drops a house on you!" (Wizard of Oz 'witch' reference does not go unnoticed by someone in line, who snickers accordingly ...probably my wife.)
Rich Bitch's eyes are wide open and unblinking.
I think maybe she has died standing up. The only noise is the faint hiss of the mall fountain and that blasted Christmas music.
Everyone seems to be holding their collective breath.
There is a pause of about 3 seconds before she utters a nearly inaudible 'sorry' and then turns to the girl behind the counter. "sorry..." she says again.
She pops open her wallet, fumbles around and produces two hundred-dollar bills (I wanna scream WHAT THE FUCK!?) and the girl quickly finishes the sale and bags her items.
The woman takes her bags, one in each shaking hand, and again turns to the girl behind the counter. "Sorry" she says.
She stops when she sees the manager and even says "sorry" to her too. I'm pretty sure she muttered a "sorry" to the people who parted ways in the mall for her to leave, too.
When she's out the door, there is light applause, I make my purchase with the greatest of customer service (even the manager helps) and they send me on my way with a cheery "Come see us again soon!"
As we cross the mall, my wife says "You should really write that up for Retail Hell."
So, here it is.
read more tales of Awesome Customers here