I think I’ve always been quite positive towards humanity. I know there are angry people, and mean people. I know that not everyone will be the way I would be. But I’ve always imagined there are more good people than bad people. With that being said, this view has changed lately.
If you didn’t know (I probably didn’t mention it before) I work in retail. More specific, I work at a hardware store. And the customers. Are. Bad.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of nice customers that make my job quite easy. But in this post I’m gonna focus on the others. Those customers who seem to come into the store just so that they can shout at me for stuff I can’t change. Let me tell you about a few of these:
First of all, a customer from today: A grown man, quite nice, nothing bad about him. He seemed like a polite guy, and I helped him with what he needed help with. He then asked me if I can order this and that (some spare parts for a device). I said ¨Sure, I’ll check it out and get in touch with you.¨ So I was going to check out the total price of this, and then contact him. I did this, and let me tell you: It wans’t all that easy, concidering I’ve never really ordered anything like this before. Anyways, I got some help, found out the price included shipping, and then I gave him a call. Now, my boss told me to tell him that he had to come to the store and pay for the spare parts before we order them. This is what it has pretty much always been like, because of previous happenings where the customer has never come to pick up what we ordered for them, and us thereby having some thingy that noone wants to buy and that was quite expensive…
So yeah, I gave him a call, and when I told him he had to come to the store to pay for the parts before we order it, he snapped. I couldn’t really believe what I was hearing. He went on about how incredible this was, that it couldn’t be possible, that he was going to tell the media about this etc. There I was, 1 minute until I was done for the day, listening to a grown man shouting at me, a 17 year old, for something I cannot change, even if I want to. I tried explaining, but he interrupted me, shouting louder. When I actually did manage to get a sentence into this ¨conversation¨, I told him, as calmly as I could, that ¨I’m sorry but there’s nothing I can do about it. My boss told me this is the procedure we follow, and it’s the same as it has been for a very long time.¨ He wouldn’t have it. He yelled some more, and I’d had enough of his bullshit. However, being the person I am, I didn’t say half of the things I would like to say. Shit would get ugly then… I just changed my voice a bit, sounding more upset and stricter, repeating ¨Okay, listen. I am sorry, but as I said, I cannot do anything about it. So there is no point in arguing.¨ He said something about ¨going to the media with this¨ again, and I thought, but dared not say, ¨Well go ahead, it’s not gonna change the standard procedures anyways.¨ And I’d love to throw in a little ¨Prick.¨ into the conversation as well.
The conversation ended with him saying something like this: ¨Okay, I’m going to come tomorrow and talk to your manager about this. And I’m taking this story to the newspaper!¨ I was thinking ¨Okay whatever dude, just calm your tits. This was all extremely unnecessary so please get out of my life.¨ He hung up without saying anything more. So yeah. That was number one.
Next up, not too long ago. This one also happened over a telephone ¨conversation¨, less than five minutes after arriving at work. I was in an alright mood, nothing too shabby that day. Then the phone rang. I answered it with the standard ¨*name of store* how can I help you?¨ and the answer stunned me. He said his name, and then it began. He yelled at me, going on about ¨don’t you want customers at your store?¨ and stuff like ¨I am disappointed¨ and then finally I found out what was wrong. I actually had to ask him what was wrong… So he started going on about how he had called several times the day before (for the record, I wasn’t at work the day before) and, well, number 1: it took a while for someone to answer (which is what happens if it’s a busy day at work, concidering we don’t have people working there simply to answer the phone), and when he did get through to someone, he asked them a question, and the worker said he would call him back when he figured it out. Apparently, he never called back. And then this customer decided to take his anger out on me. Can I say he verbally abused me? I mean, he started attacking me, asking if I didn’t want any customers and stuff… This was the first time I actually answered a customer in a strict and mildly pissed voice. Since he wouldn’t shut up, I had to interrupt him, saying something like ¨If you… I… (he wouldn’t shut up) Listen! Okay look, I wasn’t at work yesterday, and I literally just arrived at work now, so let me ask you: Who did you speak to yesterday?¨ He just said he didn’t know, and kept on yelling. I could easily help him, because when I read a post it note the worker from the day before had written, I knew the answer, but this guy was just yelling at me, not even hinting that he wanted an answer. The ¨conversation¨ ended with him saying that he was going to complain to the manager, and then he hung up. I was shaking. Not from fear or anything. Oh no, I was shaking from anger. He was being so unnecessary, and it was so fucking uncalled for. So yeah.
Okay so those were the two worst. Maybe. Anyways, the other day, this older guy with a beard (that wasn’t essential to the story or anything…just making the story more alive) was going to pay, and I was near the checkout, helping a customer with some gas grill stuff. He stood there for approximately 30 seconds or something, and when I walked over to take care of the payment (don’t know how to put it in good english…) the guy started to criticize me for not coming to his rescue sooner. In my head I was like ¨what the actual fuck, dude? What, you want me to just leave a customer in the middle of a conversation to help you?¨ As if that wasn’t enough, he started criticizing the store as well. He said it was a really bad store with a lot of mess and no customer service and stuff. I tried asking him about it, like if he didn’t find any workers around the store, what was so messy (the only mess in the store at the time was literally behind the counter of the paint department because we had just gotten a ton of paint we had ordered), but he wouldn’t let me finish one. single. sentence. He just kept saying ¨No but¨ this and that. And the way he talked to me! It was so patronizing, and he then said something like ¨but you’re just a substitute so…¨ and I was like OH HELL NO. Bitch I’ve worked here for over a year, I have a part time contract, bitch I’m not no substitute! I tried saying something, but he just laughed and said ¨No but¨ this and that. He annoyed me so much I wanted to punch his fugly face with the fucking stuff he bought. I don’t remember wat he bought, but I want to hit him with it. Again: he was being extremely unnecessary.
So those were three examples of customers who gradually make me lose faith in humanity. Of course, there will always be good people in this world (I hope), but some people… I just don’t understand how it makes sense in their heads to yell non stop at me for something I didn’t have anything to do with. And the patonizing way some of them talk to me. I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m not. I wish ther were more smart people in this world. Not necessarily smart as in good in math and science and stuff, but smart as in they don’t do unnecesary stuff like yelling at teenagers for shit that there is no point in being mad about. I understand that one cannot help feeling what they feel, but there is such a thing as hiding your emotions. I do this quite often, but these customers make it quite difficult. I am not even joking: lately I have started being a bit afraid of myself, because I don’t know if I’ll be able to maintain a calm surface when a customer is yelling at me… maybe I should go to some anger management stuff? Or… maybe… all these angry customers should. Yeah. That’d be more useful for everyone.
Sorry for the long rant, I’ll try and make my next post a bit happier.
Stay happy, stay awkward