Retail Rant 36

I’ve got two cranky old men stories for you today. Because they’re always the best.

My cashier was ringing up an elderly couple and with every item he scanned, the man would ask how much it would ring up as to verify it was the correct price. Because I guess he’d recently been overcharged somewhere, not my store because I’d never seen these people before. But maybe a store like mine had done him wrong, and he had trust issues. Whatever. My cashier is doing great and there hasn’t been a problem yet.

Until the very end, when he scanned the two boxes of cereal and they’re supposed to have an extra dollar off or something. I just happen to be walking past at this point and I say, “Oh, I’m pretty sure that extra dollar is with a digital coupon.”

And then the man gets mad. Because “Why don’t you have the paper coupons in the store?” Well, sir, because we don’t even have paper ads in the store to begin with and we stopped having the coupons in the store years ago. “But what if I don’t want the app on my phone?” Well, you are more than welcome to make an account on the website on the computer at home and clip your coupons before you come in. “Well. I’m going to go home and check that you’re telling the truth. Because if you’re not, I’m coming back up here!” Great. Can’t wait.

And this next part is why I actually got fed up with the man. He pays for the over $100 purchase and then walks away. He leaves his wife to load all the bags up into the basket and handle them. He’s just too mad over that $1. So I say, “Have a great day, sir!” at a pretty loud volume. And his response is “Whatever,” with a wave of his hand. So, I take it one step further and say, “I hope you come into the technological age soon!” And he slams his way out the door.

Maybe I shouldn’t have said that. But oh well. My customer service can only go so far with these people anymore.

The next man came in and asked for the bathroom and I told him it was out of order. (Yes, it’s still out of order. Corporate does not care.) Then he grumbles and grabs a shopping cart before walking away. He comes back up a few minutes later with a box of trash bags in his cart and asks me if we have coasters. But he doesn’t wait for me to answer. He immediately assumes I don’t know what coasters are and says, “you know, those little things you can put drinks on so they don’t leave rings on your table.” I tell him that no, sorry, we don’t carry coasters. He grumbles again and looks at the list in his hand.

“Well, what about paper towel holders?” I say we have the ones that stand on the counter, not the ones that hook to anything. He says that’s fine. I tell them where they’ll be. He asks for silverware trays too, and I tell him we only have the ones that come with silverware, but they’ll be on the same aisle.

Okay, fine. He walks away. Comes back. Can’t find the paper towel holders, so could I please show him. Sure, sure. I walk back and see the shelf is empty. I apologize, say we must have run out, because this is where they’d be.

And he loses it. “Goddamnit. Half your damn store is empty! Can’t you get anything on the shelf!” Then he stomps away and shoves his cart to the side of an aisle.

I’m right behind him still. I grab the cart and say, “Oh, don’t worry. I’ll take care of your basket and trash bags sir.” He waves his hand over his shoulder at me. “And have a good day!” Because I don’t know why saying that makes people more mad, but I love saying it. And then he yells, “Fuck you!” back at me and slams out of the building.

Three customers heard him and all looked at me like I was going to run after him or something. One even told me I kept my cool way better than she would have. Little does she know I thrive on making people like him angry. Because the calmer I am, the more furious they get. And the more furious they get, the more they make themselves look like idiots. Any maybe, just maybe, one day they’ll realize they can’t act like a toddler once they’ve reached middle age.

But probably not.

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