Next Time Pay Attention!

October 15, 2008 at 12:30 pm (Cussed Dumbers)

There’s an old saying: The customer is always right. To which I have a one compound word response:


If the customer were always right, there would be no need for me. Having spent a very long time in retail and customer service, I know of that which I speaketh.

I get people who want to barter for prices. “But cigarettes are only $3.70 by my house!”

“Gee, really? I’d buy them there!”


“You know, if you charged less for cigarettes, more people would buy them, and you’d make more money.”

“Yeah, but then I’d have to deal with twenty people instead of just one to make the same money. It’s much faster my way.”

“Is there anywhere around here cheaper than you?”

“Wal-Mart’s across the river…”

And so it goes.

Last night, during a small rush, a “gentleman” hollers across the store, “HEY, what’s your cheapest beer?”

First off, I’m dealing with a customer, and there are five people in line. I’m not going to ignore them to engage you in drunken conversation. Second, that’s a common distraction technique, so I start looking around the rest of the store to see who’s looking at me. (Busted!) And finally, since I’m on the clock, I’ll get to you in order, and you will not stress me.

Our ‘Gentleman’ comes to the counter with a tall sixer of Bud. “How much?”


“WHAT? Fuck that, you guys are a ripoff! Got anything cheaper?”

“Pabst is $5.79.”


I notice something flutter to the floor, out of sight. “I think you just dropped some money.”

Gentleman looks down. “It’s just a fuckin’ penny. You guys are a ripoff!” He stumbled out the door, muttering something about my parental heritage.

I rang up a couple of young men buying late-night energy drinks, and then comes PearlGirl, a regular and a favorite. She’s always quiet, buys her stuff and goes, and when you can get her to talk it’s surprising how funny and articulate she is. She placed a quart of milk on the counter, reached down past my line of vision to the floor and then tossed a crispy $5 on the counter. “Good eye,” she said.

I stuffed it in my pocket, then had a second thought. She was nice enough to give it to me instead of keeping it, so I pulled it back out and bought her milk. I gave her the loose change and stuck two bills in my pocket. “Pennies from heaven!”

“In the land of milk and honey!” answered PearlGirl. “You tried to tell him…”

I finished the line of customers, and a few minutes later the Gentleman comes back. “Did I lose five bucks here?”

“You said something about losing a penny…” I gave him a dull look, he muttered something less than complimentary and wandered off. Buh BYE!

I love my job, I like working with the people. BUT, if you’re going to be combative and less than pleasant, don’t be surprised if we find a tiny bit of joy in your self-inflicted misfortune.

After all, you are the sexual intellectual.

Fuckin’ know-it-all…


1 Comment

  1. gee-no said,

    */sheds single man-tear.*

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