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    Soldiering Through Bad Customers

    | Westminster, CA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Military

    (I used to work full time at a large retail clothing store. I am now in the military and when I take leave, I come back and often work a few days during a week.  A man and wife come up to the register.)

    Me: “How’s your day going? Did anyone help you find everything?”

    (I always ask because I don’t really have a quota I need to meet.)

    Husband: “Oh, it’s going. No one helped, but we found everything easily.”

    Me: “Sorry about that. Glad you found everything, though.”

    Wife: “Do you make commission?”

    Me: “Nope! But most of the employees have sales quotas they have to meet.”

    Wife: “You don’t?”

    Me: “No, I’m part time. I actually have other goals in mind.”

    (The husband half laughs at this point and looks right at me.)

    Husband: “Oh, do you actually have high dreams for yourself?”

    (His wife chuckles, so I straighten up, stop scanning things, pull out my secondary wallet carrying my military ID, with ‘specialist’ listed as the rank and my military police badge and slam it on the table.)

    Me: “Actually, I’m in the Army. I am here on leave and I can’t stand to just sit around. My family is working, so a few days each time I’m back I come here to work. I have been on details I’m not allowed to discuss and you will never learn about from the news.”

    (The husband literally looks straight down and slinks a little.)

    Me: “Not to mention while I’m doing this, I’m about a year and half into my bachelors of science in criminology. But, hey…” *I go back to scanning his items and putting away my wallet* “…it must be extremely nice for someone like you to enjoy being here so casually thanks to people like me.”

    (During the rest of the time I scan the items, neither person says a word.)

    Me: “That will be [price]. We can do any credit card or cash.”

    (The husband says nothing and simply hands me his card politely.)

    Me: “All right, here you go! Continue to enjoy the rest of your day!”

    Husband: *in a hushed voice* “Thank you…”

    Me: “You’re WELCOME. For everything.”

    (I continue with the polite tone and smiling, and then call up the next customer.)

    Next Customer: “THANK YOU!”

    (The customer shakes my hand and we talk about his time in the Marines during Vietnam. I made sure to give him the 10% military discount.)