Better Get Bready For This Customer

| Right | October 11, 2016

(I’ve been working in a grocery store bakery for about half a year. A customer has been coming here for years, multiple times a week, and is always rude, condescending, nasty, and never satisfied no matter what you do for her. She frequently demands things that are impossible, like chicken that takes twenty minutes to cook being done for her in five because she “knows how things work,” and is just generally a nuisance to everyone. I usually wind up dealing with her. Everyone else hates her, and while I do as well, I’m much better at not showing it. I’m in the back of the department when a coworker comes back asking for me. When I go up front to see what’s going on, I see the customer we hate standing there. She throws up her hands in exaggeration when she sees me.)

Customer: “Oooh, now, HOW did I know it was going to be YOU coming out of there?”

Me: *cheerful* “I’m here all the time! They can’t get rid of me. How can I help you today?”

Customer: *sticks loaf of unpopular but expensive glazed dessert in my face* “Honey, I am going across the street to my appointments for a few hours, and I want you to hold on to this for me! It’s my daughter’s birthday today, and if I don’t get this for her, it’s going to break her heart!”

(She always claims it’s her “daughter’s birthday,” and at this point, I have no idea if she’s just lying for the heck of it, or has some other issue, but I don’t care.)

Me: “Well, I’m off shift in about ten minutes, but we will put this back here behind the counter for you with your name on it, and all you have to do when you come back is ask and they’ll give it to you.”

Customer: *exaggerated gape* “Honey, what do you mean you’re just going to LEAVE it there? They’re going to give it to someone else; I know how places like this work!”

Me: “Ma’am, we have many loaves of this left on the shelf, so nobody will try to take yours, and it will be safe right here for you personally when you come back, promise!”

Customer: “That’s ridiculous! Come on now, sweetie, you have to take care of your customers!”

Me: “Well, as I said, ma’am, I am off shift very shortly, and I promise you it will be right here waiting for you. Everyone knows who you are.”

Customer: *staring at me with her jaw still literally dropped as if I’ve just started barking at her* “So you’re NOT going to stay to take care of a customer’s order?”

Me: *still smiling* “We have you covered, ma’am.”

Coworker: “Um, it’s no problem, ma’am, I’m here until the store closes. I’ll make sure we have it for you!”

(The customer didn’t respond, but instead snatched her cart and loudly clattered it around to storm off, banging into shelves. I watched her go up to the front desk and start gesturing angrily, jabbing her hand back in my direction. I later found out she claimed I was “refusing her service”… by not staying several hours past my shift end to guard her item, I guess. This was something she’d done before, and she never ever came back for the items she made us hold for her. Fortunately, management all knew she was full of it… She always had several unreasonable complaints a week! And people wondered why I was so happy when I had my last shift there last month.)

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