Concretely Resolute That I Will Not Help You

, , , , , | Right | February 25, 2019

(Our customer base is an odd mix: angry, irrational, helpless, entitled, crazily demanding, and often any random combination of those elements. My department is on the far side of the store from the break room, which means I must cross the entire store to get there after I take a break and/or after I clock in for my shift. The cement aisle is right outside the break room. I have just taken a break during a miserable, hot day during which customers have yelled at me multiple times for no reason. I am exiting the break room to go back to my department. Two reasonably healthy-looking, strapping male customers are standing in the aisle looking at bags of concrete.)

Customer: “HEY! YOU! We need some of these! Come help us load our cart!”

Me: “Okay, sure.”

Customer: “Those!” *points at a skid of 80-pound concrete bags and starts to walk off with the other customer*

(I load up two bags, but as I said, I am fed up already, and tired, and frankly, it’s not my job to wait on anyone hand and foot like this. Plus, the bags are very heavy. I also have my own department to get back to, since no one else is working it while I’m gone.)

Me: “Um, wait. How many did you need? And could you please help me load these?”

Other, Nicer Customer: “Sure, but we only needed those two bags of that brand. We actually needed a couple of these down here…”

Customer: *whirls back in my direction, interrupting his friend* “WHAT?! How about you do your job?!

Me: *over it* “Tell you what. I will go back to my department right now and do my job, which does not include what is happening right now.”

Customer: “FINE! WHATEVER!”

(I turn to walk away, and there is third customer standing right behind me who just saw the entire exchange. He is grinning ear to ear and laughing.)

Grinning Customer: “Hi! Could you show me where the glue is?!”

(Glue, epoxy, etc., are all in paint, which is right next to my department.)

Me: “Sure! It’s right this way. Let’s go!”

(As we are walking through the store, he talks to me.)

Grinning Customer: “You know, I’m from Brooklyn, and hearing that exchange made me homesick. Nobody back there is fake or pretends to be nice when someone is an a**hole like that. You sounded exactly like someone from my old neighborhood. That was great.”

(I laughed, thanked him, and showed him our glue selection. He pretty much made my day.)

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