Draining Training

| WI, USA | Right | September 11, 2016

(We’re in the middle of a busy spurt of the day in the deli of a grocery store. At this time, there are only two deli clerks: a boy, who is still training, and me. The trainee lands himself a customer known to have an attitude problem and wants him to open a new ham and block of cheese to slice. I am helping other customers as they come.)

Me: “Who was next?”

Bad Customer: “This is taking forever! I’ll have some potato salad!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we’re not supposed to double up on a guest; I need to help other customers first.”

(I return to helping others after apologizing and offering her a free sample of our dessert, as the trainee emerges from the cooler with the items in tow. He begins to slice her two pounds after she repeatedly reminds him to lay the ham flat. Two minutes then pass.)

Bad Customer: “He’s taking such a long time! How hard is it to slice some d*** cheese and ham?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but he’s still in training, and it probably took him a minute to find them.”

Bad Customer: “I’m in a hurry! I want an experienced worker!”

(I’m barely out of training myself, but I inform the trainee that I was going to take over and for him to take care of other customers. He thanks me and rushes off. I begin to slice her ham and cheese, after she informs me twice that she wants them flat.)

Me: “Here you go, ma’am. Was there anything else tonight?”

Bad Customer: “No, thank you. But you should inform your manager that trainees shouldn’t be out here where customers are busy and want to go home. I only want experienced workers helping me!”

(I’m still not sure how you can be experienced if you’re not trained.)

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