Every Job Is An Important Job

, , , | Right | December 3, 2019

(I work in a fabric store. It’s the week after Labor Day and the holiday sales are picking up in anticipation, so even our slow days are beginning to be hectic. It’s a typical day shift so far when we start picking up around the lunch hour; nothing new there, but it’s a little rough with the manager on the phone with corporate for various reasons. Outside is stormy, so I’m managing cash and cutting alone. We use a number system to keep customers moving in a decent fashion, and it’s quite useful, as it prevents the inevitable “I was here FIRST” arguments that always pop up. However, one guy apparently takes issue with it, but says nothing until I call his number to the counter after racing through about twelve bolts.)

Me: “[Number]! Sir! I’m so sorry for the wait; I’m ready for you now!” 

(He huffs up to the counter carrying his small non-service dog — we’re too nice.)

Customer:  “Y’know, miss, that was a huge disgrace!”

Me: “I’m sorry?” 

Customer: “Miss, I was a firefighter in LA, and we’d go down to the market, and if the cashier saw us with one or two items, they’d just wave us up and get us taken care of!”

Me: “I apologize, but we operate on a different system here, designed to handle short bursts of business and prolonged periods of cutting/cashiering. I do apologize for the wait, but this is how we do things in order to provide the best service.”

(I’m lining up and cutting his half-yard as I speak, because we are so backed up, and I’m exhausted enough as it is.)

Customer: “It’s only half a yard; you should have done mine and all of theirs—” *motions to all the others waiting* “—and let us get on our way before her big order!”

Me: “I am sorry, but that lady was first, and had her number to prove it. It’s not worth my job to buck that system for one person. Now, if you had asked her if you could go first, I would have gladly taken care of you, but you said nothing to me in regards to that option, so I couldn’t have known.”

(Cue a solid ten minutes of complaining, talking in circles, and general BS about how it should all be done the same way while I have to prompt him every single time to use his card, his PIN, all of that… and finally, he just hits a nerve and I can’t help the sarcasm.)

Customer: “It’s not like this is an important job! You don’t have to be so straightlaced and such a tight-a** about everything!”

Me: “Well, sir, this is an important job, whether you think so or not. This job helps allow me to care for my elderly relatives both physically and financially, and I follow the rules because I cannot afford to lose this job. Here is your receipt.”

Customer: *snorts* “It’s just such a disgrace that you wouldn’t let me–“

Manager: *finally free of the phone* “Sir, you have paid and you have your dog and item. You need to leave and stop harassing my team member.” 

(Thankfully, he finally leaves, and the rest of our customers that witnessed it are super sympathetic and complimentary, and once I stop shaking, it’s a little easier. Back on the radio to my manager, I explain everything and she just chuckles.)

Manager: “Don’t worry; I left a voicemail for [District Manager] if the guy calls in a complaint.”

(I love my manager.)

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