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How To Deal With The Babble Rabble

, , , , , , | Right | December 22, 2022

I used to work at a bookstore that has gone the way of the dinosaurs. We’ve all had the cell phone jerks who can’t shut up long enough to complete a transaction at the registers. However, this little memory still makes me smile.

A young man with a phone to his ear approaches the registers with a few books in his grip. He flashes me a wink and says into his phone:

Customer: “Okay, I’m at the registers. Hold on a minute.”

He sets the cell phone down on the counter, smiles at me, and hands me his purchase. He speaks to me in a conspiratorial stage whisper, gesturing to the phone.

Customer: “She won’t even notice.”

Although I can’t make out the words, I can tell that he is correct and the conversation babble from the phone hasn’t paused in the slightest.

The usual transaction conversation progresses, mostly with me trying not to laugh too loudly to be heard.

Me: “Did you find everything you needed?”

Customer: “Yep.”

Me: “Do you have your rewards card with you today?”

Customer: “Certainly. Here you go.”

Me: “Okie-dokie, your total is [total].”

He writes out a check. The babble continues from the phone. I verify that everything is on the check as needed.

Me: “Did you get your check number and total in your register?”

Customer: “Oh, shoot, thank you. I almost forgot that.”

Some long-winded rant is still winding up on the phone. After the check information is jotted down, he accepts his bag and thanks me.

Me: “Hey… I’m sorry…”

I gesture to his STILL chattering phone.

Customer: “It’s okay, I’ve perfected the art of letting my sister chatter while still getting stuff done. Even if she gets miffed, I can always truthfully say that I did tell her that I needed to put the phone down.”

He puts the phone to his ear and, without missing a beat, replies:

Customer: “Look. If they won’t, then they won’t. Find another dentist.”

I watched him leave and marveled at the efficient way he’d handled it all. If only all customers acted this way.

Question of the Week

What is the absolute most stupid thing you’ve heard a customer say?

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