How We Wish We Could Respond To 99% Of Customers

, , , , , | Right | May 30, 2019

(I work alone at a gas station with two cash registers in different parts of the station. Depending on what needs to be done and in what part of the station, I naturally open the register closest to where I am. This is fine with 99% of my customers, but today I met entitled Mr. 1%. Mr. 1% walks up to the closed register, although he clearly saw me at the other one. I cheerfully call out to him that there is an open register by me. Mr. 1%, stubborn as can be, keeps waiting at the closed register. I wonder if he heard me but I decide to just wait for him to “get it,” watching me check out customer after customer. Eventually, Mr. 1% walks over to me, grumpy as can be.)

Mr. 1%: “Why don’t you run to your customers? Customers shouldn’t have to go to you!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I was sure you heard me say that this register is open. I apologize.”

Mr. 1%: “Everyone else comes to where I am; why won’t you?”

(And that’s when it clicks for me what he is trying to achieve. This isn’t a simple misunderstanding; this is an a**hat who gets kicks out of making people working in retail do his bidding. I have worked in retail all my life, I’ve had to follow the “customer is always right” rules before, and I know his type. Well, sucks to be Mr. 1% today; I don’t follow anyone else’s rules anymore, which means his power play is doomed to fail. As it happens, he walked into MY station. That’s right; I write the rules today, Mr. 1%. You have no power here because I own this place.)

Me: “Everyone else shouldn’t have to run to you. Do you typically stand by closed registers complaining about not being served? Sounds stupid to me.”

(Mr. 1% becomes red and goes surprisingly quiet. I am a little surprised; based on his attitude, I was expecting a full-blown tantrum.)

Mr. 1%:  “I… I was just wondering…”

Me: “I’m logged in on this register; the other one is closed. Pick whichever you prefer. It’s all up to how fast you want to get out of here.”

(And that ended the conversation. I get great personal pleasure out of talking back to bad customers. I know he probably pulls this crap with retail workers everywhere who are bound by the all-powerful “the customer is always right” rule. Also, a lifetime in customer service has kind of transformed me into a b****. Anyway, I wanted to share the story in case someone gets pleasure out of knowing one jerk learned a lesson today. May your customers be sane and have a nice day!)

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