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If Only I Had A Reason To Smile

, , , , , | Right | December 25, 2020

It is late December. My boss is upstairs working on a stock-take, and my two part-time colleagues and I are in the shop dealing with customers. Late in the afternoon, a woman comes in looking for light fittings.

Me: “Madam, it turns out the fittings you want are one of the most common ones we stock, so we have plenty in at the moment.”

Customer: “I need five of them.”

I rush upstairs to grab them and then bring them over to the till.

Me: “That will be [price].”

Customer: “What? No! That’s too much! Give me a discount!”

Me: “I have already discounted them.”

Customer: “Then give me a bigger discount!”

Me: “Sorry, madam, but I cannot give you any more of a discount. I’m not allowed to.”

Customer: “Then go and ask your boss for permission!”

I go upstairs — reluctantly, as I know what my boss will say — and ask him about the possibility of giving her a further discount on the light fittings.

Manager: “No, the profit margin on the fittings are so tight that we can’t go any lower than the price you’ve already quoted.”

I return to the shop and apologetically tell her that I won’t be able to give her a further discount. She takes this really badly, launching into a verbal attack on me, complaining about how awful my customer service is.

Customer: “It’s Christmas! You should show some festive spirit! I’m always in the shop so I should at least deserve a discount!”

I find this last one strange because I’ve been working there since May and have never met her before now.

She pays for the light fittings, still complaining and being genuinely unpleasant. I stand there trying hard not to cry and just wanting her to get out of the shop. I hand her the receipt and she snatches it and glares at me.

Customer: “Oh, and by the way, it’s Christmas! A f****** smile wouldn’t go amiss!”

She stormed out, and I stood behind the counter, fuming.