It’s A Retail Thing

, , , | Right | July 5, 2016

(I work at a sandwich shop. One of the customers, who comes in every single day, is a cashier at a grocery store across the way, and I pretty much hate him. Nothing specific, but every time he comes in he is completely disengaged from the employee serving him and he snaps at you if you ask him to repeat part of his order, or groan out loud if you ask if he wants a value meal. Whenever he comes in I brace myself for the most awkward order ever, yet I must be as professional but plastic as humanly possible, and I am prepared that no matter what I do I will get it wrong somehow. I see him walking across the parking lot, and he already has THAT face on, like he is already in an impatient mood, but I do something different. I look up, and instead of bracing for the worst, I physically relax myself and put on a big, tired smile. The customer before him has just finished their order, packed up, and passed him going out the door. I greet the regular with my big tired smile and gesture at the gentleman who just left.)

Me: “That guy. He’s usually so great, but I don’t know what I did today. Everything was wrong. It wasn’t like, anything specific, but he kept snapping at me and I didn’t know what to do.”

(I am lying. The previous customer did no such thing.)

Me: “I’m glad you’re the next customer. I don’t know what I’d do if the next customer was worse.”

Regular: “Oh?”

Me: “Yeah, you’re pretty low key when someone messes up because you totally get that it’s not on purpose; it’s just a customer service thing.” *gesturing at his name badge* “I’m just glad I’ve got a pleasant friendly face to deal with right now; you’re one of my easy customers, and I appreciate it. So, yeah, bread. You usually get wheat, right?”

(The rest of the transaction went SO MUCH SMOOTHER. As I worked we spent a minute chit chatting about customers in general and how our days were. When I asked him to clarify part of his order he just smiled and repeated himself gently instead of snapping this time. He didn’t get annoyed with my scripted upsell asking if he’d like to “make it a meal,” he paid, and he left. And every other time after that he came in, he WAS, FOR REAL, the most low-key, pleasant customer I had, and he would look for me specifically to handle his order. Turns out I am the tamer of beasts!)

1 Thumbs
446