Need To Get Through Customers Lickety-Spit

, , , | Right | November 19, 2020

I work in a food hall, and with restrictions in place when I’m on a till ringing up customers’ products, I ask the next customer to wait at the end to keep an appropriate distance. 

The customer I’m serving is a lovely elderly lady who is clearly uncomfortable with how close the woman behind her is getting.

Me: “Excuse me, ma’am, but I’m gonna have to ask you to wait at the end of the till until I’ve finished serving.”

The woman takes the tiniest step back and then proceeds to be rude towards the elderly lady who is having trouble packing. I take her spare bag and begin packing while the other customer is loudly proclaiming: 

Customer: “I’m wearing a mask; what more do you both want? It’s not as if I’m going to infect her or anything.”

A moment later:

Customer: “If she’s so bothered, maybe she shouldn’t be out in public.”

I ignore her. The elderly woman thanks me and I serve the rude lady in silence before she goes to the customer service desk to pick up a parcel.

We’re short-staffed at this moment in time, all spare staff are on tills or are on their breaks, and there’s a queue of around eight people waiting for parcels or to return them. I serve a few more before quickly jumping off to help out with parcels while our manager is dealing with a customer having some sort of issue with online ordering from our website.

Lo and behold, the rude woman tries pushing to the front. She bluntly gets told to get to the back since she left her position in the queue to try to get ahead. I rush through the customers and get their parcels as quickly as possible, since I can see I’m needed back on the till, and then there she is. The final customer waiting for a parcel.

Customer: “My name is [Customer] and my postcode is [postcode], then I’m picking up parcels for my daughter, [Daughter]… and [postcode]…”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I didn’t quite catch that. I’ll sort out your parcels first; could you repeat your surname and postcode for me?”

I get through hers and her daughter’s orders, taking my time just to be a bit petty, I’ll admit, holding them at arm’s length for her to grab. I’m thinking this will be the last of it, but she then gets super close to the customer my manager is dealing with, pulls her mask down, spits all over the desk, and exclaims at my manager.

Customer: “You’ve got customers to deal with! They should be more important than whatever her issue is.”

She stormed off, and my manager looked like she was ready to punch this woman; she was probably the most annoyed I’ve seen her.

I understand being annoyed at waiting but literally all of the other customers that were in that queue said they had no issue waiting because they knew that as soon as someone was available, they’d be assisted. That woman just had a bee in her bonnet and a stick up her a**, in my opinion.

She is now a joke amongst us staff whenever a member of staff is busy on the front desk and has a queue building up.

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