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Really Making Your Peers Look Good

, , , , , | Right | August 3, 2021

In between college semesters, I work at a photo center in a popular chain drug store. I generally work the evening shift, from late afternoon until about one in the morning. Keep in mind, we are not a one-hour photo development station. Usually, due to the sheer amount of orders we receive on a day-to-day basis, we never guarantee photos until the next day. We even have signs stating this policy behind and on the counter. As always, customers never read these.

A couple of young men — missionaries from a local church I attend — placed an order this afternoon. It is now 9:30 in the evening, and the two men come walking in. Having served a two-year religious mission myself, I am well aware of the strict set of rules that young missionaries are required to follow. One of those rules is that they must be back to their apartment by 9:30.

Customer: “I need my pictures. I placed my order earlier.”

His tone is rude and demanding, which is very unbecoming for a person in his position.

Me: *Trying to sound polite* “Yes. I remember you coming in earlier to place your order. Unfortunately, as the sign says, we don’t guarantee same-day printing.”

Customer: *Getting angry* “But I was here earlier. I placed my photo order first.”

I’m not sure what he means by “first.” I assume it’s his way of trying to force me into printing his order.

Me: “I’m sorry, but there were many other customer orders in front of yours and it will not be ready until tomorrow.”

Customer: *Even angrier* “No, no. I placed my order first! I was here earlier today.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but there isn’t anything I can do.”

Customer: “Go print my photos now! I was here earlier today! I put my order in first!

Me: *Getting tired of his tone of voice* “Aren’t you guys supposed to be back at your apartment by now?”

Customer: “It’s our P-Day.”

This is another term for their “day off”.

Me: “I’m pretty sure, according to the rules handbook, that P-Day technically ends at six, after which, you’re supposed to be out teaching. Not to mention, you’re supposed to be in your apartment by 9:30 at the latest no matter what the day is.”

Customer: *Waving a dismissive hand at me* “What do you know? Get me my pictures.”

Me: “Actually, I just returned from my own mission service a year ago, so I know the rules very well. Also, if you would like, I could discuss this incident and your rude attitude with the bishop of our congregation, who also happens to be my father.”

The customer turned pale as a ghost and his companion pulled on his arm for them to leave. They never came back into my photo center again.

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