Sharing The Uncaring

, , , | Right | May 5, 2018

(I’m opening on concession. This is my first guest of the day: a 40-something mom with her two teenage daughters. This entire time, more and more guests are starting to show up and line up behind her.)

Me: “Hi, how can I help you?”

Customer: *literally the most dull, ho-hum tone I’ve ever heard* “Oh, I don’t know… like… I know I want popcorn and probably two sodas. I guess.”

Me: *trying to be perky and cheerful* “All right, let’s start with the popcorn. What size would you like?”

Customer: *deep, slow sigh* “I don’t care.”

(I flinch, because “I don’t care” is pretty much a sure sign at my theater that it’s going to be a needlessly LONG and tedious order.)

Me: “We have three sizes available: small, medium, and large. There’s about a dollar difference between the sizes, and large comes with a free refill. I could give you a large and some trays to split it up, if you think you’ll all want popcorn, since it’s the best value.”

Customer: “Probably not large. But I don’t know. Girls, what size should we get?”

Daughter #1: “Doesn’t matter to me.”

Daughter #2: “I’ll leave it up to you.”

Customer: *turning back to me* “I don’t care. Just get me a popcorn.”

Me: “Absolutely. I just need to know which size you’d like.”

Customer: *deep yawn* “But it doesn’t matter to me.”

Me: “I understand, ma’am. But we have three sizes, so I need to know which you’d like.”

Customer: “Can I see the sizes?”

Me: *gesturing to a display case* “Yup, absolutely. Right here we have the small, medium, and large.”

Customer: “I really, honestly don’t care.”

Me: “All right, how about a medium?”

Customer: *looks at the display for about 20 full seconds* “Eh… Small. I’ll save the extra dollar.”

Me: “All righty!”

(I prepare her small popcorn. She suddenly perks up slightly and shows me a rewards card that gets free upgrades and earns points.)

Customer: “Can I use this to earn points?”

Me: “Sure thing! You could also use it to upgrade to a medium popcorn for the same price as a small if you’d like.”

Customer: “I don’t care.”

(At this point, I’ve had enough of “I don’t care,” so I decide to move on, especially as there’s now a half-dozen people behind her.)

Me: “How about the drinks? What sizes do you think you’d want?”

Customer: *another deep sigh* “Look. I keep saying, ‘I don’t care.’ I just want drinks. This is far too slow. I just want drinks.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. But I need to know what to get for you.”

Daughter #1: “One will be a [Soda #1]!”

Me: “Great! What size?”

Daughter #1: “Oh, I don’t know.”

Customer: *interrupting* “So, with the rewards card I can get a medium popcorn for the small price?”

Me: “Yes. Would you like to change your order to a medium?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “All right, just let me know when you decide.”

Customer: “I probably won’t. I don’t really care.”

Daughter #1: “Mom, I was trying to figure out which size to get for my drink! You interrupted me! What size can I get?”

Customer: “Whatever you want.”

Daughter #1: “It doesn’t matter.”

(At this point I’m screaming inside, and there’s now more and more people lining up behind her.)

Me: “How about a medium? It’s still quite big, but it doesn’t cost the most.”

Daughter #1: “Okay!”

(I prepare the medium drink.)

Daughter #1: “I didn’t want ice.”

Me: *fighting to urge to throw the drink in her face as I pour it out to make another one without ice* “Sure thing.”

Daughter #2: “Can I get a small [Soda #2], please?”

(I’ll leaping with joy in my head, since she’s the only one who seems to know what she kind of wants. I make her drink, after making sure she wants ice.)

Me: “All right, ma’am. Anything else?”

Customer: “I don’t think so.”

Me: “Okay. Before I finalize the order, did you want to upgrade the small popcorn to the medium with your rewards card?”

Customer: “I. Don’t. Care.”

Me: “I’ll just do it. No reason not to. Okay?”

Customer: *under her breath* “This is the worst service I’ve ever received… Can’t even follow simple orders.”

(I finished up her order, now with almost 20 people behind her, all waiting angrily because this one order had taken so long. The final punch to the guts? Upon asking if she wanted to use the $20 in rewards she had on her card to cover the order? “I don’t care,” of course. Oh, and having to deal with the next few customers chewing me out for being “too slow with that last lady.”)

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