Smile, And The World Complains About You

| Right | March 6, 2015

(We’re a small store so there are only three of us this morning: manager, coworker, and I. The manager is positive and helpful and my coworker is one of the most honestly sweet and upbeat persons I’ve ever met. She has a habit of using little verbal prompts, like ‘ok,’ and ‘uh-huh,’ to encourage customers to talk. It’s midway through the shift and a customer comes barreling up to Manager and me.)

Customer: “I need help! I need help and that other one won’t help!”

Manager & Me: *after exchanging puzzled looks* “I’m sorry, how can we help?”

Customer: “I asked the other girl and she just smiled and kept saying ‘uh-huh’ while I talked. You should talk to her! She should be fired! That’s so rude!”

Manager: “I’m sorry, she… smiled?”

Customer: “Exactly! So rude! You need to talk to her!”

Manager: *to me* “I’ll handle this…”

(He shadows her around for about half an hour, deliberately steering her away from my coworker. Finally the customer’s done and the manager makes sure I’m the one checking her out. She’s still complaining.)

Me: *super cheerful* “Looks like you found some great stuff!”

Customer: “I can’t believe you let her work here! Everyone knows it’s rude to smile and say ‘uh-huh!’ I was in [Big Chain Supermarket] earlier and I could barely walk in before there was some idiot smiling and saying that! She’s horrible! She just kept smiling while I talked. She needs to find a different job. I don’t come in here for that sort of treatment!”

Me: “I can’t imagine…”

Customer: “And I’m such a nice person! I never get upset unless it’s something huge! She should be fired!”

Me: “I’m quite certain our manager will talk with her. Now, how would you like to pay?”

(I get the customer checked out and the manager makes certain my coworker is hiding when the customer leaves. Afterwards we all just sort of look at each other like, ‘well, that happened.’ My coworker looks ready to cry.)

Me: *to coworker* “Stop smiling. So rude.”

(Fortunately that made her crack up and, oddly, we haven’t had any other complaints about her smile!)

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