Take Comfort In Customers (And Cocoa)

| Bath, UK | Working | March 25, 2013

(I am working the tills when the rubbish men come to take the waste from the shop. I can’t leave the storefront, so I call my assistant manager but she doesn’t answer. I finally find her, walking out of the toilets after twenty minutes.)

Assistant Manager: “You can’t leave the shop floor.”

Me: “You weren’t answering the phone. The waste guy is getting angry.”

Assistant Manager: “You can’t leave the shop floor.”

Me: “But I had to tell you.”

Assistant Manager: “Don’t leave the shop floor. Call the phone next time.”

(Thankfully this all gets resolved. Later that day, however, one of the tills stops working in the middle of a customer’s transaction. There’s a very long queue of other customers behind her.)

Me: “I’m very sorry. The till has frozen. Is it okay if I call my manager and take the rest of the customers on the other till?”

Customer #1: “How long will it be?”

Me: “I’m sure it won’t be long…”

(Unfortunately, it ends up taking quite long. I call the assistant manager five times while juggling a line of 10 customers, and have to move all of them to a second till while the first customer continues to wait impatiently. When I check on the office camera, I see my assistant manager in her office on her mobile phone eating cake. I am nearly in tears by the time she finally comes out to fix the till. She does so, but leaves immediately without helping me with the remaining customers. At this point, another customer, Customer #2, approaches.)

Me: *to Customer #2* “Is that all for today?”

Customer #2: “Are you okay, poppet?”

Me: “Yeah. It’s just stressful, you know?”

(At this point, I see the assistant manager cross the shop floor and walk outside for a smoke with her boyfriend.)

Customer #2: “Did she just leave you here alone?”

Me: “I’ll be fine. Sorry, did you want anything else?”

Customer #2: “Yes.”

(Customer #2 pushes a chocolate bar across the table. I scan it and he pays. Before he leaves, he puts the chocolate bar in my hands.)

Customer #2: “Have a great day, darling.”

(I can honestly say that that was one of the most stressful days of my life, but it was made slightly easier by good customers.)

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