The Danish Regular

, , , , , | Right | October 22, 2019

(I work in a grocery store in a small town. We have an older regular customer who always comes in and stays until closing, always with a large order and several special requests. I get off early and run into her while shopping, waiting for a ride from a coworker.)

Me: “Hey, [Regular]! How are you tonight?”

Regular Customer: “Hi, [My Name]. I’m pretty good. Do you remember those danishes I got last time? They were so good! I wonder if I have time to find them. Probably not.”

Me: “I can go look for them for you. I have time.”

(I go and find them, and then find the customer again.)

Me: “Here they are!”

Regular Customer: “Oh, good!”

(I continue to shop with her, helping her reach things off shelves and find things in the store. I agree to help her to her car when she’s done. I then split off to buy my own stuff, and I go back to the register she is at to see if she or my coworker would like any more help.)

Coworker: “Everything is on the same order, right?”

Regular Customer: “Yes, but this first part has to be separate. It goes somewhere else.”

(My coworker starts on her order, making sure to keep everything separate. I go to get a second cart and start loading the first part of her order.)

Coworker: “How many cokes do you have?”

Regular Customer: “Eight.”

(We count the cases of pop. She has seven.) 

Me: “You only have seven. This week’s coupon is four for $12. You want me to get another? They’re right in front of the check-stand.”

Regular Customer: “I have eight.” 

(We count again and we get seven again.)

Coworker: “No, you only have seven.”

Regular Customer: “That gal lied to me. [My Name], can you get me another, please? You know which one I want.”

(I get the extra Coke for her. By this point, the store has been closed for fifteen minutes and my coworkers should have clocked off by now. I notice the coworker giving me a ride is almost done.) 

Me: *to my coworker* “You can wait out back for me. I’m gonna help [Regular].”

Regular Customer: “[My Name], do you have a ride?”

Me: “Oh, [Coworker] is giving me a ride.”

Regular Customer: “Don’t you live far? I don’t want you walking. I can give you a ride.”

Me: “No, but thank you. I’m getting a ride from [Coworker].”

Regular Customer: “Are you sure? I don’t want you walking.”

Me: “No, I’m okay. But thank you.”

(My coworker helping her finishes her order. The customer doesn’t understand that she only has one order, thinking she has three, instead. She then writes three separate checks rather than one. I gather her last few things when my manager gives me the keys to the front door. By this point, the store has been closed for 25 minutes and everyone is ready to go home.)

Manager: *quietly so the customer can’t hear* “Get her out of here and lock the door when you’re done.”

(I help the customer to her car. She can’t find her keys, when they’re in her hand, and she has very specific instructions on where everything needs to go. She even counts the cases of pop again.)

Regular Customer: “I have eight. I thought I had nine.”

Me: “No. The coupon was four for $12, so you got eight. Any more would have been regular price. Remember? You had seven, so I got you another to equal eight.” 

Regular Customer: “I thought I had nine. Oh, well. I hope they charged me right.”

(It is now almost forty minutes after the store has closed and my manager comes out to get the keys from me.)

Manager: “Sorry, [My Name], but I have to lock the doors before I clock off. You’ll have to walk around the building.”

Me: “That’s okay. I’m almost done. Have a good night.”

(I finish loading the customer’s car. She insists on giving me two of the danishes she bought and a pack of chips. We normally don’t accept things like this while working, but I decide that since the customer is a regular and I’m helping her as a friend, not an employee, I can take them.) 

Regular Customer: *for what feels like the hundredth time* “[My Name], do you have a ride home?”

Me: “Yes. [Coworker] is around back. I’m gonna walk back there to meet her.”

Regular Customer: “Let me give you a ride.”

Me: “I’m fine.”

Regular Customer: “No, get in. I don’t want you out by the creeps.”

(I give in. She then insists on waiting until I get into my coworker’s car before leaving.)

Coworker: “God! That woman drives me nuts!”

Me: “Want a Danish from her?”

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