They’ve Been Through So Much More Than Tough Customers

, , , , , , | Right | March 29, 2021

I’ve recently moved back to my hometown after losing my job. A few months later, my best friend, also from my hometown, passes away unexpectedly of a heart condition that we thought was under control after his last surgery. 

A couple of months after that, I find a retail job. One day, my late friend’s dad comes through my till. It’s the first time I’ve seen him since the funeral, so we have a bit of a heart-to-heart, exchanging memories and stories of his son, which results in some laughter and also some tears. 

Once he goes on his way, I do not call the next customer because another cashier is available and I want to collect myself before helping the next one. She comes to my till anyway. 

Customer: “What are you crying for?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I just had a tough conversation. But I’m happy to help!”

Customer: “What are you, sixteen? You’ve got plenty of tough conversations ahead; you’d better get used to difficult customers instead of crying!”

I am twenty-one but I do look younger.

Me: “Actually, ma’am, my best friend died a few months back. The customer I helped before you was his father. We just shared a few stories and checked in on each other. How will you be paying today?”

She turned bright red and didn’t say another word through the transaction, snatching her bag and hurrying out after.

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