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This Customer Will Cost You Time

, , , | Right | April 3, 2019

(I am working the register. It is about fifteen minutes before closing time, and I have one of the regulars in front of me. This customer is an old man who usually knows perfectly how much he will have to pay and already holds the exact amount of cash in his hands when he gets in line. It’s really quick and handy, but today is a bit different.)

Customer: *hands me bread and a promotion package of sausages* “That will be €3,44, am I right?

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but that ‘ll be €3,99.”

Customer: “That’s not possible, these sausages always cost €1,99. You know that I always know how much it all costs.”

Me: “Yes, sir, I know, but this is the promotion package you’ve taken. It’s double the number of sausages and yes, it costs more than the normal package.”

Customer: “But I took it from the fridge with all the normal packages. It says €1,99 there; come with me to see it.”

Me: “I believe you, sir. I’m afraid this must be the last promotion package and its price tag has already been changed. I can’t change the price of this package, but if you prefer a normal-sized package I can ask my colleague to get it for you.”

Customer: “Come and look. The price is €1,99. You know that I always know. It’s not my fault they put in double as many sausages in the package; I don’t even need that many sausages! I’m single!”

Me: “Sir, I know that you know, but I can’t change the price of this package. I can ask my colleague to get you a smaller one for €1,99 if you like.”

Customer: “Just come and look at the price; it’s €1,99…”

(During this conversation the line at my register grows very long, and other customers begin complaining.)

Me: “Okay, sir, this is what we’re going to do. I’ll call my supervisor to sort this out with you, as I can’t leave my register.”

Customer: “Will she come and look with me?”

Me: “She will.”

Customer: “Okay, then. I always count right; I always know exactly what I have to pay.”

(I call my supervisor and ring up the next customer to make up the lost time. She comes to the registers and takes the man aside, and he begins his story again. My supervisor leaves with him to look for the price, as he keeps requesting. She comes back with a normal-sized package and leaves right away, as it’s almost closing time now. The customer also comes back to the register.)

Me: “All right, sir, now we have a bread and a normal package of sausages. That indeed will make €3,44.”

Customer: “Yes, I know. But I’m waiting for the supervisor to come and tell you it’s €1,99. She said she would.”

Me: “She did, sir. The total amount does make €3,44 now.”

Customer: “Yes, I know, but she would come to tell you.”

Me: “I already know, sir. It’s all settled; you don’t have to pay more than you’ve counted on.”

Customer: “You know I always know the price. Oh, dear, do we have a problem now? Are you mad at me?”

Me: “No, sir, I’m not mad. There is no problem anymore. You’ll only have to pay €3,44.”

Customer: “Oh, but I don’t want the sausages anymore. Just the bread, please. You’re not mad at me are you?”

Me: *trying to hide that I’m internally screaming* “No, sir, I’m not mad. Only the bread. Okay, that makes it €1,45.”

Customer: *pays* “Oh, I’m glad that you’re not mad.” *to the next customer* “She knows I know the price; I come here every day. It’s not her fault they put in double as many sausages, but I don’t even need that many sausages. She knows.”

Me: “Have a nice evening, sir!” *begins to ring up the next customer*

Customer: *still talking to the next customer* “She knows. She’s always friendly and always smiling. It’s not her fault the price wasn’t right. She knows I know. She even winked at me last time.”

(I don’t remember that, but I was trying to ignore him as much as possible. The customer didn’t leave, but kept on telling the same story to every single customer after him. It was already past closing time, and I had to escort him out repeating that I wasn’t mad but he really had to go now. When he finally left, my supervisor looked at me and told me she admired my patience, for she would have gone mad.)


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