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We Say “Hi” But We Also Say “Bye”

, , , | Right | June 28, 2020

It’s been dead for over an hour, so the other two employees have shut down their registers and begun the nightly cleaning early. With less than ten minutes to go until close, we have only one register open and the nightly cleaning done.

There’s nothing else to do, so the three of us stand around chatting.

A well-dressed woman enters the store.

Coworker: “Hello! Welcome to [Store].”

The well-dressed woman doesn’t acknowledge him. She walks briskly down an aisle and turns out of sight.

Coworker: “Huh. She looks like she’s on a mission. I guess she knows we’re closing in a few minutes.”

The woman reappears in the aisle with her nose stuck in a book. She looks like she’s found what she wants, so we resume our conversation.

Me: “So, anyway, the concert tickets sold really well. I think we’ll see a good turnout for the next—”

Customer: “AHEM!”

We turn around to see the customer standing behind us, folding her arms, and tapping her foot impatiently. The book she was reading is nowhere in sight, and she’s holding a pack of stationery that she didn’t have a minute ago.

Me: “Hi, are you ready to check out? Or can we help you find something?”

Customer: “I cannot believe you people! I have never been treated this way in this store in my entire life!”

Coworker: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “I have been in this store for twenty minutes and not once have any of you lifted a finger to help me!”

She’s been in the store all of five minutes at the most. My coworkers and I glance at each other.

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. We greeted you when you came in, but you looked as though you knew where to go.”

Customer: “Saying ‘hi’ isn’t enough! I’ve never come to this store and not had an employee ask me if they can help me find what I’m looking for! I spent over twenty minutes looking for this pack of stationery, no thanks to any of you! You just stood around talking and being lazy while I was lost and couldn’t find what I wanted!”

Coworker: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but you really didn’t look as though you were lost. Did you try to catch our attention? Maybe we just didn’t see you.”

Customer: “I shouldn’t have to catch your attention! You should know if I’m looking for something!”

Me: “I’m terribly sorry, ma’am. Is that stationery what you were looking for?”

Customer: “Yes!”

Me: “I can ring you up over here.”

The transaction takes place smoothly, but as she’s walking away, the customer yells over her shoulder.

Customer: “I have never been treated with such disrespect! I’m never coming here again!”

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