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Wish You Could Scrub Away This Customer

, , , , | Right | February 17, 2021

I work at an upscale deli and restaurant. I am bubbly and cheery to every customer. I like most of my regulars but there is this one that is always a jerk.

He comes in pretty often around lunch. He’s probably in his late twenties or early thirties. He always wears scrubs. He’s aggressive and demands free food because “we messed up his order last time,” even though I know we didn’t. He tries to pull this with every employee.

He answered his phone once when I was in the middle of taking his order and, presumably, he was talking to someone else in the medical field, because he angrily sighed and said:

Customer: “Just give her fat a** [specific quantity of medicine]—”

He continued to chat on the phone while also trying to whisper his order with me. He got frustrated juggling the conversations when I had to ask standard questions like, “Here or to go?” and, “What kind of bread?”

He once wanted to try our avocado and jicama salad, except he couldn’t pronounce “jicama.”

Customer: “I’ll have that avocado and whatever salad.”

I tried to be helpful and educational as quite a few customers can’t pronounce it.

Me: “The jicama?”

Customer: “Yeah, the avocado and s*** salad.” 

The icing on the cake is when I am on the counter by myself. It’s a slow day and one of my managers is in the back. She’s new also and was hired at the same time as I was.

I haven’t seen this customer for a month, thank goodness, but in he comes, swaggering up to the counter. I greet him as I greet all my customers and get his order ready. As I’m packing up his salad, he asks:

Customer: “I haven’t been in in a while. Did you miss me?”

I don’t like the look he’s giving me, basically leering, and I feel uncomfortable. I don’t want to answer “yes” and give him ideas. I answer with a safe:

Me: “I miss all my customers!”

Customer: “You’re full of s***. You know that, right? So full of s***.”

I stop what I am doing and glare at him. I am so stunned that I don’t know what to say, except:

Me: “I don’t think so.”

Customer: “Oh. I was just kidding.”

He spoke in a flat tone, obviously not meaning it. I rang him up with a chilly disposition and complained to my boss later.

Unfortunately, she hadn’t heard him say that and we couldn’t ban him. He still came in from time to time, but I wasn’t as cheery talking to him. I low-key wanted him to complain to my managers so they could tell him, “What do you expect from telling people they are full of s***?” He never did and I left the job a while later. I saw him once at the grocery store I started working at, but he didn’t have scrubs and was wearing faded and worn-looking clothing. Maybe he got fired for having no bed-side manner?