Right after I began working in retail I encountered my first of many difficult customers. Speaking as a frequent customer myself I have to say that the customers who frequented this store were certainly creative. The things that they asked for or demanded never ceased to amazed me. It never even occurred to me that you could walk into a store and ask for the things that they asked for.
On this particular occasion I was working in the accessories department which consisted of jewelry, sunglasses, shoes and handbags. The star of this story are the sunglasses.
A young lady came up to me clad in clothing that costs more than I make in a year. She handed me a pair of sunglasses and asked how much they were on sale for. I took a gander and then told her that they were not on sale.
“But,” she said. “They were on the clearance table.”
“I’m sorry,” I said. “It’s possible they were put there by mistake but they are not on sale. I’ll go over and check the table to make sure that only clearance glasses are there.”
“Fine,” she said in a stern and condescending voice. The way she looked at me I felt like she was going to say something else like, “You stupid, little girl. Don’t you know who I am? I’m important in life and you are just a measly cashier.”
Fortunately she didn’t. She turned and went looking for more sunglasses. A minute later, she came back and slowly placed a pair of sunglasses on the counter.
“I want these sunglasses,” she said.
“Okay,” I said.
“I’m not finished,” she said.
“I want these sunglasses and I want them to be on sale for no less than 50% off.”
Who the hell are you? Jennifer Lopez? Brittany Spears? Jennifer Anniston? No. I don’t think so.
“I’m sorry,” I asked?
“You heard me. I want these sunglasses and I want them to be on sale for 50% off.”
A taller woman came up from behind her and placed her hand on her shoulder. Then, the taller woman looked at me.
“Excuse me,” she said. “I am a very important customer and she is my sister. If she wants them to be on sale then you should give them to her on sale.”
Oh good. I’ve just won the lottery when it comes to difficult and unreasonably demanding customers. Yey me!
“I see,” I said.
“Well,” the original pain in my ass in said. “What do you think?”
I think it’s your lucky, lucky day because we both have something in common. You want discounted sunglasses and I want a pony. And neither one of us is going to get what we want today.
“If you open up a store credit card you’ll save 15% on your total purchase.”
“That’s not going to do at all.”
“Well, that’s all I can do for you today.”
Thank you for shopping ____________. You’re not special. Get out.