Whenever I jump onto a till, when it's busy, I might as well stick a sign at the end saying "Rude customer? Please queue here." They just won't leave me alone! And it doesn't stop at the rude ones. I also seem to get all the downright nasty ones.
The first incident took place while I was serving at the kiosk. The queue was a mile long and, take it from me, when it's as busy as that you don't have time to look up. But, having served one customer, I looked up to see a woman starting to pile the contents of a shopping trolley onto the counter.
"Oh, I'm sorry, this is the cigarette kiosk. You need to pay for those at the checkouts." Duh! Does the fact that there's no conveyor belt and nowhere to pack not give anything away?
"We can only take pay for five items here I'm afraid."
"Well where's the bloody sign saying that?"
Don't you get shirty with me you snotty mare. "It's just up there," I say, very politely, pointing up to the huge poster on the wall.
The woman pushed her glasses down her nose and strained to read it. Though why she'd need to strain I don't know because the writing is big enough for a bat to read without effort. She was just doing it for show. "Well how's anybody supposed to see that?"
God if I ever spot you in the street I'll kick your feet from under you! "To be honest, it doesn't really need to be there at all, it's generally accepted that you can't pay for more than a handful of items at the kiosk in any shop."
"This is a pissing joke! You've stood there and watched me wait in this queue, which is a mile long, and now you're telling me I've got to go back over there and queue again?"
"I'm sorry, I didn't see you waiting. If I had, I've have told you sooner." And how in the name of sanity did you get that trolley over here anyways? You must have pushed it through a closed checkout, which you obviously shouldn't have done! Did it not give you a clue that all the other people with trolleys were paying AT THE TILLS?
The woman had clearly entered stand-off mode. She was adamant she wasn't budging so Sandra, who I'm learning to like, decided to try and talk sense into her: "I'm sorry darling, it's not fair on..."
"Don't you DARE call me darling!" the woman roared.
I couldn't help myself. I burst out laughing. Sandra's accent includes darling as a general term. The same way Yorkshire folk say love and many people say mate.
"Are you laughing at me? Right. I want to see the manager now!"
Terry was called. As soon as he arrived the woman started her tirade: "Do you know what sort of people you're employing here? That Welsh one won't let me pay for my shopping and that Cockney thing - the cheek of it - calling me darling!"
I was starting to wonder if I was actually dreaming. Did I just hear myself called 'that Welsh one' and Sandra 'that Cockney thing'? Sandra is from Slough. Stupid bitch.
Terry managed to successfully prise her away from the kiosk by opening a checkout specially to serve her. God I wish he wasn't such a push-over. It's not even as though there were queues at the checkouts, but he still did it just to shut her up. He probably gave her vouchers as well. Still, he did get one snide remark in at her: said me and Sandra were working very hard, but that we had rules to follow. I doubt very much this quelled the woman though. I'm expecting a complaint through Head Office to come through soon.
Next up was another snotty woman who objected to waiting in a queue consisting of ONE other person to buy lottery tickets.
"But I've already queued with my shopping, why should I have to wait again?"
"This gentleman was here first, I'm serving him now, I'll be with you in 30 seconds."
But that wasn't good enough. She marched herself behind the man I was serving and stood huffing and puffing and looking at her watch. "This is ridiculous!" she said about five times.
And then something absolutely wonderful beyond belief happened! The gentleman I was serving stuck up for me! I couldn't believe it. I wanted to cry and hug him and offer him free shopping for life!
He said to me, purposefully loud enough for her to hear: "Just because people are old bats, it doesn't mean they have to be rude to people just because they're young. They should be setting an example!"
Oh her face. If I'd had a camera. It's customers like him that restore my faith in life! (OK, maybe I'm going a bit too far, but in five years of working at Food Place, only one other customer has ever defended me).
There were quite a few more rude ones, but they're hardly worth bothering about. Just run of the mill awkwardness.