Thankfully I'm in a much better mood today. Thanks for the comments from nice readers about yesterday's shenanigans. Normally, after a day has passed, I feel a lot better about incidents like that. But not this time. I still feel every bit as angry as I did when that old arse was mouthing off at me. But, one good thing, I've secured the support of all the management. They stand by my refusal to give the old git what he wanted and have promised not to cave in to him when they contact him tomorrow.
Enough about that.
I had a rather bizarre customer today. She was up her own backside, snooty and moaney - but all over a newspaper supplement. I mean, who on earth would walk into a shop and make such a fool of themselves over a trivial matter like that?
She collared me while I was standing next to the newspaper rack.
"Excuse me, I bought a Daily Mail yesterday and when I got it home it had the magazine in it for The Telegraph."
Oh, I'll just wave my magical fairy wand and correct the problem for you. "Oh, I'm very sorry about that. Somebody must have made a mistake when they were putting the inserts into the newspapers."
"Evidently. I'll be wanting the correct magazine please."
"I see. Unfortunately we don't have one in store..."
She cut me off: "what do you mean you don't have one? How can that be?"
"I'll explain. At the end of each day we tie everything up that we have left and send it back to the distributor so they can credit us for the value of what we haven't sold. So any remaining Daily Mails would have been sent back."
"In that case I'd like you to contact your distributor and get the magazine for me."
Oh for the love of Christ. "I'm afraid we can only contact them on weekday mornings and they wouldn't be able to fulfill a request like..."
"So that's it then? Somebody in your shop is incompetent and I'm now missing something I paid for! You haven't even checked to see if you have one and you're just refusing to help me!"
SUPPLEMENTS ARE FREE! You didn't pay for it you stuck up mare. "If you want me to show you the empty returns box I will, but all isn't lost. There should be a telephone number inside your newspaper to claim missing inserts."
"There will be a charge for that. And I'm not paying that because this is not my problem."
Not your problem? Is it mine then? If you'd had the foresight to phone us yesterday, as soon as you realised you were deprived of a magazine, we could have kept you one! Do you think we're some sort of vintage free crap stockist? "No I don't believe they do charge. You've already paid for the newspaper see."
"And what about my telephone bill..."
I knew full well she was just looking for a fight. But no way on God's planet was I giving her one. I took hold of a Daily Mail and browsed for the number. I was deliberately unhurried and relaxed just to annoy her.
"Oh here we go, it's a freephone number."
"Well they're going to charge me for postage and I shall be billing it you. This is your mess up, not mine."
"I'm nearly sure they won't charge you, but if they do then feel free to contact the store and we will be more than happy to refund you for any costs this mistake might incur for you.
She looked rather shocked at this and I was half expecting her to return later with petrol station receipts to claim her travelling costs. She didn't though. I can just imagine her sitting at home telling the people on the Daily Mail Missing Supplements Department how it was all Food Place's fault and recommending we're struck off their list of sellers.
As low as my opinions of people like her are, I can't help but be slightly pleased they exist. It's good, simple evil customer fun. Nobody gets insulted (well, not directly anyways), nobody gets hurt and it gives one party something to complain to all their friends and relatives about and the other party a good laugh. I hope she knows the entire scene was re-enacted to everybody in the staff room with full-blown impressions and exaggerations.
I remember another customer, a few years back, who was quite similar to this woman. It might even have been the same person. The other incident, nothing to do with any of the staff, was a grown woman throwing a wobbler in the middle of Food Place at her humiliated family.
"OH HURRY UP PORCIA! IT'S MY BIRTHDAY AND I WANT TO GO HOME AND OPEN MY PRESENTS! I DON'T WANT TO BE STUCK IN THIS PLACE ON MY SPECIAL DAY!"
While her family tried to hide behind sweet displays or pretend they were nothing to do with her, other customers looked on. Nobody quite knew what to make of it. I thought I was watching a scene for a new sketch show being covertly filmed. You know, like the Dale Winton impersonation visiting ASDA in Dead Ringers.
Oh, they do brighten up my day.