Due the gossip/hot action drying up at Food Place of late, I thought I might as well tell you all about some of the more bizarre (you have no idea how many attempts it took me to type that word correctly!) customers and random weirdos I've come across. The ones that make strange requests, or have odd habits.
The one that immediately springs to mind is the customer with the weird hair. He's an oldish man, around 65, and the first thing you think of when you look at his hair is 'SHOE POLISH!' And, judging by the contents of his shopping basket, we're not wrong. Every time he comes in he buys a tub of the stuff despite the fact he always wears suede boots. So we're actually quite convinced he does rub shoe polish into his hair - he certainly smells as though he does!
Next up is the lady with the huge bags. When I think of it, she probably belongs in the 'annoying customers' category and doesn't really have a place here, but now I've mentioned her I might as well see her tale through. While she trundles around the store doing her shopping, she places everything into large plastic bags that she's carefully fore-lined her trolley with. When she gets to the checkout, she places each of these bags onto the belt. You have no idea how infuriating this is. The bags are quite tall and you have to stand up to reach into them for the items. Worse still, she insists you put everything back into each bag as you found it.
Next up is Nosey Woman. I first noticed her antics about two years ago. It's almost as though she has a pathological obsession with seeing parts of the store she has no right to see. Whilst waiting to be served at the checkout, she'll lean forward and have a good look underneath the nearest vacant till to see what we keep under there. I've caught her leaning over the (former) customer service desk for a good nose. She'll ask for cardboard boxes and try to follow you into the warehouse. If she sees me carrying change bags she'll wait until I'm nearly at the doors that lead to the office areas before trying to follow me through them to ask a question. If the customer toilet is out of order you can guarantee she'll develop a bladder problem and ask to use the staff ones. When being served at the deli she comes round the side of the counter so she can see behind. Strange. I often wonder whether she's some sort of secret inspector, sent in by Food Place to check these things out. She once asked me if I could spare her some coin bags and she looked very disappointed when I produced these from one of the tills - I think she wanted to try and follow me to the cash office.
And then there's the lady we call Granny Smith. She's one of those people that manages to be absolutely infuriatingly annoying, yet hilarious, without actually doing much. She's a very old lady who comes into the store ten minutes before closing time EVERY night. And she always buys the same things. She goes to the rotisserie/deli counter and squeaks (her voice is very meek):
"could i have two slices of beef please"
When she has obtained her 7p bundle of meat, she turns to the hot chicken cabinet.
"are those plain chickens in there? Not flavoured?"
"Yes love, they're plain"
"Could I have one drumstick please?"
I don't actually know why I bothered typing that dialogue out because the humour factor is completely lost unless you've seen the woman I'm talking about and heard her voice.
When she has her very fussy selection of deli products, she goes for her soap. One bar of the cheapest, nastiest variety we do (Food Place budget label). And then she'll dither around, dragging her little trolley-type-thing behind her until we have to put a tannoy announcement across to get her to come to the tills. If I went into a shop and I seen the staff lowering the shutters and locking doors, I'd feel pressured to get out as quickly as possible. She doesn't. She'd happily stay locked in overnight I think.
I needn't mention Mr Foole again because I gave all the detail you need in this post. But there's another customer who happens to live directly opposite the store who is just as bizarre.
He's called Mike and he has demons. Demons that tell him things are happening when they aren't. He makes endless complaints to us about our nightshift staff playing music so loud he can't sleep - he's very adamant. Even when he complains about it happening on nights when we didn't have the nightshift working, he just won't be told that he's talking bollocks. We do put it much more politely than that, but still. He recently wrote a letter to the local newspaper expressing outrage that Food Place had started charging customers for carrier bags. These charges were, of course, figments of his imagination. He's also accused our staff of: kicking him, pulling faces behind his back (he may have been correct on this one...), swearing at him, jostling him in the street and damaging his car. He claimed Terry had insulted his wife and called their baby son 'butt ugly'. Terry might be a little direct - but get a grip!
I can't believe I can't think of any more weirdos. I KNOW there's at least a hundred more. I suppose I'll just have to discuss them as a I remember them - in different posts.