I've noticed, and you probably have also, that Food Place has been remarkably devoid of horrible, nasty, vile customers recently. Nobody seems to be in the mood to complain about anything. I even had a customer today who brought back a fruit trifle that had soured, smelly cream on top of it. Naturally, I couldn't apologise enough and had my teeth gritted just waiting for the outburst of bile. But it didn't come.
"Oh, never mind, these things happen!" she said with a toothy smile.
What?! No 'I could have been poisoned!'. No mention of having to 'travel fifty three miles specially to return this substandard pot of filth!' I was stunned. They didn't even throw in a snide remark that we should 'check these things'. Don't get me wrong, I was very happy with how this customer reacted. If only more people realised that checkout staff can only be quality controllers to some extent. It's normally the poor cashier who gets blamed for smelly fish, glass in coffee jars and lumpy orange juice.
The smelly fish remark has reminded me of one customer, many moons ago, who brought back a pack of fresh prawns claiming that his entire family had smelled them and they all agreed that something was wrong. 'They just didn't smell right. They smell very fishy' - I couldn't work out if this was a deliberate pun, intended to be funny or whether he didn't realise that prawns are actually seafood. Of course, I played along with him and agreed that they smelled vile. But they didn't. They smelled of prawns to me and I made a point of surveying my colleagues to see what they thought. Everybody agreed with me - they actually smelled quite appetising.
The new department manager has continued his quest to make enemies out of all the people in Food Place that, actually, are very useful to have on-side. Take Wendy, for example. She will work for anybody, treats everybody with respect and will defend anybody when she feels they've been wronged. Why on earth would somebody even dream of trying to make an enemy out of her?
Allow me to explain. Robert wandered up to the cash office yesterday afternoon and knocked on the door. Wendy opened it, on the chain, and asked what he wanted. He demanded to be let in. Wendy, perfectly reasonably, explained that he isn't authorised to enter the cash office and, even if he was, she was busy processing cash through the system and had it out on the worktop, so it would be a breach of security rules if she let him in. Robert threw a wobbler and protested 'I'm management!'. Wendy stood firm, as I would have done, and said no. The rules are clear. There's a list of people on the back of the door who are allowed in there and even those people are not allowed in when another team member is dealing with cash.
Robert took his wobbler to Terry. Apparently, he doesn't like 'that woman's' attitude. I can see why he might have felt his nose had been put out of joint. He's management, yet he's not allowed access to a certain part of the store. But sorry 'that woman' was only doing her job. And if he doesn't like that he can sodding well lump it, can't he!
I'm just dying for him to turn round and start picking on me. I've come across far bigger shits than him in my life and I've always came out the other side sticking two fingers up at them. He won't be any different.