He Hit This Karen With The TRUTH
“One of my first shifts as a grocery store cashier was a beautiful mid-spring Saturday morning. The sun was shining without a cloud in the sky, the air was warm, and the store was filled with the delectable aroma of freshly-baked croissants. Up to that point, every single customer that I had dealt with was pleasant and kind. As my trainer had said, it does really help to wear the ‘I’m New Here’ badge.
Several hours into my shift, an elderly woman entered my line. I still remember her purchase: just a small package of roast beef. I greeted her, asked her for a points card, and told her the total. It couldn’t have been more than $2. However, instead of bringing out a payment method, she just sneered at me.
‘Okay, ma’am, would you like to pay with cash or card?’
‘Cash. Are you forgetting something? You’d better give me a bag as well.’
‘For your one item? Sure. With the plastic bag fee, it’s $2.05.’
‘That’s ridiculous. You expect me to pay for a bag? I come here all the time and it has always been a common courtesy!’
Despite being a new hire, I knew for a fact that she was wrong. You see, our tills have little tags that say ‘effective March 2017, plastic bags will be $0.05 and paper bags will be $0.10.’ This event occurred in May 2018.
I said to her, ‘I’m sorry that you feel that way, ma’am, but this policy has been in effect for over a year. If you would really like a free bag, you can take one from the produce section.’ More than anything, I was confused. She carried a Prada handbag, yet wanted to dispute a common-sense courtesy charge?
‘That’s absurd. And stop defending the company like a corporate puppet; they don’t pay you enough to do that.’
At this point, the quiet gentleman behind her, to whom I had paid no notice, stepped in. He tapped the woman on the shoulder and said, ‘they don’t pay him enough to deal with people like you either.’
Without another word, she threw $2 onto the counter, picked up her roast beef, and walked away in a storm. Fortunately, I haven’t seen her since, but I always made sure to give that gentleman bonus points when he came through my line.”
It’s Literally HER Store
“I was managing a convenience store in the second largest city in Massachusetts. It was a hard-working, hard-partying, rough and tumble neighborhood with some interesting residents. It was pretty common for a customer to cut into the line and, while talking in their mobile, make their request. ‘Yo, gimme a pack of Newport 100s and a mango wrap.’
Usually, I ignore such actions and wait on the next person in line…because it’s a line and that’s what one does….stand and wait…like all the other customers.
On this particular morning, however, this particular customer honestly and truly thought that he was entitled to behave like a rude and obnoxious dirtbag. He demanded the manager because they always need to speak to a manager, especially when they are wrong. I politely offered the obnoxious a coffee while he waited. Of course, while waiting he had to run his mouth and call me names. Then it happened, one of my newly trained customers came in to make his daily purchase.
‘Good Morning, may I please have a pack of Newport 100s?’
‘Good morning, of course you may. May I see your ID?’
‘Yes, here you go.’
‘Thank you, that will be $9.75.’
While I was getting his change, he remarked, ‘Lemme guess, he needs to talk to the manager. You are making him wait…just like you did to me.’ I just smiled and my newly trained customer knew. He sauntered over to the waiting customer, who was still spewing vulgarities about me and asked, ‘Do you talk to your mother or your aunts like that? Do you call your baby momma those names? How about your side chick?’
The rude customer started to answer, but the newly trained customer cut him off, ‘You see that lady? She is the manager. This is her house and she doesn’t deserve to be called names, insulted or threatened because you don’t want to wait in line or show your ID to buy a pack of smokes.’
He took a deep breath and continued, ‘If you want to do business here, then you need to pull your saggy britches up, put your shoulders back, look her in the eye, apologize, and use your Sunday manners and make your purchase.’
The rude customer said he wanted to speak to the manager to which the newly trained customer said, ‘Yo, dude, she IS the manager and she ain’t got the time to play with you! Be nice or be gone…pretty simple!’
The newly trained customer walked with the rude customer to the counter and taught him how to behave in the store.”
“I’m a bartender, so one thing that really sets me off is when I see a customer harassing staff, especially if it’s obvious that they are extremely busy and doing their best to take care of everyone. The thing is that customers themselves are the biggest limiting factor here usually. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone wait 10–15 minutes to get served at a busy bar and start their order by saying ‘now what do I want?’ and staring around like they’ve never drank before. For the staff member, it’s incredibly awkward standing there waiting for them to make up their mind, totally aware all the people staring at you think you are just being a slacker for standing there when there are so many waiting customers.
So, I’m with friends at a well known local restaurant that also hosts local/regional bands regularly. My buddy’s band is playing, my employer is filling in on bass guitar, and we are having a GREAT time!
Suddenly, I hear the female bartender address an older gentleman: ‘SIR, I see you, I’m aware you need something, but I’m taking another customer’s order. Please wait your turn!’
You’d be surprised how common it is for customers to be rudely dismissive of not just staff, but other customers as well, so this is an exchange I’ve heard plenty of times. I hear the man loudly and angrily complaining to a younger guy by him (I thought they were together at first, but they weren’t) immediately. ‘I can’t believe she was so rude to me, I tell you what I’m not tipping that hag a darn thing!’
I had a solid buzz and calling her a hag really set me off because I knew she heard it too, so I immediately responded.
‘Well I’ll tell you what bud, you go ahead and be a piece of trash if you want, but make sure to let me know what your tab is so I can make up for you.’
He clearly misunderstood me, because he asked me if she’d given me bad service too, thinking I was on his side.
I replied, ‘No, I’m just a bartender too, so I know EXACTLY what she’s going through right now. And these people with me are also in the industry, so not only am I going to take care of her, but every one of them will too.’
By now the bartenders are all suspiciously managing to be occupied directly in front of us at the bar and doing their best to stifle what could not possibly be giggles, as that would be very unprofessional. The angry guy, now severely deflated, went to the other end of the bar to escape the situation.
A little bit later, I see him coming up behind me, so I prepared myself for a possible sucker punch incoming. Instead, he quietly approached me, leaned in, and whispered ‘Sir, I just want you to know I tipped her $7 on $27. I didn’t want you to think I stiffed her.’
Of course, I politely thanked him for doing so and wished him an enjoyable evening.
There are few feelings more satisfactory than getting to stand up for a beleaguered staff member on the receiving end of an unjustified reaming from an angry customer. It’s only sad that I had to remind a man old enough to be my father how to treat others.”