It happened again. Maybe it’s because it’s April Fool’s Day and all kindsa ridiculous personalities believe they get free passes to go out in public. Well, please go back into hiding, because you make me want to run my fist through your teeth.
I’m at work, at the register, doing my normal thing. Despite a healthy fucking dose of crazy in the morning, I am at my usual perky self, in fact, people are thanking me for multitasking and being simultaneously patient and energetic.
One man approaches the counter, his Bluetooth headset plugged into his ear. I like to give the benefit of the doubt to people who are “on the phone” in one way or another and assume that they’ve got an ounce of respect for the people they’re interacting with in public. I’m guilty of making phone calls at restaurants when friends are lost. On lonely bouts of retail therapy I’ve ignored salespeople’s greetings holding my cell to my ear. I’ve never approached a counter to pay something, though, while on the phone, especially when the person on the other side of the counter deserves nothing but a solid “thank you” for whatever service they’re providing me.
So Douchebag comes up to the counter with his headset in his ear. Whatever. He doesn’t appear to be conversing with anyone, so I pick up the merchandise he’s selected and ask if he’d like a bag with his stuff. He looks at me, asks, “What?” I say, “Would you like a bag?” He unplugs his headset, “What’s that?” I finally lean forward just a bit, and very slowly for the third time, “Would you like a bag today?” He looks befuddled. “A bag? Do you want a bag?”
JESUS CHRIST DO YOU WANT A FUCKING BAG OR NOT?? IT’S MADE OF PLASTIC AND IT HOLDS YOUR SHIT TOGETHER. MAYBE YOU SHOULD LOOK INTO ONE AND TOSS YOUR OUT-OF-DATE GADGETS IN ALONG WITH YOUR BRAIN.
It’s like pulling teeth. He declines. I move straight to ringing his things up to tender.
After three attempts, I confirm with him that he is buying these accessories for the exact products he needs, something I do with all customers to make sure they’re not buying something they can’t use. Then he drops a bomb that’s supposed to right the world, for all the repercussions of his inadequacies.
“If you catch me staring at you, it’s because you look like my ex-girlfriend.”
Yeah, that’s not awkward…
Here I can’t hide my mask from grimacing. I say nothing, though I’m thinking many things, except “Okay.” I speed through the rest of the transaction.
He has since replugged his Bluetooth into his ear, and I cringe just asking him for an ID to check for his $300+ purchase. I have to repeat myself only twice for this one.
He turns to the gentleman behind him in line, a man who was incredibly polite in the morning, one who remembered my name and seeked me out to pick up his repair. “I told her she looks like my ex-girlfriend,” he tells this customer-stranger. “She didn’t take to that too well.”
“I’m asking you questions that you’re not answering. I’m just making sure you get what you need.” I say flatly.
No answer. Douchebag continues with the respectable gentleman who is really nervously smiling, “She’s back in the Philippines.” Oh. My. God. I’m not even going to get into it. Other customers are looking at him now with strained WTF faces.
The end comes. I don’t even know why I bothered giving him a choice here, but I ask “Do you want me to print your receipt, e-mail it or both?”
I ask the same question four more times, four different ways. Right ear still stuffed with his completely silent Bluetooth (NO ONE IS TALKING TO YOU.), he finally arrives at “Print it. Just print it, please.”
Seriously, what. The fuck.
I wonder where people like you come from. In what world is that kind of conduct appropriate? You are a middle-aged man. I am a twenty-something girl. You enter a place of business. You should be able to expect a high level of customer service. I enter my place of work. I should be able to expect to not be alerted that I’m being focused on for reasons other than customer service.
I don’t care about your ex-girlfriend. I don’t care about your current girlfriend. I don’t care if you are currently single. (In this situation, I expect it.) I don’t care if you never got over your ex-girlfriend. I am not flattered by the thought that I remind you of some chick you used to date. In fact, you insult me with the notion that someone like you, who shows no understanding of social boundaries, could ever imagine yourself to have any sort of magical connection to me. I’m not saying I’m above anyone in the looks department. I’m just saying you’re creeping the Hell out of me.
Suggested rule of thumb: Don’t say anything that could be met with, “Now how the fuck am I supposed to respond to that?”
Or you could just think before you talk.
Editor’s Note: I don’t work at a bar. I work in computer retail. Your sleazedom is not welcome here.