Patience. I have it in spades where it counts. Raising a kid with severe special needs means you don’t get to be the impatient one. You don’t get to be the one to throw a tantrum, melt-down or tell people exactly what you’re thinking. Where my girls are concerned, I have the patience of a saint, really…it’s true. Ask anyone who knows us.
That being said…I’m pretty sure that all of the patience that my kid’s need from me leaves the well a bit dry upon occasion. Rarely, very rarely, my bitch-switch gets flipped and it’s all over. This happens only once or twice a year, and only when I feel like someone is being an arse above and beyond reason. Yesterday was one of those days.
Working retail is tough. It’s demanding, occasionally demeaning and almost always exhausting. I did it for the majority of my adult working years. Nights, weekends, holidays…you name it I worked it. So knowing how thankless the job can be, I am extremely thankful and appreciative to store employees who go out of their way to help me out. I am, or at least try to be, gracious and polite.
I was in a big box store last night…I won’t name names, but it wasn’t Target. I was scooping up some excellent 75% off Christmas clearance deals. Upon entering the Christmas section, I saw two signs posted side by side. One said “Christmas items 50%” off, the other said “Christmas items 75% off”. Huh. I was pretty sure the markdowns were at 75% off, but wanting to be sure (since this store has ZERO scanners around) I thought it best to ask. There was an older female employee trying to make order of the chaos on the shelves. The conversation went like this:
Me: Pardon me, can you please tell me which sign is correct?
Her: (pointing with her shriveled little claw) Read the sign!
Me: (taking a step back from the crazy) I did read the sign. There are two of them. Which amount is correct?
Her: SOME ITEMS ARE THIS ONE (again jabbing with her little claw) AND SOME ITEMS ARE THIS ONE! (walks away)
Huh. OK, Girlfriend has just come thru retail’s most harrowing season. It’s New Year’s Eve and there’s probably any number of
barstools she’d rather be passed out on places she’d rather be. I get it. I tamp down the beginnings of an attitude and shop on. A few minutes later, a Nana-aged woman makes the mistake of asking Miss Personality a question about wrapping paper…more fool she. Our good buddy CrankyPants throws her little claws hands up in the air, stomps away and actually says…”Some people shouldn’t be allowed to breed”. Whoa.
I resolve to make a complaint to the floor manager. You can have a bad day without verbally abusing customers. I finish my shopping and get up to the register. I advise my cashier that I have $4 left on a gift card I’d like to use first before using my bank card, please. You guys..it was like I had just gibbered in tongues to her. In a VERY loud voice full of scorn (yes, really) she shakes her head and says, “YOU WANT TO USE WHAT??” Like I just told her I wanted to pay in magic beans. And then I swear to God…she turns to the cashier next to her and says, “Here’s another one”. Another one? Another what? Another customer who wants to *gasp* pay you money?
I lost it. I saw a brief flash of red, (which was probably me having a small stroke) and felt an unnatural calm come over me. I leaned over from my 5’8″
to her troll height, smacked my gift card down on the counter and enunciated very carefully and slowly. “I want. To use. The balance. On this gift card. This gift card from YOUR store. First. Can you do it alone or shall we call for help?”
While not particularly proud of myself, I had had enough. I very rarely give this store my business because it’s pretty much what it’s stereotyped to be. If you hate your job that much, leave…when you start taking out your minimum-wage-rage on customers who are being polite and respectful, it’s time to move on. What about you guys? Have you ever gotten such rotten service that you had to say something or lost your temper?