Wednesday, November 30, 2005


I love Christmas and I love shopping. I like the last minute rush as much as getting it all done early. I know it's pretty sick but I can't help it. There are years where I'm done early, but I'll go out Christmas Eve because I just love that rush of people and the flurry of paper.
But there's that ugly little monster lurking behind the corner. Just waiting to jump out and ruin the mood. It could be dressed in a grandmother or a teen, a yuppie or a soccer mom.
Perfect example:
I was waiting in line at an arts and crafts store. They only had 2 registers open and the lines were getting really long so they called for another cashier. When she came from the back of the store, she took the first person in the line beside us. The lady behind me started having a fit. She was probably in her late 50's, early 60's and you would think she'd know better but criminy! Convulsions! She sighed and stomped her feet and her face scrunched up. I asked her if she was ok because I thought ambulance maybe? What if she having a stroke?
She glared at me and then leaned over the partition to talk to the cashier in the line next to us.
"You know, the proper thing to do when you open a register is to take who is next not who is closest. I was in line before her and should have been first. You may want to pass that little tidbit onto your friend who does not seem to understand customer service."
Few points before I go on....
1) I was in line in front of this Princess so by her reasoning, I should have gone first.
2) She was in line maybe half a second before the other lady.
3) The other cashier could not have known this for she does not have x-ray vision (as far as I know. I mean she could but she didn't say anything to me and I would guess that having a superpower she wouldn't share it with me, a total stranger) and could not see that from the back of the store.
4) For the other cashier to have taken Princess first, she would have had to cross 2 long lines and pulled her back, making everyone else move out of her way and it wouldn't have been worth it.

Now, to her credit, the cashier smiled and said 'of course'. Because really? If it had been me? She would have gotten this:
"Lady I get paid $7 an hour. I don't give a flaming penny when you got in line."

But the cashiers very polite answer did not satisfy Princess.
She leaned over again and a little bit louder declared that "I have been known to leave stores for that kind of treatment."

The hell?

What did she expect this her to do? Cancel her sale and take Princess first? Offer her a discount? An arm? Her first born child?

And again the cashier politely said "I understand. I'm sorry about your wait. I'm sure your cashier is moving as fast as she can."

Princess huffed and turned red.

This is the part where the smart part of my brain, the one that says 'just shut up and don't say anything you'll only make it worse' goes to sleep. It never fails. Everytime I should shut my trap, it takes a nap or a vacation or whatever it is that those parts of my brain does when I need it most. Like when I'm making run on sentences and the part of my brain that would normally tell me to stop and DAMMIT ALL USE PUNCTUATION ALREADY just disappears and y'all are stuck reading this and thinking 'GAH!! Get her a grammar tutor already!' But that's what happens. And that's what happened here because instead of turning around and just letting it go I looked her straight in the bulging, pulsating eye and said
"Hey Princess, you can go in front of me before you stroke out."

And she huffed and puffed and stomped her way in front of me mumbling about 'rude' and 'insolent'.

The cashier she had been annoying looked at me relieved and also, amused.

Princess threw her stuff on the counter and handed the cashier a coupon. And the cashier looked at the coupon and said "I'm sorry but you can't use this coupon. Wrong product."

Princess stormed out yelling about never coming back. And I think the entire store breathed relief and said "Thank Goodness!"

But this isn't some isolated incident. It happens all the time and I don't get why. Do we forget as we get older all the rules we learned as kids?
*Take turns
*Temper Tantrums will get you sent to the corner

I hope that Princess took a time out.


mr_g said...

You're SO ON with this post! Some people just don't get it. Today, I was really nice to the cust svc lady at Bed Bath and Beyond. She waited till the manager left the desk and gave me 20% off as if I had a coupon! She didn't have to, and she wouldn't have if I'd behaved like your "princess". A little "nice" really can go a long way!

Mrs.X said...

Exactly. Knowing the manager at this store, if the lady had been even remotely polite, she would have been able to use her coupon.
I always do my best to be polite to everyone. It doesn't cost me a damn thing and every now and then it makes someone's day a little easier.