The customer is always right, but....

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by vrDrew, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. vrDrew macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    Midlife, Midwest
    I have a part-time job where I work in a retail store, serving a mix of customers, from homeowners, to small business-people, maintenance personnel, and a large percentage of people in the construction industry. Our stores are well-lit; attractively decorated; and spotlessly maintained.

    Over the six months or so that I've worked there; I've gotten very high reviews for my customer-service skills, salesmanship, work-ethic etc. (Not to toot my own horn but merely to put the following story in context.)

    A couple of days ago, me and a colleague were working with a customer on a somewhat technical question, when I noticed two young guys walk into the store. One of them, in particular, stuck out for a couple of reasons: One, he loudly commented that the prices on some of our products were higher than they were at a competing firm. And two; he was loudly chomping on a sandwich, which he proceeded to wave around (dropping crumbs on the floor) and chewing with his mouth open.

    After a couple of minutes, the two guys walked up to the counter, and the sandwich-chewer loudly asked if someone could wait on them. To which I replied:

    "I'll be happy to help you when you are done eating."

    This obviously surprised the guy. He sighed loudly and put the half-eaten sandwich behind his back.

    I don't mind working hard to help customers - they are the reason we are in business, and the reason I have a job there. But, IMHO, this crossed a line of acceptable behavior. We don't have a sign on the door prohibiting food or drink in the store (and to be honest, I' have no problem whatsoever with someone drinking coffee or soda while I work with them) - but standing there watching this guy masticate was more than I felt like dealing with. I have no idea whether his behavior was deliberately designed to be offensive and disrespectful, or he was merely one of those people who never learned the value of good manners.

    To give further context, I've helped literally thousands of people, dressed in everything to grime-spattered rags to business suits. And I'd never encountered someone actually eating and expecting to be waited upon.

    Did I do the right thing? Have other people encountered similar atrocious behavior in a retail setting? Does anyone have suggestions on how I might otherwise have handled the situation? Or this merely further evidence that the Apocalypse is at hand?
  2. iJohnHenry, Oct 24, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012

    iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Sure you did. That's just ignorant behaviour.

    You need a sign at the entrance to the effect "No Food or Drink, Please."
  3. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    I hope you do the same thing when people come up to you on their cell phone. People are so ignorant and rude nowadays.

    That used to be my biggest pet peeve when I was a bartender and waiter. Silence your phone and stay off of it in the damn restaurant. If I had a customer who was on the phone, I would completely ignore their table and they wouldn't get any service at all until they hung up the damn phone.
  4. hulugu macrumors 68000


    Aug 13, 2003
    quae tangit perit Trump
    Having been on both sides of the counter, I believe the customer is rarely right. Most of the time, the customer is either lying or stupid. And, a great number of the people who work in customer service jobs will be outsmarted by their cash register.

    It's a subtle problem.


    On people eating when it's inappropriate, one of my students came to me the other day and tried to ask me questions while hoarking down an apple.

    "So, um...*crunch*munch*munch*...I have a *munch* question about *munch* the ess...*munch*swallow*..ay."

    I didn't look up at him, but reached down and held out my trash can and held it, until I heard the remaining apple hit the tin.

    "Now, what can I do for you?"

    "I have a question about the essay."


    "When'sit due?"


    "Oh. ****."

    "Yep, tonight's going to be a long night."
  5. malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
  6. likemyorbs macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2008
    Customers suck. I worked at Staples for a few years and it always seemed like the customers left their brains at the door.
  7. Raid macrumors 68020


    Feb 18, 2003
    Well back-in-the-day (getting on 15 years ago) I worked as a customs officer, and every once in a while I would get a 'distracted' driver in the line.

    In one instance, this guy drives up to the booth chatting away on his cell phone. Seeing this, I check my computer and then just sit there looking at him... for about 30 seconds. He then notices that I haven't said anything to him (I guess he could feel my gaze), he looks up at me with a puzzled look indicating that he doesn't know why I haven't said anything, and I say
    "That's ok; I'll wait, but I don't think the 30 cars behind you appreciate the delay."
    He then get's all red faced and mumbles into the phone "I'll call you back". I proceed with the questions, thank him for his undivided attention while crossing an international border, and wave him through. :D

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