I had my first mean customer today. I've been at Primark for just over two weeks now. When I first started I expected to deal with loads of rude customers. The induction most certainly prepared us for such scenarios. I've heard the girls on the tills deal with a lot of arseholes. But I've encountered no-one but civil, often nice, customers. In fact, I was helping the sweetest little dude shop for his wife today! I'd help that guy any day of the week, he was so sweet and cheerful! Even the people I couldn't help have always been civil.
Anyway, this woman marches up to me.
"Footless tights!" She barks, as though I'm an imbecile.
I blink, quickly composing myself. "We don't have any here, our main hoisery department is over-"
"I've been there. They didn't have them. I've seen someone walking round with some!"
"Well," I explain, patiently, "we do have various racks of tights dotted around this floor."
Here she gave her friend a look.
"Yeah, but I need you to go look for them. That is your job."
Here she rolls her eyes and her friend shakes her head, looking at me as though I dropped off her shoe.
So off I toddle (frankly in a bit of a daze) to the main tights department. You know, the place I originally directed her to, the place she'd so fucking called been. I asked one of my helpful colleagues and she pointed to a fucking massive sign that read, you guessed it,
For fucks' sake.
So I race back to my department (no easy feat, the tights are on the opposite side of the store from us) and the horse-faced bitch had gone!
*Deep soothing breath*
I'm not allowed to talk back to customers. Under any circumstances. And I wouldn't, because it causes a lot of shit for your superviser (and my superviser today, Hao, is so sweet and nice). But as I stood there, silently fuming, I had an Ed Byrne moment and couldn't help fantasising about what I wished I could have said.
HORSE-FACED BITCH: That is your job.
ME: Look bitch, there can be upwards of 1,500 customers in this store at any given time. I may only work here four hours a day, but everyone else here works extremely hard and therefore deserve to be treated with some respect. And as for your fucking tights, why don't you go use your eyes and look where I told you? I located them within twenty seconds, but then I did go to University. It may take a PLEB like you a little longer.
It's people like the bitch today that make me feel even more strongly about being nice to people who work in shops. You may assume their job is easy. I guarantee it isn't.
The others all consoled me over the incident. I could tell they all had similar tales of their own. And I'm sure she won't be the last.
But I'll always remember her as the first.