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Dear Customers, You Suck

Be kinder to those serving you.

Dear Customers,

You truly suck the life out of the workers at the grocery store, market, or whatever else you call one of the hugest parts of the service industry. You may think "I'm always nice, it's the employee causing the problem." But the truth is if you've ever complained, we remember you. If you've ever gone to one of the departmental service counters and gotten a dozen little scoops or pieces or samples of whatever it is, we make note of you. So many people when they are shopping have to put items back... If we figure out it was you... we'll remember. If you ask us to make or bring out fresh of anything just because you're being picky, then only get a small amount... WE REMEMBER IT. Yes, we also remember the nice ones and the ones who talk too much and the ones who make it impossible to get caught up.

I've been a cashier, deli worker, and grocery/stock person all my working life and the point of this is to make you think about how you treat the workers where you shop. No one deserves this but I've had people treat me like dirt just because I had to ring their items up and take their money instead of being a 9-5 corporate slave. I love being able to help people and recommend great products, I just cannot EVER believe that "The customer is always right" bull after working in grocery stores.

One night at one of my gas station jobs, an older black man and his wife came in and proceeded to take so much time with single lottery ticket transactions that all my other customers would leave. I finally got fed up and put the rest on one transaction and he accused me of shorting his change. I printed multiple receipts so I could show him the process and he argued until I called the store director. He came up and told the man after everything that my math was correct. In his anger, he started spouting off things like "Stupid Crackers" and "I don't care about the money since I have enough I could buy her fat a** three times over then sell her for that two f***ing dollars her b*tch a** shorted me. I want her job and I hope to see her on the damn streets one of these days." Before he was asked to leave, beyond saying I had the math right, my manager did nothing to defend or comfort me.

And they did come in again, only I made sure I never waited on them and I never did anything helpful for them again.

One night I was closing the deli counter and twenty minutes before closing, this woman comes up to the counter. We greet each other and then I inform her that I'm almost closed and in the process of cleaning the slicers. "Well I only need a couple of things cut, so you're going to serve me," she tells me. "I don't mind. I just need to reassemble the slicers," I said and hopped to. I began the process of cutting and getting to the thickness she would be happy with. I turn after finishing the meat and she's gone so I bag it and set it on the counter. She comes back, looks at it, and tosses it back to me. Suddenly, she is yelling at me for an attitude I didn't have and accusing me of spitting on her lunch meat, demanding I call a manager. I call the manager on duty and she explains her side while demanding I re-cut the meat with him watching. After dealing with her comments and accusations, she leaves and I have to stay later than anticipated to clean the slicers again. I handled her correctly and she still acted crazy.

To this day, that same woman comes in and refuses to speak with me but will still try to complain and get me in trouble. Especially if she sees me throw something out and can lie to the manager and say she asked me not to throw it away. I've had to tell managers that she is picking on me.

Another time I was on the register nearest the service desk on a very slow night, a middle aged black man was getting carded by the woman behind the counter. In getting angry about that, he began yelling racial slurs and fought the police when they showed up, leading his father to attack a police officer with his cane. There were also a couple of regulars who had to wrestle the cane away from the old man. A few months later, the cop refused to show for court and the charges were dropped.

Anyhow, there are many times that the customer is at fault and the employee still gets in trouble or treated like crap. All that I'm asking is for people to be kinder to those who are serving them.

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Dear Customers, You Suck
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