Retail Tales: The Customer who thought he was a comedian
Entertainment was not for sale that day
Your first job, can teach you a lot, and not in the sense of how you can no work ethic but how you can work under stress, under duress, and dealing with people that don’t know that you were just doing your job.
Story #1: Sour Note, Sour Bloke
It was an easy and swift Saturday shift in the summer of 2015. Almost two years into my job at Goodwill. My tasks changed and I was put into different departments. I was sent to be a runner for the floor, I was at the point I didn't care, It was just a job for five hours a day. No matter the shift I make the most of it. The music that played me n the overhead provided was a playlist of a CD that helped the time. To keep track and to keep me going. Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance With Somebody Played around noon, K.D. Lang's Constant Craving played around two o'clock. Two Queen songs played, one at three, and another around five. I knew all of the songs that came on, and I knew the words. I would sing the songs purposely on a silly tone to amuse the customers. I remember the laughter and wide smiles of seeing the customers that had a smile that said "I needed that".
On this Saturday shift, I did my sorting of the housewares to their designated place. I did my singing that became second nature to amuse myself, there was one person who found amusement with my singing.
"Are you singing while you work?"
"Your terrible at it"
I was stumped at first, but I have a fast process of looking at the big picture. it didn't hurt my feelings, I shrugged it off because the old dude was trying to get a rise, making his own amusement by a blunt joke like that. I wasn't going to waste my time and tell him that my silly singing voice is for amusement of my shift. I shrugged it off and kept singing, I don't remember the song, but I do remember the last remark this guy had to say, one more jab for a joke to make his own amusement to pick on me.
"This lady said she needs a discount because of your awful singing!"
I turned around with a stale smile, I didn't know why I did. It wasn't funny, nor did it hurt me, but I was stunned to see someone take things so far. It was like being back in school when another kid would unknowingly make jokes. But you grow up and know how to treat people right. It was obvious he wanted to get a rise out of me, to make fun of me. I turned away, moved forward and made a right turn to go through the double doors in the back room. On the step-ladder, tagging used clothes was Jojo, she knew what I go through on the main floor because no one likes working on the main floor. We were like soldiers that went on the battleground, she would be my aid as I would be hers. With my entrance without the 3-tier of housewares, she knew a customer had done something uncalled for.
Jojo stopped her work, those clothes could wait, we both needed this job, but we protected each other's sanity and comfort. She put her tagging gun down asked me what happened
I laughed out of bewilderment, I remember what I said that day, I said, "Jesus Christ," I'll admit I had said the lord's name in accidental vain. I was just shocked by the childishness and I didn't want to go back on the floor because I didn't want to be the punchline joke for a customer I could not stand up to. It would have meant losing my job. I can't confirm entirely if the motive behind that customer was to pick on me or see how the show goes seeing how he wanted to stretch out that joke.
To this day, when I think about it here and there, it still makes me have mixed emotions. I'm not mad, offended, or upset. Was it a lesson for me to have about how people can act like children even when they are grown adults?
That was the only time did I ever encountered a customer that I remembered that didn’t make me mad but still couldn’t forget that example of a human being that will go out of their way to make someone else that joke.
Moral of the story: Some people don’t have morals
About the Creator
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