This is not a definitive guide to customers you will encounter working retail. This is just a recounting of two encounters I had today.
The first was the rare treat. The talkative customer that is actually interesting. Very subjective because one person’s interesting is another person’s boring. This customer was buying some small cherub angel statues, about the size of a softball. As I’m scanning and wrapping them in paper, she asks me if I’ve ever heard about setting out angel statues to get rid of, or quiet down, a haunting. She tells me her house is haunted, she’s heard things, a photo album that plays music when opened started playing, her tv has turned back on, she’s heard thumps in the night, and she’s even gotten scratches. I love paranormal stuff. I listen to a few podcasts on the subject and in fact on my way to work, I was listening to one about a haunted cemetery. She says she’s not scared of the ghosts or what it is. Then she confides in me that she has a bit of second sight. She’s made predictions for people and they’ve come true. I have no way of confirming any of this but why would she lie. Even if she did lie, it was still an interesting few minutes.
The second type of customer I encountered today is more common. The customer who wants a discount. This customer takes many forms. The one who want’s a discount on dusty shirt. The one who wants a larger discount on an item already marked down. Today’s customer insisted that we had a senior citizen discount. I’ve worked in this store for almost four years and I know for a fact we have never had a senior citizen discount. But she doesn’t believe me, so I call over our headsets, “Do we have a senior citizen discount?” I make the call because sometimes that’s enough for them and maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I have misremembered the last four years. I get a response, “No, we don’t have a senior citizen discount.” I tell her this hoping I have reached the end of her inquiry. She asks again if I’m sure. I tell her I will call the manager for her.
Once upon a time I would have gone one or two more rounds with her. These days I’m old and tired of people, so I don’t bother arguing with them anymore, I just call the manager. I’m not paid enough to run circles with these people. So the manager comes to registers and tells her, “No we don’t have a senior citizen discount.” She now has no higher authority to appeal to. She has to accept that we don’t have a senior citizen discount. Which she does and I can now begin scanning her items.
The interesting talkative person and the discount seeker. Two of the many types of customers you will see working retail.