Monday, September 27, 2010

I.Q. Barrier

Today this Hispanic woman came to the counter and asked for a pound of Virginia honey ham.  It's Sunday evening and that means that it's been three days since our last delivery, and there's been a nonstop line at the deli since Saturday afternoon.  We're out of almost everything.

I told her we were out and suggested she get half Virginia ham and half honey ham, and she said okay.  So I started cutting the honey ham.  I hand her a half and go back to the other one.  She calls out "I wanted a pound and a half." so I smiled and nodded, put it back on the slicer and cut an additional pound and handed it to her.  Then she asked for a pound of the other one and I cut that and gave it to her too.

I started cutting and this other crone walks up and yells out "What's this?"

I stop and go over to her and ask what's wrong-

"I asked for a pound and a half and a pound.  Why do I have three packages?" she snaps.

So I look at her with the most puzzlement I could muster with a straight face and lay all three bags on the counter.

"Well... that's a pound... that's a half... and that's another pound."

"Fine whatever."

And I go back to cutting.  So my coworker, Eduardo, walks over and starts speaking Spanish to her- I can understand Spanish very well, but I speak like that dog on youtube that 'says' "I love you".  They were talking about me.  She asked if I was new or stupid and he said I was just tired.  And they went on shooting the breeze.

So they're talking and the hag calls me over again!  "Why does this one have so much fat on it and this one is so lean?!  It looks like you cut it from two different pieces!"

"That's because they are."

She ignores me and goes on.  She took the honey ham out of the package and said "Look, look.  This has a whole chunk of fat on the edge and this barely has any!"

So I told her that's because one is honey and one is Virginia.  They're different.  They're going to look different.

She slammed the honey ham on the counter and said, "You're going to give me this one (she pointed at the Virginia ham) and I'm not taking this." as she slid it to my side.

So I calmly told myself that there was a slim but non-zero chance that if any merciful God existed, she'd choke to death on it, smiled, threw out a pound and a half of perfectly good food (as BJ's policy dictates, iknowrite?) and began slicing the next portion of ham.

So Eduardo notices that I'm turning slightly red and forgoes the other 8 people behind her and asks what else she wanted.  She pointed to the cheese I started and said "Half of Muenster."

I beat him to the scale, weigh out the ham, and hand it to her.  And without pausing she says "And a half a pound of Genoa Sa-" and I cut her off.

"Ma'am, he's helping you now" I gestured to Eduardo, "There are a dozen people on this line, you only get one server."  and I turned and beamed a huge smile at the next customer (well I was beaming more at the fact that I didn't have to help that witch anymore) and began to get his order.

Eduardo walks over to me and to bust my chops he, rather loudly, says to me, "So you don't like Spanish?"
So I replied, "No. It's not that.  I just don't like stupid assholes." in a stage-whisper so that she could hear.

I wonder- What came first:  Poor customer service?  Or wretched customers?


  1. Not going to lie, I can handle disgruntled customers fairly well depending on the context, but in a situation like that I don't think I could resist telling her to fuck off.

  2. That was cool! Be sure to follow on my blog, and comment as well! :)

  3. And you didn't punch her? Are...are you Gandhi?

  4. People can't control themselves when they know the other person can't retaliate.. I feel for you.

  5. Sometimes there really is no reasoning with people. They are just to damn important to listen to some lowly employee. /sarcasm

    I feel you, I really do.

  6. Oran is correct, was going to say pretty much the same thing, its a lose lose situation

  7. Hah! Times like these are rare. That customer must have had problems.