The Four I’s of Customers

This was a post I made in 2008 concerning the quality of customers. I feel it’s still relevant, and would like to repost it here. It’s a first in one of my, many soon to come, angry posts under the name, “The Boiling Point”.

Disclaimer: Not an accurate image of employees.

Disclaimer: Not an accurate image of employees.

Anyone who has worked with customers, clients, or even athletes, can tell you one thing: The majority of them are assholes. They make whoever said “The customer is always right” look like a moron, and prove your grade school teacher wrong when she said “There are no stupid questions”. I’ve volunteered as a referee for 3-on-3 basketball (although admittedly, a lot of the blame is on me, because I was a crap referee) and I work, right now, in the “Meals to Go” section of the Loblaws Superstore chain, and I’ve dealt with a fair share of shit disturbers. So, instead of bringing a paintball gun to work and barraging every single little bastard who walks in the door, I’ve instead came up with The Four I’s. They describe what’s wrong with about 80% of customers. And here they are.

1. Ignorance

The major problem with most customers is that they aren’t willing to learn. Most people that come to the store just decide to ignore the five menu boards just above our heads. Instead, they ask us every single price of every single item, hoping for us to baby them through the process (and I just point to the board). Not to mention when they ask us constantly, “Are there any chickens left?” Do you see any fucking chickens in the self-serve case? If not, then we are cooking some. Customers also seem to prefer us serving them than serving themselves. We have prepackaged wings and fried chicken in the self-serve case. Whenever they order one of those two, and I go take some out of the self-serve, they insist on me serving them from the hot case, despite the fact that most hot case items are there for over 2 hours for the most part. And the worst customers of all are the ones that point to what they want, instead of naming it. This is especially bothersome in the cold salad case. “That” doesn’t cut it, folks. Didn’t your mother tell you pointing was impolite?

2. Idiocy

A brain scan of the average customer.

A brain scan of the average customer.

A lot of people fall into both categories. But there are just some customers who are born idiots. One of the best examples is a woman, who wants some fried chicken out of the self-serve. She puts it on top of the hot case, and asks what it is. Obvious response, fried chicken. Then she asks how much pieces are included. Okay, this would have been fine, if it was stored in a discreet black box. But no. Clear top, and a label that says clearly, “Fried Chicken, 9 pieces”. Also, let’s look towards another customer. Asks me how the scale is measured. Of course, I don’t work in this department, but I look at the scale, and clearly, “kilograms” is marked in big letters on it. Fucking facepalm. Last story, back to basketball. I call an offensive foul, despite there being eight seconds left in the game, they feel it’s in their best interest to act like kids with an ADHD problem and throw a fucking tantrum, despite the fact that they were losing by 6 points. The biggest guy on the team decides to throw the ball about 40 yards in the opposite direction, and I suppose I would have told them to sit the fuck down if one of his teammates wouldn’t have threatened to shoot me. And I’m pretty sure he would have done it too.

3. Impatience

Isn’t as big of a problem as the first two, but I’ve had extreme cases. For example, the old couple who jumped in line claiming they had a medical emergency, and needed scalloped potatoes. Because I hear that it’s the new remedy for cancer and AIDS alike. They ended up yelling at me for scooping the scalloped potatoes out of the side and not the middle as well. I think most customers aren’t willing to wait too long for food, and decide to bring me away from my work. I somewhat understand, but I still want to send a paintball flying towards the space in between your eyes.

4. I

I being for all the customers think about. Most of them don’t understand the shit that rolls onto our plates as the employees of this fucking hell hole. Some just don’t appreciate the fact that I was just a volunteer at a basketball tournament. Some don’t appreciate that I’m working with a fucktard coworker, and am plotting his eventual downfall. And they should step into my shoes.

Use in case of rage.

Use in case of rage.

Alright, so maybe I’m being mean. No matter where I’ve had to work, there have been always some cool people who have come by as customers, or athletes. In fact, during that 3-on-3 tournament, I was hanging out with a team from Michigan before the championship. And there were a lot of cool people as well. Even where I am now, there’s always one or two customers who I’m willing to talk to because they aren’t total dipshits. And to those people, I thank you.

Update: Since the original writing of this article, I’ve worked one other job: a maintenance job on a park up north. I didn’t have to deal with customers nearly as often as I did with the previously mentioned endeavors, and guess what? It was a blast! Only proves that if you can, get a job where the only living things you have to worry about are the wildlife.

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~ by The Slurpee Man on October 6, 2009.

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