Smacked by a Customer

This isn’t a story of abuse, but one of indecency and a lack of social etiquette. Mind you, I have been clapped at like a dog, and waves to come like a dog; I have had someone pound their knuckles on the register demanding me to apologize for something I didn’t do; been mistaken for a skinny Chinese boy by an old woman who was obviously racist; been told the fact I have a penis means I can’t help them find clothing, I can go on about two-hundred times more. Either way, this is the first time I’ve actually been physically touched my a customer, which basically ruined the rest of my day.

I was calmly going through the crowd putting away clothes, greeting people and helping them. I wasn’t hiding, nor was I trying to be invisible. Out of nowhere, someone smacks my arm, and I’m thinking it’s some old friend. Instead, it’s a customer I don’t think I’ve seen before, but I’m sure isn’t a regular, yet also looked vaguely like ‘they all look the same to me’.

After she smacks me, I look at her, and she say, “I need the sweater in the window, there!” She points. I just stand there, speechless, as she walks to the front of the store. She looks back at me and waves me to follow. I had half-a-mind not to, but human decency and manners is something I’ve learned human beings don’t really learn, and when they do, they consider it something they can turn off and on when the situation befits them. She shows me a sweater, I don’t even look at. I tell her someone will get it, because I’m definitely not going to strain myself in the least to help someone who speaks English, and couldn’t just say, “Excuse me, I need help,” or the usual, “Do you work here?” Someone who can communicate in my own language, but their best form of transmission is by hitting you–this says a lot about her home situation and childhood, all wrapped up like a present to the world.

I get someone else to help her, so she can annoy and irritate them instead–which she does, because you can always tell when ‘they’ll be one of those people’.

As an added story, this automatically brings to mind a situation where a customer demanded to return an item which was old, with no tags, used, and no receipt. The cashier refused, saying it can’t be done. So the customer reached over and shoved the cashier. This was one of those 0.01% chance moments when a District Manager was standing nearby with the Store Manager. The DM rushed forward and said, “Excuse me! You are never allowed to touch my employees like that, ever! Who do you think you are? You are also no longer allowed in any of our stores. You are permanently banned and if I see you in a store, I will have you escorted out. Take your items and leave.” Or something to that point. If only, right?

Customer Types: Modern Slave Owner


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5 Responses to “Smacked by a Customer”

  1. Angels of Secrets Says:

    Oh my that is just horrible!! I’m so sorry to hear that a complete stranger could be so rude and cruel to you like that. And I was really happy to read the ending when you mentioned what your DM said to that ridiculous customer did!

    • memoirsofretail Says:

      Thank you for the reply! They say I get all the bad customers. But, I do try to help everyone, so it’s inevitable. Haha.

  2. broadsideblog Says:

    OMG. What a horrible experience! I was never, thank God, touched. One woman ordered me to “hold my sweater!” as she took off her jacket…i.e. behave as a lady’s maid. As if!

    I worked retail for 27 months and wrote a book you might enjoy, which includes a chapter called Customers From Hell….:-)

    • memoirsofretail Says:

      Oh wow. I’ve wanted to write a book on my experiences, but feel I need a lot more. Thank you for your comment. Your book looks good!

  3. Saki Says:

    Holy sh*t, that’s terrible! Sorry that had to happen to you! I don’t know what I would do in that situation either, but I think I would probably do what you did or get someone else to help her or a manager because I would want to puke by just looking at their face.

    And so true right? Every time there’s an *sshole customer there never seems to be any managers or anyone around. Happens to me a lot when I have to deal with those sh*ts.

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