Saturday, December 24, 2011

Field Guide to Annoying Customers

Here is a guide to identifying common customers of the New England Region during the holiday season and all year round.

1. The Needy Rich Woman (Overwealthius painintheasseae)

This customer will usually be shopping alone. In fact this customer is probably alone all the time because her husband can't stand her and her children probably prefer to spend time with their nanny who actually raised them.

This customer will find the first sales associate who will listen and immediately cling to them, probably calling them by name. They will insist that the associate help them find clothes for themselves and their family. They will most likely ask the associate to model some item of clothing, claiming that they are the same size as their son or daughter. Being asked to model clothing for someone will generally give you a creepy and uncomfortable feeling.

The Needy Rich Woman has way too much money for her own good, yet will continue to demand to know whether the item she is looking at is on sale, or will be soon. Often the Needy Rich Woman will be dressed in a style similar to a homeless person, despite their vast wealth and ability to buy nice clothing. No scientists have been able to determine the cause for this behavior.

The most puzzling behavior of the Needy Rich Woman is her need to come return the items she has purchased. I am deducing that this is just a reason to return to the store, and reunite with the sales associate with which they have imprinted upon.

While the Needy Rich Woman is actually harmless, do try to stay away. Once they have imprinted, they will return often to monopolize your time and patience.

2. The Clueless Husband (Cluelessius moronius)

The Clueless Husband will inevitably wait until the last possible second to shop for his wife. This phenomena occurs before all major holidays, particularly Valentines Day, Mother's Day, birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas and/or Hanukah.

The Clueless Husband can typically be seen holding up two completely unmatching items trying to determine if they could possibly go together. If he catches a glimpse of you, he will immediately look you up and down to see if you resemble his wife enough to try on the items he has selected. If you are unfortunate enough to roughly match the physical aspects of his wife, he will then demand you try the items on. He will then proceed to stare at you with a puzzled look, because of course men are completely incapable of selecting women's clothing. I have yet to figure out why they still try.

Eventually, he will select a few items he thinks his mate will like. When he gets to the register he will either demand gift wrapping of the items, or he will give the cashier a sad face. Some cashiers are immune to the Clueless Husband, others will give in and neatly place the items in gift boxes for him. It is almost guaranteed that the items will be exchanged or returned the next day or soon after. As the Clueless Husband is incapable of accurately picking out women's clothing, the wife will surely be in to correct his mistakes.

3. The Heinous Bitch (Personus terriblis)

The Heinous Bitch is a special kind of customer. This customer, while typically female, can occasionally present themself as a male.

The female form will almost certainly immediately give themselves away. They can not even pretend to be nice. They will be completely impatient, irrational and rude. If you do not have the item they seek, this will only irritate them further. If they make it so far as the purchasing stage, they will most likely be sure to make a complaint about another employee or the store in general. You will quickly learn that this customer is completely impossible to please. Your best bet is to just smile and try to get them out of there as quickly as possible. The Heinous Bitch will go out of her way to ruin your day. Do your best not to let them get to you.

Little more need be said about the Heinous Bitch. If you work in food service, go ahead and spit in their food. Those of us in retail are unable to get our revenge.

4. The Terrible Parent (Parentus nonexistentius)

The Terrible Parent will blow your mind. Their children will run freely through out the store, doing whatever they please. The Terrible Parent does not care. In fact, they seem to bring their children to the store for this very reason. If the children are off running somewhere, they need not be bothered with them for a period of time.

The children will be loud, obnoxious, and unruly. They will run around the store, knock things down, and touch things they shouldn't. The Terrible Parent will either not notice or not care. Often, the offspring will demand The Terrible Parent buy them things. They will of course give in, as they have never said no to their offspring before. Why would they start now?

By the time this clan is ready to leave the store, you are probably ready to chase them out with a shot gun. Try to resist the urge. While The Terrible Parent lacks parental instincts, they will still defend their offspring against major threats. Remain patient until they have left the building.

5. The Complete Imbecile (Personus stupidus)

Sometimes, a customer will come in and ask you a question that is so stupid you have to hold your breath in order not to laugh in their face. You might think they are joking but they are not. This is The Complete Imbecile.

They are a harmless species. They have no ill intentions. They are just dumb. It's not their fault.

Just unscrew the water bottle top and instruct them how to drink.


Those are just a few of the commonly seen customers of the region. We will discuss The Long Winded Talker, The Cheap Bastard, and The Overprivileged Young Man at a later date.

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