The majority of the people who patronize the "Showbar and Beef House" where I work are nice people. But like like any job, every now and then you end up with a couple of clowns, or someone's bubbie who is a bit of a pill.
Because Cookie can wrap presents like nobodies business, one of the floor managers asked if I could head over to the wrapping department because "Carole" was having an issue with a customer and it being BOTH Easter and Passover Season, everyone was buying gifts.
I called next and got a miserable old Jewish woman. How do I know she was miserable?
Cookie: Good afternoon, how may I assist you today?
MOJW: Don't give that 'I'm happy to see you' chazzeri. I need to you to wrap these. What kind of paper do you have?
Cookie: We have the samples on the wall.
MOJW: Those are ugly. I want the paper you give the special people.
Cookie: What we have is displayed on the wall. Or we have these papers and bags for sale in the "Stationary and Lap Dance" area.
MOJW: I don't pay for wrapping paper. Do you know who I am?"
MOJW: You don't seem interested in helping me, so just wrap them in that crappy green paper.
So I wrap her gifts and ask "Would you like bows, as well?"
MOJW: There's that happy crap, again.
Cookie: Excuse me?
MOJW: Nevermind. Give me three more feet of that wrapping paper, I have other presents for the grandchildren and I don't need you to wrap them.
So I tore off a length and gave it to her.
Carole, my co-worker, walked over and said "Why did you give her that paper? We only wrap what we sell."
True, we are only supposed to wrap what we sell, but the old broad was more trouble than she was worth. So I told Carole that she was nasty, drawing attention like flies to honey, and now she has left the business to spread her special type of sunshine to other parts of the world.
As I worked through the rest of the shift, I had to wonder what had shit all over this miserable old broad in her life to be nasty to other people. Then I reminded myself that she was old and Jewish, and who knows what she had lived through in her lifetime, or had to put up with. Maybe she was stressed about the upcoming Passover holiday. Or maybe she was just a mean old bitch. Either way, in our store she was causing a scene - out the door she was out of mind.
When I was clocking the General Manager came up to me and said "I understand that you gave away some free wrapping paper today..."
So again, I described what happened, and the woman and question. Yes, says I, we lost all of two cents on generic wrapping paper, but it got that old bat out of the area on with her uplifting message of joy. "She had all clearance priced stuff, she wanted the free wrapping paper and was simply miserable."
"Well," says the manager who is always ready with a back-handed comment, "She's still a valued client."
"And what better to show she was valued than to give her .10 of bulk paper and make it seem like it cost us a thousand times as much? And besides, she bought up that stuff that has been on the clearance cart for the past month. That makes her worth her weight in gold, right?"
And this gets me thinking - what is it about about consumers that makes them feel that that simply because people work in retail that they are ready, willing and able to take abuse from people who are too cheap to pay for something as minimal as wrapping paper?