For every customer that comes through the doors of a shop and is nothing but polite, understanding and lovely, and for all the happy feelings that these people give the lowly shop girl or boy, there are ten fold more horrible feelings given to the shop boy or girl for that customer who is both haughty, seemingly purposefully misunderstanding, believes themselves a race above the shop workers and is inclined to believe that everything is not up to standard whether it be the cleaning of the shop, the workmanship of the clothes (which, by the way, is nothing to do with the shop workers – why kill the waiter when the food is bad?) or even simply the cheery exterior the shop worker affects to ensure customer satisfaction.
I rub my eyes, I have been here since dumb o’clock moving the shop floor around, piecing together outfits for placing and of course cramming in accessories wherever the walls allow space.
It is now half past three and my head has been aching for a little bit. I yawned six times in a row this morning and as a result hurt my jaw – ridiculous.
As another customer walks onto the worn welcome mat and into the land which is my miniature kingdom on the highstreet I realise I must welcome them. I say ‘good morning.’
The woman does not even turn to acknowledge the fact I am a human being. No, instead she grunts a reply and walks on. Does she think I enjoy saying hello to strangers all day? Does she think I enjoy being ignored as though I were nought but a robot repeating lines from some dreary play? Seriously, it takes courage to speak to people you don’t care one iota for and have never laid eyes on until they have crossed that threshold.
I sigh and then put through a transaciton on the til, the lady is Canadian, I make idle chit-chat I mention I have another job and she jibes at me saying, ‘Yeah, your REAL job.’
THANKS. Yes thank you, I chose this position at the bottom of the pecking order, I really did. It took so long and I advertised in all the slave magazines so I could meet people like you who think you are better than those that serve you. I would like to see if you have the patience which we shop workers have grown since coming into this profession.
I am passed a bunch of clothes from the fitting room, which need to be put back out onto the shop floor. I look from the lady to the clothes she is handing me and feel like shouting – ‘Seriously! Do you really hang your clothes back to front and inside out and with the buttons undone at home?’
Oh well, I am sure there is another person in another profession that I do not understand and I will offend them in the same way they offend us. But I content myself with thinking, as I walk through the shop door, my employees tag left on the hook out the back and my uniform safely off,
‘Well at least we’ve got your money…’
And now I write.
Suddenly my enemies are more horrible, evil and cruel and my protagonist has never fought more fiercely…
By a decidedly ticked off – Philippa Jane Keyworth