I was doing a little shopping at a large mall recently. It's rare to spot me in malls or "big-box" stores, as they are miles beyond my natural habitat and cause me great anxiety. The following is a transcript of one such moment:
[In a "fashion accessories" store, I pick out one item and proceed to the cashier to pay for it. The cashier is on the phone. She appears to be about 17 or 18 years old and her name badge says 'Jessikah'. She fails to notice me, in spite of the fact that I am not employing a cloaking device and I am standing directly in front of her.]
JESSIKAH: "Really????? GET OUT! He said that? NO WAY! Omigod...so what did you do?"
[Two minutes pass. The cashier turns her back to me. It seems she requires privacy.]
KATROCKET: (gently trying to get her attention between shocking teen revelations) "Hi! I...uh..."
J: (into the phone) "Can you hang on a sec? (sighs heavily, cups phone with hand) Yes? Can I help you?"
K: "I just want to pay for this."
J: (dirty look) "But you're not done yet."
K: "Excuse me?"
J: "Well, you only got that one thing."
K: "I only want this one thing."
J: "But it's 5 items for 5 dollars."
K: "That's alright, I only want this one item."
J: (speaking to friend on phone while coldly staring down Katrocket) "Can I call you right back? Yeah. This is gonna take a while. (sighs again) Tell me about it." (giggles, pause, more laughter, hangs up. Tries to concentrate on customer refusing "amazing deal") "But it's 5 items for 5 dollars!"
K: "I don't need 5 items today.. just this," (points to desired item) "And the sign says '$3.99 each or 5 for $5'"
J: "But it's cheaper if you buy 5 items."
K: "How is $5 cheaper than $3.99?"
J: "Well (speaking slower and louder so I get it) It just IS. You. get. FIVE. instead. of. ONE." (takes the item to scan the underside, and notices the price tag is missing.) "See?" (revs into super bitchy mode now) "There ain't even no price on this!!!"
K: "Well, like I said, the sign said '$3.99 each or 5 for $5' (points to sign on display less than 5 feet away) But if five items are five dollars, why don't you just charge me $1 for this?"
J: (sighs heavily again. She may be asthmatic.) "I can't be doin' that, ma'am. Do you want the item or NOT?"
K: "Yes, I told you I have no problem..."
J: (cuts in mid-sentence, YELLING) "SAAAAAAAAM!!" (smartass smile) "Sorry, we're about to change shifts so I'm cashing out."
K: "But you're going to ring this in first, right?"
J: "Well, it's after 4pm and since it took you so long to decide what you wanted, it will skew our sales data if I ring in an evening purchase during an afternoon shift."
K: (really angry now) "I don't think $3.99 is gonna blow your data, honey. And besides, I just wanna buy THIS, and you're giving me a really hard time about it."(notices that a line-up has formed. Two other customers that have been listening to our exchange nod in agreement)
J: (starts to ring in purchase. Phone rings.) "Arlene Accessories! JessiKAH speaking! (pause, dirty look) "Nope. It's still busy..... yeah sure.... alright... well, why don't I call you in about 20 minutes? I'm sure this disaster will have passed by then...yeah... ok... later!" (hangs up, cashier # 2 with name badge "SAM" arrives) "Sorry Sam, I've been dealing with this lady and I haven't had a chance to cash-out yet." (Other waiting customers check watches, sigh, look frustrated)
K: "Did you just call me a disaster?"
J: (eyes widen) "Uh... I was talking about something else."
K: "I would also like to talk to someone else. I'd like to talk to the manager."
J: "I AM THE MANAGER." (smirk, arms folded at chest. So there.)
K: (puts wallet away, takes item and throws back into sales bin, under the sign that says 'FIVE 4 FIVE!', strides back to counter) "That's surprising, JessiKAH. I didn't know that snotty fucking asshole kids were allowed to be store managers." (motions to other customers) "I think we're all in agreement that you've been a really difficult bitch for the past 10 minutes, and I, for one, will never shop here again. Thank so much for ruining my day, you useless cunt."
[Katrocket flips her the bird and leaves the store, followed by two other customers from the queue, who ditch their items in solidarity.]
OLDER LADY CUSTOMER# 1: "I've never seen anything like that before..."
KATROCKET: "Oh, I'm so sorry...I apologize for my language... she just really made me mad, and..."
OLC # 1: "Oh, not that, dear. She deserved THAT. Gosh, I was thinking about punching her. Customer service just isn't what it used to be."