About Me

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Complaint of the Century

The following is an entirely fictional account based on a true story that actually happened to me tonight.

I've never been so glad to get home and get into bed. It's freezing outside but too early to sleep. I'm in my trackies…in bed…the heater is slowly warming up and I have a beer. I've just had one of the worst nights at work you could ever imagine. So I shall tell you about it.

I work in a place that sells things. I was the manager for the day. That is all I am going to tell you. The day had been going pretty well so far and even though I didn't want to be at work, I was glad I had good people around me. We were almost smiling. One guy was smiling because Hawthorn were winning in the AFL. Any regular day.

A customer by the name of Eunice came in. This is the most awful fake name I could possibly give to a character in my fictional stories. She loaded up her cart and made her way to register one. Eunice purchased her items and was happy. So happy in fact that she thought she got good service. She left dancing on rainbows with little bluebirds singing all around her.

Ten minutes later Eunice is back, marching straight back up to register one. Now at this stage we are busy and there are people waiting. Eunice has forgotten something and needs to buy one more. So she tries to push in front of all the other people, who are not happy. The operator on register one tells her to go to the back of the line 6 times. Finally she listens. It becomes apparent that Eunice does not dance on rainbows and sing with bluebirds. She is overweight and deluded to the amount of class she actually has. You know, like Kevin Rudd trying to be cool. Just because you try to act classy does not make you classy.

Eunice decides to join the queue at register three where she is served and purchases her extra item. Eunice is not happy and she complains, rather loudly, that register one refused to serve her even though she came back two minutes later. Then she has a go at the person on register one, who in return explains that she was gone for 10 minutes and not two and therefore was not pushing in. Now our work was pretty noisy so this staff member had to raise her voice a bit. There were crying babies and old people yelling at each other about nothing because they are deaf.

Eunice gets mad because she feels she just got yelled at. To make herself feel better, Eunice wants to yell at someone in return. Namely me. Mr Manager? Just Manager. Even though I've seen and heard everything at this point, I walk over to her having taken a deep breath. Knowing you have top deal with an irate customer makes your body go into fight or flight mode. The problem with this is that your body produces an insane amount of adrenalin that you suddenly feel like you can ran as fast as Kenyans.

She starts telling me about how classy she is and she's travelled the world and she is so upset.

Basically I find a polite way of telling her I think she's full of shit but she's not interested in listening. She just wants to talk and demand and talk some more. I get bored, and start imagining things I wish I could say to her. They are different from what I did say to her.

Realising I cannot get rid of this woman I try to tell her to write to head office because clearly nothing is going to satisfy her. And she won't go away. Eunice has turned into Snorlax. You remember Pokemon? Snorlax was that massively fat Pokemon that was useless and wouldn't move. Eunice was Snorlax and I had no PIkachu to shock her death.

Finally, finally, we get her to go away. The whole ordeal took an hour. The adrenalin has been kicking my system for a whole hour. A whole hour of being prepared to fight or fly, and just having to stand there. Suddenly, my body goes into shock. My heart rate lowers but there is still too much adrenalin pumping around. I collapse, and I get the feeling of wanting to cry. Not because I'm sad, but because I think too much adrenalin does that to you. But I'm a man, and I can't cry. Not even weep. So I soldier on for the next 4 hours in my weakened state, finally get home, and crack open a beer.

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