Appendix A: Customers 101
It’s always worth noting the coal that makes the whole machine run, the customers. And by coal, I mean ‘annoying thing that you have to put up with’ and by machine i mean the ‘supermarket that pays me’.
I had also better mention the fact that these isolated incidents are by no means real. Well actually a lot of them are. But if you were one of these customers…. Well to be fair, you must have been pretty darn annoying to even get in here so it probably your own fault.
Ok so let me explain this little pause in the SuperMarket Chronicles. There are millions of customers every year that get on our nerves as staff, but they all fall into categories. And here lies, starting at the least annoying, the top ten annoying types of customers. Customers 101.
10, The Hinter.
This customer usually comes in the form of a couple, often where the other person just doesn’t care about shopping and is only there because the Hinter is dragging them along. Their play is to Hint to their partner that they can’t find something. They do it in such a way that is loud and proud, but they make sure that I’m right next to them. Why they can’t just ask me face to face, I will never know. But instead they expect you to interrupt and tell them where the product is. This is probably one of the most annoying things in the world, BUT it is incredibly easy to get back at The Hinter, which makes it only a mere 10.
To counteract their annoyances, simply ignore them or better yet walk through the two in mid-conversation and walk away far enough that you can;t hear them anymore. This makes it obvious that you have heard their little act and simply don’t care. You can truly get the feel-good factor off The Hinter.
9, The Blanker
This is an extremely difficult and challenging customer that can cause major stress especially when it is your first day or shift. You can feel quite intimidated. The Blanker shows no emotion during a request for an item and will respond only in yes and no answers. Depending on the product’s availability, their attitude could easily change for better or worse. With this in mind it is always best to please this specie of customer and if you know you can’t – point them in the direction of a colleague you don’t like.
8, The Know-It-All
This customer, no matter how long you have worked for the company, will maintain they know far more than you ever do. This means no matter the answer to their question or whatever you have to tell them. They will correct you and attempt to prove you wrong. This is why it is best to tell this brand of customer that they are lovely people and you are happy to help them.
Worst case scenario: They ask for a product that you don’t stock. They will then proceed to explain to you that they actually purchased that item from your very store last week so you are clearly mistaken. These customers are hard to beat, but I find that a sharp, sudden blow to the head will suffice.
7, The Colleague Customer
These often don’t stem from your own store, but from another branch or from another type of supermarket. They will complain about everything and proceed to illustrate how to stack, put out, display, eat, cook, walk, and wheel out the stock from the yard and then continue to bore you about how ‘their store’ would do it. Since these are colleagues, you are in a unique position for these trouble-makers. It is clear that are not the Mystery Customer, or someone of importance and therefore enables you to get cheeky with them. Providing your name badge isn’t visible, you can quite legitimately smile and tell them ‘…but this isn’t your store is it?’ and walk off in triumph. Other replies include, ‘Quick, go home, your store needs you…’ Or the classic, ‘If only you actually did work here, then I’d finally have an in-house boxing bag.’
6, The Late Wonders
These are only annoying due to the sheer volume of them. They will arrive and annoy in their swarms. These are the customers that come in to buy pumpkins at 8pm on October 31st or turkeys at 2-minutes-to-midnight on December 24th. They all do it. From lovers on valentines to kids on fathers day. And it wouldn’t be so bad, except for the fact that they truly do expect you to have the goods. Lets take pumpkins as the example, there is NO way that we are going to ever have any on Halloween night! Surely that would be obvious to them, but for some reason when they come in to the store (dressed as witches, skeletons and in the extreme cases dressed as russel brand) the really mad when we explain we don’t have any pumpkins. Sorry Late Wonders. Get a diary for Christmas and think about something called ‘Forward Planning’.
5, The Frowner
Oh now this is the cherry on the cake of customers. Often this type will accompany another brand such as a Late Wonder and simply come to yell, tantrum and just plainly get their way at whatever cost. Nothing will satisfy them, so take relief in the fact that you could give them a hug and tell them that you are their long-lost-son and they would still bite your head off. They will never smile at you, so don’t even try and get one – but feel free to give one to them. It often agitates them even more. The best game to play with these customers is the – ‘how mad can i get you before you physically explode?’ game.
4, The Spoiler
This one relates more to the customer’s kids than to The Spoiler. But then again it is the Spoiler who, you guessed it, Spoils their kids to the point that kids are crying a river. A very loud river. And since The Spoiler won’t tell the kid off, it simply showers them with wimpy plees to ‘shhh’ or worse yet compliment them on their screams. It is a controversial matter, spanking kids, but when you see the work of the Spoiler, it is enough to convince anyone it is right to smack children.
Short of tranquilizing the kids, there is very little that can be done to prevent The Spolier and her kids from spoiling YOUR day. If you ever see one coming your way, run. Fast and Far.
3, The Parker
We are into the top three customers. These are the worst of the worst. And up at number 3 is the Parker. This very unique customer can’t drive. They simply walk down the busiest aisle possible and park their trolley in the middle of it. In the tightest of spaces, they will find their way and they will harass, clog and annoy – often without even realising it. They will park against the flow of trolley traffic, they will park in front of where you putting out the apples, they will park right in front of you wheeling out a trolley-load of spuds, they will park in front of the doors and of course they will park in the most annoying place – right behind you so that when you turn around you will crash and burn. The only real defense against this customer is offense. Park first. Get in thier way before they can even think about getting in yours. And of course remember to thank them for nothing when they don’t move for you and move their trolley for them
2, The Chav
The Chav isn’t just an annoying type of customer. It is annoying group of people. Don’t get me wrong, i don’t have anything against people because of the clothes that they wear, or the cars that they drive. But when they think that they are better than everyone else and that they have a right to say, do and act better than anyone else. That gets to me. They are louder. They are cockier. And they don;t care about anybody expect themselves. You don’t stand a chance against one of these customers since 90% of them actually carry knives. Your best bet is to find the biggest, baddest security guard and hide behind him. Or run them over from the safety of your car on the journey home.
And finally, at the top of the list…
1, The Snob
Worst of the worst. These customers take no prisoners and will treat you like a personal slave. They will be the one’s that look down on you, no matter your height. They will be the one’s you will ask you to pick things off the bottom shelves for them. They are the ones that go for Taste The Difference Poached Salmon with mini crouton bits instead of the general one normal people buy. They are so annoying because unless you speak to them as if they are kings and queens they will often complain about you. They will expect you to literally do their shopping for them and will happily spit on you if they don’t like the flavor of the humbug they are chewing.
The only fight-back against these customers is to speak as common as you can to them. The more common the better. Preferably to the point that you don;t even understand what you are saying. They will then simply give up on you and move on to another customer.
To make a game out of this customer, simply print out a produce label from the machines and carefully stick it to their back. Tell your friends to do the same. By the end of the Snob’s shop, their back should be covered in them. This way, when they take off their fox-skin coat at their mansion, they will realise what a snob they truly are.
Well I hope that shines a little light on the types of customers that we have to put up with at the supermarket. Maybe in my next appendix I will be able to explain some other exciting background knoledge that is hidden behind the iron mask of Sainsbury’s. Peace to one and to all.
Appendix A Concluded
(We All Stand Together Against Evil Customers)