Little confidence killers

People always say it’s the little things in life that count. Well, I think this goes for mean things as well.

Today I put on a shirt for work and remembered one of the many nasty things customers said to me back in my Banana Republic days. I could always count on customers to make the average day as unhappy as possible (Outside of deaths, tragedies, etc. I’m talking daily life unhappiness).

Obviously, working in retail meant I didn’t have a lot of money. Even with BR’s discount, which on some items was up to 75%, I still couldn’t afford to buy their clothes.

On the rare occasion when I could afford one of their basic “cheap” shirts I cherished it. At BR you aren’t necessarily expected to wear the current season’s clothes, but you are expected to look as if you are wearing BR clothes.

One of my first purchases was a simple gray shirt with a satin-like trim around the collar. In the store, before being washed, it looked really shiny and perfect. Here is the shirt today:

I guess you are supposed to hand wash it, but who has time for that crap? Besides, I didn’t think it looked bad. It just looked less shiny.

We were having a sale and these shirts were going for about £5, which is a really good deal.

A middle-aged woman spent a few minutes browsing the shirts and then walked up to me at the register with a pink one in her hand.

“Ugh. Is that the same shirt as this?” she asked about the shirt I was wearing, holding hers up next to me to compare. “Well if that’s how the shirt is going to look once I wash it then I won’t waste my money.”

She tossed the shirt on the counter at me and turned around and walked off.

I still wear the shirt occasionally because I don’t think it’s bad, but it’s not one of my regular rotation shirts. It mostly comes out close to laundry day. Every time I wear it I’m reminded of my low mental state back then. I would get rid of it, but it’s a perfectly good shirt that still fits. Maybe I should trash it. I hate customers!

Feel free to share any of your rude customer stories.

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “Little confidence killers

  1. How about looking at the situation as an example of how your customer puts value in an object not worth caring about. Of course, I avoid clothes shopping for as long as possible and have no interest in what’s stylish. With that in mind, I see nothing wrong with your shirt. Wear it in good health, and ignore remarks from people with more money than sense.

  2. Some people are just so tactless, aren’t they? Your shirt’s fine.

  3. My boss just gave me a bagfull of her ex-husband’s shirts because she apparently “can’t take looking at those white shirts” I have been known to wear anymore. We’re not so different you and I.

    • Wow. Are you going to wear them? What did you say? I haven’t talked to you enough recently!

      • I politely took them and they’ve been sitting in the back of my car ever since. I haven’t even looked at them honestly. Her ex-husband is honestly one of the most loathsome human beings I’ve ever met so taking on his wardrobe doesn’t appeal to me.

  4. It’s good to hear these stories. I had my own shop, which I closed due to the recession a year ago. My confidence has been knocked for six, mostly by the customers that wore me down throughout my three years of trading. I wont even go into a supermarket these days unless I am in disguise (I am working on this though as it is totally ridiculous). I did have some lovely customers (one of them drove her pet sheep up to meet me on her way back from taking him to the bank to open his own savings account), but also a lot of facists, I took it all very personally, it gives me hope that I wasn’t so bad when I hear customers are horrid elsewhere!

    • Oh I know how you feel. I know we shouldn’t take it personally but it’s hard. People are just so mean to retail employees because they know you can’t retaliate. I had people treat me like absolute scum every retail place I worked. A lot of them it’s not mean things they say, but for example at BR I had a few customers who refused to carry their clothes as they were shopping. Seriously, they would not touch them even to carry them to pay. They acted like BR was some designer brand and I was their slave.

  5. I’m sure I’ve got tons of these, but I can’t think of anything specific at the moment. I waited tables for a while in college though, so that should say enough. And then after I graduated, I worked in a doctor’s office for about a year, and I can remember crying after getting off the phone with a patient who was so mean to me. Ugh, I hated that job. People are especially mean on the phone because you can’t see them!

    • They are also really mean on the Internet for the same reason! I see some of the comments people leave on other people’s blogs and I just know they’d never say that in real life.

  6. Once, when I worked in a photo lab, an older man came in to pick up his photos. I was the only one in the store because my boss was constantly taking 2 to 3 hour lunches and leaving me to handle the phone, the counter, the drive-thru, and my OWN pile of work. He was not happy with his photos (I didn’t do that part of the work there or they would have been perfect! 🙂 ) and people were coming thru the drive-thru and the phone kept ringing. He told me to go ahead and answer the phone and help the lady at the drive-thru, so I did. Then, when I got back to him, I was having trouble with the register and I couldn’t fix the problem, and he started getting ticked off. He kept asking for the manager and I told him, for the third time, I was the only one there. It got to a point of extreme rudeness on his part, no matter what I tried to do or say. Finally, I’d had enough, and I said, “Look. I know it’s not easy getting old. You lose your patience, your body dosen’t work like it use to, you have no time any more for stupidity in young folks or people in general. But that’s no reason to take it out on me. I’ve been more than accomodating with you, but enough is enough. And, frankly, sir, they don’t pay me enough here to put up with bullshit like you’re giving me right now. They really don’t.”

    Well, that really made him mad, and he asked for the manager again. I said, “Sir, (I say sir or mam a lot when people start to piss me off. It helps me to try and stay calm so I don’t go all “fight club” on them.) I told you already, my boss is gone and she probably won’t be back for two or three more hours because she does this to me all the time. I’m it right now. I’m all you got.” Believe it or not, he finally calmed down. As he was leaving he turned to apologize for his rudeness to me and said “My wife says I’m hard to live with, too.” I just shook my head and said, “Yea, I’ll bet. Have a nice day.”

    • Aw! That’s a funny story! Well, not funny that you had to get all stressed out and your manager treated you like that, but it’s funny that you said all that lol.

      It’s so frustrating being understaffed. It’s probably one of the number one causes of angry customers. They come to your establishment for a service, and when they don’t get it they freak out. Sometimes it’s more understandable than others, but there’s never a need to yell at an over worked, under paid employee.

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