Here are __ things I have learnt over time working and serving customers. The good, bad and the ugly.
You are a soulless entity, that is either standing in the way of what they want, or helping them get it. They will insult you, and try to make it personal. They don't care if you've had a bad day, or you're tired or sick. And in a way, why should they? It's your job after all. They will insult you and make it personal, especially in situations that are not your fault. I have been yelled at and abused because of things like "No sorry the fireworks aren't on every night, only on Christmas Eve & New Years Eve."
How dare I? And they drove all that way? My manager has been spat on because we closed an outdoor night time tour because of an electrical storm. Not only was it not our call, but it was for your own safety! Obviously.
No but I used the google and on your website it said this. Hmm no it didn't. The website said you closed at 7pm but that announcement said you close at 6pm! I personally am terribly sorry and I will see about getting that website fixed for you. I know you have it in stock it was on your website, no that means nothing! The internet is only sort of magic, not that kind of magic. They will swear on their grave that they are right, even if halfway through they realise they are wrong, they will not give up. I promise you.
So you bought this shirt the other day and wow it looks like you've worn it for 3 months straight without washing it! Oh so you bought it like that? Well that is just terrible, But I really don't think that we would have sold a shirt in this condition. No no I'm not calling you a liar, do you have a receipt? Oh you never got one, well I am just so sorry about that let me just see what I can do.
That situation above is exactly what happens, and all too often. They're so clearly lying, I have even had someone change their story multiple times throughout the explanation on why this brand new item has an enormous hole in it. It always ends the same way, you give them what they want. You want a refund for this item you bought 1 year ago, even though our refund policy is 2 weeks? Here's the scoop, even if I say no, and I ask my manager and she says no and she asks her regional manager and they also say no. If the customer rings up the head office and freaks out, guess what they're going to get that refund.
Have you ever went to buy something you swear was $5 and it scanned in as $10. Wait a minute I don't think that's right, you say something to the shop person, they check for you, and it is indeed $10, you were wrong. You apologise and it was your mistake after all. You buy it (or not) and go on your merry way. Ehh if you are a nice and reasonable person. If you're a jerk you freak out, you raise your voice, call me out on trying to rip you off. It's preposterous! You shout, you flail, you have a public meltdown. And I change the price for you. You absolute monster. Some people then calm down a little and thank the shop person, others stay agitated and self entitled with a "Yeah that's right you better change that price!" kind of attitude. We hate you.
You bet they do. The first time I caught a shoplifter I lifted the beanies out of their bag which is a big no no, but I panicked. When doing a bag check you can't touch anything, not the bag, not anything inside it. You can only ask them to show you, and to move their items around to attempt to show the more of the bag. In my clothing store job most of our regular shoplifters are 15 year old brats who flog sunglasses and hats and socks. Shoving them into their backpacks. The adults that steal things, now they're the tough cookies. They will scream and carry on, how dare you accuse them. When I call security, there's literally nothing I can do to stop the person running away. A coworker of mine spotted a kid just holding a pair of stolen pants in the food court, and she asked him to hand them over and he said nope, what are you gonna do about it.
Lovely old couples, people that just want a chat, people that roll their eyes and sympathise with you about that mean customer that just left. These few good souls restore your faith in humanity. Not everyone is crap. Elderly men who hobble out of the store and say "Hoo Roo" (old people talk for cya) People that compliment you, the regulars, your few favourites that always have a good chat. I've even said hello to people outside of work that I've served quite a few times. Even after a long day, with mean people and crowds, fighting each other over that last size shoe in their size. The nice people still make it worth it.