Monday, August 19, 2013

The Lady who Shouted on her Phone

            “There’s also a survey on the back of your receipt, which if you complete within 7 days, you’ll get a 20% off coupon for your next purchase. So, if you like me, my name’s Ashley; if you don’t, my name’s Morgan.” The customer giggled, grabbed her bag and child’s hand, and headed out of the children’s store and into the busy mall, getting swallowed by the crowd of people that usually accompany Saturday’s midday horde.
            I look at the next lady expectantly, but she didn’t hand over her items. She didn’t even glance my way, instead focusing on shouting into her cell phone in a language I didn’t understand. Deciding she wasn’t ready, I slide out from behind the register and head back to my task of folding the big girl graphic tees, approaching the pile of glitter (which seemed more abundant than the actual fabric of the shirt) with a sense of dread. I pick up the first pile and flip it upside down, ready to battle the source of the mess and then work outwards.
            “Uhm, Excuse me!” I look around, since these words replace my name in the times that I’m at work (I’m not sure why they bother giving us name tags). I see the woman, donning an expectant look. How dare I keep her waiting! I jump to, rushing back around to the register, wearing a smile (theatre training put to good use).
            “Did you find everything ok?”
            “Yeah. I need you to tell me the price of everything when you ring it up.”
            “No problem.” I start to ring up her items, and I spout off the prices, which are all fairly low since she got the clearance items from our 50% reduced price section. By the time I got halfway through her small pile, I hear a ringing. Knowing the song blaring out of our speakers, I realize this verse is not part of the usual melody, and so the sound must be coming from elsewhere.
            The lady pulls out her phone, answering it. She starts yelling again. I’m not sure what to do with the prices she wanted to hear, so I begin telling them to her small daughter. The daughter just stares back at me with big eyes and sucks silently on her soda straw. I finish scanning and skip the phone number and email I’m supposed to ask for. I don’t want to interrupt her yelling, but I need to tell her the final price.
            She sees that I’m done, pauses to listen to the total, and slings her credit card down onto the counter. I point to the Verifone, where the customer has to swipe their own card, but she’s already gone back to her other conversation. I bite the bullet and slide for her, contorting my arm in an ungainly manner to accomplish my task. Thankfully, she chooses debit and puts in the pin herself.
            Now comes the hard part. She qualified for one of our special coupons by reaching a certain subtotal. I am given the brave mission to tell her about the terms and requirements to keep the coupon valid (spending the same in the subtotal of the next transaction, dates it will work, keeping it attached to the original receipt, etc.). “Well, ma’am, it looks like you’ve qualified for our cash coupon. There are a few rules, but it will save you…” I trail off, my high volume becoming a whisper when I see something I have never seen in my years of being a sales clerk, something I’d only heard about in horror stories, something I thought could never happen to me.
            The lady stopped shouting for a minute, cocked her head at me, and put up her pointer finger, as if to say “Can’t you see I’m on the phone?” She pulled a face, showing disbelief at me trying to save her money and let out a grunt of dissatisfaction before going back to shouting. I stapled her coupon and shoved it into her bag with her clothes. I guess she’ll figure it out on her own. I hand the bag to her daughter, not wanting to risk it with the woman. The death glares she sent me before grabbing her daughter to exit the store told me this wasn’t over.

            I haven’t seen her again since then, so I hope her glare was an empty one.

No comments:

Post a Comment