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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 41,811

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Today, I met the real Customer from Hell.

Background: I'm a cashier at a food emporium which also has a general liquor section.

Three minutes before the end of my shift, here he comes. A cart just loaded (literally) with boxes and bottles. All liquor. Never have seen anything like it before. I gird my loins and start processing the order on the belt.

Customer is a guy, 40-something, with an authoritarian streak. I'm older than he is and a woman. (This isn't going to end well, thought I.)

First he wants to tell me how many boxes and how many bottles. I can't do that. If there were 10 or less, I could scan and verify the numbers. There had to be 30-35 pieces of liquor to process. And not organized; they're all spread out. So he's mad at me at 0:45. He's trying to get me to skip steps by telling me that he comes to the store every week, implying I was about to lose a loyal customer. I hope my supervisor doesn't notice and I'll be under scrutiny.

I have to attach "PAID" stickers to each piece. That slows down the process and Customer gets more angry. Pressure cooker mad. I'm just glad to be able to concentrate, not missing a single item, not dropping any glass, etc. He's talking AT me and I keep a neutral demeanor, you know, professional.

He's insulting me in front of me to customers waiting for their turn. I give him great service notwithstanding.

Finally, time for payment. The tab is $ 1,229. Not kidding. This is the biggest tab I've ever done. I was expecting a credit card. But he whips out a roll of $ 20's. That's right. And he's counting them and practically throws them at me. Of course, I now have to count the bills -- 62 of them. And he's talking at me again, trying to distract me while I'm trying to account for the money.

I counted 62, but thought maybe this is a good time to Cover My Ass and called over a supervisor. While I didn't mention the difficulty of the past 15+ minutes, I did ask for her to confirm the wad of bills before I put the sale through. She had to take it to the Money Room for counting. And this guy is almost screaming. I asked my supervisor if she could finish the sale and she looked at me with understanding and told me I could leave.

I returned about 10 minutes later and my supervisor told me that when he tried to complain about me, she told him that she had been watching the entire transaction and he had been abusing me.

I love it when management has your back.

I graduated with a degree in liberal arts in 1979.

Nothing but Humanities.

Art History, Music History, Theater History, European Civilization (2 semesters), German, Spanish, Italian, Chemistry, Modern Dance, Logic, and that's not counting my courses for my major in Music (Rudiments, Advanced Harmony, Composition, History during the Romantic Era, Baroque History, Modern History, Counterpoint, and more). Plus I researched, wrote, and defended a 90+ page thesis and performed a solo recital.

When I entered college on Day One, I had no idea whatsoever what I was going to do after graduation. None. So I simply enrolled in classes that seemed interesting.

Was I prepared to enter the work force after graduation? Not really. I opted for a backpack trip through the U.K. and Europe the summer following graduation, and saw sights that mirrored my courses.

What did I get out of this educational experience? More knowledge about western civilization than most college graduates. The apparently rarified skill of critical thinking. Three foreign languages. The ability to teach myself in the future.

That is what's lost with the disinterest in the Humanities.
Posted by no_hypocrisy | Mon Aug 2, 2021, 06:23 AM (0 replies)

Most prominently -- and perhaps tragically -- my father.

He looked good "on paper." Respected physician in the community. Dressed in Brooks Brothers suits. Member of the exclusive Tuxedo Club. Read Wodehouse, Amis, and other 20th century British authors. Intellectual. Played golf and court tennis. Drove a Jaguar.

But totally out of touch with everyone including our family. You might say he grew too big for his britches.

I could discern there was something "wrong" before I was 10. Disturbingly wrong. It was more than he was republican and loved Nixon. I listened carefully to what he said, what he didn't say. And I felt a combination of unease and apprehension/fear.

To my dismay, I seemed to be the only one who could see beneath the veneer. Maybe my mother to a lesser extent.

I hope Ohio has enough political will to deny Vance a slot during the primary next year.
Posted by no_hypocrisy | Sun Aug 1, 2021, 07:43 AM (1 replies)
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