confessions of an ex-deliqueen
i worked in various delicatessens for seven years. it was a messy, repetitive, thankless job. but it was handy employment while studying; good Sunday rates, paid holiday leave and, well, after seven years i owned the deli.
but last October i served one customer too many and snapped.
this particularly annoying guy used to come in every Saturday at 6.05pm and ask for his ham sliced up fresh. he always explained that the pre-sliced ham in the case was 'covered in bacteria' and it 'wasn't good enough' for him. so on this Saturday i had worked a particularly hard shift (it was just me and three fifteen-year-olds working) and i was about to go on break and i JUST COULDN'T TAKE IT ANY MORE!!!!
i told the guy i wouldn't slice his ham fresh and he could just buy it from the case like everyone else. we'd been really busy all day, selling HEAPS of ham, so the stuff in the case was only a couple of hours 'old' any way.
man: no, um, no. you see... i want it sliced fresh.
me: nope. sorry.
man: look, you don't seem to understand. i come in here every week...
me: I KNOW!
man: ...to get my ham sliced fresh. so, huh, would you just do it?
me: sorry, no.
man: look, i am THE CUSTOMER and i'm asking you do to this. you don't seem to understand that you HAVE TO DO IT.
me: i'm not doing it.
man: look, i've had problems with you before...
me: I KNOW!
man: do you not even care? you don't even care! you work in customer service and you DON'T CARE ABOUT THE CUSTOMERS!
me: I DON'T CARE! YOU CAN'T MAKE ME CARE! I'M NOT DOING IT FOR YOU EVER AGAIN BECAUSE I DON'T CARE!
man: YOU DON'T CARE!
me: I DON'T CARE! *quieter* ...because you're an idiot...
man: that's it. i'm getting the manager.
while the man went off the get the manager i told the fifteen-year-olds in the deli i was going to dinner. i left the supermarket and drove home for my hour break. i knew i didn't want to go back EVER but, after two hours, decided i really should finish the shift seeing as i was closing up. i went back. the managers had all gone home by this stage and the duty manager, bless him, DIDN'T CARE EITHER.
i finished the shift. the fifteen-year-olds tiptoed around me, for once being super helpful and obedient. they were scared i'd flip out on them again. i handed in my resignation the next day and never went back.
that was the end of my deli career. i started telling this story because i was inspired by Little Britian's 'computer says no' style customer service to confess all the dodgy things i've done in the name of bad service of the years. but i'll save that story for next time, and my only confession for now is simply: i worked in customer service and i didn't care.
6 years ago