This is me. Well, it isn’t actually me, but it’s what I was doing in the bookstore yesterday. I felt like there was a neon sign taped to my forehead flashing off and on saying, “Please, customers, I beg you to be annoying!” They certainly obliged. One in particular.
She is one of my regular complainers and came in to pick up some of the books she had on hold. Her purchase history proves that she never spends more than $20 at a time, and yesterday was no exception. I’m used to that with her. But then came this question, “This book is for my 22 year old son. Does it have anything sexual in it?” I stared at her blankly for a moment, unsure as to whether she did or didn’t want the sexual content. I politely reminded her that this was a Christian store, so no, there would be no sexual content. I wanted to add that I was sure the 22 year old son was more than capable of buying the other kind of books if he so desired. But I didn’t.
She sailed around for a few minutes and then stated, disgust dripping from her words, “You don’t have much of a selection here.” I smiled and explained the concept of a closing out sale. What you see is what you get. “I guess,” was her response.
Annoying Customer is also aware that I manage the coffee shop next door. Not finding anything else to complain about in the bookstore, she proceeded to find fault with our little neighborhood cafe. Why don’t we carry salads and fresh fruit plates and a larger variety of baked goods? Her office is in the same complex, so she comes in for lunch once or twice a week and she’d like some variety. Which we have. But apparently not enough. I explained that we’d tried her suggestions and found that it wasn’t cost effective to carry the salads and fresh fruit. People just don’t buy them. Oh, she said, but then could we please not sell store bought cookies. I laughed. Inwardly. Because all of our cookies are homemade . . . by my daughter!
Annoying Customer finally came to the counter to make her purchase. Total was $20.24. And she actually choked at having to pay the 24 cents over $20. I thought for a minute there she was going to put something back. Or ask me to hold it with her other stuff.
I tried to smile when she said she’d be back on Friday. Really, I did.