Welcome to my Anger Management Series! If you haven’t read any of these before, I invite you to start at the beginning with my first Anger Management post here.
In reading through some of these old stories, some of which I remember vividly, I almost decided not to post them. When I originally blogged about them many years ago it was well received among my co-workers and a lot of our frequent customers. We had formed a community who loved reading these stories. Looking back, they now just seem like typical whiny teenage complaints.
I’m not sure if it’s a reflection of my maturity growing or a reflection of the overly sensitive society we live in but these posts aren’t even funny to me anymore. I can only hope that it’s just a me thing and that someone out there can still appreciate them for their original intended purpose – to commiserate and have a few laughs.
Yes I was hormonal and moody back then. Yes, I had a temper but I also was getting my first glimpses of the real world- the world outside of a private school’s cinder block walls. I have no doubt that in my older age, I wouldn’t have found some of these situations so infuriating. It seems like sometimes the smallest thing could have set me off back then (and admittedly, sometimes it still does).
Without further ado, I present to you more whiny teenage musings of a hot-tempered, spoiled brat of a teenager… that was me. For those of you continuing on the journey, please enjoy.
Some day in November, 2004
We had a birthday party booked at 12pm, right when we open. Of course they showed up about 20 minutes early. I had to check and see if her ice cream was kosher because they were a Jewish party. Hell, I went to a Roman Catholic school, I don’t even know how to spell kosher right I’m just taking a wild guess. I didn’t mind though, it kind of made me feel important plus I learned something new. The party mom told me what symbol to look for to tell whether or not the ice cream was kosher.
But then I thought, what if it wasn’t? Would she expect me to run out and find something that was? I feel like if you’re going to have stipulations about your party food you should probably inform the venue before the day of the party… Or is that too much to ask?
Luckily, we didn’t have any other parties booked that day! They didn’t end up starting until 12:30 which was almost an hour after they got there! Then, the mother decided they wanted three cheese pizzas. After talking with her, we decided four would be best. So I made four. I burnt one on accident and had to remake it. Then, in the middle of the day, she decides she wants a fifth pizza but surprise! We have no more cheese left!
What is her response?
“Well they didn’t tell us you guys would run out of cheese!?” How am I supposed to know that a party who originally wanted three pizzas now wants a fifth? This is also taking into account any mini pizzas that were ordered by other patrons… So Travis calls Wes to see if we should have someone rush out to get cheese and where to get it, how much to get, etc. Wes refuses to tell Travis and instead insists on talking to me directly.
At the time I didn’t understand this and hell, part of me still doesn’t. Perhaps he didn’t trust Travis as an individual yet. Either way, I was peeved because it was yet another person who absolutely needed me as opposed to trusting whichever employee I had delegated to perform the task. Honestly, I was all for running out of that place to escape for a while and get cheese.
Am I a supervisor? Wes hasn’t told me I am but I have my own set of keys. I’ve been trained how to open and close and had done each at the time. If I’m the first one there in the morning, we’re pretty much going to run things my way.
So I head up to Food Lion for some cheese. Upon returning, the party mom is all “yay! Cheese!” However, she changed her mind and decided that they didn’t want the fifth pizza. So I rushed to the store for no damn reason. We would have eventually needed it anyway but you could say I was a little pissed. After 3 PM, the party finally left.
The previous weekend…
One day last week we had four birthday parties back-to-back. At one point, I was helping three children at one time at the redemption counter hoping the line will dwindle faster. However, this one family just blocks the entire counter and takes their precious time. There is a line behind you. Can you not see that there are people waiting!? Of course I was the only one behind the counter at the time. Kelsie was running one birthday party while Jamie was cleaning the party room for them to come into. So I wasn’t mad at them. I’ve never mad at my co-workers because they have to put up with the same stupid should I do.
After the family who was taking their precious time left, I was back to helping multiple kids. A guy came up to the counter and said, “Hey! Can I just get $10 worth of tokens or what?” Reluctantly, he got them but without a pleasant smile from my lips. As far as I’m concerned you can be patient like everyone else. After a few minutes he comes up again for more tokens. Once again I reluctantly help them without a smile because now he’s really starting to make a big deal out of it and piss me off. Do I not look occupied to him? We have token machines that don’t require an employee to do it for you. I have several different people telling me different things at once and he can’t wait for some tokens? Sorry Princess you can see your fat, ugly ass down and wait. Just because you have a frequent players card doesn’t make you more special in my eyes.
We live in a society where people can’t be patient and wait. He could clearly see that I was the only one behind the counter and helping multiple people at one time. In the customer service world, people treat you like you’re a second-hand citizen but expect you to work the miracles of a god.
As soon as I finished at the redemption counter, I headed to the office to clock out as James came inside. The same guy comes up again. This time he was complaining that his friend was having a problem with the machine. What are you his mother? Why can’t he come up and tell me himself? They showed up again the next day and had yet another problem with the machine. How surprising. I don’t buy it. Anyways, the machine wasn’t spitting out the tickets that his friend supposedly won. In an effort to make the customer happy, I explained to him in a much nicer way than before that when they came up to cash in their tickets we would add some.
I guess that didn’t make the little princess happy enough. “Is there anyone else here that I could speak to that could help us?” He said it with a bitchy attitude as well. You know me, when someone gets sassy, I get sassy back… times 10. “Sir, the only other person here who is higher up on the rug than I am-I didn’t mean for it to come out that way but it did-is James and he’s going to tell you the exact same thing.” By this time Jamie came behind the counter and offered to help the man. I knew the game had tickets because I had checked it previously and it was stocked full. When Jaime came back he said the man wasn’t happy. Apparently, I was “bitchy.”
He was lucky that he left right then because there would have been a fight. I don’t take shit. Heaven forbid a woman tell a man something he doesn’t want to hear – that makes her automatically a bitch. It doesn’t matter if she is doing her job or standing up for herself. If he were still there words would have been exchanged. You’d be surprised how colorful my language can get. When he came back the very next day, he acted as though he had never seen me before and that nothing had happened.
If anything, reliving these journal entries has helped me realize that I would rather die than ever go back into retail or customer service. It wasn’t all terrible though. I was doing what I could at the time to get by and thankfully, now I’m in a much better place. Perhaps these entries have been saved by my past self as an attempt to remind me where I came from and the stupid shit I once had to put up with.
If you are reading this and currently working in customer service, retail or the fast food industry, I want you to know that I applaud you. You are doing a job that I could no longer do without suicidal thoughts. Hang in there.
Until next time, RB.
Regina Bethory is a fiction author. She graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor’s in Directing and Play Writing and from Newport News Shipbuilding’s Apprentice School as a Test Electrician. She also has a degree in Funeral Services. As an avid minimalist and traveler, she enjoys spending her time learning new things, seeking new experiences and de-cluttering. When she is not writing, she can often be found in comic book stores and early morning matinees.