The worst customer

Submitted into Contest #19 in response to: Write a short story about someone based on their shopping list.... view prompt

3 comments

General

I have two jobs during the holidays because I hate myself and I don't get invited to many parties anyway; at least not the ones that are held at a time that clashes with my schedule. In the morning I work as a cashier for a department store. The children's section is probably the worst place to be in. I lied in my resume about working better under pressure but so far so good. No one has tried to call the manager on me; the parents are simply too tired to do the effort and I'm blessed.

My evening job has nothing to do with children but it's got a lot to do with toys. You guessed it! A sex shop. For some reason they needed some help for the holidays and they hired me as a cashier. I don't know enough about the merchandise to truly offer much help, but I can say I know enough. Not enough to be an advisor. My boss told me exactly what to say to first timers and exactly what to offer them based on the answers I got from a few well written questions. Luckily the shop is big enough to hire two people at the same time and the girl working the same shift as I am is the one that does most of the talking. 

Some customers have offered to TEACH me about… well… the toys, but the boss has a strict "no sex with the customers" rule that's been saving my life. It doesn't really bother me. I know what I look like and being 5'6" is not helping me at all.

The only times my job is uncomfortable is when the client I saw in the morning drops by during the evening.

I'm only human. 

And one particular human with an overactive imagination. 

Seriously. In the morning, dad buys  a toy car, one of those weird babies that grow when you feed them, a pair of lightsabers, a pretty dress, a boy's T-shirt with a stupid saying about being a lady's man, and finally a pair of leather and fur handcuffs. He sees me, does a double take, tries to act casual which means that his voice goes a thousand octaves lower, and avoids eye contact as much as he can.

He does leave a tip for me as if I'm going to tell the children what their daddy has been up to.

Next day, mom buys a huge dinosaur and one of those crazy expensive cars that can fit a 6 year old inside. Not the ones they have to pedal. The ones that have a small electric engine so that the kid doesn't have to move a muscle. She's one of those chatty ones that asks me about college and what I'm going to do for Christmas. I tell her the bare minimum and do the usual customer service script and wish her some happy holidays as she leaves. Did I see her later? Yes and she buys the biggest dildo on sale. What's so different about her? That she's not ashamed at all. She even chats with me a little bit. Enough that I'm not sure if she's just being nice to me or if she's flirting. She pays with her credit card and gives me a business card. 

I swear to God I almost astral projected out of my body and I'm not sure whether that's a good or a bad thing.

I learn a lot in both jobs. I didn't know girl toys could be so complicated. There's this doll that comes in a plastic ball so you don't know what you are getting. These dolls are collectible and parents think we have a x-ray vision to be able to tell which doll is inside. The amount of white moms casually saying "I hope I don't get the black one" has been driving me up the wall lately. AND I CAN'T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT IT! These moms would totally call the manager on me. So I do the next best thing and I act dumb.

"What's so bad about the black doll?" I ask in the sweetest and most confused tone of voice I can muster. I sound so fake, but these people don't know me and their faces are worth the ache in my soul.

I get three types of reactions: the angry mom that doesn't say anything concrete, the ashamed mom who mumbles an excuse, and the mom that says that she's got two of those black dolls at home already and that a third would be too much. It's all bullshit, but maybe I make them think about what they've said. 

Of course I had to encounter one of those moms at the sex shop later. The first mom saw me and walked right out. The second one steeled her features as if she was headed straight for the front lines and bought a package of edible Christmas themed underwear. I put on my customer service face on and add a dash of snugness.

 A few "deer in the headlights" customers and a few pros later, I discover the worst client. 

He's twice my age and he's just buying some chocolate, but he's flirting with me on a Saturday morning which means the place is packed and there's a long line of stressed parents glaring daggers at the man. I don't blame them. The man finally leaves and of course I saw him later. 

I don't understand these people. Do they buy their normal stuff, go for lunch, and then come here? What kind of job allows them the entire day off?

I'm explaining to a customer that the sex toy they are purchasing would be safer to use with a condom on for hygiene purposes when the chocolate guy drops by. He's got this punchable face that feels like he's gonna ask me what my favorite sex toy is or something equally frustrating. 

There's nothing noteworthy about this particular sale. No. He was perfectly polite and didn't try to flirt with me again. He did buy the same package of edible Christmas underwear as that one racist mom. No matter.

He's the worst customer for the sole reason that I met him for a third time in my own home with a gift for my mom.


December 08, 2019 19:20

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

3 comments

Xen Ferox
13:11 Dec 20, 2019

That twist at the end was epic.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Ace Devorak
05:55 Dec 18, 2019

Love & Support - @rainhidesmytears

Reply

Alex Sandoval
22:09 Dec 18, 2019

Thank you 💖💖

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.