3 Customers

Below are three customer stories. The writer of these stories hopes you find them entertaining and/or interesting. Enjoy!


I met this gray-haired, hippie customer from Seattle who talked about the low level of consciousness among Chicago residents.

Topics of conversation included:

– Recycling
– Global warming
– Pollution

Had it not been for my Team Leader walking over and telling me to take my mandatory 30 minute unpaid lunch break, this woman would have probably talked to me forever.

forever talk

It wasn’t like I was contributing much to the conversation. I am not that educated on the important issues. Sure, I know what global warming is, but I am unaware of how it’s exactly dooming the planet.

global warm Besides from a few “Yeahs” and head nods, the only relevant information that I disclosed to the hippie was that I had been to Seattle. I wanted to ask her why the bums were so crazy out there and tell her my Crazy Seattle Bum Story.


I was driving around downtown in circles searching for a parking spot when I spotted these two crazy Seattle bums on the sidewalk.

The 1st time I drove around and spotted them: They were talking.

The 2nd time I drove around: They were arguing.

The 3rd time: One Seattle bum was lying face down on the pavement while the other Seattle bum was no where to be found.

4th time: The ambulance arrived.


For whatever reason, this Crazy Seattle Bum Story is one of the main things I remember about Seattle. The older I get, the more I realize how selective my brain is. It seems to only absorb odd occurrences and faults in human behavior, which sort of explains why I cannot recall any major details of the conversation between me and the gray-haired, hippie customer besides the fact that she is from Seattle, likes talking about important issues, and believes Chicago residents have a low level of consciousness.


A round man walked into my cashier line, plopped his food container on the conveyor belt, and started complaining about the Hot Food Bar.

“It’s a mess,” he babbled. “Food mixed together. Utensils missing. I don’t even have a lid for my container!”

I looked down at the lidless container in sheer horror.

“You got a million employees working,” complained the man, “and all they’re doing is standing around looking at their shoes.”


Since I work customer service, my response to this can either be:

“Sorry about that sir.”


“I apologize for any inconvenience.”

I will be 30 years-old in two months and this is what I have to put up with. I understand that my job requires me to act a certain way, but at a certain point, apologizing to these customers for their idiotic behavior becomes degrading.

bad employe

Imagine instead of apologizing to this round man, I told him that he was “being unreasonable” and that “sometimes the Hot Food Bar gets a little messy” and “he needs to stop acting like an entitled asshole.”

One of three things will now happen:

1.) He tells his family and friends to never shop at So and So Grocery store again. They listen. The store loses business. HOWEVER, the store never has to deal with this asshole and his like-minded asshole family and friends ever again.

2.) He tells his family and friends to never shop at So and So Grocery store again. They do NOT listen as they are well aware of this guy’s asshole tendencies and never take anything he says seriously.

3.) He tells no one to never shop at So and So Grocery store again because he has no one and continues to shop at So and So Grocery store because he has nowhere else to go.

so and so

I should mention that immediately following this imaginary scenario I was fired.

“Sorry Jason,” said the Team Leader, “but here at So and So Grocery the customer is our number one stakeholder and whenever he or she has a complaint we need to practice patience even during the most trying of times.”


The Wheelchair Woman does not necessarily require a wheelchair. She leaves her home, drives, parks, and walks to the main entrance doors of the grocery store no problem. It’s just when she enters the store that her legs stop working.


In the beginning, the Wheelchair Woman was just an ordinary woman. A complicated woman, yes, but still ordinary in that she walked, talked, and performed other ordinary human functions.


She was born a true anti-shopper. Deep down she despised shopping, but due to the fact that shopping was a necessary part of life, she had to do it. She gave it her best shot but couldn’t get on board with walking up and down the crowded aisles and pushing that dreaded, germ-infected metal cage on wheels a.k.a. the shopping cart.

cart no

To make the shopping experience less painful, she started dropping off her grocery lists at the Customer Service Desk.

“I need one of your employees to get me these items.” she said. “Thanks.”

This (let the employees do her shopping while she sat in the cafe) worked well until something happened. An incorrect grocery item? A receipt error? Something, I’m not sure what, caused this complicated, but ordinary woman who could walk, talk, and perform other ordinary human functions to transform into the Wheelchair Woman.


She appears on Thursday evenings, standing in the grocery store entranceway like an ominous shadow, shouting for her chair on wheels.

“Chair on wheels!” she screams. “Chair on wheels!”

Team Members rush to her side. Assure her, “Your wheelchair will be here shortly.”

Once the wheelchair arrives, she sits, brandishes her shopping list, and yells, “To the cereal aisle!”


Minutes turn to hours, hours to days, days to months, months to years, and eventually everything turns to death for the unlucky soul who has to push this woman throughout the store and answer her million questions and absorb her unkind remarks until her shopping experience finally ends for grand total of $7.

As the Wheelchair Woman is pushed to the exit, she sits quietly with her grocery bag on her lap. “Have a good night,” says the Team Member. She stands, makes an unsatisfied “hmpf” sound, and exits the building. Her being slowly fades into the darkness. Until next time Wheelchair Woman…until next time. 


That’s it! Those are the three customer stories.

The writer hopes you were somewhat entertained as the act of writing these stories in a humorous way was not easy. Several times during the writing process the writer wanted to give up and type a bunch of curse words over and over until whatever annoyed, angry, and stunned customer feelings were extinguished from his $10/hour mind.


jay pic


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2 Comments 3 Customers

  1. AvatarIris

    Your team leader may have been trying to “save” you from the first customer. The manager from my work has done similar for me, reminding me “it’s home time” when it gets close to 5.

    That is so bizarre about the wheelchair woman, and she sounds entitled. Don’t think any of the grocery shops do that for customers here.
    Regarding your previous post: for “cart runs”, I’ve seen people pushing 20+ carts here in Canada. We seem to disregard rules!

    1. jlsarnajlsarna

      After writing this, I actually had to push the wheelchair woman around. She was very interesting. For one, she can only look to the right, so when you push her, you always have to face her so on the right side of the aisle. She also likes tall and intelligent men with dark hair. She loves movies and TV. And when she gets out of the wheelchair she has specific rules, like get behind her, lock one wheel, she lifts one foot, you lift up the foot holder, then do the same to the other side. Then she stands and walks away.

      HAHA!!! 20+ carts!!! That is extremely dangerous behavior out in the US!


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