"The Blind Man" by Cominatcha
Firstly I will say "Hi, im the new girl from Australia, g'day mate" (I noticed yous are mostly Americans, so I thought I'd throw that in)
Okay thats done, here's my story....
I remember the worst customer I ever had to deal with - although i'd rather block it from memory it was so bad. It was a few months ago, i work in a department store, and I got a call from the customer service counter, saying there was a blind man who needed help purchasing a couple of items.
Now I have helped blind customers before and have had no problem with it, I dont mind helping them because they genuinely need it.
So I go downstairs to the counter and come to see what looks to be a dirty, smelly, excessively hairy man waiting there for me with his blind people's stick.
I didnt want to have to hold his arm and lead him around like you have to do with the blind ones. I didnt want to touch it. I really really really wanted to run away.
But I went up to him, cheerfully introduced myself, and asked what it was he was after. First he wanted chocolates. Fine, lets go to that section. He wants me to tell him what chocolates we have. We have hundreds. He wants to feel all the different boxes to know what sizes they are. He wants to tell me what he likes and what he doesnt - in detail.
Other customers are looking at me and the dirty blind man and keeping their distance. It is a hot day and he is rugged up like it's winter - there are beads of sweat running down his face. My phone is ringing as I do have other customers to attend to. Each time it rings, blind man yells at me to pay attention to him and dont worry about it. Well I figure i dont have a choice, i cant leave him there, so I take a deep breath and hope he will be done soon.
But no, blind man wants some luggage. So up we go to the second floor to the luggage section. It has been 30 minutes now that i have spent with this man. He is rude, he smells bad, and he is taking up far too much time - i have things i need to get done or i will be in trouble.
We get to the luggage section and again he wants to know the ins and outs of everything. He wants me to give him each bag so he can unzip it and feel around to see how big it is. My phone is still ringing and despite his protests, i answer it, because fuck it, this customer isnt more important than 10 other people who are trying to contact me. I have to leave him for a moment to help someone at the layby counter. I tell him I will be back soon. Blind man NOT happy, but fuck it, there are OTHER people besides HIM. So i go help the other customer and come back to the blind man, hoping he is done and i can take him back downstairs and never see him again.
It has now been over an hour.
He is not done, he wants an iron.
By this stage I want to cry. I dont know what to do, I cant keep helping him because i have other things to do and this man is nasty. But I take him to the irons cause im too frikin nice for my own good. Again, he wants to know all about every iron we have and how much they are. As im talking him through it all, my phone rings again.
Its my manager.
She says to me "I know your helping the blind customer, but Larissa, he's NOT blind."
I freeze. Not blind? What is she on about? As im listening to her, im also looking at the man out the corner of my eye and can see him watching me.
I move away so he can't hear me. "How do you know he's not blind?" I ask her.
"He's been here a few times before, he just wants attention and for the pretty girls to hold his hand. Believe me, i know he's not blind, just tell him you have to go help someone else and dont come back."
I didnt know what to say. I was like "okay..." and hung up, still watching him. I was so mad. I had been helping this man for almost 2 HOURS and it was all for nothing? I didnt want to leave him there, in case he really was blind (he was doing a bloody good job of pretending, if he wasnt actually blind), so I took him to the layby counter and left him there. They can deal with him.
Why would somebody do that? I found out later, after telling some co-workers about it, that he has a whole heap of stuff on hold at layby, yet refuses to purchase the stuff, he just keeps adding to it. I think its just so he has a reason to keep coming back to our store. He wants attention maybe? Another co-worker told me that when he came into the store once before she helped him for a little while, then when it came time for her to go on her lunch break, she attempted to hand him over to another staff member (who is male) and the guy had a hissy fit, saying "can't you get another young lady for me?!" Maybe he's just sleazy?
About a week later I was shopping and I saw the same guy walk past me. Guess what? No blind stick. No one helping him. He really isnt blind.
IM SOOOOOOOO MAD.
Sometimes life is altered.
Break from the ropes your hands are tied.
Uneasy with confrontation.
Won't turn out right. Can't turn out right