Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tales From The Workplace: The Most Annoying Customer Ever

Today's installment of the new Tales From The Workplace series involves the most annoying, nerve-wrecking customer I have ever dealt with. This story involves everything from general douchebaggery to essentially sexual harassment. And, once again, it's all true.

My encounters with this customer took place a couple of years ago, when I was an associate working on the sales floor. The customer in question was a married man, likely in his 30's. When I first met him, he came to the store looking for bikes for himself and his wife. I talked to him and showed him the various bikes we had.

He found one bike he liked and that's when things started to get weird. This guy is one of those people who chats up everyone he meets but instead of coming off as a nice guy, he comes off as a little creepy. He found one bike he liked and started riding it in the store (a big no-no). He liked the bike so much, he felt the need to go up to every other customer who came into the area. He didn't just tell them about the bike, he essentially made them get on the bike to try it for themselves.

He did this to two people. The first person was an attractive woman. He charmed her and had her get on the bike (which was way too big for her). It seemed like the guy was just a natural flirt and certainly enjoyed helping this woman without his wife around.

The second person he did this to, however, was quite different. A young, muscular white guy in a sleeveless shirt and shorts came by the department. The man chatted him up too, asking about his football team (the guy had on a high school tee), his workout regime, and happily commenting on how buff he was. He then also asked this guy to ride the bike too. It wasn't exactly the same as the incident with the woman as he was less touchy feely. However, it still felt a bit odd.

The man would come back a couple more times to the store and most of the associates on the floor did not want to deal with him. Hell, even the store manager at the time didn't want to deal with him. Trying to sell to him was like trying to sell to an uncontrollable pixie. At times, it felt like he had adult ADD.

However, the final incident with him was the last straw for me. The man, his wife, and his kid all came to the store as he finally decided to buy bikes for himself and his wife. I was at the register with him and he saw one of the female cashiers. She was black and had what another associate called a "stupid big booty." He quietly started making lewd comments to me about her. He then looked down at my crotch and told me that it looked like I was reacting to her too.

While I was uncomfortable, I didn't let it faze me and just ignored his comment. His wife noticed my discomfort, though, and it led to something even more bizarre. I left the register area to continue working when his wife caught me. She asked me what her husband told me and I didn't really say anything. Then she dropped this bombshell: "I'm asking because I want to know if I have a gay husband."

I told her exactly what he said and she then apologized for him. When he saw me after the conversation with his wife, he shrugged it off saying that "women don't understand how men talk."

I've helped plenty of customers who were annoying but none of them can top the married man with the douchebag personality who flirts with anything that walks, makes secret lewd comments to me about my co-workers, and managed to make his wife ask me if he was gay.

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