Sunday, April 24, 2011
Don't Bite The Hand Holding The Tobacco
I've been working retail for 12 years. I can obviously take abuse. But even I have limits. This week has been extremely busy with the clearance sale as I prepare to close my yarn shop. I've been on my feet, non-stop. I'm incredibly tired. Yesterday I get a call from a guy wanting to know the hours for the tobacco shop. I inform him that I am in the process of retiring and closing my business. "But what about the tobacco guy? What's he going to do?". That would be me.....and the tobacco shop can not exist without the yarn shop. He saunters in about 5pm. I take him into the tobacco shop and his face lights up at the selection. He goes on and on about how the other tobacco shops are over priced and our tins are $5 cheaper. I try to explain how the other shops are just trying to stay in business and the only reason my prices are lower is I have no over head. He makes a huge production of piling up tins on the counter, changing his mind, referring to his notes, and finally has a nice selection and I ring him up. It is at this point he makes his first mistake. He tells me how he's sent me an email to straighten me out. Apparently I have misinterpreted the law and can, in fact, mail him tobacco. I explain that no, I can not. He raises his voice and rudely tries to convince me that I do not know what I'm talking about. At this point I am still calm and tell him that I can not mail tobacco to him, will not and I do not wish to argue about it. Here is where he makes his second and final mistake. By this time it is clear to me that he is behaving this way because of my gender. He is going to put this little woman in her place. He gets very red in the face, glares at me, and says, "Let's stop this transaction right now. I want you to clear out the register, and I will start over." I know what he's up to. He's going to teach me a lesson by making a much smaller purchase. Unfortunately, for him, he had already used up enough of my time and patience. I will spare you the details but suffice it to say I informed him that he would be leaving empty handed and was never to set foot in my shop again. He was last seen making a quick and quiet exit, with his tail between his legs. He can go pay $5 more per tin for his tobacco of limited selection, and I hope he had to drive a good distance in order to tick me off. He was an old fart, too. You'd think he'd have learned that valuable life lesson: Don't bite the hand that feeds you.