Did you ever wonder what the clerk at the local small business thinks of you after you walk out the door? Oh, we'll smile and use our cheery voices to your face, and if you were pleasant, polite, and reasonable, we probably meant it, or at least it wasn't completely insincere. Then there are those with whom we have to bite our tongues and grit our teeth and hope to all the gods of business that we don't accidentally let slip what we really want to say, which is something along the lines of, "You're a fart-gargling spawn of a bearded whore and a complete waste of DNA, and I'd like for you to go eat a whole bag of moldy dicks in hell." If your ambition is to end up in that latter category, here are some helpful tips to get you there. The more you do, the more you're guaranteed to make misanthropes of even the most peopley of people-persons.
1. Price shaming. You know what, I don't care how much cheaper you can get it at Wal-mart. If you walk into the local mom-and-pop expecting that they're going to beat the big-box discounter on price, you're either an idiot or an asshole. If price is your number one criterion, how about you just go to fucking Wal-mart, and spare us your pompous attitude?
2. "It won't scan? Must be free!" Just about every profession has those jokes that people not in it think are hilarious, but they stop being hilarious after the thirty-seventh time you're subjected to them. Just don't.
3. Tell us your life story. Because we care SO much about your Aunt Mildred's colonoscopy or how you totally owned that salesman at the Ford dealership and got the BEST DEAL EVER! on your new minivan.
4. Preach to us about what products we should carry. Because it's not as if we have limited space or an operating budget that prevents us from carrying every brand under the sun, and it's certainly not as if we've actually given any thought to what we stock and why, or what will sell well in our store and what doesn't. If one customer in fifteen years walks through our door and asks for Acme Widget Cleaner, then by dog, it must be something we should order by the truckload!
5. Ask us a question while we're helping another customer. After all, you're clearly the most important person in the universe, far more than that joker in front of you.
6. Monopolize our time with idle chit-chat. There are people in line after you, and they probably care even less about your new minivan or Aunt Mildred's rectum than we do.
7. When we don't have the product you want, keep on saying over and over, "I really hoped you'd have it." Hey, if you say it enough, maybe we can conjure one up out of our butts or something. It's never happened before, but there's a first time for everything.
8. Ask us a question, and then argue with us about the answer. I know there are differences of opinion, but if you already know the answer you want to hear and won't accept any other, WHY THE HELL DID YOU ASK?
9. Expect us to remember which product you buy. We don't have lives, so we have nothing better to do with our brains than to memorize the minutiae of your shopping habits.
10. Come in at three minutes to closing and then spend 20 minutes browsing or asking stupid questions. Our personal lives (which as you know we don't actually have, because we're not people; we're pieces of equipment) can wait while we spend 20 minutes making a $5 sale.
11. Take out your bad experiences with other businesses on us. Really, we love to be treated with suspicion, contempt, and hostility because the Wal-mart cashier charged you twice for that case of Budweiser and the dude at Best Buy put on the full court press to get you to pay for the extended warranty.
12. Carry on a cell phone conversation while you're at the counter. Don't worry; this isn't important, so you don't need to actually pay attention. Respect is for your Sweet Babboo on the other end of the line, not that subhuman lump at the register. Eww.
13. "Do you know who else would have it?" Sure, let me just hack into the inventories of all the other stores around here, and see who has it.