So today I was at work, working the tills as per usual on a Sunday. As you can imagine, it was quite busy. Despite the fact it was pissing it down with rain again. Or is it “raining still?” Never the less, instead of actually stopping raining fully it just seems to slow down to spitting. I digress.

Now, its pretty obvious that on a busy Sunday I get a fair number of people coming through my till, buying our (expensive compared to every DIY store in the UK) gear, such as garden furniture which is still selling strongly no thanks to the deluge that South Yorkshire is still under at the moment. Umbrellas, surprisingly enough. Of course, most of my customers are good customers, complete with manners, the kind of stuff you expect from them. But naturally, like a sneaky bastard cranking out an air biscuit in a crowded lift, its the bad customers among the group that stick out the most, unfortunately. Much like the aformentioned air biscuit. Because the post is huge I’m putting it after a break.

Read it! Your customer service may depend on it!

So, for anybody who has ever been, is, or will be a customer, here’s a guide on how to not make me hate you be a good customer.

1: Learn Some Manners.
Not using basic manners is commonly the first method to get me to dislike you. Honestly, its not hard to spit out a simple “Hello” or “Thanks”. Not knowing English is not an excuse, by the way. If there are only two english words you learn make sure at least one of them is either “Hi” or “Thanks”. Two syllables!

2: Don’t throw your money/cheques/credit cards on the counter.
Just a little background information here. I am 6’2″. The height of my till counter is 2′. If the tills were higher or I was a shortarse this would be a non-issue. Unfortunately I’m a beanpole which usually means constantly bending over to one side to scoop up your money (usually through the days grime I don’t get a chance to clean up for the record) will give me a huge backache. Fun fact: When I stand up “straight” I actually lean to the left 12 degrees. Well, not really but you get the point. Its only 4 degrees. My everlasting contempt for you can be negated by placing your method of payment into my waiting, outstretched hand. UPDATE 12/8/07: As of a few days ago, the height of the tills height has been raised by double. Score 1 to my spine!

3: Don’t be a lazy git.
More background information: I’m built like a coathanger. This means that despite the fact you wrestled several bags of compost onto your trolley does not mean I won’t be able to lift it all off to get the items you put underneath them all. Usually this customer is built like the proverbial “brick shithouse”. If you’re clearly unable to pick it up yourself, then fair game. Sure some things I can manage, fair enough. But if I clearly can’t get a hold of it, please don’t be afraid to break a sweat over your Kappa tracky bottoms.

4: Listen to what I say.
Really. When I ask “Do you have a spend and save card?” I kind of expect you to listen. If you don’t hear me, and I put your transaction through without it, don’t go off on one about how you have a card and this whole mess “was my fault I didn’t ask you for it”. This also goes double for people yammering away on mobile phones while I’m trying to serve you. Do one or the other because this is incredibly annoying. You get a bonus point if you say “I’m at the checkouts, I’ll be a minute” before coming to me, and I will also love you forever. But not in a gay way.

5: Read things that are posted around the store.
In this entry, I’m including the following things: Price tags, offer placards, the “NO EXIT” and “NO ENTRANCE” signs at the front of the store, the signs for where things are located, the “THIS TILL IS CLOSED SIGN”, instructiuons on the Chip and PIN readers, instructions in leaflets, and the terms and conditions on our Replacement Cover (ie: extended warranty) leaflets because it is surprisingly limiting in some areas. If you get shown up for not reading these things in any way shape or form don’t come crying to me about it. You will notice me trying to stifle laughter.

6: Don’t vanish when I’m serving you.

Really, don’t. Expecially when you have a metric ton of stuff that I to scan back out of the transaction so I can serve other people. Also, don’t look all shocked if I’m busy serving other people while you swanned off somewhere else, because believe it or not, I can’t keep a queue waiting up and around the door accessories aisle forever you know. Bear in mind this aisle in 3 aisles away from my position, and will probably have around fifteen plus customers in the queue at this time. Yes, you will have to wait at the back. Yes, I will need to scan in al your items again. This time the “quantity” buitton won’t work and my scanner will mysteriously stop working periodically.

7: Don’t be stupid with bags.
Trust me, your sample pot of paint will be perfectly fine in one of our small bags instead of a colossal sack carrier we use for putting big items like showers and wallpaper in. Honestly. In a similar vein, don’t expect our flimsiest bags (which are fine for sample posts of paint) to hold a 5 litre tin of pain without it breaking, and said paint slowly refurbishing our floor as you grin inanley and giggle about how “It’ll take ages to clean up!”

8: Speak English.
You’re in England, not Iraqnistan.

Thats it! For now at least. I’m sure I could think of a myriad other things to put here but that should be more than enough to be going on.

Happy Shopping!