"Don't be afraid to get stuck in and have a bit of a play to get a feel for how user-friendly they are, will you?" I asked/demanded/kindly but firmly instructed the man fiddling with the laptops in the multimedia section of the store. He looked me up and down, his eyes wide, and licked his lips. "Well I don't mind if I do," he said.
I often wonder, after a day like today, exactly why I decided to apply- and upon receiving, take- a job in a toyshop. There are a lot of perverts in toyshops. An uncanny amount. I suppose the magic of 'toys in their millions... all under one roof...' and the promise of actually being able to afford my monthly rent was what tipped the balance. I rather enjoy cold baked beans straight from the tin, but not if it is my only culinary option.
However, being 'hit on' by a boy who works in damp-proofing ("I bet you don't know what that is, do you?" he asked me. "Urm, proofing from damp?" I replied) isn't part of my job description. I am the smiley one with bad roots whom greets you at the door. Mind you don't trip up over my dignity which I left just outside the trolley vestibule, won't you? You can't have dignity, or grace, or even a hint or pridefulness when your sole part-time, minimum-wage, faded blue tee-shirt wearing purpose is to deal with total plonkers all day.
"Can you help me?" they ask. "I've seen this thing on the telly but I am not quite sure what it is." "Right," I reply. "Well what does it do?" "I'm not sure". "Okay. Was it our advert you saw it on? Or another shop?" "I'm not sure". "Okay. Well what does it look like?" "I'm not sure." "Is it for a girl or a boy?" "Both, I think". "Fine. I think your best bet then," I tell them, smiling brightly, "Is to use the back wall as your navigation point, and if this is twelve o' clock," I say, indicating the arms of a clock with my own, "Then head for two o'clock". In my head, I add, "And fuck off and be somebody else's problem". They smile back at me.
"I'd like a refund on this please" they ask. "Have you got your receipt?" I say. "No" they reply. "Did you buy it from here?" "No, but you sell it." "Then I am afraid," I solemnly tell them, "I'm not at liberty to issue a refund on this occasion. May I suggest taking it back to the shop you actually purchased it from with the recepit?" "This goes against my statatuory rights", they moan. "This goes against my right not to have to deal with ABSOLUTE MORONS" I think.
My award for most stupid customer comment came when I had a green face, red lips, back-combed hair, was dressed all in black and carried a broomstick on the 31st of October. "What is your outfit in aid of then?" they asked. "Jesus," I thought.