Adults throw tantrums, they do, and sometimes they throw tantrums in public. Really.
I work in a beautiful quaint shop in the historical downtown district of our community. This shop is in the process of changing owners, and there is a lot going on right now. There's loose ends to be tied up by the former owner, and there's some big shoes to fill and lots of new things to learn for the new owner. We're in transition, and the employees are now free to pass this information on to our customers.
For one thing, we're in the midst of restocking merchandise, so there are some empty spots on the shelves that are on their way to being full again. Most of the people who cross our threshold have been very understanding of all this and happy and enthusiastic for both the former and the new owner. This is an important time for both of them; they have each come to one of those all important milestones, each entering a new phase of life.
So yesterday, when this lady entered the shop, I wasn't quite prepared for her behavior.
She was well put together, middle-aged, tall and brunette. She reminded me a lot of that brunette on Laugh-In, the one who always wore colorful headbands and bangs...and the big mouth. (Jo Anne Worley)
The first hint came when she stood, a shopping list in hand, ahead of shelves full of body-care products. The spot for her particular hand lotion was empty. There were several other bottles in the same brand name that were there, just not the particular one she was looking for.
"Pffft...you don't have it! I came in here for it and you're out!"
My thoughts (unspoken):
Well, that happens in retail once in a while. People BUY STUFF, and we have to buy more.
She turned to the shelves to the left.
"You're out of my soap! That's the only soap my husband can use!"
Throw a little Dawn dish soap on him and he'll be just fine. This always seems to work with my cat.
Here she stood for a couple minutes waving her arms around vocalizing firmly her disapproval at the predicament she was finding herself in, at the inconvenience of it all, implying that this might just all be a conspiracy on our part to make her life difficult.
She turned to another shelf and raised an accusing finger: "You don't even have my toothpaste!"
I turned to look at two shelves full of toothpaste and was wondering what kind it was that we didn't have and why everything was so full if there was something missing.
She stalked through the aisles, ranting and complaining all the way, finally coming to a stop near the front of the store. I assured her that both the former and the new owner were in the process of ordering merchandise and restocking. I explained that we were in transition. I explained that most likely the majority of the merchandise carried by this store would be continued, along with some delightful new additions!
"Well," she said, "You might just have lost a customer. And I drop a lot of money in here!"
1. She couldn't have dropped as much money in here as she'd like me to think, because I don't remember her.
2. One ordinary individual is not going to make or break this shop.
This woman wound up buying 20-some deodorants that were on sale, and a slew of other items that she apparently thought she would never see again, and then realized, at the end of the transaction, that over half of these deodorants were not the "right kind". She wanted a refund.
This woman is most likely not smart enough to be embarrassed by her very public display of bad behavior. If she's not smart enough to be embarrassed by her behavior, I'll be embarrassed for her.