For your amusement, I present another part in the as-yet-unending series of The Question Every Customer Asks.
Yesterday afternoon the construction guys put in a new marble counter top at work. On a scale of one to ten, one being pitch black and ten being blindingly white, our old counters were about a 3 and the new ones are somewhere around an 8. Being an observant and clever person, yourself, you know this means they were really dark before and now they’re really light. Which means any person with at least one semi-functioning eye in their head would probably notice such a drastic change.
As soon as Audrey came in to work I asked if she thought she could forecast the Question of the Day. She looked around, saw the counters, and gasped, “Did you guys get new counter tops?“
By the, oh, I don’t know, hundredth time someone asked me this I started saying things like “No, we just cleaned them.” I realize people live in their own oblivious little worlds. They probably don’t know I’ve been asked this same question a thousand times in two hours and perhaps I want to slap them and ask “What the hell do you think?!”
It’s not fair of me to get angry with one person because he or she is merely pointing out this change. But it’s annoying because it should be an observation. Not a single, solitary customer today said they like our new counters, they notice we got new ones, they like the color, it looks brighter in here, it looks cleaner. No. Every one of them asked if they were new. What is that about?
These counters also had notes taped on them reading “Please don’t lean on counters.” This also brought up questions from people. They wanted to know why, for how long, when could someone lean on the counter, could they set their bag/coffee/child in dirty diapers up there? Over and over again we reiterated “They just put them in yesterday; they have to set. We don’t want anyone to get hurt,” and other such nonsense.
One woman actually had the nerve to say she’d had what appeared to be the exact same marble put all throughout her kitchen and she could put stuff up on it within hours, what kind of glue did they use in here, anyway? Completely deadpan I said “Well, I’m the leader of the construction crew and I personally cut, delivered, and placed all of this marble. We used a mix of a kind of concrete and a lacquer glaze on top that takes about 36 hours to dry completely.” The woman looked at me like I was nuts. It was probably a little too rude on my part. But it’s also kind of a joke.
Like when someone says “Can you make a cappuccino with nonfat milk?” like this is some huge deal to ask, after you just made a 2% half-calf sugar free vanilla latte with only one and a half shots of espresso and some whipped cream on top and oh by the way can you also put in four Splendas?
You say “Well, we have a team of scientists working on it in the back right now.” And you can usually tell when someone won’t think it’s funny, so you don’t say it to them.
The next cutesy remark was “I like your sign.” This one made no sense to me at all. One woman said “I wish you kept that up all the time.” The sign, I will remind you, that asked people not to lean on the counters. She told me she despises it when people lean all over counters. I just said “Okay.”
This is the same thing people say about our cell phone sign. You know “We’ll be happy to help you when you’re done with your phone call.” This all started because of one particular woman who could never order her drinks because she was always too busy speaking in French (there’s a group of them, none of whom are actually French, and one of which actually speaks to her grandson only in French, never in English) into her cell phone. We always got her order wrong (not our fault) so Sarah got pissed and asked the owner for permission to put up the sign. I can’t believer the owners okayed it.
Lots of people think it’s funny because lots of people can relate to being in situations where they’re trying to get something done only to be thwarted by someone having a stupid conversation on a portable phone. The only ones who don’t are the ones standing there with the douchebag Bluetooth headset strapped on their ear, looking like they’re having a conversation with themselves about real estate markets. Who the hell has business calls at 6:30 in the morning?
But what’s so funny about “Please don’t lean on counters”?
Audrey voiced my feelings when she said “I wonder if they’d like a sign that says ‘Shut the fuck up’?” But I don’t think the owners would be so into that.