The Local Flavor: I Bite Back

I finally went off on someone at work. It only took three years, two months, and about 6 days, but I had enough of the Toothless Angry Hungarian (TAH). (To be fair, she does have one tooth left.) I’ve never really discussed her here, the way I have our multitude of other regular weirdos, because there is no “easy” way to describe her. You have to hear all of it to really appreciate how truly obnoxious she is . . . she’s the sort of person who has absolutely no reason to do so, but who complains all the time. About everything.
I realize that might make me sound like a hypocrite. If you don’t know me in real life, you might think it’s how I make a living. But, in person, I’m really pretty positive, upbeat, and friendly. Complaining in a blog is sort of a cathartic hobby.

For her, it isn’t just a hobby; it’s a way of life. She’s just a natural born bitch. A short, pudgy, annoying, loud, and rude woman (again, I know I’m a hypocrite, but here’s where the similarities end) who feels Entitled. Capital E. Like, by law. To whatever she wants, when she wants it. Regardless of whether or not it is an inconvenience to you, a ridiculous request, or something for which she should be paying but refuses to do so. You, the innocent bystander, the customer at a coffee shop trying to mind your own business, or the sorry employee at the coffee shop who has to wait on her, are also entitled to her opinions, stories, beliefs, arguments, and statements of fact.

She goes out of her way to find sale items at other stores, then “tests” the cashiers to see if they give her the deal. Say oranges are three for the price of two at the grocery store. She takes two oranges to the register. If the employee doesn’t point out to her that she can get another one for the same price, they don’t past the test, she goes to their manager and complains about them.

She’s what I’m going to call a “red consumer” because I can’t find and am not familiar with a better business term to describe her. I say “red” because she costs us more than she actually puts in to the store. She gets the cheapest thing on the menu and uses her own cup, so she gets an additional discount. But she also wastes many more of our plastic cups that are for filtered water. She spends hours upon hours at the store, multiple times per day, using the bathroom to wash her cup (when she’s not using the filtered water to do it and then dumping this into the trash can, which we have to take out later, leaking all the way to the Dumpster), to wash her hands, and using the hand dryer on the wall to dry both her hands and her cup. Before we had the hand dryer, she used paper towels by the grubby fistful, and even put them in the toilet, which meant we had to plunge the toilet multiple times in a week.

She uses our phone to call people who she’s managed to finagle a phone number out of for rides. She complains about us to anyone who will listen that we don’t smile enough, say hi often enough, ask her how she’s doing, or say “good morning” to her the way we do other people.

We used to.

When she’s inside the store, she’s eating oranges and leaving the peel all over the table, bitching that the table is dirty and telling us to clean it off, filing her nails, putting on nail polish or taking it off, and clipping her toenails. I’m not kidding. Her English is really bad, which isn’t helped by the fact that she has no teeth. She also has a habit of chain-smoking extra long menthol cigarettes, which puts off regular customers, people who spend maybe five or more bucks per visit, and have stopped coming in as much because they don’t want to try to push their strollers through the front door and her cloud of smoke.

When we have asked her to stop smoking by the door, she gets pissed off and whines. Where is she supposed to go when it’s raaaaaining? How about over to the other side of the building, where there’s an awning?  Why is she supposed to go all the way over theeeere?

For about a week, we got her to smoke on the other side of the building, but she kept putting her cigarettes out all over the sidewalk and parking lot. So we asked her to use the ashcan we got; a tall, plastic device that’s supposed to hold cigarettes that have already been put out. Let me repeat that. It’s a plastic canister that has a small hole at the top where you put no-longer-lit cigarettes. Not burning ones. So, what does she do? Puts her cigarettes directly into it, without so much as knocking off the cherry. She set the butt canister on fire three, maybe, four times, before I yelled at her to stop doing that. Now she puts them out all over the front sidewalk again.

TAH also likes to tell everyone how much she hates their hair. If one of us gets a cut, color, or new style, she’ll point it out, then tell us how we shouldn’t have changed it. This is especially amusing given what she looks like. I would saying something between a Hobbit, the albino from The Princess Bride, and those trolls little old ladies take for good luck to bingo parlors. She doesn’t like any of the other crazy regulars, which is funny. Crazy Pink Haired Lady hates her, she hates Crazy Pink Haired Lady and Creepy Old Pervert. He doesn’t hate anyone, though. There’s a lot of bug-eyed glaring going around the store some mornings.

So TAH is somewhat of an entrepreneur. I have no idea whether or not she’s a legal resident of the U.S., but I do know that she’s more than willing to cook, clean, watch your kids, or do odd jobs for you for a price. I know this because she’s been photocopying the same hand-written note for about two years and taping it to our bookshelf, then getting pissed when it goes missing. Once we remodeled, we got a community bulletin board so people would stop taping things all over our doors and windows and shelves. She’s apparently convinced that I’ve been tearing down her advertisement for quite some time, because she complained directly to the owner that I’d been doing it.

Yesterday morning she came in and stood by the board for a while. I noticed her out of the corner of my eye and, right as Audrey said something that made me laugh, I glanced over at TAH, who was giving me the sort of look clearly intended to make me keel over and die. I laughed even harder, out of reflex, because the scathing, evil glare on her face was really funny. It took me a minute to realize she was intending to bore a hole into my forehead because her ad was missing. And, before I knew it, I was shouting in the middle of the store “You know what, lady? If you have such a huge problem with me, maybe you just shouldn’t come in here anymore!”

Then I saw her ad, which was covered up by someone else’s notice on the board and I got even angrier. I shouted something else about how petty she was to think I would do something so petty and Katie was telling me to just let it go and not let TAH get to me, but I was fuming. I threw down the portafilter and stormed in to the backroom.

I realize I could have handled it differently. I could have walked her ass over to the board and shoved her nose into it, pointing at the ad that had been there all along. I could have knocked that last effing tooth out of her mouth. I could have told her to get the eff out of the store and never come back. I could have told her that all her complaints to our owner have done nothing. I haven’t been chastised, written up, gotten in trouble, or even suggested that I change my “attitude.” The owner said she could care less if TAH ever came back, especially after her dog bit the mail carrier and she ran off instead of giving the carrier her contact information. I could have told her that, but I didn’t.

Maybe next time.

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3 thoughts on “The Local Flavor: I Bite Back

  1. Hey…. that’s my Auntie! Quit talking about her like that!
    Yeah, no. She sounds like a lovely lady.
    We have a few of those where I work and we’re always scrambling over one and other to serve them.
    Thank god for the polite ones, and preferably the ones who leave me alone and leave conversation to a simple “please” and “thank-you”.

  2. Pingback: I Make Another Enemy « Miss Anthropy

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