Pet Peevery Part II: Consumer Entitlement

I’d Rather Not Pay, Thank You – One of my new big pet peeves at work is people who decide it isn’t necessary to pay for newspapers because they aren’t actually taking them home. I’m just going to sit down and read, thanks, so no need to charge me for it. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if they didn’t tear the papers apart, leave them scattered around the store, take them into the bathroom, and then we get charged for whatever papers we can’t account for. We also have several regulars who have transitioned from just peeking at the headlines, to sliding the papers off the rack to just check out the leads, to eventually setting the paper down on the counter and pulling the whole damn thing apart as they read it. Last week I was closing and a youngish man came in to meet another guy for some sort of business-y meeting. After he bought his small coffee, he took a paper off the rack and sat down with the other man. I was watching them, and the other man noticed it. I saw him nod over at me and say something to the younger guy about how he was probably supposed to pay for it. The young man shrugged his shoulders in a “What the eff is she going to do about it?” way, then proceeded to read his free paper.
The Toothless Angry Hungarian is exceptional at this. Since she’s Entitled, and since very few of us give her the things to which she feels entitled (free refills on her dollar espressos, free iced tea, going out of our way to clean her things for her), she apparently feels as though we owe her a free newspaper.

None of Us Wants to Buy Anything, Thank You – Apparently we’re the hot place for business meetings, especially because we have free wireless and they like to bring in their laptops to do their business crap. A few days ago I noticed at least three different groups of people meeting in the store, none of whom I had ever seen before. From one group of five, two people bought something. From another group of four, one person bought something. And from the last group of six, one just wanted a cup of water. When the other cheap bastards found out about this free water business, they were all over it. Free? Free? Free?

I Don’t Want to Buy Anything, I Just Want to Make a Mess – Apparently, our store is the only one on the block that has a public restroom. Because it’s a nicer neighborhood, lots of people are out walking around all the time. With their kids, their dogs, whatever. Occasionally, the need to go potty strikes some of them pretty hard. And, on occasion, it’s not just a pee. It’s the other one. The bad one. Last week, I was closing with Matt when I watched a total of five people walk in, go straight to the restroom, stay in there for five or ten minutes, then hoof it back out the front door. Not all at once, mind you, I just counted five people over the course of the night doing it. Only one person actually notified me what he was doing, stating he’s “in here all the time and just needs to use the bathroom.” In a way, I’d rather not know what you’re doing. I mean, I know what you’re doing, but you don’t have to broadcast it. Especially when you’re dropping the kids off at the pool.

I Like Pouring Things Into Various Holes I Find Throughout Your Store – We went through a remodel a couple of years ago that moved the condiment stand from one side of the front door to the other. I’m sure this turned dozens of people’s worlds upside down, especially because the new condiment stand had a built-in trash can. For a few weeks, the trash can and stand remained on the right side of the door, as it had for a decade. But while the new one was being installed, there was an arbitrary hole where a trash can would eventually be installed underneath a cabinet door. People found it absolutely irresistible. They loved stuffing things into and pouring things down this hole. Despite the fact that nothing sat beaneath it, it was a hole, and as a partriarchal society, holes are for putting things into. We taped over the top of it for a while, but people would stuff things around the side of the tape. Newspapers, coffee, water, receipts, bank statements, napkins. We were cleaning out the inside of that cabinet multiple times a day until the manager finally purchased a trash can just to collect the waste, hoping that the stand and cabinets would be finished soon so we could let people release their fluids and trash into the hungry hole, willy-nilly.

To this day, people continue to pour liquids into the trash, something I find terribly irritating. If you’re getting too much coffee in your cup, tell me. I’ll leave more room. Since every morning is pretty much the same series of customers over and over again, you’d think, rather than them all dumping two ounces of hot liquids into the trash can, someone would just let us know to leave them some extra room for cream. Again, the Toothless Angry Hungarian likes to do this. She pours our filtered water all over napkins and makes a huge production of wiping off her table, her seat, the bottom of her purse. I could have been standing over the table with bleach and boiling water when she walked up, and she’d still think it wasn’t clean enough. When she’s done with her espresso, she doesn’t go to the bathroom to rinse out her cup. Oh, no. She doesn’t bring it to us to ask us to wash it out. Nope. She takes it up to the condiment stand, grabs the filtered water pitcher again, and pours it into her demitasse, dumps that into the trash, then does it again and again until she finds it adequately cleaned.
As I’m sure you can imagine, this has created a lot of rust in our metal trash can. It burns through the plastic trash bags that we have to take out to the Dumpster multiple times per day. It also makes hauling the bag difficult, as we attempt not to burn ourselves or drip coffee and dirty water all over our feet and legs.

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2 thoughts on “Pet Peevery Part II: Consumer Entitlement

  1. People are such jackasses! I wish you could put the newspapers behind the counter so people would be forced to pay.

  2. I agree, put the paper behind the counter, post a note on the door that says “Use of WiFi is for paying customers only”, “Restrooms are for paying customers only”, and a sign by the trash that says “PLEASE don’t dump liquides in the trash hand them to an associate (or whatever you call yourselves) and they will discard/dispose of it properly”.

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