Five Small Things You Do as a Customer That Make You Suck

Happy new year! It's been a while, hasn't it? I reckon it has, and it's about time I shared my new year's resolutions with you, among which was to change this blog's mission statement into something less negative and more jubilant, less about counting all the ways in which the world sucks and more about noticing the beauty in all the little --

Sorry, I couldn't even keep a straight face long enough to type this. Nope, I'm here to bitch again.

Well, not bitch. Give a lecture, perhaps? Or just be a self-righteous asshole? I dunno.

A while ago I mentioned that I got a temporary job in customer service, which would also explain the significant decrease in post quantity after that. It had been an entire year since I'd had a casual job that involved interacting with customers so the cultural shock that followed my return to the sector was quite strong. In a way, this has diminished now -- I'm used to the daily process of putting on a facade, jumping into "don't give a fuck" mode and pressing the internal button that makes you smile no matter what is being said. Nevertheless, there are certain things that still manage to annoy me, and I'm not the only one. If you have ever worked in customer service, you will recognise some of your minor (and major) annoyances in this post. If you haven't, you are likely to discover that small things you do without thinking twice about them make you a terrible customer. Without further ado, here are five small things customers do that make them suck.

#1. You place your money on the counter.

You're at the shop, and you've just picked up what you want to buy. So you take it to the cash register all excited about your new purchase, you hand it to the cashier, look at the little screen on the till that announces the amount of money you're expected to pay in order to become the legal possessor of the item, and the cashier extends their open palm for you to place said amount of money.

Then you place the money on the counter.


What you think your move means: "There you go."

What your move really means: "Oh, you silly cashier! Do you really think I'm going to put the money in your filthy palm? You're so beneath me that I refuse to accidentally touch your hand by placing the money on it. Instead, I will purposefully inconvenience you by dropping the money on the counter under your hand. That'll teach you a lesson for thinking we're equals."

Seriously, what makes people consciously ignore your open palm and go for the counter instead? Are there so many germaphobes out there? Or does everybody just not like touching strangers? (Both are perfectly valid arguments, but they still do not excuse rudeness. Just drop the money on the palm without actually touching the palm; it's not rocket science.)

#2. You enter the shop 30 to 5 minutes before closing time. (And forget to go away.)

It's been a rough week, so you decide to treat yourself to a new pair of jeans. Unfortunately, shops close at 9PM, and it's 8.45. No worries! Just run to your favourite shop right now; the doors are still open, that means you're welcome to take your time, right?

Alternatively: You're out with a friend, and you're walking around town looking for a place to go. It's too early to go to a pub (because you're the kind of people who actually believe there exists a "too early" for pubs), but you've got just about 30 minutes that you can spend in a nearby cafe before it closes. So you do just that. Then right when you're told you have to go because they're closing, you remember you need to use the bathroom as well.


What you think your move means: "Great! Made it just in time!"

What your move actually means: "Great! Made it just in time to make sure that the people who work here, who probably get paid minimum wage, will work extra time which they will most likely not be paid for so I can buy something I could've bought just as easily tomorrow/have a quick cup of coffee I will probably not even manage to enjoy because it's so quick! I am so proud of myself and my douchebaggery that makes me think about nothing but my own convenience. That's the spirit of capitalism, baby."

(What you deserve. Endless loop included.)

Dear customers of the world, remember: next time you're out and about to enter a shop or a store at the late hours of the day, just ask when they're closing. If your ass is still in there after the 30-minutes-to-go mark, be aware that you will exit with a heavy bundle of negative energy on your shoulders. And nobody likes that.

#3. You try to get rid of your change. (During peak hours.)

Back to the till. You've waited in the queue for a bit, so you've had enough time to think about what you want (hopefully), and now you've ordered it and it's your turn to pay. So you open your wallet, smile at the cashier, look at the coin pocket and exclaim: "Oh dear, that's a lot of change! Mind if I pay with coins?"

"No, ma'am," the cashier responds. (It's usually middle-aged women that do this, hence the stereotyping 'ma'am'.)

Then you empty the pocket. On the counter. And count. Slowly.

("£10.40, you said? 10p... 20p... 40p... 41p...")

What you think your move means: "Finally, time to get rid of all this change!"

What your move actually means: "Finally, time to waste everybody's time by counting all the coins I have on me while there are about fifteen people behind me on the queue waiting to pay at the same till as I! The world definitely revolves around me."

I get it. Everybody hates coins. They're heavy, they're bulky and they're inconvenient unless you're trying to pay your fare at the bus after you've realised your Oyster card is empty. This is why credit and debit cards are insanely popular, and people (myself included) use them for transactions as small as £1-2. But don't you think that if you want to get rid of your coins, you should do it at a shop that's empty? Why should you actively seek bad energy by making so many people hate you? We already established it, bad energy sucks.

#4. You start to order, and then you proceed to talk on the phone.

You've entered the shop, you've started your order, and then you remember that your girlfriend would like to eat as well. Or that your mum told you to call her to let her know that you got food. Or that your flatmate wants to know if he should order pizza for tonight or not. Or that your toilet bowl needs to know what to expect later today. So you grab your phone from your pocket, call whomever you need to call and you spend the next ten minutes discussing. Then you get to the cash register, and (a) change your mind about what you've ordered so far because your girlfriend/mum/flatmate/toilet disagrees, or (b) ask that the barista remakes your coffee 'cause it's probably cold by now.


Congratulations, you're an asshole!


For added asshole points, do all this during peak hour. Or ask for something that will go to waste if you don't buy it, e.g. a toasted sandwich (that has already been toasted by the time you change your mind).

#5. You respond to 'hi' with 'just looking'.

You enter the shop. Not even five seconds go by and a member of staff has already noticed you and, like a vulture, they've walked towards you and said 'hi'. How do they expect you to have decided what you want already? You only just walked here!

("Leave me alone, I dunno what I want yet!")

Of course, the only logical reactions are either to let them know that you're not ready yet or to completely ignore them until you are, because neither of those are rude.


Newsflash: Most companies instruct their employees to acknowledge a customer's presence within 5 seconds. Employees don't give a fuck if you're ready to order or not, or if you're just looking and don't need their help yet. Look it up in the dictionary: "hi" is a greeting, and the only response it requires is the same or a similar form of greeting. A simple "hi" followed by looking away is all the employee needs to realise you don't need them just yet. They're humans, you know. They can read social situations. Stating the obvious makes you look like you're an idiot.

Also, bad energy. Just...

Aaaaaaaanyway, happy new year again. I promise that my next post will be less negative.



  1. 6. Expecting the workers to babysit your kids.

    7. Ask "are you sure?" when the worker answers your question. Double points if the worker has already conceded that they're NOT sure.

  2. .. am I terrible for putting the money on the counter while you're still punching away at the till because I can do math in my head and I know that'll cover it?