Friday, January 29, 2010

My Life With Comic Books: Part # 42


Running a comic book and collectible store can be a lot of fun. Most of the customers are nice people and they’re usually in a good mood because they are treating themselves to something special. Thankfully, almost all of my customers are quite pleasant. But occasionally we run into shoppers that just irritate us. This chapter is about two such people.

There was a woman in her twenties who would come into my store about once each week to look around. She never bought anything. She just wandered around touching as much merchandise as she could. She did this for about a year. Normally I wouldn’t mind because we encourage browsing, but this woman had a serious problem. She smelled disgusting! She smelled so bad that my regular customers would actually gag and choke when she came into the store. Many customers couldn’t stand her smell, so they’d quickly leave the store. I had a stronger tolerance but it was still a horrible smell. When she would finally leave I’d have to spray an air-freshener to try to cover up her lingering odor.

On one of her visits, when she smelled exceptionally bad, I tried to explain to her that she was upsetting many of my customers and that I didn’t want her to come back into my store unless she got cleaned up. She seemed confused by my request and she refused to leave. I asked her to leave again, but she wouldn’t move. I reached behind my counter and pointed the air-freshener in her direction and gave it a short spray. She jumped back but still refused to leave. I sprayed the air-freshener again and she backed up a little more. As I walked towards her and sprayed she got closer to the door. All of the time I was spraying she remained confused and silent. Finally, with one slightly larger spray, she backed out of the store and she never returned.

There was a young man in his twenties who we believe worked at the local hospital. He would come into my store every weekday at about 4:30 PM and he would stay until about 5:45 PM. We assumed he was just passing the time until someone came to pick him up to bring him home. He would start browsing through our huge stock of record albums beginning with the first box. He would pick out a record and ask us if we would play it for him. We had a policy that we would play any selection that our customers wanted to hear. Every day at 5:45 PM he would suddenly stop looking through the records and he’d leave without saying anything. He never bought anything from us. Ever. The worst thing about this guy is that he had the worst musical taste I’ve ever heard. I know that musical taste is a personal thing but he’d pick out records that just drove us all crazy. One day he handed me a copy of a horrible record compilation by K-Tel Records that started off with Olivia Newton John singing “Have You Ever Been Mellow”. My patience was wearing thin. The next song was Sammy Davis Jr. singing “The Candy Man”. That was more than I could stand. I grabbed the record off of the turntable. I shrieked and snapped the record into tiny pieces that shot all over the store. The guy looked at me but didn’t say anything. He just calmly walked out of the store and he never came back.

I want to explain that I usually try to be a nice guy, especially to my customers. These people just pushed me over the edge.

Next Chapter: Hey, Hey, They’re The Monkees!

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