As some of my friends know by now, I often refer my store as the dump. This came across at first as an ongoing joke that’s been going on (against me ahaha) in a friend’s Discord server. It didn’t take too long before everyone pretty much agreed the kind of customers I get are fairly trashy to the point where calling my store “the dump” is an accurate description.
It won’t be too long before it will have been officially three years since we took over the convenience store in University Place. It was certainly interesting to see how much had changed throughout the years and developing a relationship with the local customers.
However, what I never had realized is how much it would cost mentally and physically for me to continue on with this business.
When we had first taken over the store, I worked every single day in the morning. One of our associates would come in later in the day to take over for the night. Fast forward to some months when certain events had taken place resulting in my father having to assist with the store. Since my father had always been wired to do work in the morning, we ended up switching places. After perhaps about a year, I was getting tired of having no days off and brought it up to my father. We then agreed that he’d have Saturdays off whereas I’d have Sundays off. Though in reality he’d still work about 4 hours on Saturday since it seems like he literally doesn’t know what to do with himself unless he does SOME work.
To say this had felt liberating is such an understatement.
I had hoped that this would help alleviate some of the stress I would get as the week had progressed. Having to deal with this particular demographic of customers was having an actual toll on my mental sanity. With each week passing by, I found myself looking forward to Sundays more and more. It’s gotten to the point where I dread knowing I would have to work the day after Sunday.
There have been several instances where I’ve felt trapped in this situation with no immediate outlook to the future. Despite having these lingering sensations of dread, I do my best to keep optimistic of the situation. I do try to keep aspirations to also help give me a sense of hope for the future, however I try to keep myself grounded in reality so prevent myself from becoming like every other dreamer. Last thing I need to do is tell all my friends what I plan to do and just never end up doing it.
The customers I would come across every day seem to get worse and worse as time passes by. With each new day, there’s another customer who:
- Gives a tantrum when I ask for ID
- Puts up a hissy fit when they have to pay .35c in credit/debit fees
- Wants to haggle prices in my store
- Doesn’t like how items are priced in my store
- Wants to use the bathroom that’s behind my counters
- Gets upset when I say no despite “understanding” my reasons
- Misplace items in the store
- Tries to steal small stuff
- Constantly ask to use the store phone
- Consistently come into the store 3~5 times in the day just to buy one beer
- Ask for a tab
- Get upset at me when I say no
- Some have never come back to pay their tab
- Never bring enough money
- By around .08c ~ .30c consistently
- Act all offended when I point out they should make sure they have enough money
- Never actually listen
- Swiping cards when I say enter the chip
- Taking cards out when I say enter the PIN
- Going the opposite direction of where I tell them
- Give vague descriptions of what they want
- Try to give you advice on how to be “a better store owner”
- Asking for products that are extremely niche
- Asking for products that barely bring in profit suggesting they’ll make loads of money
- Asking for one very specific product just for that person
- Asking for unconventional items that literally make no sense to have
- Asking US to purchase their products to sell in our store (at a ridiculous price)
- Buy cigarettes/alcohol/lotto on their birthday
- Try to equate us to having “bad customer service” when we don’t do what they want
- Get offended over nothing
- Purposely get offended
- Having attitudes for no reason
- Let their children do whatever
- Treat me with little respect due to their perception of my age
- Outright insult me (albeit rare)
- Only come in to mooch small items
- eating utensils
- Stealing items previous customers left by accident
- Naturally denying it and acting offended despite it being caught on camera
- Constantly try charging the same card despite it being declined
- Pay for their purchase in just coins
- or even just in pennies
- Assume I’m taking advantage of customers just because I’m obviously rich from running a store
The worst thing about all of this? I know for a fact that I haven’t listed everything that gets to me. At least 25% ~ 40% of what I’ve listed happens on a daily basis. For someone who has never really had to deal with trash-tier customers, this really starts to wear down my mental capacity. I know for a fact that it’s caused me to forget a vast amount of vocabulary that I would often use when blogging. It’s gotten to the point where I would forget certain words and/or phrases because I’ve grown accustomed to literally “dumbing down” my speech so my customers can understand (and not be offended by my “cocky” attitude).
Despite this overwhelmingly pessimistic view of my situation, I am always blessed to have one friend who helps slightly enrich my life a bit: Nightmaren.
The stories Nightmaren tells me of the days that passed would always be filled with hilarity (and sometimes even epicness). I’ve grown to become reliant on these stories practically everyday. Thankfully both of us have a tendency to make grandiose stories out of the smallest things that happen in our lives. I suppose that’s perhaps why we’re always able to hold a decent conversation often for several hours.
I can’t say the past three years have been without merit at all though.
During those three years, I’ve gotten to know a lot of great people. I’ve become a whole lot more tuned to thinking as a business man as well. Due to the amount of free time I’d have inbetween customers, I found myself becoming easily integrated in a Discord server’s community. Also thanks to that free time, I found myself being able to look into other endeavors such as making a YouTube channel (Gaming After Hours and my personal channel, Gaming Tearoom).
Though realistically, what I’ve had to deal with daily drastically outweighs all the merits the years gave. I am still hopeful for things to finally change, however I’m keeping myself right on the fence. I just have to either wait for the right opportunity or let things happen for either me or my father. I just hope I don’t continue for much longer. Three years is a long time and I honestly don’t know if I can do more without inevitably losing what I was without help.
At the very least, I’ve gotten a MASSIVE amount of stories to tell now.
No cunning or witty ending this time. Just a large dump of thoughts that had been lingering in my mind for a while.