customer number 1
[setting scene: fitting room attendant (me) stops tall man carrying four pairs of jeans, trailed by pre-teen daughter]
me: let me just count you in.
[i count jeans, hand him a blue "4" tag, he and daughter start to walk into fitting room, whereupon i stop him again and hand the daughter a gray "0" tag]
man: what's that for?
me: it's because she's not taking anything in with her, but we still have to give her a tag. it's so that we know how many people are in the fitting rooms in case of an emergency.
[man rolls his eyes and carries on into the fitting room to try on his jeans.]
· · some time later · ·
[man and daughter emerge from the depths]
man: i left everything in the change-room, is that okay?
me: [stunned silence, jaw dropped]
me: no.... that's not really okay, can i ask you to bring everything out, please?
[man goes back to fetch the jeans, the hangers, and the number tags]
and before people get upset at me for being mean to a customer, i have to count all the items that come out of the fitting room before the customer leaves to make sure nothing got stolen back there, i have to have all my plastic number tags in order, i can't leave the front of the fitting room to grab the stuff from where it got left, and i'm the only one in the fitting room at a time. so for HIS laziness, I would have got in trouble.
customer number two
let me preface this one by saying I AM NOT RACIST.
[setting scene: asian lady, probably korean, DEFINITELY esl, carrying seven sportwear-type jackets, is stopped by the fitting room attendant. yes, that's me again.]
me: let me just count you in.
[counts jackets, finds that there are seven]
me: excuse me, you have seven jackets here. the maximum you can take into the fitting rooms is six. i can put one on a holding bar for you, if you like, and when you're ready, you can exchange it for one you don't want. so which one would you like to leave behind?
lady [clearly didn't understand a word of what i said]: can i? [points to the fitting room, trying to ask if she can just take them all in]
me: i'm sorry, the maximum you can take is six. you have seven. i can keep one here for you, if you want.
lady [starting to figure it out]: how many?...
me [resorts to holding up fingers, but desperately trying to remain calm and patient]: six.
[lady hands me one of her jackets, starts to walk towards the fitting rooms]
me: excuse me, i have to give you a number. [hands her a black "6" tag]
and of course i had a customer behind her, waiting to be counted in, watching the whole thing and getting irritated with the lady because she couldn't understand what i was trying to explain. argh.
then there was the brazilian/portugese couple (not sure which, only know they were speaking portugese) - the lady was trying on stuff, and the dude with her was in the womens' rooms with her - and he was making my job VERY difficult, because he would leave with an item that she had decided she didn't want, and coming back with other items. so in the end, the number of items didn't match the tag that i originally gave her, and he never had a tag to begin with, cos he just marched on through, never mind the tags - and i couldn't do anything cos they also only spoke basic basic english.