For Once, the Customer’s Wrong –Cagle

The customer is furious, repeating how if she had known a vacant time slot wouldn’t be available after waiting 45 minutes, she would have gone to another place that had a 4:30 p.m. opening. The woman concludes her rant by demanding that the CSR contact her manager, who’s at home.

Around this time, my wife had informed me that our own toddler was suffering from a runny nose, and his face was turning red as a result. I needed to find some tissues, so off I proceed to the travel-size sundries aisle. While I’m gone, the manager tells her CSR to allow the woman to cut in line and go next.

This does not play well with the appointed customers biding their time. My wife says that several people complain about the arrangement, and are told they will receive a free photo sheet for their trouble. I return to find the squeaky wheel and her grandson heading into the studio. My son’s face gets redder by the minute, and I choose to join him.

“Are you letting that woman cut in front of us?” I whisper through clenched teeth to the CSR, using an adjective not suited for family magazines.

“My manager told me to,” the woman barks back, discreetly.

The CSR’s hands are tied. At this point, the path is clear. I need to take my grievance to the next level. About 10 to 15 minutes tick off until the woman emerges with her grandson. I lift up my toddler son and walk over to the woman.

“Do you see his face? He’s got a cold, and it’s getting worse by the minute,” I rattle off, to her surprise, with the exaggerated melodrama of a Lifetime Channel exclusive movie. “The next time you want to get a picture, make an appointment like the rest of us, and don’t try to pull that stunt again and cut in front of other people.”

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