Part 1: Proper Etiquette Goes Both Ways
Part 2: Life Outside the Store
Part 3: People You Share Your Most Personal Information With
Part 4: The Transvestite Chuck E. Cheese Cares About Your Luggage
Part 5: Love Affairs With Customers
Part 6: Gettin' Mutha Fuck'n Crazy at Pier 1 Imports
Part 7: Just Ain't the Way Shit's Done Around Here
Part 8: Some Customers Can Ruin Your Life
Part I: Proper Etiquette Goes Both Ways
Welcome to 1986. By this time in the '80's, mainstream music, for the most part, had become unlistenable- though some of these inclusions have since become popular over the years. 1977-style punk, post-punk, coldwave, for that matter, any "wave" was no longer new and exciting anymore. A couple movements were taking place- the thrash metal scene was nearing its peak, so credit Venom and Motorhead as major influences of 1986. Also, what began with 1983's Crystallized Movements, coupled with the likes of Sonic Youth, and the explosion of last year's #1 album Psychocandy, punk was moving into uncharted territories with experiments in noise, walls of sound, and a new style of music altogether. New Zealand was still a happening spot and starting to blossom as well.
The story for this year is about the one word that defines America- customers. For, we all either are customers or deal with customers. The other working title may be: "My Life as a Customer/My Life With a Customer", or "A World Full of Customers"...as usual, twisted comedy coupled with real life drama and social commentary set to the 200 best songs of 1986.
Play these songs while you read, because, the little snippet of description acts as a story that fits best with the song.
200. The Clean
"At the Bottom" 3:26
Live Dead Clean
Dunedin, New Zealand
Some people go all day without hardly speaking a single word. The only time they talk is when they enter an establishment and mumble but a couple words to whoever is working- this is only because they have to. These types of people have no one else in their lives to talk to, and maybe they like it that way.
199. Joe Walsh
"The Radio Song" 3:32
Got Any Gum
Wichita, KS/Studio City, CA
Likewise, some people who work with customers all day, do not converse much outside of work. Once they are finished dealing with customers all day, and having found many of them to be completely annoying, many of these employees prefer to just be by themselves, all alone, and do things they enjoy without distraction or having to answer a bunch of ridiculous questions.
198. Depeche Mode
On the other hand, all people, over time, develop a fondness, a "crush" so to say, on their customers or on the employees at the places they frequent. 99.6% of all people who work with customers have delved into erotic fantasies with the customers of their establishment- some even see themselves married to some of these yayhoos.
"The Only Safe Place" 4:33
The Only Safe Place
Los Angeles, CA
Some employees hate customers. They feel their days have been ruined because they have to deal with customers, and feel they absolutely despise every single person in the store and wish they would all go away. These employees often create different tasks to do, such as clean the back room, in order to be isolated and removed from the presence of customers.
196. Killing Joke
Brighter Than a Thousand Suns
Often, some employees grow tired of seeing the same people every single day. Many times, different people arrive and ask the same questions as the same old people they had been growing weary of. Ideally, frequently asked questions would be categorized as mere common sense and people would stop asking them.
195. Jet Black Berries
"Sweet Revenge" 2:57
When having a position dealing with customers, it is possible, and sometimes likely, to encounter a person who the employee may genuinely dislike outside the establishment, and has known this person prior to taking the job. Encounters with foes on a customer/employee basis can be awkward. Due to company policy, employees may have to refrain from any resentment with this person and still pretend to be nice. The customer is free to to express all the disgruntlement he or she wishes.
194. And Also the Trees
"Vincent Craine" 6:15
Often, when an employee experiences an unpleasant encounter with a customer, that employee will relate that experience to the rest of the staff. In many instances, the employee will discuss the objectionable incident outside of work with friends and family. Sometimes, the employee will remember this incident for a long time and discuss it for years.
193. Vinnie Vincent Invasion
Some customers do not seem to fit in with the rest of the customers. Many establishments are designed to attract a specific type of person, and when a customer enters who does not seem to fit the description of the rest of the customers, the employees will monitor this person closely and make certain that he or she does not shoplift.
192. The Men They Couldn't Hang
"Dancing on the Pier" 2:23
How Green is the Valley
Many customers are considered obnoxious. In order to succeed at being described as this dubious trait, customers behave loudly in establishments in which noisy mannerisms is disturbing to the other guests. These types of customers think that they are only enjoying themselves and the rest of the customers are "no fun". There are other places in which it is acceptable to be loud, so why not just go there.
191. The Celibate Rifles
"No Sign" 4:27
The Turgid Miasma Of Existence
Many people find it peculiar to enter a place of business and find that there is not one single other person in there. Questions are raised as to where everybody else may be, and some customers begin to wonder if the place is even open. People who have to do every single thing in large groups due to the fact that they can not think for themselves, find these situations most disturbing, and often just stand in the entrance way unsure of what to do.
190. Metal Church
"Ton of Bricks" 3:06
San Francisco, CA
Customers who are unsure of what they are supposed to do in an establishment, tend to be the most annoying of people. Although they may be nice outside of the place, the fact that they can not complete simple tasks without the assistance of one of the employees becomes frustrating. Once these customers become so annoying, employees will tell each other, "I'd like to slap this lady."
"Johnny's Got a Problem" 2:04
Horse Bites Dog Cries
Some people experience difficulties in "regular" life, such as marital problems, financial issues, heroin abuse, or lawsuits. Whereas people who know them well are aware of these issues, when these people enter an establishment as a customer, they can be difficult to deal with; or if this person has to deal with customers, the customers become increasingly irritating, and it becomes difficult to remain nice to some people.
"Riders of Doom" 4:49
Riders of Doom
Many "businesses" have extremely poor customer service and regular people are forced to become "customers" because of laws; places like the license bureau or the probation office. These people act as if they are now a delegated authority figure and have the right to dictate orders to customers. Customers find this absolutely horrendous behavior, dread having to enter these places, and sometimes wish they could revolt and never have to deal with these people again.
187. Siouxsie & The Banshees
The most common topic of conversation in employee-customer relations is the weather. Perhaps it is because the weather affects all of us, and climate control is a condition that can determine customer satisfaction. If it is extremely hot outside, customers will enter the establishment and comment about the temperature, and how it relates to the conditions inside. If the air conditioner is broken, people tend to get irritated with one another quite easily, and often fights break out right in the middle of the store.
186. Anna Domino
Many customers enter places and make requests that are impossible to fulfill. These people will order things not on the menu, wish to purchase items the store does not carry, or request services that the company does not offer. People have entered Adult Superstores and complained because the establishment did not rent out U-haul trucks; the U-haul rental place was chastised for their poor selection of cock rings.
185. Psychotic Turnbuckles
Destroy Dull City
There exists such establishments where it is considered acceptable for customers to flirt with the employees- such as bartenders, servers, and ambulance drivers. These employees frequently flirt back because they feel it will improve their tips (or keep a mother fucker from dying). Too often, the customers take these casual tip-induced flirtations too seriously and think they legitimately have a chance to be in a relationship with these people and it has a negative effect on their current relationship.
"Sorrows of the Judgment" 3:11
Possessed by Fire
People will discuss a bad customer service incident for several years with sometimes thousands of people. These types of discussions can take place anywhere, at anytime, with sometimes random strangers. However, what consists as bad customer service is a matter of opinion, and other underlying circumstances may have lead to the cause. Most people rarely take these things into consideration, nor blame themselves if it is they who provoked the tirade.
"Permanent Sleep" 4:01
Some customers find it necessary to openly criticize some employees and even go so far as to take personal shots at him/her. These people feel as if they could do things better. Some even go so far as to think less of an individual person because of the position they hold, and regard these people as lower-class citizens. As an attempt to cover up their own inadequacies, they make snide remarks regarding these people who are simply trying to earn a living.
182. Đorđe Balašević
Novi Sad, Serbia
Under no circumstances is an employee ever to belittle a customer or take personal shots at him/her (unless it is in self-defense). It is considered a great travesty should an employee, unprovoked, to make unpleasant remarks about a customer regarding what he/she wishes to purchase, how they are dressed, or what they do outside the place. Criticizing a customer's appearance is uncalled for. Never, even in self-defense, criticize another person due to race, gender, or if they have dwarfism, handicapped, or a retard.
181. Los Negativos
"Cigarras Panam" 4:54
Employees are expected to support any decision regarding the purchase from the establishment, even if there may exist some questionable morals. A convenience store clerk is not permitted to discuss the dangers of smoking with the customer buying cigarettes; customers do not care about your viewpoint on pornography while they are purchasing Hustler; crack dealers are never allowed to preach to their customers about crack addiction.
"Season Cycle" 3:21
When a problem arises, customers who are "cool about it" tend to be greeted pleasantly upon entering, sometimes receive mysterious discounts (or even free stuff), and discussed among the employees in the same manner they talk about their best friends.
Sacred Islands of the Mad
People will discuss the employees of establishments in which they frequent as if they know them personally. Many times, one person will return from a store, and the other person will ask, "who was working", as if that matters. Sometimes, one of the employees will be considered attractive, and somebody may ask if that person was working...because then, he/she too will find a reason to go to that store.
178. Sudden Sway
"The Total Love Plug" 3:25
In an ideal world, an establishment's employees would be extremely interested in all the products sold in the store; and, the products would be constantly improving so no person would ever have to fall into the same dull routine; the environment would also be suitable and exciting. However, in this economy, people take whatever job they can get, lie in the interview process about the interest level in products, have to wear grotesque uniforms, listen to lame music, receive low wages, and every day is exactly the same.
"Take Thy Breath" 3:43
All of you are regarded as "that one person who always comes in here" at whatever place you frequently visit. Most of you are considered douches by that place's employees. One or two of you are actually liked. For the most part, people are only being nice to you because they are being paid to do so.
"The Thing That Should Not Be" 6:36
Master of Puppets
Los Angeles, CA
Those who society depend on the most, are the ones who are most often deprived of anything regarded as luxurious. There will be an international strike where one day all cashiers, servers, and anyone who has to repeatedly deal with the general public will stop working, and demand better working conditions; there will have to be an end to low pay, no benefits, uniforms, inoffensive mainstream music, bland settings, frequently asked questions, and being degraded by customers due to management incompetence. Rather than waste millions of money advertising big titted brainless bimbos wearing the logo, the corporation will have to utilize that money on better employee wages and advertising relevant answers to consumer questions.
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