The Customer is Always an Arsehole

INT. SUPERMARKET, STAFF ROOM – DAY

MELINDA (17, has the figure of a ballerina) walks slowly into the staff room. The walls are littered with memos and posters that tell workers ‘WASH THEIR HANDS’ and ‘THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT’. There is a fridge and sink area on one side and a computer on the other, in the middle is a large table. At the table sits SIMONE, (29, makes the Hulk seem pleasant) who eats a yogurt.

MELINDA
Um, hello. I’m Melinda, are you Simone?

Simone looks up. She takes a long, slow mouthful of yogurt and then and gives a short nod.

MELINDA (CONT’D)
Oh great. Bec said you were to do my orientation.

SIMONE
Of course she did. Well as you can see I’m on my break.

MELINDA
Sorry. Should I come back later or something?

Simone kicks out a chair.

SIMONE
Have a seat. What are you, fifteen?

MELINDA
Seventeen?

SIMONE
Same thing. You know I started this job when I was seventeen.

MELINDA
You must really love it. To still be here I mean.

Simone scoffs.

SIMONE
No.

Simone takes another bite of yogurt.

Beat.

Simone slowly scraps out the dregs of the yogurt from the cup.

Finally she puts it an the spoon down on the table and breaks the silence.

SIMONE (CONT’D)
Alright. There’s only one thing you need to know about supermarkets. The customer is always wrong.

MELINDA
Don’t you mean right? I mean that posters says…

Melinda points to the old and faded poster depicting that the customer is always the purveyor of right. Simone looks at it and laughs.

SIMONE
No. Ignore that bullshit. The customers are fucking idiots. They will ask you the stupidest questions and for the dumbest requests then insult you when you don’t immediately cater to their every need. Then after you’ve taken a spoonful of shit from then, while also smiling and being polite, they’ll ask to see the manager who will immediately side with them.

MELINDA
So the customer is always right?

SIMONE
What? No. To the managers, who rarely have to deal with them, they’re always right. To us, they’re arseholes.

MELINDA
O-kay…

SIMONE
Look I’m just telling you this because once you expect them to be arseholes it’s slightly less jarring when they are.

MELINDA
Right. Thanks.

SIMONE
You’re welcome. Also Bec, the manager, total bitch, don’t let her nice guy act fool you.

MELINDA
Oh, okay.

SIMONE
And the rest of our so called coworkers, they’re idiots.

MELINDA
Right.

SIMONE
Look, don’t freak out. A few of them are cool. I’ll take you around and introduce you to them now.

MELINDA
Okay, but what about my orientation?

SIMONE
This is your orientation.

MELINDA
Shouldn’t I be learning to stock shelves or work a register or something.

SIMONE
What? No. That shit’s easy. A disabled parrot could do that crap. What I’m teaching you is much more important. Let’s go Melissa.

Simone stands and walks towards the door. Melinda chases after her.

MELINDA
It’s Melinda.

SIMONE
Whatever.

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