Sunday, July 13, 2008


This weekend, I dealt with the same crotchety old customer both days. I'm used to customers being generally irritable, incredibly demanding, and increasingly annoying. This guy was just unbelievably crotchety.

He came to the register (which, by the way, I hate having to work) and started out upset that we hadn't already mounted the scope onto the gun he hadn't paid for. His son, who drives him everywhere and works in the store, tried to calm him, but he'd have none of that. I explained several times that the gun needed to be paid for, which he couldn't understand, and he demanded to know what kind of payment I wanted. I told him credit, cash, or check were all acceptable, and he demanded to know if I preferred check. Eventually, I calmed him enough that he got out his checkbook, though he was too agitated to write, so his son had to do everything but sign.

After the gun was paid for, I asked what sort of bases he wanted, offering the idea of Leupold. He became more agitated, saying he hated those and wanted Weaver. I flagged a coworker to mount the scope, and the coworker asked whether the customer wanted Leupold bases, causing said customer to launch into a tirade about how he had already explained this and shouldn't be forced to explain it again.

My coworker tried his best to find Weaver bases, but we just didn't have them for this particular rifle. He explained the options and sent the customer away. I figured he'd order the bases he wanted and might come back in a week to get the scope mounted and boresighted.

Instead, he came back today, bringing along a different son. His son came to the counter and asked for Weaver bases for a rifle purchased by [customer] recently. I started explaining that they simply weren't available and they'd have to order them, which started to agitate the customer, who hadn't been the first to speak. Finally, I suggested the Leupold QR system, since the main problem he had with Leupold was the in-base windage adjustment (one of the nicest features).

He started telling me I was the only non-idiot in the store and making up stories about how stupid my coworker was. He also suddenly remembered the case he'd wanted, which I knew he hadn't taken because he couldn't test the fit with the scoped gun, and he told me how it had "disappeared" even though he wanted it. I finally got everything put together for him, and got him out of the store, but it took a lot of willpower to make sure I didn't send him out in a way that would discourage a return visit.

At least mounting a scope in the back gave me a brief respite from the horde of customers outside.

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