I love saying no to customers. I understand it’s my job to create a pleasant and fulfilling an experience for them, and I am always as polite as I can be, but even so, I love saying no to them. I love the hurt, confused, disappointed looks on their face when I deny their ridiculous requests, it’s such a thrill for me, because they’re always saying no to me.

Customers say no to basic pleasantries like “hello,” “please,” and “thank you.”

Customers say no to treating service workers as equals, as they throw their money, items, and bags on the counter instead of handing them over.

Customers say no to our attempts to be nice, answering our sincere “How are you today?” with silence or a blunt question.

Customers say no to seeing us as anything other than a Google search on legs, saying the thing they’re looking for instead of, y’know, asking in the form of a question.

Customers say no to treating us in a way that makes us feel like actual people. Customers say no to our status as fellow human beings. Customers say no to making our job and our lives anything other than complete hell.

And except in the most extreme of cases, there’s nothing we can actually do. It’s a weird power situation, where as employees of the store, we hold power over the customers getting their items, checking out, etc, but as service workers, we’re expected to sit on a lower social rung than the customer who is ~always right~ even though they are usually not. We’re caught in this contradiction and the only we can do is grin and bear it

except in those few precious opportunities when we can actually say no back.