Working with difficult customers always seems to have its ups and downs. While in high school, I worked at the local park district as a lifeguard and a cashier for the fitness center. The typical regular customer came in, might ask how you were doing, and went on with their business. Then there's the regulars that come in who might give you a little trouble. And then there's the few customers that all the employees seem to know. Towards the end of my senior year in high school, I would come to find out that Mr. Howard wasn't as bad of a guy we all thought.
Mr. Howard was regular who came into the fitness center only to swim laps. He was an average height and average build guy around his mid 50s. Working as a lifeguard and cashier, I got both sides of the irritation.
The pool closed for its lap swim hours usually at 10:30 at night. Most customers were out of the pool about five minutes prior and then sat in the hot tub. Mr. Howard always pushed it. At 10:30 I would get out of my chair, and try to let him know we were closing.
As he swam up to the side of the pool, I'd try to get his attention. "Mr. Howa…." and he'd swim back to the other side.
This usually lasted another three or four laps. Afterwards, even after being closed, he'd always go sit in the hot tub until I was on my way out the door. It was almost like he was trying to push the limits. Though this was an annoyance, it was never a big enough deal to complain to my manager about.
Around 5:30 at night was usually our busiest time. He always had to complain about having to share his lane with somebody. He made this same complaint almost once a week as though he didn't understand the concept of being busy.
While working as a cashier, I'd get the more than usual complaints from him.
"The locker room is a little hot today. I think you guys need to call maintenance. There may be something wrong with the ventilation."
These are only a few of the things he'd complain about on a weekly basis....