As we all know, the squealing sow gets the grease. I take advantage of that fact, and of the business principle that “the customer is always right”. I also just like to demean people while they're doing their jobs because I know I can get away with it. If I can unload on a total stranger without getting in trouble, and at the same time open up the possibility for some free shit, I’m gonna do it.
Step one is to get their attention, and there’s a real art to it. I’ll demand that a cashier honor my expired coupons. I’ll use the same cup all week to get refills at a fast food place. I’ll let my kids run around screaming and breaking things. And I’ll abuse a 100% satisfaction guarantee 100% of the time.
When the clerk or server gives me even the slightest attitude or resistance I immediately start in with the personal attacks. You'd think this would preclude me from getting anywhere with these businesses, but no. Nine times out of ten, when all is said and done, I get some certificates for free stuff, or a few items taken off my check. Same goes for charges on my phone bill, bank overdraft fees, you name it! Hell, one time I threw a tantrum at the post office just because they wouldn’t sell me any single lickable stamps.
This is my way of demanding the royal treatment. It’s nothing personal. The employees are just pawns in my game. They realize early on that they’re powerless to stop me, and they can’t even give me much in the way of free stuff anyway. All they can do is try to calm me down, take my abuse for as long as they can tolerate it, and try to hold the line.
The trick is to bring the situation to head early on, and before you know it you’ll be talking to a manager. Be calm when you speak to management, and completely misrepresent what just happened between you and the associate. They’ll be all apologies, and start offering you things just to shut you up, or as they put it, “to make up for your inconvenience”. The best luck is usually with chain restaurants and stores. Most small business owners do their own managing. Small businesses are often bleeding money as it is, so they’re cheap. They’re also dicks to unhappy customers because they tend to take every complaint about their business personally.
Earlier this month, after cashing my child support check, I decided to take the kids to a Mexican restaurant. My oldest ordered a plate of nachos, and the rest of us ordered combination platters. When we were getting near done eating I looked over our plates to see what I’d be able to get taken off the check. The nachos were eaten down to near the bottom of the plate, and I noticed that the heat and cheese had made some of the bottom chips soggy. I got these motherfuckas!
When the man came to offer us dessert I pointed out that my baby got soggy nachos, and that we would like that removed from the check. He said something about the nature of nacho plates, but I cut him short by loudly reminding him that I was not born yesterday. He began to open his mouth again, but I interrupted him before he started. I hit him with a one of my classic obscenity-laden insults. He glared for a moment, then stormed off silently to get the manager.
When the manager showed up I calmly told him that the waiter had brought us dirty glasses and silverware. I also told him that we had complained about the nachos as soon as they were served and that the waiter had done nothing. The manager was all apologies. He advised us that the nachos and our drinks would be taken off the bill. That worked for me, because those Cadillac margaritas were expensive!
We waited for the check after he walked away, and soon we could hear the waiter getting a stern talking-to at the back of the restaurant. The red-faced waiter then returned and silently tossed the check on the table and walked away. Was that so hard? It felt good to leave him a two dollar tip. He earned it by taking it like a man! Of course my kids got mad at me because I “always embarrass them in public”. They don’t realize what it takes to be a single mom these days.