I forgot about what happened the other day at work. Lets see, it was... Saturday, I think, and I was there alone because Ryan had gone to the bank. So this guy comes in and wants some cigarettes. I ask him for his ID, and by the look he gives me and the vocal inflection as he says 'yes', it seems as though he is put out by this, and doesn't immediately produce it. Instead, he pulls out his credit card and swipes it. Well, I can't run his card until I verify his ID by pressing a button on the screen, so I ask him again if i can see his ID. He looks daggers at me and says 'YES!' in a loud, obnoxious voice. So he opens his wallet and shows it to me. Well, I can get irritated just like everybody else, so I ask him to remove his ID from his wallet. Just because I can. So he throws his wallet on the counter and says 'You remove it. You can see that I'm injured here.' He raises his hand, and one of his fingers has a metal brace with a bandage wrapped around it. I hadn't noticed this before, so I say 'no, I didn't see that'. Anyway, he says 'forget it, I'll get my cigarettes somewhere else,' and he stalks off.
This fairly pisses me off, so as he's half way out the door, I do something I probably shouldn't have done. I say one word... 'attitude', fairly loudly, so that he can hear me. He's standing there with the door half open and he says something back to me, but I can't understand what it was. I wish I had heard what he said. Then he leaves.
In the entire year of working at 7-Eleven, I've never talked back to a customer or expressed anger in any way. I'm usually pretty good at holding it in, and I think I was pretty good there too. After all, I only said one word, and I didn't go off on him like I used to go off on people when I worked at Stop & Go back in '94.
I thought of some good things that I could have said to him after the fact that would have been completely in line and non-abrasive but which still would have put him in his place, but dammit, that's always the case. I can never think of the right thing to say at the moment when it's required.