If I learnt anything about life it is to lower my expectations, the logic being that when something good happens – say a 10% discount on my next purchase, a free bag of Haribo sours or even a free bag of prawn crackers – then I appreciate it a lot more than I would’ve done had I gone in with really high expectations.
Or to put it in another way, I never expect shops to give me freebies when I go in. When I do get them then it’s a pleasant surprise, and that’s often the best kind of customer. The worst kind of customer you can get in a Chinese takeaway of course are the people who always expect free things.
It’s sometimes quite amusing to see grown-ups act like children when they don’t get free prawn crackers, and on some occasions they do throw tantrums in the shop, which at first can be awkward to watch, but you have to admit is also quite funny.
The other night someone came in, male, old, very skinny, and a tattoo on his neck that was partly obscured by his shoulder-length sandy blond hair. He looked like a new customer.
He ordered three dishes amounting to about £10 and looked startled when I came out without a bag of prawn crackers.
“Where’s my prawn crackers?” He asks, “why don’t I get free prawn crackers? Everyone else around here does it!”
I was half expecting him to behave like the kid and/or the mum in the Vicks advert at one point.
He then grabs his belongings like an angry child storming off to his bedroom in a “no Xbox until you’ve done your homework” kind of way, and takes the time to shout across the counter “well I ain’t coming back here ever again!”
Me hardly ever being the one to answer back to customers simply replied: “Fine”.