Customer antics bring out grumpy old man in me - Kevin Buckle

Taylor Swift fans like to walk about the shop hugging records they have no intention of buyingTaylor Swift fans like to walk about the shop hugging records they have no intention of buying
Taylor Swift fans like to walk about the shop hugging records they have no intention of buying
​On the recent There Will Be Fireworks album I was praising in this column recently there is a line “we’re not growing up; we’re just getting old” and I have been getting old for some time now.

Having had two girls myself, now in their twenties, I felt I had built up a reasonable tolerance to the antics of youngsters but I have to admit that I’m possibly at the point where I just accept that some kids will just see me as a grumpy old man.

Don’t get me wrong, most of the customers of all ages are lovely and very grateful when you help them find what they are looking for but there is certainly a small but significant number that simply have no idea how to behave in a shop.

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The biggest problem we have is keeping everything in order whether that be having the t-shirts in order of size or the records and CDs alphabetical. While we have always had a problem with people picking something up and then just leaving it at the front of the rack what happens now is something that has only happened in more recent times and it is young people’s obsession with photographing everything.

We do of course get people taking photos to send to friends and family to see if they want something which makes perfect sense, but on the other hand there are many youngsters now who feel the need to photograph anything they see that they like.

Another thing that is even stranger is the desire to carry about the shop a record they like but have no intention of buying. Top of the list are Taylor Swift fans who will literally hug a Taylor record for a good ten or 15 minutes before carefully putting it back.

Oddly in one sense this is not too bad as at least it goes back in the right place but often we find things just dumped in completely random places.

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What amazes me most is young people’s lack of interest in the alphabet. There was a time when the only issue with younger customers was that they would look for Kate Bush under K but now many seem to act as if it is an outdated concept.

One day I saw a young lad put an album back where it should go after his friend had just done the classic thing of leaving it at the front of a rack it didn’t even belong to. He explained the records were alphabetical and she replied “that’s a bit OCD, isn’t it”.

It isn’t always youngsters to be fair. A middle-aged lady kept pulling out Blondie t-shirts to show her husband while making no attempt to put them back exactly where she got them. Eventually I pointed out they were in order of size and she looked at me like I was being very picky.

A couple of minutes later she brought a Blondie shirt up to the counter asking if we had it in 2XL. I’d a feeling we did have it and looked. Sure enough I found it in the same rack with the Velvet Underground shirts. I’m not sure she understood the irony. For now I’m just hoping the shop survives Christmas in one piece.

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