Paul Tanner

SPIN (or: super marketing for super marketeers in the supermarket)

you can’t refund her.

she shows you some cleavage.
she gives you compliments.
she runs her hand up and down your leg.
but you still can’t refund her.

next, she tries crying:
please! she begs. please, I’m a single mother
and I need the money! don’t you care at all?

and yet, you still can’t refund her.
so now come the insults:
petty little man. petty bitter little man,
bitter just because you
just work in a shop!

surprisingly, this doesn’t alter the refund policy either
so this is where she enters her political phase:
traitor! scumbag jobsworthy!
doing the dirty work for big business!
enabling companies to rip us off like this!

but still, STILL
you are incapable of granting her a refund
and now we move onto the threats:
my fellah’s gonna get you! she vows.
you wouldn’t last two minutes against my fellah!
like to see you tell HIM no! he’s put his prison days behind him,
but he loves me, he does!

alas, her current concubine’s violent attributes
do nothing to shape the refund policy
so now we move onto the final stage:
a nice bit of parting violence:
she jabs a finger into you,
she shoves you,
maybe throws a pen, or a stack of brochures
or whatever handy implement happens to be on the counter
at you
then storms out in a rage,
out, she storms, raged in outrage.

it’s all over, right?
well, no, because
aha! she has one final trick up her sleeve:
the online review:

turns out
YOU were inappropriate to her!
YOU insulted her!
YOU threatened her!
and YOU were the one who got violent towards her!
hashtag metoo!

you could’ve sworn it went down
differently
but hey
what do you know?
after all, you
just
work in a shop

and let’s not forget
that you’re bitter about it, too
for some reason.

challenges 1a, 1b and 1c

he was leaning over the counter
jabbing you with his finger
and calling you stupid
because you couldn’t reduce the price of something.

hey, the customer next to him says, leave off him.

the guy leaning over the counter,
he sneers
at you both
and walks out,
taking his finger and overpriced groceries with him …

thanks, you tell the guy who defended you.

why didn’t you just tell him where to get off? he asks you.

not allowed to, you say, as you start scanning his stuff:

beep. beep.

says who?

everyone, you shrug. if I fight back, he’ll tell my boss I’m picking on him.
he’s still gonna complain anyway. he’ll probably say
I got other customers to “gang up on him” or something …

oh, well sorry for trying to help you! he says.
ungrateful little …

… what? you look up at him.
I’m an ungrateful little … what?

but he just sneers,
pays for his stuff and leaves …

the next customer steps up.
something in the air today, isn’t there? she says

and once again
you are at a loss
for ways to safely respond
without offending
the customer

so you don’t:
you just give a noncommittal half shrug,
an indifferent half smile

and you carry on scanning:

beep. beep.

hey, she says. I’m talking to you!
you deaf or something?

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