In what is being cited as yet more evidence that Luxembourg shoppers are increasingly acting like spoiled children, a customer has interrupted a fascinating conversation with a question about ink cartridges.

Kevin M., Florian S., and Carine Y., who work in the electronics and appliances department of a retail store in Luxembourg City, were about fifteen minutes into a discussion of exotic pets when the incident occurred.

“Florian was telling us about a boa constrictor he used to have, because I was saying I used to have a friend who owned a miniature crocodile that lived in his bathtub,” said Kevin, who has worked at the store since 2019. “Before that, Carine was saying her older brother had a tarantula when they were kids.”

“The tarantula, it was named Napoleon,” he added.

It was then that an unknown person, a middle-aged man with glasses and the demeanour of a baby, tried to get the attention of the three sales staff by standing at the periphery of their conversation circle.

“This guy cleared his throat and made a lot of weird noises,” Florian said. “It was clear he wanted us to look at him, but if you start doing that sort of thing, pretty soon everyone who comes in here will expect the same VIP treatment.”

Perhaps because she is the oldest of the group and appears most likely to be in a managerial position, Carine took the brunt of the man’s childish attempts.

“He was like, blah blah blah I have an old HP printer, and blah blah blah I’m confused about ink cartridges,” she explained.

Carine reverted to an old but effective technique called “Not Me” wherein sales staff claim they cannot answer a question because they are from another department.

“I told him, ‘monsieur, it’s my colleague, not me, you need to ask,’” Carine said, adding that she then pointed nowhere in particular. The move worked, at least long enough for Florian to finish describing the diet of boa constrictors. However, 10 minutes later, the nuisance returned.

Even though she had already wasted enough time on the man, Carine says she walked him all the way over to the printer section, picked up the ink cartridges catalog, and even turned it to the section on HP printers.

“I shouldn’t have done that, but perhaps deep down inside I harbor some freakish notion of customer service that I picked up from my grandparents or American television,” she said. “Still, it’s exhausting dealing with people like that every day. It’s always ‘me, me, me.’”


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