Complaining #poetry #poem

What is it about complaining?

You approach the counter

Already rehearsing your clever, witty rejoinder.

Then, confronted by the hapless helper

With a smile and a ‘can I help you?’

All leant during role play

On the training away day

Where they forgot to hand out contacts

That hide the fear in his eyes,

You explain your dilemma.

Soberly, clearly, beginning to give some lee way.

This could be your son.


He slips and lets go a ‘who told you that, sir?’

And ‘it’s not company policy, sir’

And off I go


Fuelled by

Justified indignation

And a righteous grievance.






It gets me nowhere

All humanity gone and

We’re back to role play.

Bugger it.

The smug pacifying but immovable shop assistant in polyester and gel


The grumpy old man in anorak and incoherence.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in poems, poetry and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Complaining #poetry #poem

  1. willowdot21 says:

    Having worked the other side of the counter in customer service I live this 💜

    Liked by 2 people

    • TanGental says:

      I understand who the poor soul has to put up with a lot of nonsense, but that doesn’t make it any easier when you know you’re being treated as a halfwit


      • willowdot21 says:

        I agree Geoff, I hope I never did that! At Waitrose (namedropping) we had it drummed into us the customer is always right, even when they are wrong! I always found a smile a refund and a replacement usually worked well if that failed a double refund worked. Our motto on customer service was ” we will lie on the floor feel free to walk all over us” I do know that that’s not always the case as I have found out personally ! Did you resolve the issue, you could always escalate the problem by email or letter, store manager, the area manager right up to CEO! Good luck 🍀


  2. Darlene says:

    After 15 years in retail, I seldom complain anymore. I know how they feel. MInd you, I will return something that doesn’t work. After all, it is my hard-earned money. There usually isn’t a problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      It is all about attitude on both sides. I sympathise but that doesn’t stop me want to scream…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Darlene says:

        Most places I worked at had a liberal return policy but one guy wanted to return a cookbook which we didn’t accept and he got mad and threatened to hit me with a battle axe. It was scary. (In case you are wondering, yes we sold cookbooks and battle axes)


  3. Excellent, Geoff. Thoroughly entertaining.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. JT Twissel says:

    Some store policies really don’t make much sense and can be infuriating. On the other hand, I was in a large department store once when the lady in front of me tried to tell the clerk that she had so many coupons they should be paying her to shop. What’s “in anorak”?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I have to keep reminding myself that they aren’t paid enough to have to listen to me. Sometimes it work.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Eileen says:

    One of my favorites. Deftly described……a universal experience. Delicious treat today.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Chel Owens says:

    Grumpy old men need to be heard! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

If you would like to reply please do so here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.