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CUSTOMER OR GUEST?
by: Protoclown

I have noticed an annoying trend of late when I find myself trying to go and spend my hard-earned money on various worthless wares. A lot of stores, restaurants, and other environments that cater to a large number of customers each and every day are starting to call us "guests". Target does it. Wendy's does it. Hell, even Toys R Us does it. 

This disturbs me, because it strikes me as worthless corporate PC bullshit. But it's really not. They're just making a feeble attempt at making us feel more welcome and comfortable in their dirty, filthy little corporate establishment. But the thing is, I am NOT a guest. If I come into a fucking STORE, with MONEY, with intention to SPEND it for goods or services, I am a customer. If I am going to come over to your house, sit around on your couch, eat food out of your refrigerator, and probably spend the night sprawled out over random living room furniture without paying for a fucking thing, I am a guest. See the difference?

Camp inside a local grocery store.
A photo of Protoclown's camp inside a local
grocery store (before he was thrown out).

So imagine my confusion, upon learning that I was a guest and returning to a Target retail store with a sleeping bag, pillow, and plans to stay the night, when the employees all looked at me funny as I decided to curl up in "Housewares" with a nice book to read. And THEN they tried to CHARGE me for a meal in one of their horridly freakish little Taco Bell/Pizza Hut hybrid pseudo-restaurants. I was appalled. That was just TOO far. How DARE they treat me, a GUEST, in such a brash manner? I would have none of it. I mean, you don't invite a GUEST over and make them pay for food, do you? I don't fucking think so! 

So I told them they could keep their shitty food, as it's all made from bull testicles anyway (that's true, did you know that?). I decided to go into the grocery section of the store and sample some of the goods. After all, I was a guest. Such is my right! So I was halfway through finishing a "cube" of Pepsi with my hand down my pants when some nosy employee notices what I'm doing and has a problem with it. Next thing I know, he's talking in his little walkie-talkie and I'm being escorted out of the store. I didn't even have a chance to grab my sleeping bag and pillow back from Housewares! 

Anyway, the point here is that I don't feel I was treated very well at all for a GUEST. I certainly didn't feel any more welcome or comfortable than I did when I was a customer. But I've figured it all out. We're not guests at all! Despite what they call us now! 

I was talking to a friend of mine about this whole issue and he brought up a good point regarding the more subtle social implications behind the whole thing, that being: People don't expect much from a customer. In fact, most people expect customers to be rude, curt, and full of complaints ready to be spouted off at a moment's notice. A GUEST however has much higher expectations. A GUEST is counted upon to be gracious towards their host. It would be RUDE for a guest to complain. It would be IMPROPER for a guest to start a big scene over a defective product. 

Camp outside of Wendy's
Protoclown later decided to set camp outside of
Wendy's after they threatened to have Dave Thomas
come in and share a sleeping bag with him.

You see, they're trying to BRAINWASH us all into being docile little sheep in their stores! I was once a victim with the wool pulled over my eyes too! But not anymore! That's why I now make sure I wear a hat made of tin foil when I walk into the store. That way they can't affect me with any of their "guest mumbo jumbo". I'm a customer, dammit! And I'm going to stay that way! I'm going to spill things in the store, I'm going to leave frozen grocery items laying in the middle of the toy aisle when I decide I no longer want them, and I'm going to complain about the shitty service when I can't take my three shopping carts full of stuff through the express lane! Such is my right, for I AM A CUSTOMER! 

note: Protoclown loves his tin foil hat and refuses to take it off, even though it's starting to smell like rotten chili.


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