Customer Service: A Play in One Act

“Customer Service: A Play in One Act”


Joshua Hawks


RETAIL WORKER: A young (teens to late 20’s) person working as a retail employee. Has had their hopes of a better life than their parents constantly dashed against the rocks, but still remains optimistic about life. Wears what is obviously a retail uniform, muted colors, soulless, boring.

RETAIL CUSTOMER: Anywhere from their teens to their deathbed. Has grown up in a country where the value of a human life is almost solely dictated by the value of their bank accounts. Can come from any social strata and should wear clothes that match.


THE STORE: A store. It could be for anything, anything at all. Food, books, sex toys, drugs, whatever.


Shelves: For products. That the store sells.

Counter: Where people buy things. RETAIL WORKER stands behind this. On the counter are:

Computer Monitors: Because how else will you track transactions?

Package and Receipt: It’s a package. What’s in it? The receipt probably knows. Too bad you can’t read it.

Sticky notes: They’re sticky notes. For writing notes onto. And then sticking the note onto something that isn’t the sticky note pad.


RETAIL WORKER stands behind a counter, staring out the window, dreaming of a life that doesn’t involve whatever the hell they’re doing right now.


RETAIL WORKER: (perking up, friendly) Hello, welcome to the store! Was there anything I could help you with today?

RETAIL CUSTOMER looks around, confused. Notices RETAIL WORKER for the first time and rapidly walks up to the counter, fumbling with a small package or box in their hands. Which they then put on the counter with a bit too much force.

RETAIL CUSTOMER: I want to return this.

RETAIL WORKER: (inspecting the item) Okay, I can assist you with that. Do you have a receipt?

RETAIL CUSTOMER slaps a slip of paper on the counter.

RETAIL WORKER: Great! Let’s just get this scanned real quick…

RETAIL WORKER does things behind the counter. There’s some beeping. Maybe some more beeping.

RETAIL CUSTOMER: Come on, I need to get some home, just scan the damn receipt.

One last beep from behind the counter.

RETAIL WORKER: (frowning) Well, it appears that your receipt is expired–

RETAIL CUSTOMER: Bullshit, I bought that a week ago!

RETAIL WORKER: –but if you’d like we could give you store credit equal to what you paid for the item?

There is silence. RETAIL WORKER smiles awkwardly at RETAIL CUSTOMER. RETAIL CUSTOMER blinks stupidly at RETAIL WORKER and hesitantly smiles.


RETAIL WORKER: Sure, it’s no big deal.

RETAIL CUSTOMER: (relieved) Oh. Well.

RETAIL CUSTOMER acts like a child who just got found with their hand in the cookie jar. They scratch their neck and don’t make eye contact with RETAIL WORKER.

RETAIL CUSTOMER: Thank you. Uh, do you want me to just come back when I’m done shopping?

RETAIL WORKER: (smiling) Sure, that’d be fine. I’ll leave a note here for someone if I have to go.

RETAIL CUSTOMER and RETAIL WORKER smile at each other. RETAIL CUSTOMER walks away from the counter and walks deeper into the store (offstage opposite the counter) and the RETAIL WORKER puts the RETAIL CUSTOMER’s items under the desk. They write a note on a stickypad, and stick it to the side of one of the computer monitors. RETAIL WORKER stares off into the middle distance again, slipping back into the neutral expression of the profoundly bored. But at least everyone wasn’t profoundly pissed off.



About kylock

Man, biographies are really hard to write because sometimes you just don't know what to write about and then you ramble on pointlessly for a while about your hobbies (video games, reading, programming) and end up boring your readers because they expect something witty and insightful (there are only two ways to save money, neither of which involves hookers) and then readership falls off and you cry yourself to sleep.
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