Yes, I actually know this man's name but I choose not to use it, I'd hate for his kids to find him in a google search!
But this customer is different. D. is a very funny old man. He took me by surprise when I first met him because he's very loud and boisterous. He comes off harsh and crass but he's a good person. He developed quite a relationship with my sister when she was working quite a bit, and still refers to her as his girlfriend.
D lives a few towns away, in a very small farming community, he and his wife (who I have yet to meet) take care of an elderly woman, even more elderly then they themselves, named Gertie. Gertie loves my macaroni salad and anytime D is near town he must pick her up a pound. She gets one pound at a time and it must be wrapped in a paper bag or it will lose temperature. lol. D used to love the donuts I had here in the store, he would buy up everything I had in the case when they would come to town, but even after I stopped carrying the donuts he still came to town.
He has developed a liking for the macaroni salad also, so now it's two pounds in seperate containers and seperate bags and paid for seperatly. The man is a riot to listen to. If you play back just as much as he plays with you he smiles. Customers that aren't used to that are taken back by me when I talk to him in the way I do, but if I tried any other way he's flip out on me. He's funny.
He enjoys fishing, lots of fishing, but doesn't eat a bit of it. Most of the time he throws them back in unless his grandson wants to take it home. They have a small place on a lake around here somewhere that he enjoys spending time. I sent him a get well card when he had to go down for knee surgery, he said I was trying to butter him up for money. I just laughed.
He had dissappeared for several weeks and I actually became concerned. Finally after four or so weeks he finally reappeared and a sigh of relief came from me. He had gotten very ill and nearly died. I told him I kept watching for his obituary, but knew that nothing would keep him down. He just laughed. I find myself actually caring about these people. I know nothing of their personal lives except what they tell me at the store, and yet I see these people as friends, people I talk to about different things because they open themselves up to me. I care about them and worry when they don't come in. I remember what they are doing in life and ask them about their trips, or how their kids are doing, or how the doctors appointments went. It's not because I enjoy small talk, it's because I actually care. There is a long list of regulars I have in just a short two years that I would need to attend their funerals if anything ever happened to them. It's so wierd at times, but that's one thing I just love about what I do.
It's customer's like D. that make this job the best on the planet. He's more than a customer, he's a friend.