By Lauren Brant
The Hay Springs one act We Loathe Our Customers opens in the Maximum Office store known for employees who mess with the customers.
Payton Schoenhals plays Bailey, an employee at Maximum Office. Bailey Scherbarth is Bailey’s first customer of the day. As the customer explains what she is looking for, Bailey interrupts and says they are sold out. The conversation continues about whether Bailey is an employee and when the customer asks to speak to the manager, Bailey replies that maybe she ate him and took his place. As the customer leaves the store, coworker Campbell, played by Kaelob Marx enters. “You being a bad boy again?” asked Campbell as he high-fives Bailey for messing with customers.
Another customer enters the store and this time Campbell is going to mess with her. Rebekah Holtmeier plays a customer who browses the store’s merchandise. Campbell informs the customer about the products the store carries that could be used to pick her nose. Holtmeier informs Campbell that is not why she is here, but Campbell reassures her boogers are perfectly natural. The customer hurries out of the store.
With the day just beginning, Bailey makes a bet with Campbell that she can run more customers out the door than he can.
Wesley Tlustos plays Joe, another employee. He informs everyone that another store called about a district manager visiting area stores. After hearing the news, Bailey and Campbell are worried that the manager is already here and overheard their conversations with customers about boogers and eating the manager. Joe is shocked to hear this and tells them to behave. “We actually have to do our jobs,” Campbell exclaims. “I haven’t done my job since I started working here.”
Sam Kearns enters the scene as a customer who is shopping for pencils. After Bailey shows her to the pencils on the floor, customer 3 asks if there are anymore. When the customer asks Bailey to look through the stockroom for more pencils, Bailey asked, “you want me to go look in the huge stockroom with the pencils that are already out here?” The customer’s persistence for different pencils comes from previous issues with some pencil writing too light or dark and some even stabbing her in the eye. To the customer’s disappointment, Bailey shortly returns from the stockroom without much effort. The customer continues to push Bailey about finding a pencil she has never tried so Bailey brings out a shiny pencil that the store will sell during Christmas. Rather than taking the pencil, the customer notices a green colored standard #2 pencil that she hasn’t tried so she takes that one.
Joce Varvel’s character is the next customer to enter Maximum Office. She asks for paper that does not cause paper cuts. Campbell tells the customer they don’t have any because it doesn’t exist. To protect her hands from future paper cuts, Campbell suggests wearing gloves. “It’s not my hands I’m worried about,” said the customer. “It’s my left ear.” To avoid upsetting the customer, Campbell agrees about paper cuts to the ear being a common problem and recommends the customer purchase red colored paper so blood doesn’t show up as much. The customer informs Campbell she is interested in paper that doesn’t cause paper cuts in a brown color so ear wax doesn’t show up. With no items in stock meeting her description, she leaves.
Bailey then helps Emma Roberts’ character find erasers. The customer asks what warranty they have and Bailey explains, “they’re erasers so they don’t have warranties.” As the customer looks through the box of erasers, she finds one with a chip in it. Bailey informs the customer they offer a 10 percent discount on any imperfect purchase items. That brought the cost of one eraser to 23 cents, which dissatisfied the customer. “We can’t charge you half a penny so we round up,” said Bailey. Upset over half a penny, Bailey said they can override the system and charge her 22 cents. Roberts’ character becomes upset about the scam to other customers who purchase the erasers. Unwilling to help the customer anymore, Bailey runs out of the room.
Another customer comes into the store and discusses French presses used to brew coffee. The customer is annoyed that Campbell does not know what a French press is and that the store does not sell that office supply. The customer proceeds to inform Campbell about the superior coffee made from a French press, despite only making four cups per pot. He then informs Campbell that he had no intention of buying one because he owns six of them. “I just like knowing there are French presses around wherever I go,” said the customer.
The next customer, played by Coy Wolken, asks Bailey if they sell a copier that won’t pick up any DNA. Confused, Bailey asks the customer to explain. If he photo copied his butt, he doesn’t want his boss be able to determine it was him. Bailey recommends glass cleaner, so they go in the back to see if it removes DNA.
Ashley Burrows’ character is the next customer, who tries to give Campbell flowers for his girlfriend. Campbell says he does not have a girlfriend and Bailey interjects it is not by his own choice. The employees then leave the front as the customer shuffles her feet across the floor. She stops in front of the printer and decides to trade the store with cat food. She also trades a mini toilet for pens at the register before leaving.
Rylee Wolken’s character enters the store and repeatedly rings the bell to attract assistance. Bailey arrives and the customer says she found a raisin in her car and asks that it be thrown away. Bailey proceeds to ring up the customer’s items when the customer asks who has been chewing on her wallet. Once the customer leaves, Bailey put several pumps of hand sanitizer on her hands.
During the arrival of the next customer, played by Hannah Wohl, Star Wars music is played. The customer is dressed as Darth Vader and has two storm troopers by her side. She works in a cubicle and Campbell says they have swivel chairs in the back that are similar to those on the Death Star. The customer becomes overjoyed at the news and goes to look at them. Meanwhile, one of the storm troopers, played by Tomo Sato, removes his mask and asked Bailey if they have cat food. She said no, but he points to the cat food on the floor. Bailey tells him to take it and he runs out of the store with his bag of cat food.
Coy Wolken’s character returns with Jaiden Anderson as customers. She asks Campbell about the quality of the pencils and if they could puncture someone’s neck. Wolken’s character sits beside the register holding a “help me” sign. Bailey becomes worried and calls the police before urging him to run away. Once the customers leave, Bailey asks if Campbell is trying to get the man killed. “I’m trying to make a sale,” Campbell said. But at what cost?
At the end of the day, Bailey and Campbell discuss how ridiculous the customers were and how they want to leave. Joe returns to inform Bailey and Campbell that the district manager did not show up. “I’m sure he’ll be here tomorrow,” said Joe.