Perhaps only once in a generation, an intrepid individual hears the yearning of their masses—in this case Iceland—and steps up. Karl Marx, Mark Zuckerberg, that guy who made the Snuggie… you know the type. Well, add Elísabet Guðrúnar Jónsdóttir to that list, as just over a week ago, the young computer programmer created the Facebook group “Sögur af dónalegum viðskiptavinum,” aka “Stories of Rude Customers.” Gaining almost 1,000 members since, the group has provided an outlet for the Icelandic proletariat to air their grievances. Watch out Parliament.
“Look, everybody hates rude customers and really, rude customers should hate themselves,” Elísabet tells me on the phone with a sigh. “I mean I used to work retail. It was just horrible.” While most retail workers understand the normal annoyances of the job—i.e “Oh this item didn’t scan, guess it’s free then!!!!”—this group has some particularly horrifying tales:
“To the guy who took a shit in the garbage of the boys bathroom, cool man!”
“Before the time of the PIN, I met this jolly fella’ who took a roundhouse kick to my DVD rack because he couldn’t use a card that he didn’t own.”
“One woman shoved me down the stairs while I was carrying a steaming tray of food because she was not happy that the candle on her table was not lit.”
And while the Reykjavík Grapevine isn’t a direct-customer-contact job per se, that doesn’t mean we media workers are exempt. Just be a journalist around drunk people and you’ll see, suddenly every single person is the best undiscovered DJ/writer/actor/rapper/what-have-you in the city. And while we are sure your electro-post-folk-house-tummy drum album is going to revolutionize the scene, most of us have found that those who are exciting enough to warrant press do not ask for it. Also c’mon man, it’s 4am on a Friday.
So tourists (we know you are reading this) take note: Be nice or be publicly shamed. Icelanders take no shit, at least, not on Facebook.