He Saw Red And Snapped
“I’m not particularly proud of this. Last weekend, I was at a big box home improvement store, looking for components for a little project I was working on. I wasn’t dressed remotely like the staff, and I was listening to an audiobook with a set of Bluetooth headphones, with both earbuds in so I wouldn’t be bothered.
Apparently, a guy in his early 30’s in a pair of tattered jeans and a paint-splattered t-shirt (it doesn’t get more ‘weekend slack’ clothes than that) with headphones in and a piece of scrap paper in his hand is just the person to ask for assistance.
This middle-aged dude kept asking me where some-product-or-other was. He asked twice, significantly louder the second time, and I glanced over at him and said, ‘Sorry, man, I don’t work here,’ gesturing at my clothes and the obvious lack of a name tag.
I went back to browsing the shelves when suddenly I felt my Bluetooth headphones ripped from my head. I looked quickly to my right, just in time to see the middle-aged guy throw them to the concrete floor with as much force as he could manage. I heard a distinct snap.
Which was appropriate. This was the part I’m not too proud of.
I saw red.
I grabbed the guy by the front of his shirt and slammed him against the wall. Actually snarling, I said, ‘I told you I don’t work here, you dang moron.’ He started to protest, so I pushed him harder against the wall/shelf. ‘You couldn’t get that through your dumb suburban skull though, and now you’ve assaulted me and destroyed my headphones. What you’re going to do is give me all the cash you’ve got in your wallet and pray that it covers the replacement cost. And if you make a scene, I’ll give you something to scream about.’
He’d gone from livid red to pale white. He rummaged, brought out his wallet, and handed over $40. I jammed it into my pocket, snatched up the headphones, and left the store. I got in my car and drove away as quickly as I legally could, eventually pulling into a grocery store parking lot to take several deep breaths. When I got home I had a strong drink, even though it wasn’t even noon yet.
I’ve never been in a fight in my life, aside from horsing around with friends in middle school. Now I’d threatened a dude in a store. My headphones, shockingly, were fine, though.”
You Just Got Served
“I was just at a gas station, pumping gas, when the lady at the pump across from me sticks her head around and, in very broken English, asked if I could help her for a second. I speak a bit of Spanish, so I replied in kind. She said she’s having a problem with the credit card reader. I went over, she put her card in backward and it was stuck. Easy enough, I got it out for her, showed her how to put it the right way, she thanked me, I headed back to my Jeep and started to put the pump back, only to find a woman blocking the door. ‘It took you long enough, I’ve waited 5 minutes already, hurry up and pump my gas.’
I looked over, sure enough, Oregon plate. ‘Sorry miss, in Washington we pump our own gas. If you need help go into the store and talk to somebody that works here.’
Well, she lost her mind. ‘What the heck? You won’t help me because I speak English? You freaking racist! Go pump my gas or I’m going to get you fired.’
I said, ‘Ok miss, you’re right, I’m sorry, head back to your car and I’ll be with you in a moment.’ The thought did cross my mind of taking her credit card and seeing how far I could throw it, instead, I just jumped into my car and took off. The look on her face when I started my Jeep up was hilarious.”
They Made The Best Out Of A Sour Situation
“This happened a few years ago. A friend and I decided to hit up GameStop to see if there was anything worth buying. I just happened to be wearing a polo shirt and had a lanyard/ID around my neck because I had just left the office.
This kid came up to me in the Xbox section and asked me if a certain game was available for PS3. He must have been about 12, and, knowing a fair bit about video games, I happened to know that yes, the title was available on multiple consoles.
I went ahead and answered him in the affirmative, yes, this title was available for PS3. He simply says, ‘Get it for me.’
I paused and looked down at this kid, ‘Excuse me?’
‘Get it for me, I want to buy it.’
I told him, ‘How about…you go get it for yourself, the shelf is right there,’ and point off into the distance.
I started to turn away and he forcefully demanded again that I get him this dang game.
I went ahead and kneeled so that I was eye level with him and told him, ‘If you want that game so bad, walk your little butt over there and pick it up, I’m not your slave.’
The kid ran off and got his mom, my buddy and I were having a good chuckle at this, we got our games and headed off to stand in line. While we were making our way through the line here came the kid again with his mom in tow.
This GameStop was attached to a bookstore, so I guess mom decided to let GameStop babysit her little spawn while she sneaked off to look at 50 Shades of Lame.
The mom was throwing a hissy fit at the front, saying that some employee told her child to, ‘walk his fat jerk butt over to a shelf and get a game himself,’ and she demanded that said employee is fired.
At this point, my buddy and I were stepping up to the register to pay for our games while the mom and her kid were looking for said ’employee.’ The kid looks up at me and said, ‘That’s him!’
The mom just exploded on me with a ton of vitriol, saying she’s going to have me fired and blah blah blah. Meanwhile, my buddy and I were cracking up, he told me something like, ‘Oh no, you’re going to get fired, dude,’ or asking the person ringing us up if we can have my employee discount before I’m terminated. This circus is only causing me to laugh harder, which in turn made her even angrier.
In the midst of me on the verge of tears from laughing, this lady losing her mind, my buddy goaded this woman on further and messing with the GameStop employees asking for my employee discount, the manager came up front and asked what was going on.
Lady explains how I was rude to her son and refused to do my job, how I used foul language at her child and I was very unprofessional, she wanted me gone, etc., etc. The manager looked at me, looked back at this lady, at me, back at the lady and told her, ‘Ma’am, he doesn’t work for GameStop.’
My buddy then spoke up, ‘So, I take it that’s a no on his employee discount?'”
That Couple Took Their Turkey Problem Way Too Far
“My day started with me showing up to work only to realize that the day was my day off. With my day off, I decided to go and buy a turkey for Thanksgiving next week. I didn’t go back to my home to change because the store was close, so I went to the store in a typical office outfit, not thinking anything of it.
There were plenty of turkeys, and I chose a nice big FAT one. I was salivating already. As I was about to put it into my cart, this older woman says, ‘I’ll take that one.’ and reached for it. I thought that this was some joke she was making. Like, ‘That is a nice turkey, I’ll take it,’ only to pretend to grab it. So I chuckled until she actually has her hands on the turkey and started to try to take it. I was shocked and asked what she is doing. She became all huffy and whiny and said, ‘I thought you were restocking the turkey, and since you were holding it I felt it was better to grab it from you then have to bend over and grab one and potentially hurt my back!’
‘Restock it? Wait, I don’t work here, and I was putting the turkey into the cart, not out of it.’
She got really upset and grabbed her husband’s attention. This guy looked like one of those ‘my wife is a queen and should be treated as such’ types. He looked at me like I was some snot-nosed teenager who needed to be told how to respect people, even though I was pushing 30. ‘Son, now you give her that turkey, and maybe I won’t report you to your manager.’
I just looked at him and said, ‘I’m…sorry? I don’t actually work here. There are plenty of other turkeys. I mean if she needs help putting a turkey in her cart I won’t mind helping, but you seem like you are capable of doing that.’
He then raised his voice at me, I am sure people all through the store could hear him. ‘I Tried To Be Fair With You! Give Her That Turkey On The Count Of Three, Or I Will Have No Choice But To Put The Fear Of God Into You! One…Two!’
At this point, I was pretty much just thinking what the heck all over in my head. Was this guy for real? I just wanted this turkey. There were plenty of other turkeys. Why was this one so special? Thankfully, the manager was close by and interrupted him
‘Is everything alright over here?’
The man looked at him and said, ‘Yes! Your employee over here is refusing to give my wife that turkey! She has a bad back and trying to lift one of these turkeys could cause her harm! I should sue you and this loser you hired for attempting to cause my wife bodily harm!”
The manager looked at me, seeing that I CLEARLY do not work here, and said to him, ‘Sir, this man doesn’t work here. He has no obligation to give you that turkey. Please calm down and I will grab another turkey for you, otherwise, I will have to ask you to leave.’
The man’s face turned red and he just lost it, ‘HOW DARE YOU TALK TO ME IN SUCH DISRESPECT!! I WILL HAVE YOU KNOW THAT THIS IS NO MAN, THIS IS A BOY WHO NEEDS TO BE TAUGHT A LESSON IN MANNER AND I SHOULD GIVE YOU THE SAME TREATMENT TOO!’
His wife looked at me like a teacher would at a misbehaving student, ‘You see what you caused? Your mother must have been a horrible parent if this is the child that she raised.’
Oh no. No, heck no. My mother just died a few before ago and this….no.
‘You know what….here. Take it! Take this stupid turkey. Go. Have it! It is not freaking worth putting up with this freaking Jerry Springer act. So have your dng turkey!” I slammed it into their cart and stormed out.
I thought I would be done with them, but Mr. Anger Management decided that I didn’t excuse myself from the table properly enough.
‘Excuse me, you disrespectful brat! I demand an apology for how you treated my wife and I want it right now!’
So I gave it to him, I flipped him off and told him he can shove this up his booty along with that turkey, then I let him know that my mother died only a few weeks ago and told him to thank his wife for what she said.
I’d never been punched in the face before, so I can mark that off my bucket list. So yeah, when the cops asked if I wanted to press charges against him, you bet your butt I did!
I didn’t even get my turkey.”
I’d Be Dreading Those Calls
“For a couple of times a week, for the last several months, I had been receiving phone calls from an employer in my city. They had an employee who apparently worked for them on a contract, on-call basis, and this employee seemed to have given them my phone number instead of his own on his employment records. Therefore, I was getting calls from this employer on days when they wanted him to come into work.
I had told them repeatedly they had the wrong number, and I don’t know the person, so I couldn’t forward the message. I told them the same thing later in the day when they call back complaining that this guy didn’t show up for work. It had gotten to the point where I considered the calls to be harassment, and unfortunately, my cell phone service does not give me the option of blocking a phone number.
My responses to their repeated calls had become more obnoxious as time went on, yet they still persisted in calling me. At this point, if neither the employee nor the employer had learned enough from the situation to correct their records, I’m thinking they deserve each other. Employer deserved an AWOL employee, and the employee deserved a lack of employment. I’m over it.”
She Was Definitely Not The Person To Yell At
“I actually witnessed this interaction not too long ago when I was shopping at my local store, with the blue-polo-and-tan-khaki-pants uniform style. Over in the next aisle was another customer, (I’ll call her ‘Customer #1’) — wearing a white button-up shirt and dark khaki pants. Based on her dress (even though it was non-standard for the store, it looked professional) and general ‘no-nonsense’ demeanor I guess I can partly understand why Customer #2 assumed automatically that Customer #1 was a manager.
The exchange proceeded as follows:
Customer #2 (making a beeline for Customer #1): ‘Thank God, I’ve been looking for a manager for 15 minutes. I’ve been having a problem with my…’
Customer #1: ‘Sorry, I don’t work here, there should be a manager up front.’
Customer #2 (flustered, a bit annoyed): ‘I’ve been waiting to find you for 20 minutes, you’re not going to brush me off that easily. Now here’s what I need…’
This escalated through several rounds of conversation, with customer #2 escalating her offense, disbelief, and general attitude of entitlement, while customer #1 escalated in parallel, finally using her best crowd-control voice…
…as she pulls out her badge and identifies herself as an off-duty police officer.
Customer #1: ‘MY NAME IS LIEUTENANT [her name] AND I’M OFF-DUTY WITH [city] POLICE. BACK OFF NOW OR I PLACE YOU UNDER ARREST!’
Customer #2 (on auto-pilot and taking a while to process): ‘…NEVER BEEN TREATED SO POORLY IN MY LIFE! I’M GOING TO REPORT THIS ENTIRE STORE TO YOUR HEADQUAR… ahh … umm …’
Then customer #2’s face turned various shades of red and ghost-white in turn. Then she fainted. Paramedics had to be called. I got to be an official witness for the police report.”
She’s Lovin’ It
“I worked for McDonald’s. The location of my store was surrounded by grocery stores, so it’s convenient for me to do my grocery shopping when I get off work on a Friday night. I walked in with headphones on, red and black polo that CLEARLY SAID MCDONALD’S untucked, McDonald’s hat still on. At this particular grocery store, employees wore black slacks with a white button-down. I was just browsing the pasta aisle when all of a sudden someone comes up to me, pulls out one of my headphones and says, ‘You work here, right? You shouldn’t be listening to music while you’re stocking. Now do your job and help me find (some toiletry item, paper towels or something).’
Um. What? I said, ‘Ma’am, I’m off the clock and I DON’T EVEN WORK HERE, get away from me and let me buy my macaroni noodles.’
She immediately went to find a manager. She found me a few rows later, the manager in tow, and started screeching. The manager finally got a word in edgewise and said, ‘Ma’am, she doesn’t work here, she’s a customer just like you.’
‘BUT SHE HAS A NAME TAG ON!’
Yeah, and that name tag also said McDonald’s on it, as did my hat, as did my shirt. Clearly, I didn’t work at that grocery store.”
You Should’ve Gotten Paid For That
“This happened at a big box store in high school (over a decade ago). I lived in a small town, and there was a fairly new big box store. So, to fend off boredom, a friend and I went there to just look around. We’re wandering the aisles, looking at cheap Velcro shoes in the shoe aisle. Suddenly, a small gentleman came up to us, holding a single shoe.
He asked us in a polite tone, ‘You help me?’ And gestured towards the shoe. Clearly, this was not his primary language, but he was trying. We both apologized and began to explain. Neither of us worked there. Employees wear blue…
He cut us off. ‘You help…ME,’ in a polite, but insistent, tone. I looked at my friend. He shrugged. We helped this guy look for shoes for about 10 minutes. He thanked us and left.”
Class Is In Session
“I was walking to work. I was wearing jeans and some random t-shirt, had my purse and a plastic bag with my lunch, and was smoking. I was 25 at the time, small frame, so I was regularly mistaken for being younger.
As I was passing a bakery, 20-30 high school kids come out and start walking right ahead of me. Since I’m smoking and the wind is blowing forward, I decided to wait for traffic to cross the road to get away from the students. Mrs. Teacher lady must have smelled the smoke and looked back to see me stopped, waiting to cross the road.
She basically exploded, ‘I can’t believe you would try to pull that! You know how I feel about smoking and on a field trip none the less! When we get back to school you’re going straight to detention!’ So now I’m confused, a few students turn to look at me when they’re confused, and apparently, the teacher’s confused to why I was smoking.
‘Uhm. I’m not in your class.’ Traffic opened up and I attempted to cross, she stopped me.
‘That’s not the point! Smoking is against school rules no matter what homeroom you’re in!’
‘No, like, I don’t go to your school at all. I’m 25. I’m going to work.’
Silence. Amazing, hilarious, awkward silence. Finally, a student piped up, ‘Yeah, no, I’ve never seen that girl before.’ A few others agreed. The teacher still didn’t speak.
‘I’m, uhm, I’m gonna cross the road now.’
Teacher like half nodded and mumbled yeah, a few students snickered and laughed. I gave them the peace sign because I was still only half awake and hadn’t processed what just happened.”
Now That’s Dedication!
“After I finished up a grueling shift at the restaurant I worked at, I remembered just then that I had to swing by a store for some items before I went home. I contemplated going home to change out of my uniform, but I figured that if I went home I would be too lazy to leave again. My uniform consisted of a Polo or button-down shirt with khakis, and a name tag pinned to my shirt.
I drove over to the store, and as I was walking in the store, I took off my name tag and put it in my pocket so that people won’t just see a name tag and think I worked there, even though my name tag also said the name of the restaurant.
I was browsing the store for the particular items I wanted, and this lady was just staring at me. I was looking at her through my peripheral vision my whole time, and she wasn’t moving at all. Just staring at me. I got weirded out, so I turned toward her so I could walk past her. As I was passing her, she gave me a disgusted look and says, ‘Excuse me! I’m looking at you because I needed help, and you just look at me and pass me by?!? How dare you!!’
Absolutely tired of all the stress from my own job, I just replied, ‘It’s because I don’t work here, ma’am.’
She obviously was too infuriated at me to believe me at all. ‘Don’t give me excuses! Now tell me if you have more of [some random item].’
I was tired, hungry, and ready to take a nice nap at home, so I wasn’t going to let this lady impede me from doing so. So, I snapped at her, ‘Look lady! I already told you that I don’t work here. Even if I did, you shouldn’t just stare at me expecting me to help you, and get all offended if I don’t.’
I then remembered that I had my name tag in my pocket. I took it out and showed her. ‘Look, I work at [restaurant]. Not here. Now please let me get the things I wanted and I’ll leave.’
As soon as I showed her my name tag, she became quiet. But you could still see the anger and rage in her eyes. I checked out and went home.
All this happened and then the next day, I was a couple of hours into my shift, and I was at the front, and my manager just happened to be there with me at the time. All of a sudden, a familiar lady walks in… the same lady who was yelling at me yesterday.
Immediately, I thought, is this a coincidence, or did she actually follow me here? Then I remembered showing her my name tag, which also had the restaurants name on it, so I’m guessing she just remembered where I worked.
She walked to the front desk and looked at my manager, ‘Are you the manager?’
‘Yes, I am,’ He replies.
‘Well, I want to talk to you about your employee here,’ she said, pointing at me. She then went on to say how much of an inconsiderate and rude person I am, and she told him what happened at the store, and how my manager shouldn’t have an employee like me working here.
My manager replied, ‘I’m sorry you had that experience, but I’m not responsible for anything he does outside of working hours.’
He gave me a look of ‘I got your back, bro.’ The lady just yelled at us, ‘Well, I’m never eating at this place that lets people like him (pointing at me again) work here!!’ And then she storms out of the building, hopefully never to be seen or heard from again.”
It Was Quite The Food Court Frenzy
“I worked as a manager at a fast food restaurant. On this particular day, I had an open shift (4:30am-2pm) and after finishing, I decided I’d pop into the local shopping center to pick up a couple of things I need and also grab a bite to eat. After my shift, I changed out of my shirt into a plain t-shirt and wore a hoodie over this. Essentially, I was wearing black nondescript pants and a blue hoodie. Anyway, I got my shopping done and decided to head down to the food court to grab a bite to eat. Burger in hand, I sat down at a table and popped my headphones in to listen to some music while I browsed my phone and ate my (late) lunch.
All of a sudden, someone slammed their hand on my table down in front of me. I looked up and there’s a middle-aged woman looking at me with a severely angry expression.
Woman: ‘Excuse me, I said I need that table’
Me: ‘Uhh sorry?’
Woman: ‘That table, I need it, get up.’
At this point, I was entirely confused and getting quite annoyed at this person interrupting my burger time.
Me: ‘Look ma’am, I don’t know what you think you’re doing, but as you can see, I’m using this table right now.’
Woman: ‘(In a mocking tone) Mall employees have to give up their seats to paying customers.’
I felt I should mention a couple of things here. Firstly, there was absolutely no such rule stating that shopping center employees had to give up their seats. Secondly, this was a food court; as a shopping center employee, I could’ve been working at any number of food stores. Thirdly, I in no way looked like I worked at any of the food stores here (I was for all intents and purposes wearing casual clothes) and I had a bunch of shopping bags at my feet.
Me: ‘Leave me alone lady, I don’t even work here.’
Woman: ‘HOW DARE YOU TALK TO ME THAT WAY. I NEED THIS TABLE! WHERE IS YOUR MANAGER?’
At this, I actually burst into laughter at the comical nature of everything. I thought I was being pranked by some friends or something for a second.
Me: ‘(still laughing) I’m not getting up for you and I’m not talking to you anymore. Go find somewhere else to sit.’
Woman: ‘TELL ME WHERE YOU WORK NOW WHERE IS YOUR MANAGER.’
At this point, I put my headphones back in and continued to laugh at her while she had this temper tantrum in the middle of the food court and people stared. When she noticed she wasn’t going to get anywhere she stormed off in a huff. Her teenage daughter looked absolutely mortified throughout the whole encounter.
I mean honestly, what did she think was going happen? The whole situation was just so bizarre it was almost surreal. Even if I did work at a store in the shopping center, I wouldn’t have given up my seat for someone asking so rudely. The fact that she had to ask where I worked should’ve been a red flag that I didn’t work there.”
There Was No Gas Left In That Town
“Last summer, a friend and I worked together in a national park. There was a semi-large fire for a while that put us out of work. After the fire was contained, and we returned to work, we decided to go for a drive to check out the damage. We pulled over at what used to be a well-known historic inn which had a small convenience store with a single gas pump out front. Of course, the inn and store were made of wood so they were completely incinerated, right along with all the trees in the area.
We were there exploring, looking in disbelief at the huge amount of melted glass and general rubble that used to be a store. We had just been there a month before on our way to the river and we mentioned how we will never again get to have more of their incredible homemade ice-cream, etc.
While we are standing there, a full car with a family of five pulls right to the pump. This pump is the only thing left standing anywhere around. I don’t know how it still stood. The dad was driving and starts asking us if the pump takes debit. We were taken aback by his question because this was very clearly not an operating gas station. There was no building, just burned trees, rubble and a blackened gas pump. My friend took the reigns on this one first and explained that there is no gas due to the fire here and the gas station was burned to the ground. He completely ignored her attempt to explain the obvious and instead looked to me and asked, ‘So how do I pay for gas?’ I told him he can’t, how it was no longer a functioning pump and that it doesn’t work. He became extremely angry and said, ‘But my GPS TOLD me this was a gas station! Where is the gas station?!’
My friend and I look at him and answer in perfect unison, ‘We’re STANDING on it!!’
Despite all of this, the guy just doesn’t seem to be able to grasp what we were saying. He started complaining, now angrily, that his kids had to use the bathroom and that he needed gas badly. There wasn’t another gas station until all the way back where he came from (20 miles through twisty mountain roads) since the road was still closed off ahead of us to prevent access the areas with the worst damage.
This guy not only refused to believe the gas pump didn’t work, but he also had to try for himself, all while continuing to complain how ridiculous it is that we were telling him he can’t get gas. We watched him realize there was no debit card slot on this old burned gas pump and that was when he really lost it.
He gave us both a strange, menacing look as if it were our fault or like we were playing some sort of an elaborate prank on him. I think it must have dawned on him that we work in the area since we knew so much about it. He demanded to know where we work, seeing as how we were so unhelpful with his problem. We told him, too. What was he going to do? (Hint: nothing happened) We directed him to turn around and go back to where we work and where he most likely started his journey that day since there literally was nowhere else for him to go. It would have been hilarious if he wasn’t so angry about it all. Finally, the guy realizes this is going nowhere and got back in the car and sped off, continuing on in the wrong direction on a road that led to nothing.
We still laugh about the sheer stupidity of this man. They almost definitely ran out of gas and I can guarantee they had no cell service that deep into the woods.”
Her Entire Melt Down Was All For Nothing
“I worked for a university police service as a security officer. My uniform consisted of a white shirt with grey slacks and a blue striped tie. I also carried standard effects like a badge, radio, knife, handcuffs, flashlight, etc. On this particular instance, I wasn’t working so I threw my badge in my pocket.
I rolled into a grocery store where employees wore brown slacks and green polos and started putting together a dinner for the evening (it was spicy tacos!). While I’m doing my thing, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned to see a woman in her mid 40’s, who asked me where are the pretzel buns were. After a second of wondering how she mistook me for an employee, I indicated the general direction of the bread and told her she could head that way to find what she was looking for. Noticeably dissatisfied with that answer, she said, ‘Do your job and come find them for me.’ At that point it went from simple misunderstanding to annoying entitlement.
I told her I wasn’t going to help her and when she asked why, I responded with the truth: ‘Well, I have no obligation to help you because I’m not an employee here and I choose not to help you because I don’t feel like it.’ Apparently, that was an unsatisfactory response and my ‘lack of initiative’ was something my manager was going to hear about. Had she left to find a manager, I’d probably just ignored her. But that’s not what happened. I was obviously lying, so she doubled down and started yelling and involving other customers.
‘Look! This piece of crap employee won’t help me.’
People other than myself started to be bothered by this woman’s attitude, so I made the decision to end the discussion as quickly as possible. I pulled out my badge and said, ‘Ma’am, this is your only warning. I’m an officer with [university] police. Back off now!’ She stopped for a moment, muttered something I didn’t catch, then walked away still steaming from the ears. I went back to my soft vs hard shell debate.
Less than five minutes later guess who showed up with what looked like the oldest employee she could find. (The old guy HAS to be the manager, right?) She moaned, ‘Your employee is pretending to be a police officer!’ The old guy is a cashier who recognizes me from previous late night visits and greeted me with a ‘what the heck?’ look on his face.
He turned to the woman and said, ‘He’s definitely not an employee and I’m pretty sure he IS a cop!’
She just wasn’t having it. ‘Fine!’ she grunted. ‘I don’t care. Don’t help me.’ She turns to the cashier, ‘All I wanna know is where are your freaking pretzel buns?’
He looked at her and delivered the best news I’d heard all night: ‘Ma’am, we don’t sell those.'”
Wrong Store, Wrong State
“I was traveling for a job interview a few months back and needed to pick up a replacement charger for my phone as my car charger was shorting out. I was dressed up, blue button down, black slacks, blue and white striped tie.
So I went into a large electronics retailer in the area, partially to kill time because I had an hour before my interview. I was browsing PC headsets because my dog sat on my old one and snapped the headband when a lady walked up to me and crossed her arms and started tapping her foot, clearly upset. I started to walk away, assuming I’m blocking her view of headsets when she cleared her throat.
L: ‘Um, can I get some help?’
Me: ‘Oh, I’m sorry ma’am, I don’t work here, but I can try to answer any questions you have.’
And that’s when she lost it.
L: ‘All of you freaking employees here are so rude. You just want to take my money and not give any service!’
Me: ‘Lady, I don’t work here. I’m a customer just like you.’
L: ‘Then why the freak are you dressed in the uniform?’
Now, the uniform there is a white button down and a black tie. And a name tag.
Me: ‘Let me flag down an employee and get someone who can help you.’
L: ‘No, I want your manager, I’m getting you fired.’
Me: ‘Uh, I work for a furniture retailer in another state and am dressed like this because I’m in Ohio for job interviews with a few tech companies, let me find an employee for you.’
L: ‘No, you’re going to get your manager here, now.’
At this point, I’m getting angry. I unlocked my phone and proceed to call my work – a state away. I put it on speaker phone.
Boss: ‘Thank you for calling [furniture store] in Indianapolis, this is Boss.’
Me : ‘Hey B, it’s [me]. I’m in Ohio at [electronics retailer] and a lady wanted to talk to my manager.’
B: ‘Uh, ok.’
Lady looked at me, jaw dropped.
L: ‘Hello, I’m at your store in Columbus and your employee refuses to help me, I want him fired.’
B: ‘Uh, he doesn’t work for [electronics retailer.] Are you at furniture store?’
L: ‘No, he told you where we are. I want him fired.’
B: ‘Well, I’m not going to fire him for not working at a store he doesn’t work at, but he’s pretty resourceful, I’m sure he can find help for you.’
L: ‘Well, why can’t he help me?’
At this point, my boss hangs up.
Lady looks at me all annoyed, threw the mouse she was carrying on the floor and stomped out, yelling about calling corporate on me and I refused to tell her my name.
I flagged down a manager and explained the situation, just so he doesn’t have to investigate when the complaint came in.”
She Couldn’t Seem To Understand This
“This was a while ago when I was 17 years old. I had just finished my shift at Waitrose (a UK supermarket), my mum picked me up from work and we stopped off at a petrol station on the way home. The petrol station was one of those that were part chain-supermarket – this one was part Marks & Spencers.
(For clarification, my uniform was white, with a green tie, and a grey apron with ‘WAITROSE’ emblazoned on it. The Marks & Spencers’ uniform is all black. I was also wearing a coat and had my hair down.)
I was just browsing waiting for my mum to pay when a lady came up to me:
Lady: ‘Where are the nuts?’
Me: ‘Oh, really sorry, I don’t work here.’ (I then pointed to the huge ‘WAITROSE’ on the front of my apron. ‘I’m just still in my work uniform from Waitrose.’
Lady: ‘…So where are the nuts?’
Me: ‘As I said, don’t work here, so I don’t know. I’m sorry?’
Lady: ‘Excuse me? Where’s your supervisor, you’re being rude.’
Me: ‘I wouldn’t know since I don’t work here? There’s an employee over there, I’m sure they’ll know where the nuts are.’
The lady then stormed over the M&S employee and started loudly proclaiming that a ‘member of their staff’ was being rude to her and refusing to serve her by pretending to not work in the shop. I made eye contact with the employee and gestured to my ‘WAITROSE’ apron. The employee explained to the lady that I didn’t work there.
Lady: ‘Then why is she PRETENDING to work here?’
Employee: ‘She’s just doing her shopping like you were.’
Lady: ‘That’s ridiculous. She needs to leave, she’s confusing people. You should ask her to leave.’
Employee: ‘I’m not going to do that, she has as much right to be here as you.’
Lady: ‘That’s ridiculous, I want to speak to your manager.’
At this point I was on my way out anyway, so I didn’t hear how the lady was dealt with, but I’ve never experienced something like that again.”
Well That’s Embarrassing For Her
“Last night, after a long shift at work, I stopped by a grocery store to grab a couple of things on my way home. Keep in mind, I had spent all day dealing with rude customers so I was already grumpy and ready to finish shopping so I could go home for some ice cream therapy. I was wearing my uniform (red polo and black pants) but I also was wearing a sweater, a purse, and had a grocery basket with me.
I stopped in front of the frozen food section and wondered if I had enough energy to cook or I should just be lazy and grab something microwaveable. As I’m pondering this important decision, I heard someone behind me clear their throat. Out of habit, I step to the side, assuming I’m in the way.
Then I heard, ‘Oh my god, seriously?’ This got my attention, and I kind of glance over my shoulder and there’s this girl with her boyfriend, but right as I glance at her, she looked up, annoyed, at her boyfriend. Lovers’ quarrel, I assumed and walked down the aisle a little more.
Nope! I was wrong again.
“Are you freaking kidding? I have a dang question. Isn’t it, like, your job to be helping the customers or are you stupid or something?’
I stopped. I turned to face this girl, who is now standing with her hands on her hips with all the sense of entitlement in the world as her boyfriend looks away, slightly embarrassed. And before I said anything, she continued on.
‘I’m trying to find something that’s not on the shelf, but I need you to check if you have more in the back. I mean, you can at least handle that right?’
Oh heck no. I’ve had enough of this at my work today. I was not going to put up with this brat.
“First off. I don’t freaking work here. Second, even if I did, that’s NOT how you ask someone a question. I don’t know what sort of person you think you are that you can talk to people like that, but you’re wrong. If you’re asking someone to do something for you, there should be a “please” and “thank you” in there. So, please leave me the heck alone. Thank you.’
I turned around, grabbed myself some Hot Pockets and stormed away as she stuttered and tried to find a comeback.”
It Was Self Defense!
“As a grown woman, I am shy, anxious, hate confrontation and try my best to avoid eye contact. I have also always had the habit of flailing and trying to escape when someone touches me unexpectedly. I’ve accidentally hit many people in the past, mostly family members and a couple of friends. They’ve all been cool about it, especially because I always apologize and they have usually been warned beforehand. I’m not very strong either, so my panicky, limp-wristed flailing doesn’t usually hurt when it connects.
With that said, at twelve, I was far worse. One day, my mother had injured herself at work and, while she could drive, she had trouble walking. So, after school, I was sent into the grocery store for the essentials while she waited in the car. It was my first time shopping alone. I was nervous as can be and just tried to grab the stuff and get out of there.
It’s been a while, but I know I was wearing a t-shirt, probably with snoopy or tweety bird on it, jean shorts and velcro shoes, because that was generally what I wore at that time. When I reached my full height of 5’9″ early, and was probably 5’5″ or so at this time, I was still very obviously a kid.
On the way to the milk, I ducked down an aisle to avoid a group coming my way and noticed a display of old-fashioned creme soda, sold in the individual bottles. I’d been given permission to get something for myself and I loved these sodas, but they were hard to find, so I was definitely getting some.
As I was loading up my basket, I heard someone behind me clear their throat. Thinking I was blocking the path, I did not look back at them and just moved closer to the shelf. Then, I heard an aggressive sounding, ‘Excuse me!’ So, I stepped to the side, thinking I was blocking what this person wanted, and reached up high for one more soda on the top shelf.
That’s when I felt a hand clamp down on my shoulder, gripping tightly as long nails dug in hard. The woman yanked me around while yelling something to the effect of, ‘Get me the dang soda! NOW, you lazy, worthless, little jerk!’ That’s when I let out a terrified yelp, stumbled back and flailed at her. With my left hand. The hand that was holding the heavy glass bottle of soda. I can still remember the dull clank it made as it collided with that woman’s head.
She let me go.
I don’t know what her response was, because I dropped the shopping basket and ran away, crying hysterically. (Not my proudest moment.) I ran out, jumped in the car and begged my mother to just go. She did. I think she assumed I’d had a panic attack or something, but thankfully, she didn’t question it at the time. I didn’t manage to calm down enough to tell her what happened until we got home. She checked my shoulder and found that the woman’s fingernails had actually cut through my shirt and torn into my skin. It was surprisingly painful.
I don’t know if the woman complained about the ‘crazy employee’ who attacked her, but I do know that the next time my mother went shopping, she came home with lots of coupons. (She was a regular. Most employees recognized the chatty, friendly lady and her very quiet daughter who hid behind her.) I assumed one of the actual employees noticed me run out crying.
I have since learned to control my more wild flailing, instead just putting a hand up between me and the other person while cringing away, but, even though I thought I was to blame at the time, I now think this lady deserved what she got. If you lay your hands on someone hard enough to draw blood, you deserve to get cracked in the cranium with creme soda.”