When you’re out shopping the last thing you want is to be treated like you’re at work. Well, that is exactly what happened to these poor folks. These shoppers rag on when a stupid customer believed they were an employee.
Well, That’s An Embarrassing Mistake For A Manager!
“I’m an IT engineer by trade, and do a lot of traveling and face-to-face work with customers so by policy it’s nice shirts, a tie, and shiny shoes on a daily basis (that regularly end up covered in dust). I was out doing some work for a local insurance company (faulty server, nothing major) and got kicked out over lunch hour, so I went to their local big brand store to grab a bite to eat. I won’t name names.
So, there I am waltzing into the store wondering what over-priced treats await me in the hot food section when I’m stopped in my tracks by an older man in a suit. Steps in front of me, arms crossed, face like thunder. Looks vaguely like Jack Nicholson. Asks me what I’m doing. I look confused and have no idea how to respond. Guess I probably looked at him like he was mental.
He follows up with: ‘You were supposed to be here at 9 am. This is unacceptable. My office. Now.’
Me: ‘Sorry, what?’
‘You were supposed to be here at 9 am. When I request management cover from another store, I expect you on time, not when it suits you.’
Me: ‘Yeah, I think you’ve mistaken me for someone else, sorry.’
‘Ryan, let me put it this way. My office or you won’t have a job tomorrow,’ he said.
Me: ‘That’s not my name, I don’t work here. I think you’ve mistaken me for…’
(then his actions interrupted me)
He pulls a face – obviously not believing me. He gets as close as he can to me physically (Close enough for a good, manly hug), then he attempts to herd me towards the door behind him marked STAFF ONLY waving his arms towards me at waist level like he was trying to waft a fart in my face. I also do some teaching part-time at a local college (IT courses, of course) so at this point, I figure my best line of action is to use Angry Teacher Voice.
Me: ‘Right, I don’t know who you think I am, but I don’t work here. And Pete’s sake, get out of my face.’
It causes him to pause. He’s obviously catching on that someone junior to him is unlikely to swear at him. I can see him staring at my chest (I’m male. Get your mind out of the gutter). Of course. I’m wearing the same colored lanyard as his store employees. Just like he is. And I’m in a suit. I probably look like management! It dawns on him that he might be wrong and notices the logo on the lanyard is most definitely not that of his store.
What does he do? Turns bright red, and just walks away. Doesn’t. Say. A. Word.
One of their employees was watching this whole thing and burst out laughing. He came up to me and we had a brief friendly chat. Apparently, it was one of the junior regional managers that had just accosted me. Laughs were had, I got my delicious Cumberland sausage and noticed my receipt was missing about half the items. The same employee I’d had a laugh with had been on checkout. Guess I got a cheap lunch for keeping someone entertained.
Definitely a very odd encounter. I haven’t been back in that part of the country since, or in the same store. I wonder if tales are still told of the sharply dressed man that told the regional manager to get the heck out of his face?”
In All Honesty…Why Did He Do That Though?!
“One time while I was shopping in a busy shoe store, a young teenager came up to me and asked me to measure his feet and handed a couple of samples of shoes he wanted.
I looked around and said ‘What the heck.’
I had him sit down and take off his beat-up Van shoes. He wasn’t wearing any socks and his bare feet looked a bit nasty and smelled. I measured his bare feet and figured he wore a size ten and a half. I snuck into the back storeroom and got the correct sizes of the shoes he wanted to try on. I gave him a couple of nylon footies to place over his bare feet when he tried on the new shoes.
He said that was for girls and he refused. I told him they were for everyone to keep germs and other things from being transferred to other customers. I gave him a baby wipe to clean his bare feet before he put on a cheap no-show sock with his first shoe.
His big toe and index toe were cramped when I pressed down on the shoe and get the next size up.
He liked the shoe and also wanted of pair of flops to which he took off the no-show socks and tried them in bare feet. He walked around and when he came back, I suggested he get a pedicure. His toenails were long and wearing those flops showed them. He did a double-take on looking at his toes and thanked me. A couple of his girls that were good friends had suggested the same thing. I took off the flops from his feet, put them in the box, and handed him both boxes as he slipped on his Vans.
I pointed to where to pay for them and as he walked away, I slipped out thru a side entrance.
I bumped into him a week later in the same mall in the food court. He was wearing a newer pair of Vans (again with no socks) and slipped them off to show me his pedicured toes. He never figured out that I didn’t work at the shoe store.”
Terrorized At Target
“I was shopping in our local Target. Target, as you know, has a red t-shirt for a uniform, I was wearing a red dress shirt and slacks from my day job, no tie no name tag.
It had been a long day at work, I had driven 500 miles to a job and back and wasn’t in any mood to be messed with. I was looking for something that I could throw in the microwave and eat from the tray. Rummaging through I found a Lean Cuisine that didn’t look too horrible when I was accosted by what is known here as a decrepit old Karen.
She jabbed me in the back and demanded some item that I didn’t catch.
I said something like, ‘Sorry, I don’t work here,’ and went back to my shopping.
Lady yells at me to ‘Come back here, young man.’ Which made me laugh as I was in my late 50s at the time.
I decided to ignore her. She persisted.
Finally, I snapped.
‘Bug off and stop bothering me,’ I barked.
She went white. Even whiter than she was before. She grabbed a passerby who turned out to be a departmental manager.
She starts screaming at him, pointing at me and the poor beggar looked confused.
I’ve never seen him before, he doesn’t work here.
The lady continued to rant at him. I went over and told him that this woman had assaulted me but I was ok and wouldn’t be calling the police on her.
He broke off from her and came towards me.
The lady went off one again, screaming and waving her arms around. She was demanding an apology from the store and from me.
The manager was great: his reaction was to get her thrown out of the shop. Turns out she was well known in there. She was on her last warning and was subsequently banned from the premises.”
“LADY, I DO NOT WORK HERE!”
“This was at a Sears Automotive Center.
On my way home from work one morning, I got a flat tire. I am tired and aggravated. The one thing I want to do is go to bed but I need a new tire. So I say forget it and drive to the local Sears.
Now I work for a railroad. That day I was wearing a work uniform that looked a lot like the ones the automotive employees wear. The only difference was that mine had my company name on it.
So being tired and aggravated I decide to have a smoke. Then my phone rings and I answer it. As I was having my smoke and on the phone, with a friend, I feel a tap on my shoulder. I turn around and there is a lady rattling her keys in my face.
Lady: ‘Take my car around and start working on it.’
Me: ‘I’m sorry I don’t work here. If you go inside I am sure someone will help you.’
Lady: ‘Don’t lie to me. I see your shirt.’
Me: ‘Ma’am, I work for a railroad. A lot of blue-collar workers wear shirts like this. Mine has my company name on it.’
Lady: ‘Don’t lie to me. Do you want me to get your manager?’
Me: ‘Whatever floats your boat.’
My friend was on the line the whole time. He was laughing really hard. So we made our plans for the night and then I put my phone away.
So a few minutes later the manager of the service department comes out with the lady.
Lady: ‘That is the person right there.’
Manager: ‘That person is a customer. Their shirt says what company they work for.’
Lady: ‘Quit lying to me. I know they work here. I want them fired.’
Me: ‘Ma’am, I DO NOT WORK HERE! I WORK FOR A RAILROAD. I WORKED LAST NIGHT, I AM TIRED, AGGRAVATED, AND NOW I AM TICKED OFF! LEAVE ME ALONE.’
She walks off in a huff. I have another smoke to calm down and a few minutes later the manager comes out and tells me my car is finished.
As I go back in to pay the lady comes back one last time. This time she has the General Manager. The GM explains to us what the lady said. Then I spoke up.
Me: ‘I was having a smoke. She walks up to me rattling her keys in my face for me to work on her car. I explained to her twice that I do not work here. The manager explained it to her. Honestly, if she listened to me in the first place her car would be worked on already and possibly be finished. I guess she is too stupid to realize this.’
The GM looked at her and then at me. Then he kicked her out. Plus he gave me a nice discount on the tires I bought. As for the lady, I saw her a few months later, in another store doing the exact same thing to somebody who did not work in that store. Knowing her MO, I waited for the person while she found a manager. When she came back I explained to the manager what she did to me a few months previously. That time the police were called. Not by the manager but by her. Soon she was led out of the store. I haven’t seen her since.”
“I Think Micheal Broke That Guy…”
“So a few years back I worked the tools section of a retail store and we would have this regular customer from a local mechanic shop come by probably every few weeks. This guy who we will call Micheal would come in covered in grease, with soiled gloves in his pocket, and wearing a uniform of completely different colors from our store. In short, there really should’ve been no way to mistake this guy as an employee.
Anyways M was always nice to me and my coworkers but without fail, every time he came in someone would ask him where something is or how to check the inventory for some item and he seemed to really enjoy messing with people who did that.
One day I’m working at the cash register checking out items for Micheal and this lady comes in and instead of talking to me, the employee behind the counter who could actually help her, she goes to him and demanded Micheal help her find something or correct some issue. At the moment I was looking down at the computer and actually started to respond figuring she was talking to me. But was quickly shut down and ignored. This lady had no interest in me because I looked young and inexperienced probably (I was only 18 at the time). After a second of trying to get his attention Micheal just says ‘No.’
This woman confused and infuriated goes ‘Excuse me what do you mean no?’
To which M just said, ‘I mean I’m not going to help you and I’m not interested in it.’
At this point, the lady is going ballistic. All attempts for me to try and tell her he doesn’t work here fell on deaf ears. So she swore she would file a complaint about him and sue him legally. She asked to know his manager and M being the guy that he is said go ahead and even gave her his managers name and his own.
On a separate occasion, I watched as a guy again saw me then turns to ask M for help … Micheal just plainly says, ‘No.’ The guy had such a face of confusion and being dazed that I watched as he just kinnda walked out the store as if he was defeated. I honestly think Micheal broke the guy, he just seemed so lost after that comment. The customer did come back a few minutes later with renewed confidence it seemed and this time came to me so I actually was able to help him
I’m not sure what it is about Micheal that makes people think he works at my store. But I figure in some way Micheal probably enjoys being able to give the responses all retail workers wish they could give to annoying customers. After all it wasn’t his shop so he wasn’t going to get in trouble and it’s not his fault our customers can’t read his shirt which had his auto shop’s name embroidered on it.”
Mother Mistaken For An Employee
“Many years ago my husband and I were at a local amusement park with our kids. If I remember correctly, it was a very busy Saturday afternoon and it started raining so everyone crammed into the arcade.
I had our youngest in a baby stroller and had just just stepped away from the token machine to put my tokens in my fanny pack.
Some woman started waving a $20 bill in my face and asked me for change. I told her that I did not have change for a 20 but I was certain that if she asked someone who worked there that they would be glad to help her. She started arguing with me that I worked there. I tried explaining to her that I did not work there, that I was not dressed anything like an employee, that I was there with my baby in a stroller etc. She argued with me that because I had a change thing on (my fanny pack) that I worked there and she was going to get me fired.
A few moments later I could see her over at the cash register screaming and pointing at me. The place was way too crowded and noisy to hear exactly what was being said but the look on the poor guys face said it all.
I wouldn’t doubt it if she demanded to see someone over him and demand that he be fired for not firing me.
This story also reminded me of something that happened at a memorial service. I wasn’t mistaken to be an employee but I was mistaken to be someone else.
A friend and basically Mentor passed away several months before. He was like another parent to me, and like a grandparent to my children. There was a huge memorial service for him at festival grounds owned by friends of ours.
While many of us had camped out the night before, there were a lot of people just starting to arrive for the service.
I was standing alone off to the side from where his ashes were presented in a replica of a Viking ship The ship was to be launched into a small lake on the property and set on fire. It was a spectacular send-off.
Two women approached me and asked me how I was, they said how good it was to see me again etc. I couldn’t place who they were but assumed I had met them through him at some point (which I likely did at a birthday party or House warming for him).
So after several minutes of them chatting me up and me feeling a bit awkward about it, some woman about six inches shorter than me and bigger around than she was tall walked in. While I probably could have stood to lose about 20 pounds at the time I wasn’t huge.
The two women looked, at her, looked at me, looked at each other, and then one of them was like you’re not (insert the name of the woman who just walked into the event tent) I told them that I never claimed to be her. Then they huffed and stormed off toward the woman.”
She Could’ve Fooled Anybody
“Oh, this has happened so many times to me that I seriously think I should stop shopping in certain places.
The funniest incident happened when this one lady thought I was a sales agent and asked me about the product. I actually knew the product well since I worked for the company that manufactured it. So I gave her the requisite information and went about doing my own shopping.
As it happened the lady ended up in the queue behind me. Here’s where it got really interesting. So the lady was in a hurry and wanted to get ahead but I had already started my checkout process. So she got quite rude and said staff should allow customers to be served first.
The cashier didn’t quite understand what happened and I stayed quiet as well. So she repeated herself and this time told the cashier to process her first. The cashier turned to her and motioned to me saying he was here first and is a customer so be patient. She now insisted no he is a staffer and you are being rude call your manager.
I wanted to end this but thought to let it run its course. She started getting louder while the cashier ignored her so a manager came over on his own. He inquired about the situation from her and she explained how I was a staff member and was in the queue for customers. The manager looked at me and then turned to her saying but he doesn’t work for us.
She was flabbergasted and proceeded to tell him how I helped her out when she asked about the product. The manager looked at me helplessly and so I revealed how I simply helped her out when she asked although I knew she had mistaken me for the store staff.
The lady stayed silent and never apologized. I took my shopping and left. Others in the queue behind her couldn’t stop giggling.”
“If You Touch Me, I’m Calling The Police!”
“This has happened to me a lot for some reason. I guess I just look like someone who works at a store. Most of the time it’s relatively innocuous but every now and then it becomes a confrontation.
Once at a Kroger, I was shopping and putting something into my basket when a random lady walked up to me and asked in an apparently irritated tone where the toilet paper was. I said that I didn’t know but I thought it was a few aisles over. She replied ‘You think? You’d better go find out!’
I simply walked away and she stood there staring at me as I walked away and I assumed she couldn’t figure out I didn’t work there. She didn’t say anything else to me.
Another time I was in a Walgreens standing on an aisle talking to a friend that happened to be in the store and some lady started yelling from the other end of the aisle. She was yelling ‘Hey you!’ really loudly. I knew she was yelling at me but I don’t feel obligated to answer every random person who just decides to yell. After several seconds of her yelling down the aisle and me ignoring her, she felt it appropriate to walk up to me and push me and yell in my face. I told her that if she touched me again I would call the police and have her arrested for assault and apparently she had a moment of enlightenment and realized I didn’t work there and she turned around and walked off.
Those are the only two that were confrontational. Most of the time people asked me if I worked somewhere or simply politely asked me where something was and I simply replied that I didn’t work there and told them where I thought it was or that I wasn’t sure if I had no idea.”
“I Don’t Know Anything. Honest.”
“Many years ago my chambers had a minor dispute with a local furniture store about a library table they had made for us. We sorted out our differences and, as part of the agreement, they gave us a credit note for use in the store.
I’d not long bought my first house and I went to have a look round to see if there was anything that I needed which i could buy with our credit. A middle-aged lady came up to me and asked me, in a rather peremptory fashion:
‘Do you have a tape measure?’
‘I’m sorry madam, I’m afraid I don’t,’ I responded
Her mistake was obvious; I was wearing a black coat and waistcoat and Westminster striped trousers and looked like a traditional floorwalker. My next line would usually have been I’m afraid that I don’t work here. This would invariably produce a slightly embarrassed apology.
But I wasn’t terribly well inclined towards the furniture store. Nor did I care for the lady’s brusque manner; it wasn’t the way to address anybody.
So I left it at that and smiled benignly.
But she wasn’t giving up.
‘What can you tell me about these sofas?’ she asked.
‘I’m afraid that I know no more about them than you madam,’ I replied.
‘Do you know anything at all about this furniture?’ she demanded.
‘Nothing at all. Good day,’ I sighed.
And I walked off.
I have often felt guilty lest I got some innocent employee into trouble. But the lady was really rather rude and I got some amusement at leaving her speechless.”