Retail Life #26

         Sometimes people are so extra. They can be so over the top for absolutely no reason. Sometimes it’s funny. But sometimes it just makes you want to slap them. Sometimes both. And yet you have to keep your professional face on through it all. But it’s okay, because that’s how some of the best work stories come about.

         We’ll start things off by wanting to smack the person. So, it’s truck day, and the truck pulls into the parking lot. I’m running the register and I see it through the window. My assistant manager arrives a moment later and goes to the back to get everything set up to unload. A few minutes later, the phone rings. It’s an older woman calling to complain because a “large, scary, black man” approached her car and was waving his arms at her. So, she got scared and left instead of coming in to shop. I tell her it was the truck driver, and he was probably just going to ask her to move her car so he could get around the building. She argues that he shouldn’t need her to move because she was in a marked spot and won’t listen when I try to tell her that most of our drivers need the side spots clear to maneuver around the building. She won’t stop talking about how scared she was, and I apologize that he startled her, but insist that it was just the truck driver.

         Now. What exactly did this woman want from me? Let’s say it wasn’t the truck driver and was just a random guy asking for directions? Happens all the time. Or a homeless person asking for money? Happens sometimes. Or, I guess, maybe, possibly, someone was trying to attack her in broad daylight in a busy store parking lot. But even if that were the case, what was I going to do about it?

         The driver came up to buy some water before they started unloading, and he was just as confused as I was. He waved his hand at her to get her attention and she put the car in reverse and sped away before he could even get close to her window. But he laughed it off, and I paid for his water. *shrug* But I’m glad she went to shop somewhere else. We don’t need that in our store.

         This next one isn’t so much one you want to slap them. More like you kind of want to shake them by the shoulders for a minute to see if they can find some sense rattling around in there.

         A woman walks in with her husband. He’s wearing a mask. She’s holding one in her hand. The second they walk through the door she calls out, “I have a medical condition!” And they do their shopping and she held the mask in her hand the entire time. When they come up to the counter, she stands off to the side and keeps fiddling with her mask. She puts it on. Pulls it down around her chin. Pulls it back up. Then takes it off. Then walks out before her husband finished paying.

         No one said a single thing to her. She could have just not worn a mask. We’re not allowed to confront people because we’re not the “mask police,” as our boss says. And as far as I knew, no other customer said something to her either. So, she may or may not have a medical condition. Whatever. Then why did you have a mask? Why did you bring it in and mess with it the whole time you were in the store? I just don’t understand.

         And the last one is a giggle story. Was probably the highlight of the last day of work before I took a week of vacation. A guy comes up to the register and says, “Okay, the stagecoach will come through in twenty minutes and it’s our target.” I laugh. He goes on about how maybe next year we’ll be able to see other people’s faces again. I hand him his receipt and say the rendezvous is at noon. Then a child scream/cries at the back of the store and he says, “I think that was our getaway driver.” So, yeah. Wearing masks makes everyone a bandit now. Spread the word.

         It’s not all bad all the time. I suppose. Can’t dwell on the negative anyway, because you never know when someone will come in and plan a heist with you.

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