I think there should be a required class in high school that teaches people how to be kind, to be understanding, and to not be flat out rude or ignorant to people willing to serve your needs. To the woman that kept me from my main job and insulted and assaulted me because my store stopped selling your brand of magazine, and to the man that lied to my manager about me because I took too much time trying to handle that woman instead of you, kudos to you for reminding me that humanity just sucks sometimes and I need to harden up my shell to the next of your kind that passes me while I wear my work brand vest and name badge.
My day had been fine. We were not busy in the department store. No one came to my lane to checkout, so I went to redline, aka stand out of the aisle so people can see your lane is open. Well, a middle aged woman came by me, so I asked if she was ready for checkout. Instead, she asked me where the Country Time magazine was. I asked if she checked every aisle of magazines, and she said she had, twice. I pulled out my device to look this up. I typed in her requested magazine and no results came up except titles similar, but she said none of them were the one she wanted. I tried a general magazine search. I handed her my device so she could scroll through and see if she saw what she was looking for. At this point, an African American man came up to the register, asking if I was open. I replied to him, “Yes, give me one moment while I finish with her (Magazine Woman) and I will be right with you.” He stood for a moment, waiting. Finally the lady told me she didn’t find it, and requested I manually do another search for her, so I took my device back and did. She hissed “Hurry Up!” at me. It only slightly started me but she must have been in a hurry. I’ve dealt with slightly moody customers before, that was not new. I handed my device back to her as I said it was just a similar search wielding similar results. She scrolled through again, this time telling me that “You have been selling this magazine for 20 years at this specific location, I buy ’em every week, Imma be pissed and file a report if y’all just suddenly stopped, that’s MY magazine and it’s CHEAP here!” After she says this, I look back to the man waiting and mouth “I’m so sorry” to him as there is just about nothing else I can do. He then proceeds to quietly say “Fuck This” and move to the register next to me, she had a bit of a line, but was not dealing with a lady on a hunt. I was sad to see him go but I was also relieved he didn’t have to sit and watch me deal with her. After what felt like ages of her scrolling, she finally handed the device back to me, scratch that, shoved the device into my chest, catching me off guard and slightly hurting me, and then started stomping away, leaving her cart of groceries behind. I had to bring her cart to customer service and report that she slightly attacked me and I was not sure if she left the store or not. After giving a physical description, I was excused back to my register where an older Chinese man had started putting groceries onto the belt. I apologized for having to deal with something first and started scanning and bagging his items, to which he responded that it was all fine and he wasn’t in a hurry. Half way through scanning his items, the man that had waited for me before, the one the lady had scared off, came up to me with his bag and receipt in hand. I figured he would apologise for me having to deal with someone like the magazine woman, he did witness the way she acted to and treated me over one item. But what did I get instead? “Hey, you rude as fuck, you know that? Rude as fuck!” Then he walked away. The Chinese man asked me what that was about, and I answered that I honestly don’t know. Maybe he was upset he wasted his time waiting for me when I couldn’t get out of a tough situation? Maybe that lady made him late to something so he blamed me for still trying to help her? I wasn’t sure, but I was sure I didn’t deserve that. The Chinese guy then went on a speech that sometimes, humans are just in a bad state of mind, maybe for an hour, a day, or longer, and maybe he just needed someone to yell at, and it sucks I had to be it, but I need to not take his words to heart and remember I did nothing on purpose. I thanked him and wished him a good day, he made my interaction with the two previous customers be forgotten. For a moment. Another cashier came over and told me they needed to see me in the cash office for a moment a few customers later, so I let them take my lane as I went back there. My manager looked a bit disappointed, and I was scared all my misscans and voids were finally detected as I am a clumsy scanner, or that the speed of my checking people out was far below average of everyone else, or that me showing up 10 minutes late that one day last week needed to be discussed. But what did she say to me? “Are you aware that you turned a black customer away from your lane and called him a racial slur because you were busy playing on your phone?” Now, here in my mind, I had to just stop and say WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?! I had to quickly explain what actually happened, including my terrifying encounter with Magazine Lady, that the man came up when I was trying help help her and that he left while I was still attempting to help her, I also included the fact that she roughly shoved my search device back into my chest when she stormed off, I even pulled my shirt down to show she did in fact leave a noticeable and already nicely formed bruise right above my breast and that I already gave a description of her to the supervisor, as well as her cart. Never in that scenario was I playing on my phone, forcefully turning a guy away from my lane, or using foul language. Did she believe me? I really couldn’t tell. I still don’t think so because she started explaining to me proper phone etiquette when not with a customer, that I shouldn’t be on it anyway. She at least gave me advice of how to better tell one customer that I am in fact helping another customer and that I will for sure help them when I completely finish with the other, leaving me hopeful she didn’t actually believe the man’s story. The supervisor did later tell her that I did file a report of mild assault from a customer around the exact time this man claims this event happened to him, meaning he either got his time wring or was lying. He was lying, as much as I would sometimes love to turn away customers that look like they’re angry or one mild inconvenience away from exploding far from my lane, I never would, it would cost a suckish but fine paying and good benefits job. And I never use racial slurs, I am morally against the use of all of the foul race based language in any situation.
To these two people that I am talking about, I hope it makes you feel good that you sent a girl to cry in her car during her entire hour long lunch break. I hope that people understand that people don’t hate customer service jobs because it involves work and interacting with human beings; it’s interacting with horrible, ignorant, insulting, and lying customers that makes people want to quit. It makes some people want to hurt themselves, and some maybe worse than that. It makes people lose happiness, lose hope, loose the kindness they’re trying to show, or make the kindness they are showing even more fake than it was before. Makes the smile and cheerful voice and positive attitude even more painfully fake, bringing each closer and closer to extinction. Making an ability to do a job decrease, making the desire to see life as a good thing even less since it’s as if everyone just wants to ruin that desire for no reason. I have been permanently affected by you two; I am more stone cold mentally, I now expect for people to assault me and lie to my higher ups about me, my outward attitude towards future customers will look the same, but my internal thoughts will always be of negativity. My expectations for humanity as a whole have been lowered even more. I know it was just two people, but sometimes one is just enough to completely destroy a soul. Remember this.
I know I make a goal to end all my posts on a positive note, but this one is tough. What can I say so that this doesn’t have to end so dark and depressing? I guess for anyone that sees this, know that there are terrible people out there, whether they have the intention to be or not, and when you are attacked by a complete stranger, just shake it off and smile and move on, and give them the middle finger when you are safe to do so. Then before you go to bed that night, say a little prayer to whoever you believe in, ask them to bless that person so they can;t hurt you or anyone else ever again. Or make your own hex for them, whichever will bring you more peace.
Stay Strong in this species,