At our Hoarders, we had a pack of rather persistent religious folks that rather frequently tried to use our store to promote themselves. They were very insistent about leaving pamphlets at key points in our store. They would leave a stack of pamphlets at Music Info, Info, the Cafe, and the Registers. Is that JUST a Jehova's Witness thing?
I don't know... but after reading one of their incredibly hippie messages of love, flowers and unicorns farting rainbows, I was wondering how deeply the weed and Jimi Hendrix had infected their brains. I mean, my GOD! After I learned of the Westboro Baptist Church, years later, I realized that nature had created these people to be WBC's mortal enemies in order to balance it out. Aaand I digress. Please excuse me.
Now the managers, while tolerant of the faiths that came strutting through our store (we'd sell books and Bibles to them all), drew the line in the sand, and backed us up. We had a bulletin board where customers could post advertisements near the bathrooms, and the managers were adamant that we would not post ANYTHING that was not Hoarders related anywhere else in the store.
This did not stop the Hippie pack. They would stalk employees who were not busy with another customer and try to sell the Love Of God the way a used car salesman tries to hawk a crappy jalopy that has been sitting on the lot for six years without budging. We all learned to be very busy, no matter how slow the night, and we were even allowed to be firm in our refusals.
Hippie Preacher: I would like to help you spread the Word Of God, and I have these pamphlets here...
Me: Please don't sir. The managers don't want these cluttering up our workspace with more papers. as you can see... *I gesture to the umpteen stacks of company issued crap that cramps my space --crappy red and gray paper bookmarks that say HOARDERS in big bold letters, pamphlets about our precious member cards that we're supposed to tell everyone about, notices about upcoming sales and events happening at our store etc--* ...we've already got enough.
Hippie Preacher: Well how about I just leave some, so that other folks can see them for themselves. *spoken as a statement, not asking permission.*
Me: Again sir, please don't. The managers won't let them stay. There is a bulletin board near the bathrooms if you wish to advertise something, but that's the only place we allow these kinds of things to remain.
Hippie Preacher: Ma'am, it is my holy duty to share God's Love.
Me: And you are welcome to talk about it, as long as you're not interfering with our customers or the work that the employees have to do. But we will throw away any pamphlets we find.
Hippie Preacher: You don't need to do that, just leave them at the registers until the end of the day. *he talks like a person in authority telling an employee that, yes indeed, they shall do what he tells them to do*
Me: No, sir--
His back is to me and he's leaving a stack next to every register down the line.
I take a deep breath, let it out, and pick up a garbage can and follow him, throwing every last pile into the garbage.
Hippie Preacher: There now everyone can... *he turns and sees me* What are you doing?!
Me: *I pick up the next pile, look him in the eye and throw it away right in front of him* I told you we don't want these. Now you can either take them to someone who might appreciate them, or you can watch all of your pamphlets get thrown away right here and now.
The Hippie Pastor turns an interesting shade and utters a few garbled squawks, among which I hear the word 'manager' so I call one over.
The Hippie pastor starts complaining about how I'm interfering with his mission from God and disrespecting his beliefs. He picks up the pamphlets at the last register and waves them around for emphases. The manager turns to me.
Manager: Did you tell him about the bulletin board?
Manager: Did you tell him that we don't allow pamphlets to remain anywhere else?
Manager: And did you tell him that we will make you throw them away if you find them?
Me: *I hold up the garbage can full of pamphlets* Yes, and he started placing them anyway. So I threw them away behind him.
Manager: Then you did everything right. *the Hippie Preacher squawks a protest and the manager turns back toward him* Sir, we cannot allow you to leave your pamphlets all over our store. If we let you do that, then we have to allow EVERY other religious group that walks through out doors to do the same. We are a place of business, and we don't have the time or the space to allow that many pamphlets to clutter our store. Please take your pamphlets with you, because we will not let them stay. We will throw them away now, or we will throw them away the instant you turn your back to leave.
The Hippie Preacher splutters, scowls and then snatches his pamphlets out of the garbage, which I politely hold up for him to reach into. He storms out of the store, leaving us to roll our eyes to each other and go about our business.
May all your customers be nice,