The days off were definitely needed! And it's back to school/work so the mall is once again quiet and undemanding. Although seriously, what's with all the school aged kids at the mall today!? All the schools are back in session. This happened a couple of years ago...
Our store was (is) laid out horribly. We had wall scrolls in a bin at the end flanked by two display cases side by side, a gap to allow employees behind the counter, then the counter with the register at the end and the computer. The counters have shelves that hold boxes in which the discs for the dvds and games are kept, game system accessories, odds and ends, and customer holds. Keep in mind that I'm big on personal space. I really do not like people getting in my bubble.
I was in the back room tending to the stereo (which was freaking out - shorting maybe?) and when I came out this man was standing at the end of the counter, right by the bags and register. Meaning, I had to ask him to move so I could take my place behind the counter as the backroom door was in the main part of the store, not accessible from behind the counter. We're going to call him Douchecanoe.
Douchecanoe: "Excuse me, I have some items on hold."
Me: "Sure! What items?"
Douchecanoe: "I've got a couple things on hold. The man I spoke to said he'd hold [title] for me."
Me: "Let me get that for you!"
I crouch down a few feet from the side of the counter where the customer hold box is and start looking through the holds. He takes a step nearer the employee side of the counter.
Me: "Sir, what is the name on the hold?"
We ask this so that we don't accidentally give the item to the wrong person. He is hovering right at the corner of the counter. When I pulled the box out further to remove the item, he saw his business card taped to the box and took a step forward towards me (completely behind the counter) which quite frankly freaked me out a bit (a lot).
Me: "Sir, I'll be happy to get this for you. Please return to the other side of counter." At that point he cocked this big attitude and started acting extremely put out. "What other items did you have?"
Douchecanoe: "I also had a wall scroll."
I smile and get the item from the area we keep holds too big for the box. I then ring him, and he pays. At this point, he decides to confront me about requesting him to remain on his side of the counter. He put himself back at the corner of the counter, maybe a foot from me.
Douchecanoe demands: "Do you *really* think I would do anything to you? Do you *really* think I would take money from the register?" I personally felt EXTREMELY intimidated by his domineering manner. "Where is the man I dealt with today?"
Me: "I'm sorry sir, it is his day off."
Douchecanoe getting progressively louder and angrier and leaning further into my personal space behind the counter: "Can you not tell someone who would be a real threat from me? I'm a doctor. I wouldn't hurt you. Can't you tell the difference? You didn't deal with me before, you don't know me from Adam."
Me: "And that's why I do not want you behind the counter, I don't know you."
He continued to yell at me regarding my demeanor and how I represented the store (considering he was a paying customer) and how I had a bad attitude. I maintained my stance and eventually he left. I was visibly shaking from the exchange. Some customers were in the store and couldn't believe his behavior and even offered to leave their number in case he calls back as they would be happy to be witnesses to the events that transpired.
I told my boss that I felt very, very intimidated by his behavior, and I admit I was rude to him, I curtly handed him his items and his receipt as he kept doggedly pursing why I reacted the way I did to his presence. So I was indeed rude to him, and I did stand my ground that I did not appreciate his presence behind the counter. Also, this doctor was a natural health "doctor" according to his card.
So custys, word to the wise: do not go behind the counter. Ever. There is 100% no reason why you ever need to be behind the counter. That man didn't know me, for all he knew I had been assaulted before (I wasn't) and questioning why I didn't want him behind the counter could have brought up memories of a bad experience.
Had I been a quicker thinker, I should have called mall security, but oh well. to my knowledge he's never been back and my boss backed me completely.