Black Friday was, thankfully, somewhat kind to our store. I work as a receptionist in a big-name motorcycle dealership, and I am happy to report that the small crowd we had was well-behaved and generally pleasant to be around. Honestly, bikers looking to get a couple cheap tee-shirts and some reduced-price parts are pretty mellow fellows. When closing time rolled around, there was very little to clean up and I could've counted on one hand how many calls we'd received in the past hour.
I was expecting, based upon the time and what I'd bore witness to, that most other stores in the area would have a reduction in traffic. Seeing as I'd just gotten my check and the banks were, of course, closed at that hour, I decided to head to the superstore in the area. My plan was to go in, cash the check, and see if I could pick up a couple packs of cards before heading another hour down the road for home.
Right off the bat, upon pulling into the parking lot, I could tell I'd been wrong. The zoo-keepers were apparently on leave, because the animals were still there. I should have just left and taken myself further down south towards home, but I'd just noticed my poor and loyal beast had an empty tank. The only way to quench the thirst of this monster is a cool 50$ and a pump, and I was out of money. 'For you then, you poor dear'.
Check in hand, I entered the fray and immediately bee-lined for the money center. Weaving between buggies of children, televisions, and food (not necessarily in that order), I managed to finally cross the thresh-hold and enter the rope lines. That was the first time I heard what I was going to hear the entire half hour I was in the store:
Customer: "Ah-scuse me."
There was no one near me in the lines, so I continued to walk. It was then that a set of talons took the edge of my shirt sleeve, tugging me back a step.
Customer: "AH-SCUSE ME! DON' JUS' WALK AWAY FROM ME!"
Inwardly, I began to panic. Whoever this was was out for blood, and it was mine. My inner monologue began to replay the past couple minutes. Who in the world could I have angered in that short time? Slowly, I turned to face the bird of prey that had cornered me. Beside her was a nest-like buggy with two small children in them, and all three of them were staring right at me.
"Where yo' bathrooms at?!" She squawked.
I, not being from the area, shrugged. "I...don't know, I'm sorry."
"WHAT'CHU MEAN YOU DON'T KNOW?!" Her cry rang out, causing other animals of the hunt to perk up. The sound echoed with tones of going in for a kill, and I was the hapless victim. "WHERE YO' MANAGUH?!"
Then it clicked. For some reason, this furious fowl seemed to think I was her usual prey. She had somehow confused the black button up shirt with white pinstripes, plastered with our black and orange logo and name, for the blue shirts the poor employees of the super store had. She had seen my name tag, but her eyes had blacked out the bar-and-shield logo right beside it. She had been leering at my back, with my store's name and logo on it, and in her mind thought I worked here.
Having tried to process these facts and gotten the blue screen, I finally decided to tell this woman what I was sure she should've known: "...I don't...work...here..."
There was silence. She leered and glared and stared at me for a moment longer before huffing. "Oh...well I'm sorry. You sho' look like it." She strutted away, her children still staring around her at me, before I could ask how in the world she could've thought that.
I was too grateful to be clear of the situation, however, and instead of chasing her down, I crawled through the line and cashed my check. It was over, I was free. This wasn't so bad! I decided I'd go and get my cards after all. Surely, I thought as I strolled out of the safety of the center and out towards the aisles, that would be the only-
Customer: "MISS, MISS! MISS CAN YOU HELP ME FIND THE LADIES' NIGHTGOWNS?!"
Me: "I don't know where they are, I'm sorry, I don't work here." There, okay, that was handled, he was walking away-
Customer: "Ma'am? My son spilled his drink over there."
Customer: "...Where are you going?! People could slip in that!" Came the reply. I kept walking. I was regretting this already. I should haven taken off the name tag and the shirt right then and there, but I was cold and there was nowhere to put the tag. "HEY! YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO CLEAN THIS UP!"
I'd had enough. Slowly, I turned around and pointed at my shirt, right where my store name was. "Ma'am, I work for THIS company. I don't know WHERE they keep the mop here."
She just gawked at me like I was speaking some dead language. "...So you're just going to stand there? Wow. They hire people like you here?"
Me: "I work for [Motorcycle Dealership], ma'am. I don't work here."
"...Oh...OH." I left her as she tried to pick up the broken pieces of her life from where I'd shattered it.
I was almost to the cards. If I could just get to where the Pokemon were staring at me with sympathy, I could snag a couple and head for a check-out.
Customer: "Ugh I cannot BELIEVE this... why don't they have more people on the lines?!"
Because they're all busy helping out other customers...? You know, WORKING?! I refrained from rolling my eyes: Keldeo was welcoming me to the promised land.
Customer: "HEY! HOW ABOUT YOU DO YOUR JOB AND GET ON A REGISTER?!"
Nope, not me. Nope...
What is it with people and thinking it's perfectly okay to GRAB SOMEONE? Someone snatched the wrist holding my wallet and I thought for sure I was going to be robbed.
Me: "What are you doing?! Get off me!"
Customer: "Don't ignore me when I'm talking to you!" The lady was close to fifty, looked neat and proper, and oozed anger like a cyst. "You're not doing anything, go and do your-"
I was done. I was so done. It was my own fault for coming into the store in my work shirt and name tag, but I was not going to be grabbed at twice in one night.
Me: "MA'AM, read my shirt! I work for a BIKE. SHOP! I'm here doing my own shopping! Just because you have to wait five minutes doesn't mean you can just GRAB people! Shut up, turn around, and just WAIT! Someone will get to you as soon as they can!"
The entire area went dead silent. People were staring at me once again, but I was too upset to care. The woman who had an iron grip on my wrist looked as though she'd stepped in something nasty, and she finally let go. She stepped back into her line, muttering about how that wasn't necessary. The complaints stopped. I slithered over to the card rack and picked up my two precious packs of cards. I ended up in the line beside the same woman who'd grabbed me, so she was glaring at me the whole time.
I closed my eyes briefly and looked at the man in front of her.
He just grinned. "Biddies like that is why I drink. Gimme your cards. I gott'em."
In the end, he walked me out to my car and wished me a good night. I went home and told everyone how grateful I was that I worked where I did. I felt so bad for the employees. No one should ever be treated like that where they work. No one.