Big box stores are the most amazing of places; they have the most amazing clientele AND the most amazing employees. (The sarcasm is so thick in this statement that you can scrape it off with a spatula.)
It's also huge enough that managers have no fucking idea who works for them. Yep, it's time for a Mistaken Identity story.
I'm a woman. I have monthly female issues. So it should be no surprise that I'm in the feminine product aisle. I'm looking for my preferred brand, of preferred usage, when I hear a loud noise behind me.
"AHEM!" I turn slightly and there's this pinch faced old hag behind me. "Where are your [item, I forget what it was she wanted]?"
Me: "I dunno. Try [the section likely to have said item]."
I turn back, still trying find my preferred item.
Hag: "EXCUSE ME! I ASKED YOU WHERE [ITEM] WAS!"
Me: "And I told you that I don't know. Here's a pro tip. Go find it yourself, or go ask someone who actually works here."
(It is worth it to note that I am wearing a black shirt with a horned Maleficent silhouette and text, all done up in purple glitter and says "Mistress of all evil" on it. While potentially applicable to most major companies, it is very much NOT a uniform employees would be allowed to wear.)
I find my necessary package of product and stuff it into the basket on my arm, before turning around and walking away.
What follows are two or three aisles of contented bliss as I move from feminine products to beauty supplies. I need a new hair dryer, since my last one made this creepy noise and spat sparks at me in a possessed rage. Oh hey, I need shampoo too. Almost forgot that. La dee dee de dum de doo.
Blissful la la land shatters when this dude, who looks like Professor Snape's anorexic brother from another mother suddenly looms over me. He's wearing a manager's name tag.
"What the fuck did you think you were doing?" he asks me.
Me: "Beg pardon?"
"What. The fuck. Did. You. Think. You. Were. Doing?" he asks again.
Me: "I would appeciate some context, please?"
While this was delivered in the most non-sarcastic, genuinely confused tone of voice I could muster, it sets him off in ways I had never seen before.
Snape's Twin: "Maybe you're new to this, but the Christmas season? You know, the time when we have a bunch of customers pouring in the buy presents for their kids? Yeah, that's happening right now; and you're sitting here fucking around with your God damn baby wipes. And a customer who asked you an honest question doesn't need your attitude."
Okay, 1. these aren't baby wipes, they're feminine products. 2. holy fucking shit is he blind?! I am so very obviously not an employee here. 3. holy fucking shit again, does he think he can say this to actual employees?
"I don't care what you think!" He got really close to me at this point, and had actually backed me into a corner. "You need to work on your customer service skills!"
I tried to say my side, that I didn't work at this business, that I'm trying to shop, and all that got an explosion before I got two words out; "I'M NOT HERE TALKING TO YOU SO YOU CAN ARGUE BACK! YOU WILL LEARN RESPECT! YOU WILL SHUT UP AND ACTUALLY LISTEN TO ME! YOU WILL NOT ACT LIKE A SPOILED FUCKING BRAT TO CUSTOMERS-"
"STOP. TALKING. I DON'T WANT TO FUCKING HEAR IT. SHUT! UP! NOW! YOU'RE A WASTE OF SPACE! YOU'RE GOING TO GET YOUR FUCKING ASS INTO MY OFFICE!"
Silence descends at last. Of course, it's the silence of half a big box store that has been stunned at the full volume of screaming and swearing.
"Excuse me, just what the hell is going on over here?!" There's a security officer coming down the aisle at speed, with a very unfriendly expression on his face, either having overheard, or having been dragged over by a very concerned, good samaritain.
Now, this situation looks bad from every angle. I'm a woman, backed into a corner by a much taller, screaming man. I have this man in my face, screaming obscenities and abuse.
(I also grabbed these feminine products for an actual, very current, reason, so my hormone levels are currently off the charts anyway.) Naturally, there should be no surprise when, tears streaming down my face, I look at the security guard and scream hysterically, "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, GET HIM AWAY FROM ME!"
Chaos. So. Much. Chaos.
Somwhere in my hysterics, I vaguely recall reality had apparently snapped back into the manager's brain, as he jumps back from me and splutters something that sounds vaguely apologetic and explanatory. I've flashes of a lady leading me away from the scene, flashes of the security guard planted between myself and my assailant, and a single, crystal clear image of a box of tissues getting pressed into my hands.
It took quite a bit of time to get me back into a position of "functioning human" and away from "blubbering traumatized mess." By the time I was stable again, police were very much involved. Statements were taken, and yes, I wanted to press charges against this psychopath. This can't possibly be his first incident, after all.
The company got in contact with me right away, doing a frantic dance of appeasement, apology and PR rescue... but regardless, I don't think I want to shop there for a long while.