Hi RHU! It's Triviagrrrl here again with a tale from the mists of time. This is a good fifteen years and three or four jobs ago.
Back to School! Three simple words that strike terror into the hearts of retail workers everywhere. It was our second year running Back to School, so we mostly had it down.
The layout was a bit strange. Basically, the till counter was a very shallow U shape, with the middle section being much longer than the legs. We had two tills, one at each end of the middle part. The schoolbooks were on shelves behind us. Because the counter was a couple of feet away from the shelves, we used mobile stands to blocks the gap so the customers didn't try to walk through.
I was dealing a customer; the other staff member helping me had stepped out from behind the counter to help her customer fins something on the shop floor. I'd seen her pull the stand back into place out of the corner of my eye.
What I hadn't seen was the Angry Man on my end of the counter who moved a stand, stepped in behind me and crouched down to look at the books on the low shelves. He was directly behind me and well below my field of vision.
I finished going over my customer's list. I took a step back to start collecting his books.
I fell over Angry Man.
There was a lot of shouting and anger. I hadn't hit my head, but I'd whacked my ankle and hip pretty good. Somebody got the manager's attention. Angry Man was claiming I deliberately attacked him. My customer, bless him, was on my side. Eventually my manager untangled what was going on.
"Sir, did you move this stand to get behind the counter?"
"Your worker deliberately kicked me! I'm going to have a bruise! I'm just trying to buy my school books!"
"Sir. There's a stand blocking access into this area. Did you move it?"
"That one must have moved it!" ('That one' was my coworker, who, we remember, had left the counter a few minutes before.)
"Nope," my customer said cheerfully, "she went out the other end and straight into the aisles, never came near here."
Other customers chimed in. To be fair, most of them probably just wanted to get the line moving again, but whatever works.
"Sir, you deliberately moved a barricade we had set up to keep you out of an unsafe area, and in doing so you caused injury to my worker. I'm going to have to insist you leave. We can't fill your school list here."
"We're going on holidays tomorrow!"
My manager held firm. Angry Man was sent away. I'm pretty sure I saw him slink back in at the end of August, but I can't swear to it.
Why are customers so completely blinkered? We don't set up big difficult to get around barricades for our health!