From thisisaflawedprocess, Tales From Retail:
So I recently re entered the world of retail after an unfortunately brief escape. Back at the same store, same department I was in before I left. Anyway, I just finished a shift and I'm leaving the back room, which unfortunately leads straight into the layaway department. No sooner do I walk past the queue of people (wearing a winter coat and holding my keys) than I hear a loud, outraged "Hey!"
I look around, wondering if I didn't hit someone with the double-swinging door. Nope. I see a woman staring daggers at me from the middle of the queue.
Hey Lady: "Do you not see what's happening here?"
Now I'm really confused, because I honestly don't. There are two registers, both of which have very experienced associates running them. The line, while long, is moving.
Me: "What's going on?"
HL: Eyes widening incredulously "There are customers who need help is what's going on! I've been in this line for 45 minutes and it hasn't moved! I don't know if they train you guys to be slow on purpose or what but some of us have s--- to do!"
Me: "Uh ... OK. Well, these ladies at the registers are doing their best, so hopefully the wait won't be much..."
At this point, this woman walks over to me and puts her finger in my face, just like that picture of Jamie Lee Curtis.
HL: "Be quiet. Shut your mouth and listen. I am telling you what is happening, not asking for your feedback. Every time I'm in this store I have to wait and every time I'm told to just deal with it. I work in customer service so I know the customer isn't always right, but this time the customer is me and I am right. Now I told you I've been waiting for 45 minutes. The next words out of your mouth had better be a solution, not an excuse."
She then stares expectantly at me. I must confess that at this point I was totally speechless. I literally just turned around and walked away. A - I'm not allowed to help off the clock, and as I said, I was very obviously not working, and B - I have a bit of a clapback problem, which has gotten me into trouble before. I desperately wanted to read this gnarled tree root of a woman for filth, but I knew I had to bite my tongue.
The last thing I heard when I walked away was the layaway associate telling HL that she didn't know my name, which she totally does. I have no doubt I'll hear more about this tomorrow, but for now I'm just glad to be out of there.
As I predicted, there was fallout today, but not until toward the end of the day. I was actually feeling pretty relaxed by lunchtime, when I felt the greatest threat had passed. At about 3 o'clock, though, I got called up to the service desk where Hey Lady was standing with her arms crossed and her eyebrow raised, looking like she was about to win something. Standing next to her was...
Oh, dear god, no.
It was Tony. The most spineless assistant manager ever to assistant manage. This guy once gave a dude a free $800 TV and assembled it for him because the guy said he dropped the first one he bought. There is literally no tuchus that Tony won't kiss.
Tony: "thisisaflawedprocess, did you help this woman yesterday?"
Me: "I believe we spoke briefly as I was leaving."
Tony: "She said you behaved very rudely and refused to give her your name."
Me: "I'll admit to walking away from her because she was very hostile, and like I said, I was leaving, so I was under no obligation to speak to her, let alone give her my name."
Hey Lady: "OK, I'm going to jump in here because I would hate for you to 'forget'" with finger quotes "some of the details. I was standing in that line for 45 minutes. I am so sick of coming into this store, waiting in huge lines, and watching other employees standing around. Every time it's like this! So I stopped her as she coming out of the back room." Turns to face me "Now, honey, you can pretend not to see a line full of people but you aren't going to pretend to not see me. I am not the one. I am 57 years old and I do not have time for games."
I am so done with this wretched crow. My first instinct is to tell her that I smelled Natty Ice and Bengay before I saw her, but I keep it under the lid. I'm not even going to reply to her directly.
Me: "Tony, I was off the clock when she approached me. She was extremely rude and confrontational. I walked away. I do not apologize."
HL: "Oh, sweetie. You don't even know rude yet. So," to Tony, "What happens now?"
Tony: "What do you mean?"
HL: "I mean What. Happens. Now. I didn't drive down here for nothing."
Tony: "I will discuss improving customer service with thisisaflawedprocess. We will make sure this never happens again."
HL: "Fine. I don't know how you train your people but if this is what they do, you might want to retrain the trainers. Eventually they're gonna run into people who aren't going to put up with their s---."
And she left. Yes, I had to do additional customer service training, and yes, I received a verbal reprimand and was reminded to try de-escalation in the future.
I guess I should just be glad she didn't get a free TV.