Unfiltered Story #186874

, , | Unfiltered | February 14, 2020

(I work in a popular young women’s fashion clothing and accessory store. I suffer from some hearing problems and have some issues with my speech, including a lisp and a tendency to under-enunciate. I went through speech therapy as a child which helped a lot. As a teen and now a young adult, I generally don’t have a problem making myself understood, although you cab hear something ‘different’ about my voice. I’ve held various part-time jobs all the way through high school and college without any customer having a problem understanding me.)

I clock in for my shift and head over to help my manager with a long line of customers. The last customer, a middle-aged woman, dumps an armful of items on the counter and crosses her arms.

Customer: Just so you know, I was waiting in line for a very long time. You shouldn’t take such long breaks.
Me: I’m sorry, ma’am, but I only just punched in now. My manager here has been alone all morning. It’s crazy in the mall today, isn’t it? The parking lot is packed!
Customer: What? What? *frowns and turns her ear towards me in an exaggerated way*
Me: *simplifies what I said* I just started at 1:00.
Customer: Well, you should get here earlier.
Me: (I don’t go home until 10:00 PM, so I’d rather not work more than 9 hours, but I just smile and keeps scanning, ignoring her rudeness* Okay. You’re going to have 14 days for exchange or store credit. Do you have our store discount card?
Customer: *has a strange look on her face* Excuse me?
Me: Do you have our store’s discount card? It’s pink and –
Customer: What? What are you saying?! What is that weird accent? Are you even speaking English!?
Me: *slightly hurt, but trying to speak much more slowly and clearly* You have 14 days to get an exchange or store credit. *points to where it says so on the desk* Do you have our pink (Store Name) card to get a discount on your items today? *points to a picture of our discount card advertised on the back of the computer monitor*
Customer: *raises her voice* Why are you talking to me like I’m autistic?! I am MUCH OLDER than you. You should drop the attitude!
Me: *completely shocked and done with being nice* Ma’am, I have a speech impediment. I was trying to make my voice sound more clear, which is hard because I can’t always hear myself. You said you couldn’t understand me, so I tried –
Customer: So you’e deaf?
Me: Not completely…
Customer: Well, you should be very lucky I’m not a problematic customer! They shouldn’t have a disabled teenager working on the cash register!
Me: *glances down at ‘Assistant Manager’ badge* Well, ma’am, I’m 24, and ‘they’ obviously thought I was capable of helping run the whole store.
Customer: You should learn how to speak better if you want to hold your job. You sound like a d*** (offensive word beginning with ‘R’)!

(The women ended up leaving without buying anything after my manager came over and told her as politely as possible why she was being asked not to return to our location. I was too angry to say anything else!