Unfiltered Story #201284

, | Unfiltered | July 18, 2020

(I’m standing in line at a national big box store where there’s a crazy long line. It’s unusually busy for the time of day- it’s my usual shopping time and I’ve never seen it so busy. I’m almost 8 months pregnant and have a tired and hungry toddler with me, so I’m frustrated by the wait, but I don’t get worked up about it. The woman in front of me turns around and addresses me directly.)

Woman: This is fucking ridiculous. Every time!

Me: *taken aback* Sorry, what?

Woman: This store is the WORST. They never have enough cashiers. They have twenty lanes but only ONE open. (Note that there’s at least 3 open at the moment, which is normal and usually enough.) I have things to do. I need to get back to work. They need to get their shit together.

(I’m angry that she’s using such language in front of my kid, but my daughter is young enough that she’s not really absorbing words or anything, so I let it go for now and hope that a simple reply will get her to leave me alone.)

Me: Yeah, it really stinks.

Woman: And these people want to be paid more for not working?! It’s fucking stupid. (She continues to go on and on about it, all the while speaking directly TO ME and nobody else in line. The people in front of us have full carts, making the line move even slower. Then a cashier shows up and goes to a register farther down from us, taking other customers.) What the hell is that? ONE cashier? (She inches out of place a bit, eyeing the length of the other lines, then turns back to me again.) Can you believe this!?

Me: Yeah, it sucks. But they’re not usually THIS BUSY at this time of day. They probably don’t have enough people to pull from the rest of the store. Plus there’s that stomach bug that’s been going around lately. They probably had some call-offs.

Woman: They should anticipate this sort of thing! They need to have more people scheduled just in case! They need to have people from the rest of the store come up!

Me: (I’m polite to a fault, so this is as confrotational I get, but I am practically livid over this woman’s attitude.) Well… It’s not a holiday, so there’s no way they would’ve known how busy it would be. I shop at this time of day whenever I come here and it’s never this busy. They can’t just schedule people for “just in case.” They’re doing what they can. See the manager right there? She’s been calling for back-up this whole time. There’s only so much they can do. Look, I’m tired because my kid doesn’t sleep well, I’m hungry, and my feet are swollen and sore because I’m in my third trimester. I want to get out of here as soon as possible too, but I don’t think it’s necessary to curse in front of a my toddler.

(The woman raised her eyebrow at me and stormed off to another line that appeared shorter. I moved up immediately so she couldn’t come back to her spot. Seconds later, another employee appears and the manager directs him to a lane. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see the man behind me shift his cart so he can get to the new lane. The employee appears by my side, conveniently blocking the man behind me.)

Employee: Ma’am? I’ll take you at this lane here.

Me: Thank you so much!

(I look over and see the woman staring at me in disbelief. She makes a move to join my line, but the man and other people behind me follow closely and cut her off. Because she moved completely away from the other line, she lost her spot.)

Employee: Sorry you had such a long wait in line. I hope you found everything okay.

Me: I did, thank you. And it wasn’t so bad. I had only been waiting a few minutes. It happens.

Employee: Man, I have no idea why we’re so busy. Then pretty much everyone is sick and called off. I just got off my break and heard them calling for back up. I’m actually supposed to be covering electronics right now, but there’s nobody else to help up here.

(By the time I left, the woman was back in the first line- in the same place she had been before. I don’t know if the manager heard me and directed the employee to me specifically, or if it was just coincidence, but I am glad I was patient!)