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Unfiltered Story #292267

, | Unfiltered | May 26, 2023

It’s my break time, so I’m walking to the break room. There’s a man standing a few feet from the door, looking at his phone, and I say good morning to be polite. He replies, and one of my coworkers walks up to him and asks him if he needs any help, as I’ve just let her know I’m taking my break so she’ll have to cover some areas while I’m gone. I walk into the break room and one of my male coworkers greets me with a nickname that my family and friends use, and the door closes.

My female coworker walks into the break room a few minutes later and gives me a look.

Coworker: “Do you know that guy?”

Me: “No, I was just saying hi to be polite.”

Coworker: “Okay, because he said ‘hi’ back like he knew you or something and I was really confused.”

Me: “Nope, don’t know him. Just didn’t want him to think I was ignoring him.”

My coworker makes a joke about not knowing how to be polite and walks back out of the room to go back to a task.

When my break is finished, I walk back past the fabric area and come across the customer, who’s looking between his phone and some fabric and catches my attention.

Me: “Can I help you find something?”

He asks me to help him figure the sizing and price of some fabric for a project, and I gladly assist him, bringing the fabric to our counting counter. He starts calling me by my nickname, which most customers don’t unless they know me. He makes small talk, but I’m a little confused by a few of the questions he asks, things like what I do for fun and if I live in the area. I give him honest but slightly vague answers, kind of hoping he’ll stop asking. He makes a comment on the fact that I’m not married (which he only figured out by looking at my hands and my comment on living with a roommate) and that weirds me out. This guy is probably ten or more years older than me, and he’s gone from polite small talk to strange comments and jokes that I’m not fully comfortable with. I’m still trying to be polite and finish cutting his fabric and doing the math, and then I wish him a good day and watch him walk away.

I head for my coworker’s area, where our boss is helping, and tell her about it.

Me: “Remember that guy from earlier? He called me [Nickname] like he knew me.”

Coworker #1: “Really?? Weird!”

Me: “I was just trying to be polite, and he kept trying to make weird small talk and I was mildly uncomfortable.”

We finish our discussion and I head back to the project I’d been working on before my break. I see the customer near the registers and decide to try to avoid him for the rest of his time in the store, hoping I don’t get called to help ring people up before he leaves.

I don’t know what it was about that day, or me, but another customer made a slightly weird comment about me and about another, younger, coworker that afternoon. Most people think I look younger than I am, so I don’t know why they feel the need to comment on my marital status or anything.

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