A Uniform Response To Intoxication

, , , , | Right | May 25, 2019

(I work for a well-known supermarket that has a green logo; my uniform T-shirt is the same colour green and has the logo on the back. I’ve finished work and am driving home with my five-year-old with me when my eldest daughter calls. She tells me that not only has she invited friends over, but she also has a cooking class the next day and needs ingredients. I usually shop at my place of employment, but as we live on the other side of town, I decide to go into a rival supermarket that is about two minutes away. This supermarket has a blue and red logo and the staff wears a navy T-shirt. I get my shopping and head upstairs to their clothing and homeware department. I have my daughter in the child seat and about twenty-five items in my trolley. We are looking at children’s clothes for my young daughter, clearly browsing. I hear a woman ask for a food item, but I assume she’s talking to a member of staff and carry on looking at clothes.)

Customer: “EXCUSE ME! Where can I find tinned fruit?”

Me: “Are you talking to me? I really don’t know, but I guess downstairs.”

Customer: “Of course, I’m talking to you. How rude. You should know where everything is.”

Me: “I don’t work here. I imagine all food items are downstairs, not up here with the clothes and home supplies.”

(I go to walk away as this woman is annoying me.)

Customer: “That’s what’s wrong with this country: youngsters are too work-shy!”

(I’m 41.)

Customer: “I’m a paying customer and you will help me.”

(She then steps closer to me and I can smell vodka. She shoves my trolley, jolting my daughter and causing her to cry out. A member of staff arrives to see what’s going on)

Employee: “Is there a problem? Can I help in any way?”

Customer: “Are you her boss? Are you in charge here? You need to fire her right now!”

Me: “I don’t work here. I work for [Other Store]. I’m just shopping.”

(The customer suddenly starts wailing like a hurt child.)

Customer: “I just want my tinned fruit! I just want to bake.” *turning to me* “Why won’t you help me?!”

(Security staff and the manager then turn up because of all the noise.)

Manager: “What seems to be the problem?”

Employee: “This lady—“ *points to me* “—is just shopping with her daughter and this lady—“ *points to the other customer* “—thinks she works here and keeps yelling at her.”

Security: *to the other customer* “Madam, this lady is just a customer; she doesn’t work here. She clearly works for [Other Store]. Not only is she wearing their uniform, but she’s also pushing a trolley with shopping in it. And her child. Please calm down and let her go on her way.”

Customer: “I hate you all. I was going to bake a pie for you all. Now I can’t bake anything because SHE—“ *points to me* “—won’t help me!”

Security: “Okay, that’s it. Madam, you are clearly intoxicated. I’m asking you to please leave our store. I will help you down the travelator.”

Customer: “No! I want her to do it!” *points to me* “She might as well do something while she’s at work.”

(Just then, my daughter addresses the other customer.)

Daughter: “You’re mean. You’re mean to my mummy and you’re rude. You smell like pubs. You should go home and have a nap because you’re grumpy.”

(This seems to do the trick. The customer just looks from my daughter to the rest of us and puts her basket on the floor.)

Customer: “I believe I’ll go now.”

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