An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 12

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: AngelWholf | June 9, 2021

I am a security guard. With the outbreak, we have gotten A LOT of new companies and contracts, and there have been several stores that hire my company for “Mask Enforcement” — basically, refusing service for anyone who tries to walk in without a facial covering.

I’m working one of these new contracts for a home improvement shop. My job at this location is extremely simple and narrow. If I see someone walk in without a mask, I stand between them and the gate, inquire as to their lack of mask, and give them the option of purchasing a mask for less than fifty cents at the nearby customer service desk if they do not have one of their own.

For the most part, people are kind and understanding; many of them apologize, saying they forgot, quickly dig out a mask from a pocket or a purse, and go on about their way. One day, however, I meet [Customer].

I stop an elderly gentleman and ask if he has a mask. He laughs, pulls it out of his pocket saying he always forgets, puts it on, and walks through the turnstile. As I am having the conversation with him, in walks [Customer], staring me down, no mask, and almost runs into the elderly gentleman as she tries to rush past me.

I step in her way with a kind smile.

Me: “Hello, ma’am, do you have a mask today?”

Customer: “No, and I don’t need one, either!”

Me: “I am sorry, but the store policy states that everyone is required to wear a mask, if you need one you can get one over there—” *pointing to the customer service desk* “—for just forty-two cents.”

Customer: “I told you, I don’t need a mask. I just need a washing machine. Where are they?”

Me: “I don’t know where the washing machines are; however, I can’t let you past this point without a mask. Please either get one on or see the customer service desk to purchase one.”

Customer: “What do you mean, you don’t know where the washing machines are?! What kind of incompetent worker are you?”

Me: “I am not an employee of this store; I work for a third-party security company. I do not know the store, but you cannot go through these gates without a mask.”

During this time, the customer tries to walk around me multiple times. I keep stepping in front of her, keeping my hands low, and calmly repeating, “You need a mask.”

Customer: “You obviously work here! And I don’t like your attitude. Either tell me where I can get a washing machine or get the h*** out of my way!”

Me: “She—” *pointing to a customer service employee* “—will be more than able to help you find what you need, as well as sell you a mask so you can shop here.”

At this point, the employee realizes that something isn’t right; for the most part, as a guard, I smile and wave, pace, and don’t really interact with customers. So, when I am no longer smiling, standing still, and speaking with a customer, this usually means that something is going wrong.

Employee: “Hello! What can I do to help today?”

Me: “She is looking—”

Customer: “I want a washing machine and he refuses to tell me where they are. He just keeps getting in my way and telling me to wear a d*** mask!”

Employee: “I am sorry, but he does not work within the store. His job is just to enforce the mask rules. I would be more than happy to help. Do you have a mask today?”

Customer: “No, I don’t have a mask, and I’m not wearing one!”

She starts on some long-winded rant about HIPAA and civil rights.

Employee: “Well, ma’am, he won’t let you in without a mask, and unless you have one, I will be unable to assist you in getting the washing machine you want.”

Customer: “I’ve had enough! Get me your manager now!”

The employee then gets on her walkie and radios for a manager to come up.

Manager: “Hello, how are you doing today?”

Customer: “I’m doing horrible! Your employees are useless! They refuse to help me and won’t even let me in the store! I demand you fire them both!”

Manager: “I am sorry, but he—” *pointing to me* “—is not an employee here. We hired his company to enforce mask policies—”

Customer: “I’ve already told you people I won’t wear a f****** mask! Now fire these people and help me get my washing machine!”

She is escalating more and more and is getting very close to the manager, which triggers my training. Normally, I am not allowed to go hands-on; however, there is an exception when there is a significant threat of violence to me or employees of the company I am working at, and it’s starting to appear as if some violence may happen.

Me: “Ma’am, I am going to need you to calm down and please back away from the manager. We don’t want any physical contact.”

Customer: “I’m not talking to you. You’re about to be fired, anyway; you might as well go home already!”

Manager: “He’s not going to be fired; he’s doing his job. I would be more than happy to take you to our washing machines, but you need to get a mask first.”

There’s another five-minute argument, during which I am forced to stand between the manager and the customer as she is getting more and more aggressive. The manager takes this chance to motion for the customer service employee to call the police.

Manager: “At this point, I am going to have to ask you to leave. I won’t have you yelling at our security or refusing to follow our policies.”

Customer: *To my manager* “I’m not leaving until you fire this a**hole and I get my washing machine!” *To me* “And get out of my way! Don’t you know it’s rude to get between two people talking?!”

Manager: “He is doing his job making sure no violence happens. We have called the cops. Leave now!”

About five minutes later, the cops arrived. [Customer] was screaming that we had physically assaulted her and hit her when all she wanted to do was get a washing machine, and even after the police reviewed the camera footage, she held to her story. As they attempted to trespass her from the store, she swung at me and luckily missed. That, however, was enough for her to leave the store in handcuffs.

I’m not sure why she thought I was an employee. My uniform is grey and black with a bright red logo, and the store’s uniform is a lot of blues and greens. But all’s well that ends with an entitled customer in the back of a police car.

Related:
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 11
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 10
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 9
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 8
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 7

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