Behaving Antisocial About Being Social

, , , | Right | September 9, 2020

Our registers are spaced along a counter, rather than at individual kiosks. A customer is at the register next to mine, chattering to my supervisor about what she’s going to do with her craft purchase. I’m not paying attention, partly because I’m not interested, but mostly because another customer has come to the tills.

I greet the next customer and start ringing them up. We’re a little way down the counter and I’m not talking loudly enough to drown her out, but apparently, the customer takes offense.

Customer #1: “Excuse me? Excuse me! HEY!”

She reaches over and raps my register monitor sharply.

Customer #1: “Are you listening to me?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but no. I was helping another customer.”

Customer #1: “Well, you need to remember your manners! Close your mouth and open your ears, because I’m talking and you’re supposed to be listening! I was saying that I’m going to—”

Me: “Ma’am, I have a customer to help. I cannot socialize.”

Customer #1: “You’re being very rude! I learned in elementary school that when one person talks, you’re supposed to listen!”

Customer #2: “And I learned in elementary school that when you’re at work, you do your job and don’t stand around socializing. Leave the poor cashier alone.”

Customer #1: “You stay out of this!”

The supervisor, who initially kind of froze up, speaks up.

Supervisor: “Ma’am, you were talking to me. My employee was not part of our conversation, so she was not required to listen. Now, here is your change, and you’re going to need to leave, as we have other customers to assist.”

[Customer #1] huffed but stormed off. She didn’t send in a complaint, as far as I know.

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