Can’t Panhandle The Situation

, , , | Right | January 12, 2021

I’m a personal shopper. I’m putting away an order in the lobby when a woman storms up to me.

Customer: “Where is the manager?”

While I page the store manager over my headset, I see a co-manager head into the parking lot.

Me: “The store manager will meet you at the customer service desk.”

Customer: “Good. Because there’s someone outside panhandling.”

Me: “Oh, okay.”

Unfortunately, the streets outside my store are a popular spot for beggars, since there’s an ABC (liquor) store right across the street from us. We don’t tolerate panhandling in our parking lot at all. We always give them a chance to leave before we get the police involved. These people know it’s illegal to ask for money in our parking lot, but they keep coming back. Usually, they hightail it once they see an employee. I glance out the window and see the co-manager approaching the panhandler.

Me: *On the wire* “Never mind, [Manager], it looks like [Co-Manager] is handling it.” *To the customer* “It’s being taken care of right now. A manager is talking to them.”

I point out the window. The manager, the panhandler, and another customer are clearly having a discussion in the parking lot.

Customer: “Thank you.”

She leaves. I finish putting my order away and glance out the window. The customer I was talking to has stormed over to the panhandler. She’s clearly yelling, pointing fingers at him, and invading his personal space. My manager has to get between the two to keep them at bay. Our freezer for online orders is broken, and the maintenance guy stops working to watch with me when he realizes I’m not moving.

After a few minutes, the panhandler leaves, the customer comes back inside to do her shopping, and the manager stops in the lobby to talk to the maintenance guy. I go inside. The same customer approaches me again.

Customer: “Did the manager ever come inside with that guy?”

Me: “I believe she got him to leave the premises, but she’s in the lobby right now.”

Customer: “Okay.”

A little while later, [Co-Manager] comes up to me.

Co-Manager: “That woman is crazy.”

Me: “She seemed crazy. I get thinking panhandlers are annoying, but to have that much hatred for them?”

Co-Manager: “I told him if he really needs money, he can always apply for a job with us. He turned me down.”

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