Hitting A Man With Glasses

, , , | Right | April 12, 2019

(A customer approaches me wanting to know the air velocity of a leaf blower we carry. It isn’t specified on the box, so I turn to the Internet. This requires walking away from the customer to our information desk. I begin keying in the model number when another customer walks up and drops two heavy bottles of lawn weed counter on the desk hard enough I worry it might break the glass top.)

Customer: “I have a question for you.”

Me: “Sure, I’ll be right with you; I’m helping that gentleman over there—“ *pointing* “—with a request, and then I’d be happy to answer your question.”

Customer: *looks all around* “Nope, don’t see anybody, so you’re not busy and you’ll answer my question. What’s the dif—“

Me: *cutting in* “Sir, I can page someone over here to help you, or I’ll be just a moment. This gentleman was in line first; all I have to do is go and give him this information and then I’ll be right back.”

Customer: “But… I’m standing right in front of you and there’s nobody else here! Besides, you have glasses!”

Me: “Pardon?”

Customer: “You have glasses. I left mine in the car and I can’t read these bottles!”

(At this juncture, I’ve come from behind the desk and am walking over to give the air velocity customer his information. Mr. Impatient doesn’t seem to get that the time he has wasted demanding to be helped first would have more than allowed me to help the other customer, come back, and already be well on my way to helping him. He follows close beside me.)

Customer: “Just let me see your glasses for a second.”

Me: “What?”

Customer: “Just let me use them long enough to read the label on this weed killer and I’ll give them right back.”

Me: “Sir, I’m not going to give you my glasses. If you’ll just wait two seconds…”

Customer: “Just give me the glasses for a second. I’ll give them right back to you; I promise!”

(He reaches over as we’re walking and makes a swipe at trying to grab my glasses from my head.)

Me: *backing up several steps* “BACK OFF! DO NOT TOUCH ME, SIR! I told you it would be just a moment and I would help you. I even offered to page someone to help you, but I must draw the line at you trying to put your hands on me. If you continue to do so I’ll be forced to defend myself.”

(The store isn’t terribly busy, and sound carries, so three or four other customers, plus my original one, have now turned to see what’s going on.)

Customer: “This is f****** bulls***! You refused to help me, and then you threatened me! I’m going to call the manager and have you fired!”

Me: “I’ll make it easy for you. I’m the manager.”

Customer: “Then, I’m going to call your… boss… head office, district manager, WHATEVER!”

Me: *calmly* “Absolutely.” *lists the number as he punches it into his phone* “And here is the extension for the person you need to talk to.”

(The man storms off, but not before having a heated conversation with our cashier. When he leaves and I have taken care of my customer, I call our corporate office and relay what happened, and then approach my cashier.)

Me: “What did he say on his way out?”

Cashier: “He said he asked for help reading something and you refused. When he asked again he said you threatened him and then took a swing at him.”

Me: “So, his version is that I refused service and went straight to taking a swing?” *laughing* “I must have really had it in for the guy to go from calm chat to full-on bar brawl just like that! All this over a bottle of freaking weed killer? Remind me again why I’m in retail?”

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