I Taekwondon’t Work Here!

, , , , | Right | October 20, 2019

(Because I have just gotten out of taekwondo, I am wearing my summer uniform, which for assistant instructors like me is a blue polo with our logo stitched on the breast. I stop by the local superstore because one of my headlights is out and I need to replace it before it gets dark.)

Customer: “Hi. Can you tell me where your printer ink is?”

Me: “I’m not sure, but I think it’s—” *gestures* “—over there.”

Customer: “Well, can’t you look it up on the computer that you employees all have?”

(Keep in mind, I’m wearing my white pants with my taekwondo black belt around my waist, wearing flip flops, and sweating buckets because I just left class.)

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am, but I don’t work here.”

Customer: *extremely irritated and snooty at this point* “Well, can you page someone over to help me?”

Me: *slightly irritated because confrontation like this makes me mad, but trying to keep my cool* “Ma’am, let me repeat myself: I don’t work here. I already have a very good job at [Store], you know, up at [Intersection]? I’m not even wearing the same color shirt as the employees here.”

Customer: “I’m telling the store manager here about the way you treat your customers.”

Me: *with a huge fake smile* “Okay, make sure they write me up and fire me.”

(Cut to about ten minutes later; I’m checking out with my headlight.)

Cashier: “Hey, man, I was at the other end of the aisle when you had your little ‘encounter’ with that lady a few minutes ago. That made my night. I’ll keep a lookout for that write-up you mentioned.” *winks*

Me: “Haha, thanks! Unfortunately, I could have handled that better, but I was too tired to do anything else in the moment.”

(We finished the transaction and I left without any more issues.)

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