It’s Time For Them To Punch Out

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 5, 2019

(I was involved in an incident that left me anxious around strangers. I’m barely able to talk to them and I really don’t want to be touched by them. I have been getting help, but I still have to have family or a friend go with me whenever I go out. I’m out shopping with one of my closest friends. I’m deciding on what chips I want when he says he is going to the next aisle to grab some water. I’m okay with this since it should only be less than a minute before he gets back. As soon as he goes around the corner, a middle-aged woman comes up to me.)

Lady: “Excuse me. Can you tell me where the [item] is?”

(I’m feeling anxious already, but she was polite so I manage to answer her.)

Me: “Sorry. I don’t know where that is.”

(Her politeness disappears immediately.)

Lady: *raising her voice* “What do you mean, you don’t know? What kind of employees do they hire here that don’t know where anything is?!”

(The employees wear long-sleeve, white dress shirts with a tie, black slacks, and either a vest or apron. I’m wearing a white hoodie and black jeans.)

Me: *starting to shake and tear up* “I don’t work here. I—“

Lady: *cutting me off* “BULLS***! I saw you help that young man just now.”

(I’m now beginning to panic when I see my friend come around the corner and begin to walk toward him.)

Lady: *grabs me by the arm* “DON’T YOU WALK AWAY FROM ME, YOU LAZY B—“

(That’s the last thing I hear. I’m not 100% sure what happens but my friend tells me that as soon as the lady turns me, I punch her in the nose. Then I kind of black out for a little while. My friend tells me this is what happens after I punch her.)

Lady: *now holding her bloody nose* “CALL THE COPS! THIS F****** EMPLOYEE JUST ASSAULTED ME!”

Friend: *checking on me* “She’s not an employee; she’s a customer. And you grabbed her first.”

Lady: “DON’T YOU LIE FOR HER!”

(A manager comes over with the security guard and an employee who is another friend of mine.)

Manager: “What’s going on?”

Lady: “THIS B**** PUNCHED ME FOR NO REASON!”

Friend: “You grabbed her first.”

(The cops are called, and I begin to calm down. I see the employee holding my hand trying to calm me down.)

Me: *disoriented* “What’s going on?”

Employee: *calmly and quietly* “It’s okay. Can you tell me what you remember right now?”

Me: *starting to hyperventilate when I see the lady* “That woman grabbed me.”

Employee: *rubbing my hand* “It’s okay. The cops will be here and it will all be sorted out.”

(I just want to go home now. I pull my knees up to my chest and I start crying. My friend sits next to me and tries to calm me down. The lady still has to get her jabs in.)

Lady: “You know you f***** up, don’t you?”

Manager: “Miss, could you please leave her alone?”

Lady: “NO! THIS F****** B**** ASSAULTED ME AND SHE KNOWS SHE’S GOING TO JAIL! THAT’S WHY SHE IS CRYING!”

(My friend has had enough. I have never seen him so mad.)

Friend:No! She is not. You’re the one who grabbed her, because you’re too stupid to listen when someone says they are not an employee.” *points to cameras and the end of the aisles* “And those will prove it.”

(The lady now has a worried look on her face and starts to walk back out of the aisle toward the exit, but the cops show up. The manager leads the cops, my friend, and the lady to his office to review the tapes while the employee stays with me.)

Me: *crying* “I want to go home.”

Employee: “As soon as they let [Friend] leave, we can go. How about when this is done I go get some [my favorite ice cream] and stop by [my favorite pizza place] and we watch some Disney movies?”

Me: “Don’t you still need to work?”

Employee: “No, I just got off. I can leave whenever we’re done here.”

(I agreed, and [Friend] came out and asked if I was ready to go. It took me a few more minutes to get up and go. On our way home, my friend told me that after they reviewed the tape and he explained how I don’t like to be touched, the cops were very understanding. The lady wasn’t, and she flipped out, slapping my friend and kicking the manager. The lady was arrested and that’s the last I heard about her. My employee friend came over later with the ice cream and pizza and we watched Disney movies for the rest of the night.)

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