Lawnmower Man Has Some Problems

, , , | Right | August 16, 2017

(I work in a hardware store that has a lawnmower shop attached. We sell lawn equipment and repair them as well. When we get someone who wants a lawnmower blade or chainsaw chain sharpened we have to put the customer’s name and number in the computer. If it’s too late in the day we can’t sharpen the blades or chains as all the unit techs have started working on large equipment or have gone out to deliver people’s equipment. On weekends we don’t have unit techs as they have the weekends off. A number of coworkers and I are working on a Saturday and it’s just started to get busy. I’m called to the front of the store to go help the cashiers out a bit. When I get back to the parts counter my coworker is wide eyed and kinda dazed.)

Me: “Hey, [Coworker], are you okay?”

Coworker: “Um, well, a customer just tried to swing a lawnmower blade at my head.”

Me: “WHAT?! Are you okay? Did he hit you? What happened?”

Coworker: “This older guy came up to the counter and wanted his blade sharpened so I told him I needed his name and number. He didn’t want to give it to me and asked me why I needed it. I told him we couldn’t sharpen it today but we’d have it done by Monday at 11 at the latest. I just needed his name and number so we could call him when we were done. He got mad and demanded it be done today. I told him that there was no-one there who could do it today. I guess that’s not what he wanted to hear because he swung that blade at my head and it was about a half an inch away from hitting me in the temple. I called [Store Manager] and told him what happened. He came over and asked the customer to follow him outside. [Store Manager] sharpened his blade and told him if he ever came back that he’d kick his a** and throw him out of the store. He also said that if he wanted he could turn the video we have over to the police and have him charged. He said the guy practically ran to his truck.”

Me:“…you know what? At this point I’m not surprised this happened. I’m glad that you’re all right, though. Let me guess: he didn’t say sorry.”

Coworker: *sigh* “They never say sorry.”

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  • BlueDude320

    Sharpened his blade anyway? Huh-uh.

  • Shelley Ferson

    And he still got what he wanted.

  • Lesleanne

    he should have been charged with assault

    • Steven Cring

      More like attempted muder if you ask me

      • Ben Willems

        Unfortunately, they have to clearly establish an intent to kill, not wound. But yeah, attempted assault/attempted aggravated assault (due to the weapon)

        • Jared Castro

          I am pretty sure if he had connected it would have killed, considering he swung at the employee’s temples. I consider that an established intent to kill.

          • Ben Willems

            Intent to kill, in dutch law at least, is having had time to reconsider.
            Being insulted, walking into a homeware store, buying a knife, coming back out and killing, that’s still manslaughter.
            Being insulted, going home, looking up the other guy’s location, going there and killing him, then it’s premeditated, and thus murder, having had enough time to reconsider your options

    • godzillahomer

      assault with a deadly weapon at that

    • An Oni Mouse

      Y’know… the word “assault” gets thrown around a lot around here… but in this case it absolutely applies

      • LawGeek

        Different states use the word differently. Here, the most common use of the word (threatening harm) applies. But in NY, assault means actually touching, which is called battery in other states. So whether people are using it ‘wrong’ when they use assault in its vernacular sense depends on one’s location or perspective.

    • Pogla

      Apepper as well!

    • Cathrope

      Hey! There can only be one Deadpool!

      • GLaDOS

        I bet I could make two of him. You know, for Science.

        • sackes

          The cake is a lie

      • Moonshadow Kati

        Two words: Deadpool Corps.

    • 白大福

      More likes attempted murder, a fatal melee weapon

  • Goldstart

    That manager should have NOT sharpened the blade, said the same thing and still given the tape to the police.

    • Allegra O

      I totally agree.

    • Patrick Mccurry

      As rational as that would be, it likely would have gotten the manager fired. Not kowtowing to the almighty customer is sacrilege to American business culture. 🙁

  • Chris Hubbard

    So he sharpened his blade for free? Seriously?

    • Ophelia

      I was wondering about that. Unless the service is free in the first place, it sounds like this man got what he wanted AND didn’t have to pay for it.

  • justinagirle

    I can’t stand managers that give these horribly acting customers what they want. It just enforces the horrible behavior.

    • godzillahomer

      yeah, but if he comes back, he gets the Hank Hill Special and a free ride

      • Raltizal

        Doubtful, I mean sure the manager said he would kick the customers a*s, as he gave the customer exactly what he wanted and for free. Sounds like an empty threat to me. A manager that actually protects his or her employees wouldn’t have catered to the customer, and they would have…. never mind, I’m repeating what everyone else said now.

  • godzillahomer

    I hope the manager ‘fixed’ the blade; sharpening it in a manner that’d make it cleanly break after being in use for a half hour

    • An Oni Mouse

      …and send a piece of the blade flying out from under the lawnmower in a random direction?

      • godzillahomer

        well, not that violently, more that it got sharpened too much; like a pench sharpened till it’s a nub or similar; or the manager managed to mess up where the blade attaches to the mower at, making it useless

        guy comes back, he gets a ride in a cop car to the hospital for the boot removal surgery

        • divgradcurl

          You…don’t actually know how lawnmowers work, do you?

          • godzillahomer

            nope, not a bit; likely not safely sabotagable in that scenario then, I guess

      • Kitty

        No, no, physic-Karma will turn it around so that the angle will hit this customer in the temple.

        • TheWonderRabbit

          But karma is the accumulation of positive and negative energies in life, to determine your reincarnation.

          It doesn’t magically cause good things to happen to good people, or bad to bad people.

          As a great man once said, “That’s not how The Force works.”

  • Katie Manning

    Congrats to the manager for rewarding the customer for literally trying to kill his employee. Who needs enemies when you’ve got managers?

  • Holy [email protected] I’m with everyone else here, why on earth would that manager
    1. Give the customer what he wants and
    2. Not call the authorities immediately.

    That is serious harm that could have come to his employee because of a lunatic customer.

    • Denton Young

      F*** calling the authorities. Sharpen the blade and decapitate the lunatic customer on the spot with it.

      • Mirjan Bouma

        No, no, the paperwork involved in that is a cruel and unjust punishment for the person doing the world a favour.

        • I am Jenn

          And the cost to clean up the mess….no, this isn’t the way to go…

  • Rebecca Charlton

    The store manager came in and sharpened a blade for a violent unreasonable customer who already tried to maim and possibly blind one your employees? What the actual F*ck? If I was the employee who got swung at and the store manager’s response was not to throw the customer bodily out of the store at the very least, my resignation would be tendered before any sharpening could be done. No job is worth being assaulted. The customer should have had some new pretty metal bracelets, not a newly sharpened assault weapon. I am unreasonably angry right now for something that didn’t happen to me.

  • Kitty

    Why would you sharpen the weapon someone had JUST tried to almost kill you with!? The Store Manager should’ve told the man to take a hike, or else, and still gotten the police involved!

  • I can’t believe the police didn’t get called for something that serious! The employee could have been seriously hurt, and that loon of customer could still seriously hurt someone, especially now that the manager has reinforced “swinging large metal objects at employees gets you faster service.”

  • Marianne

    Nah, F that. The cops should have been called. Full stop.

  • Nerdman51

    Wow, a customer nearly killed a employee and the manager sharpens his weapon for free? Spineless cunt

  • Blaine Wheeler

    Uh…no…Call the police anyway. That’s pretty much attempted murder. Or, attempted manslaughter at the very least

  • Bernie Hunter

    So why did the manager sharpen the blade? Seems like everyone wants to know that question!

  • EJ Nauls-Poland

    Customer nearly murders an employee, so rather than immediately calling the police, the manager decides to give the customer what they want and let them off with a warning. That’s definitely a contender for one of the worst managers I’ve seen on this site.

    • Moonshadow Kati

      You swung this at my employee’s head? Here, let me sharpen that for you.

  • tface

    It’s not just the manager’s decision whether or not to call the police. That employee should file charges!

  • CeeCee

    Holy crap…

  • Stacy

    Every time we get a story like this, I wonder how people like this exist. And after the events of this past weekend, I have currently lost all hope for humanity. Assaulting someone with a deadly weapon because you can’t get your way is as disgusting as Naziism.

    • TheBigBadWolf

      Managers like the one in the story. Customer swings a lawnmower blade at employee, manager responds by sharpening (what the customer wanted in the first place) for them.

    • Kathy Joy

      I can’t speak for all the nut jobs,but for many in my experience, it’s usually because they just don’t see the staff as human beings, so there’s little to no hesitation.

      • Akamar

        Pretty much

  • Jeanette Stringer

    Should have turn the video into police anyways because that was attempted assault, and dare I say it an attempted murder since he aimed a sharp blade at your coworker’s head. And as others said manager rewarded the customer’s deadly behaviour, so this also belongs in NAW as much as it does NAR. Attacking someone with a sharp blade does not warrant allowing the customer in getting what they wanted in the end. They should’ve been escorted out by security, and have the police called on him.

  • Abigail Hermione Irwin

    Really? Store manager sharpened his blade? Why?
    I’d have tossed it into the nearest dumpster and told him he could crawl through the rotting trash to retrieve it. And if he was lucky, he’d have it before the cops got there.

    • Moonshadow Kati

      I’d have kept it as evidence.

  • Adrian Mckeehan

    Like everyone else has already said, The manager was horrible, just horrible.

  • Lord Retro

    Found out from one of my techs that before I was a supervisor an irate customer threw the hot coffee pot at him that barely missed his head, hit the wall beside him and spashed him with hot coffee bad enough he had burn blisters on his back. He also had a different customer take a swing at him. When I asked if he reported it he just said “nah, I just got out of there”.

    He has since had it pushed into his head that you report assault, you don’t just leave.

    I only had 1 customer I was ever afraid was going to take a swing at me. Guy refused to listen to a word I said, insisted that I was lying when I said satellite TV came from a satellite in orbit (he insisted it came off the relay tower like the off-air local channels and not Clarks Belt ~23,500 miles away) and basically a grumpy individual. After repeating again that I could not install due to tree cover blocking the signal (we need to see the southern sky, you couldn’t even see the blue of the southern sky due to big trees on his tiny propery) he demanded that I personally give him back the $125 deposit. After several refusals (all refunds come from the main office, not the guy on your steps, we don’t ship guys out with hundreds of dollars in cash) he told me to “get the f*** off my property.” As I was walking back to my truck he shouted “What are you going to do?” I behaved and didn’t flip him off or cuss, but I did say I couldn’t install where there was no signal. His parting comment was “That’s because you’re fat and lazy.” Reported it, noted it on his account, and left with all the neighbors acting like they weren’t eavesdropping.

    As a tech, we don’t get paid if we don’t do the job. I drove almost an hour over to his place, spent 15 minutes arguing with him, and then had to drive almost an hour to my next job (he had called and threatened to cancel if they didn’t force his job in that day so I had to go out of my way to get to him because a phone rep shoved it on the already bursting schedule). I wasn’t paid for any of that. And his small house would have been an easy easy install if only he had line of sight.

  • Lany Chabot-Laroche

    Crazy customer aside, once again, the whole intro could have been shortened to “I work in a store that repairs lawnmowers.” All the other info is repeated by the coworker anyway.

  • AsaeAmpan

    Should have charged the guy with attempted assault with a deadly weapon.

    • Denton Young

      “Should have sharpened the blade for the customer and then used it to slice customer’s head off.”

      Fixed it for you.

  • Kerrie Mills

    Need to add my voice to the ‘guy tried to murder your employee and you responded by sharpening his weapon for him?!’ chorus, because that is just all the different kinds of messed up.

  • TheBigBadWolf

    Your manager can go shove a cactus up themselves. The customer is not going to give a flying cunt about manager’s little “kick his ass” since customer got what he wanted. For free. The manager’s threat is probably empty.

    I hope coworker is in a good enough financial position to find another job. One with better managers.

  • AKchic

    Yes, let’s give the man a SHARPER weapon and let him off with a warning.

  • Pandorajyn

    Customer :*attempts to kill employee with a dull blade*
    Manager: oh no no no we absolutely cannot have that! Let me sharpen that blade you used to try to take a defenseless minimum wage employees head off. Cause you know…you gotta make sure your deadly weapon can actually cut the next time you swing it! So sorry about that so ill sharpen it for free!

    This is why I hate retail

  • Jennifer Johnson

    Ok, I’ve seen what dull lawnmower blades can do. My dad nearly sliced his entire kneecap off while taking one off our lawmmower. He had like 20 stitches and was out of work for 2 months. And that was his KNEE, not his HEAD. So I am absolutely fuming that the manager not only didn’t call the cops and kick the guy out but actually SHARPENED the blade! Absolutely insane!

    • Kathy Joy

      You can do huge amounts of damage even with completely blunt objects, let alone a dull blade. They can even sometimes kill, though as a minimum they can certainly seriously wound – especially when aimed at the head.

      Not sure what this manager was thinking. Can only assume he was recently hit on the head with something.

  • Samantha Phastine

    Everyone asking why the manager sharpened the blade: To get the customer OUT. This kind of psycho, after throwing the blade at the employees, would likely try to continue, possibly escalating to even worse violence – getting a gun, for example.

    This way, the manager had a way to both get enough calm to inform the customer what the manager would retaliate with, and why, as well as just get the customer to LEAVE.

    • Seth Fox

      Nah, call the police. Nuts like this guy shouldn’t be on the street.

    • Michael Taylor

      He had gotten the blade away from the customer at one point. He should have quietly called the police while he had him disarmed.

    • Kathy Joy

      Except if that was what he feared, why give the psycho a sharper blade? That doesn’t seem safe. And also why threaten to kick his a**? Given the circumstances, I’m having trouble believing this was his motivation. And even if it was, it certainly wasn’t well thought out because if he’d been right… it wouldn’t have ended well.

  • Denton Young

    The manager should have taken the lawnmower blade and used it to slice the customer’s head off…. outside of camera range of course.

  • QueenCheetah

    To be fair, I don’t think a ‘sorry’ would cut it in this case… “What do you mean, ‘attempted murder’?! Why am I being put in handcuffs?!” is the more appropriate response. (Also, not to play devil’s advocate, but the manager was probably just trying to get the psychotic gardener out of the store before he could take a swing at someone else).

    • Aw, you included my comment in yours. =(

      • QueenCheetah

        Oops- sorry, I didn’t realize- I probably shouldn’t type so late at night. >.<

        • Heh, no worries, it’s okay — I think you used the pun I was going to without even realizing it? XD

    • Kathy Joy

      Maybe but then if that was so, why did he sharpen it if he was so concerned that he would take a swing at anyone else…? That just seems foolish to me.Guy tries to take out a member of staff with a blunt blade, so for everyone’s protect you…. give him a sharp one…?

  • Claire Judez

    WHAAAAAAAAT??? Of ALL the stories that make me think “Well, he should have called the cops”, that one takes the cake ! Holy [email protected], that’s a freakin murder attempt !
    Worst manager ever for doing exactly what the customer wanted even though he almost sent one of his employees to the hospital. Good job.

  • Fluff Muffin

    That manager is an idiot and then some. He basically rewarded the customer for nearly, seriously injuring an employee, if not killing them. And now the customer has a freshly sharpened blade. Lovely. He *should* have called the cops, handed over the surveillance tape and had that b****** of a customer charged with assault with a deadly weapon and intent to harm/kill. I sure as heck would have pressed charges had I been the employee whom the blade had been swung at.

    • Michael Taylor

      I think that incident would have gone beyond assault. I think that’s in the attempted murder category. I would have pressed charges too, after I pounded him into submission.

      • Fluff Muffin

        Yes, exactly.

      • Torbjörn Axelsson

        Just press charges. No need for a counter claim.

  • Kathy Joy

    1. The manager should not have sharpened the blade, this teaches the customer they can get away with behaviour like this. 2. Yes, take a license plate and send that video to the police – even a blunt blade swung at somebody’s HEAD can cause some serious damage. He swung with intent to hit – even if the blade missed that was still assault at the VERY least.

    Why would you let this guy a) get what he wants (albeit with a threat and banning him) and then let him go free to do it again elsewhere? How bad will that manager feel when he read in the paper that this customer cleaved a cashier head in, knowing he could have put somebody this volatile in police custody?

    Sure, there’s a chance this may have put the guy off in future, but if he was bold enough to do this in the first place – swing a blade at a member of staff – I’m going to guess it won’t put him off for long, especially knowing he not only got what he wanted in spite of that behaviour but he also go away without consequence, except being banned from one store.

    • Akamar

      He wasn’t even banned!

      • Kathy Joy

        Well the last bit the manager said about if he ever came back he’d kick his a** seems to imply he’s banned. Still bullsh*t though. This guy needs to be in police custody if just being told he can’t have a lawnmower blade sharpened immediately sends him into a murderous rage. This guy needs to be committed.

        • Akamar

          Yeah, I caught it later. Doubt it will be enforced

          • Kathy Joy

            Oh agreed, bans are rarely enforced. Customers sneak in, new staff don’ always recognise them, management forget etc.

  • richhart

    I would have sharpened the blade, slowly, to make sure the police would get there before he left.

    • Pisces

      Yes but then you would be giving him a functional weapon

  • Medusa Jordan

    There is no way that man should have been allowed to leave.

  • Kay Lee

    Ytf would the manager have actually sharpened that asswad’s blade?!

  • sackes

    I would have sharpened that blade to oblivion, or in such a way that the unbalance would have destroyed his lawnmower…

  • ShamrockStreak

    If you’ve got a description, then absolutely go to the cops with it. If he’s prepared to swing a blade at someone over that, what’s he going to do when he REALLY loses his temper?

  • NinoAi

    Why would he have bothered saying sorry. He got what he wanted and now knows how to get it every time.

    F this and f that manager.

  • Xaveston

    The fact he wouldn’t give his name to begin with, and is why he lost it, made me wonder if he was planning to use it for something else, oh I don’t know like kill someone and hope that the cops won’t figure it out because it’s a different murder tool.

    The fact he was cool with almost killing someone already…

  • The person who was attacked should be the one who decides whether to press charges, not the store manager. The way it actually happened, the store manager is perceived as someone who doesn’t care about his employees’ safety.

  • Bel-Shamharoth

    “You just tried to swing a lawnmower blade at my employee? Here, let me sharpen that blade for you.”

    I mean, good job banning him but Jesus Christ WHY would you sharpen the thing that was literally just used to attack someone?

  • Akamar

    What?! A crazy old man tried to kill your employee and you just give him what he wants?!

  • disqus_i31XNiZkOv

    Yeah if I was that employee I would already be on the phone to the police! F the manager for sharpening the blade and for not automatically calling the cops.
    If I was the manager I would have told the customer it would be a few minutes to sharpen his blade in the back and conce out of site I would have called the cops (rf if the sharpening area is in view had another employee call the cops while I very slowly sharpened the blade, to give the cops time to arrive.

  • Smartacus

    Yet another problem with sharpening the blade: it proves you lied to him when you told him there was nobody there who could sharpen it.

  • Jenna

    So, your manager rewards him by doing what he wants done, THEN tells him not to come back… despite him not needing to come back because the manager has already done what he wanted…


  • Evie Be

    the manager gave him what he wanted and let him go without calling police. That idiot should be reported and fired.