Limping Away From Ignorance

, , , , , | | Working | June 13, 2019

(I have just started working at a store that sits right in the middle of the higher- and working-class population, so a mix of different people will come and shop. Within my first week, on a slow day, I’m chatting with two of my coworkers as a customer with a semi-noticeable limp enters through the elevators.)

Coworker #1: “Ugh, she’s back.”

Coworker #2: “Hey, [My Name], when she’s ready, can you check her out?”

Me: “Okay, why?”

Coworker #2: “Well, she has a bit of an attitude, and you’re new. Have to graduate somehow, right?”

Me: *rolls eyes* “Haha. But sure, all right.”

(Eventually, she comes up to my register. She smiles and acknowledges that I’m new, since she doesn’t recognize my face. She’s wearing a veteran cap, which I point out and ask about, as my cousin is a veteran, too. We end up chatting for a bit while I ring her out. She pays with an EBT card for her groceries and goes off on her way to the elevators once again. She was perfectly polite, and I am left confused over the warning I had received about her from my coworkers until they both approach me again.)

Coworker #1: “Wow. How did you do that?”

Me: “Do what?” *starting to think I was lucky for catching the customer while she was in a good mood*

Coworker #1: “Keep a straight face?”

Me: *more confused* “Over what?”

Coworker #1: “Come on, you know.”

(She then starts to imitate an exaggerated limp, mocking the customer. My second coworker laughs. I’m left speechless.)

Coworker #2: “I’m more surprised that you were able to keep it together when she flashed her EBT card. She always does it so casually, too! It’s so shameless.”

(By now, my confusion has manifested into anger.)

Me: “Why does it matter how she pays for her food?”

Coworker #2: “Well, I mean, it’s not just that. It’s just the shamelessness. I try to act casual, too, but then she always gets attitude and all mad about it. Like, dude, at least I’m trying!”

Coworker #1: “She always takes the elevator, too. Like, at least try to look active.”

(Now my anger is BOILING.)

Me: “Are you kidding me? She’s clearly a veteran!”

(Both give me a blank stare.)

Coworker #1: “So?”

Coworker #2: “Yeah, wasn’t that her choice, anyway?”

(I gave up and walked away at this point as I was literally shaking with rage. We never got along after that, but I got along with my other coworkers just fine — most of whom also had issues with how ignorant and conceited the other two usually acted — and I was always happy to see my regular who, by the way, never gave “attitude” towards anyone else BUT the two coworkers, solely because they gave it to her first. Eventually, one quit and the other was let go, the latter due to her behavior towards customers. None of us were shocked.)

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