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Move, [Redacted], Get Out The Way!

, , , | Right | CREDIT: seasonalblah | November 8, 2022

At my job at a big chain store, there’s this work area where customers need to wait for us to get their stuff or do checkups of some of the more technical products. Many customers tend to stand right in front of the entrance to this area while they wait, even though there’s a ton of room for them to stand, so we regularly have to ask people to move in order for us to, you know, be able to do our jobs.

One family — a woman, her husband, and their three kids — was waiting for a colleague of mine to get their products, completely blocking the way. I needed to pass to get something for someone else and politely asked them to move.

A minute later, I needed to walk back out, and there they were again, cutting off my path, so once again, I had to ask them to move, this time adding that they could wait a bit further away.

Two minutes later, you guessed it: the whole family casually standing there, blocking the whole entrance. This time, I told them that we regularly need to pass through there and that I’d appreciate it if they could stand a bit further away.

Woman: *Clearly annoyed* “You know, you really should be more polite to customers.”

Me: “How so?”

Woman: “I just think you’re impolite, talking to us like that.”

Me: “I’m not sure I understand, ma’am. How was what I said impolite?”

Woman: “It’s not what you said; it’s the way you said it.”

Me: “Well, ma’am, I apologize if I appeared impolite. In my defence, I had to ask you to move three times, so yes, perhaps you detected a little frustration on my part. I’m sure if you have to tell your kids the same thing three times, you get a little frustrated, as well.”

She didn’t immediately know how to respond to that and looked at her husband, who wisely said nothing. Then, extremely politely, I told her I had another customer waiting and that I needed to pass. The woman, however, decided she wasn’t done with me yet.

Woman: “I find it extremely rude of you to bring my children into this! This is very unprofessional of you!”

I just stared at her, as if to say, “Seriously?”

Woman: “As a customer, I deserve to be treated with respect.”

Me: “And as a human, I deserve better than to be called rude by someone who clearly doesn’t respect me or my job.”

Woman: “You can’t talk to me like that! I want to speak with your manager!”

Me: “No, you don’t. He’ll back me up and tell you to treat me with respect or leave. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m not going to argue with you anymore. I have a job to do and you’re preventing me from doing it.”

I left, and when I returned a few minutes later, they were gone. The manager part was a bluff, though; he’s new and I have no clue how he’d handle it.

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