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Not A Moving Tale

, , , | Right | December 28, 2020

I work cash in an office supplies store. Back-to-school is in full swing and, unfortunately, not only do we have a bunch of sick calls, but we also have a problem with the main cash by the door, so we’ve piled a flyer stand, baskets, and other things on the counter so people know not to go there.

I’m about six feet away cashing people through the second till with my back to the first till. 

It’s super busy, with a never-ending line, and I’m the only cashier on staff. Suddenly, I hear a woman speak behind me. 

Woman: “Excuse me. Can I get some service, please?”

Me: *Turns around* “Oh, sorry, ma’am. The line is actually over here at this till!”

The woman has moved all the piles of things at the broken till and has started unloading her cart full of items onto the counter at this point.

Woman: “Well, how am I supposed to know?! Where’s the sign!?”

Me: “We aren’t allowed to put up unofficial signs, but that’s why the pile of stuff was there blocking it and why I’m at this till.”

Woman: “Sure, it was piled here.”

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, it was blocked. Someone must have moved it.”

Woman: “Are you implying it was me?!”

Me: “Of course not. I’m just saying I don’t know who moved it.”

Woman: “Okay, well, I don’t want to come over there so you will just have to take my stuff over there and go back and forth.”

She looks smug as if she has just defeated me.

Me: “Certainly, but my first priority is the nice folks in line. Once it’s cleared, I will definitely do that for you.”

I know full well that the line is endless as, at this point, it’s halfway through the store, but having to go back and forth would take longer with all the items she has, and it isn’t fair to the ones who have been waiting long enough already.

After about five minutes, she sighs and finally gets in line. She is next in line just as a coworker comes over to cover my lunch.

Woman: “Um, excuse me! You can’t refuse to serve me!”

Me: “Sorry?”

Woman: “What, is it because I’m black? You refused to serve me at that till and now you don’t want to. Are you racist or lazy? Either way, you clearly shouldn’t work here!”

The lady was getting so worked up and I just froze, not knowing what to say. After screaming and holding up the line again, she left.

A manager came up and asked what happened and I explained. He said we would have to go back together to review my conduct on the surveillance tapes, which I was fine with. It turns out she did move the items blocking the till, and I was obviously cleared of any misconduct.