Off The Clock And About To Go Off On You

, , , | Right | November 1, 2019

(I work as a supervisor at a membership store. We have a high turnover rate but a few shining employees manage to stay year after year. One of our cashiers is one example of a good employee: She does not complain about her job, she follows policies, smiles, goes above and beyond for customers, the whole nine yards. But I’ve noticed when she is off the clock that she can be quite cold and prefers to be left alone. This has never been an issue as our company does not try to police what employees do when they are off the clock and out of uniform. Unfortunately, she must reek of retail as customers bother her when she isn’t working. One day, a man approaches her as she is leaving the employees-only area, on her way out.)

Customer: “Where can I find the generic brand [item]?”

Cashier: “I don’t know. I don’t know the new summer inventory well enough to know where they’ve moved things. Why not ask someone else? A manager is right over there.”

Customer: “You know where it is. Tell me, now.”

Cashier: *clearly bothered by his slightly aggressive tone and his obvious refusal to listen to her* “I don’t. Leave me alone. I’m sure some employee up there can help you.” *tries to walk away but he walks in front of her to cut her off* “Go away.”

(He starts yelling at her about “poor customer service” thrown in with some vague threats and I try to intervene.)

Me: “Sir, she is not on the clock. What was the item you needed? I will be happy to show you where it is.”

Customer: “No! Not you! I want this lazy, no-good, millennial, [gay slur] b**** to help me so she learns her d*** place!”

Cashier: *does not look at all surprised and in fact looks quite bored with this situation* “Yeah, I’m going to go home now. See you tomorrow, [My Name].”

(I try to wish her well and hope that is the end of it, but the man grabs the hood on her jacket when she turns and tugs so hard that she falls back and the hood rips. A manager is called and I approach, helping the cashier up.)

Me: “Sir, you have just assaulted someone. Leave or the police will be involved.”

Customer: “I want this stupid [gay slur] to help me!”

(I’m foggy on the details as I step away as the manager steps in to help her while I call the police. Eventually, the man is arrested for assault and taken away.)

Me: “I am so sorry, [Cashier]. Are you all right?”

Cashier: “I guess. I’m just confused as to why he kept calling me gay.”

Me: “Well, whatever the issue was, how about we give you some credit for the cafe for snacks on your breaks?”

Cashier: “I’m fine, [My Name]. Thanks.”

(She’s definitely good at handling these bouts of stress. But as an act of goodwill, the manager bought her a new jacket just like the old one that was ruined and I bought her ice cream from the cafe during her next shift. Thankfully, our company is allowed a backbone. That customer had his membership refunded and revoked, and is now banned.)

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