Oh, How The Pillars Have Fallen

, , , | Friendly | July 5, 2017

(I’m a customer here. It’s hot, it’s muggy, and I’m fresh off of work as well as feeling pretty wrung out. I’m not exactly the most attentive, so I’m mostly keeping to myself as I do my shopping. Instead of waiting in line, I take advantage of the self-check out and am ringing up my groceries when an older woman slams a bag of cherries down on the check out next to me, and stands there. Staring. Again, sorta zombie here, didn’t notice until she started clearing her throat.)

Me: “…can I help you?”

Stranger: “Yes! You can give me your member card!”

(For the record, this grocery store only has a savings and gas card; it does not, nor has it ever, required a membership to shop here.)

Me: “Uh… well, first off, no. Secondly, why not just go get your own? They’re free at the customer service desk.”

Stranger: “Just give me yours!”

Me: “Again, no.”

(I don’t have the physical card since it’s a family card, but like hell is she getting the phone number on it.)

Me: “Just go get yourself one if you live in town; if you don’t, well, suck it up and pay the extra what, fifty cents?”

Stranger: “How dare you, you f****** c***! I HAVE BEEN A PILLAR OF THIS COMMUNITY FOR ALMOST FIFTY YEARS. HOW DARE YOU TREAT YOUR BETTERS WITH SUCH DISRESPECT!”

Me: *when she finally ran out of breath* “…well, d***. And here I thought you were just a stuck up b****. Now I know the difference; you’re a b**** with that pillar stuck clear up your a**. Enjoy the cherries.”

(The look on her face warmed my cold, dead heart quite nicely, I must admit.)

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  • Darth Pseudonym

    People who refer to “your betters” never are.

    • Jackie Fauxe

      Unless you’re their bookie.

      • I_browse_with_Lynx

        That’d be “bettors,” numbskull.

        • Kraziekat

          And debtors.

          • Matt Westwood

            As long as it doesn’t debtor you from placing a bet.

          • Cyberjar88

            That would be “deter”, a$$hat.

          • Banjooie Banjo

            Pretty sure the pun still works, what with the b being silent in debt, Cyber.

          • Matt Westwood

            That’s because it’s a pun, $hithead.

          • Kraziekat

            The Debtor better deter the bettor from betting the bitter biter bites the dust.

          • Kamikaze Blitz

            The amount of “whoosh” in this thread is staggering.

        • Jackie Fauxe

          “A bettor is one who bets, especially as a habit. Bettor is an American word, it seems to be gaining ground internationally. Better is also an accepted term for one who bets, in British English.”

          Check the Oxford English Dictionary, person-who-doesn’t-understand-how-puns-work.

  • Kathy Plester

    I’m not so sure she is the pillar of anything, she just thinks she is more important than she is. Genuine pillars of the community do not expect special treatment, they help out without condition or expecting any reward because they love their community and want to foster a sense of … well community, for lack of a better word.

    Respect is earned, it is not given, and acting like this is only going to get you animosity, not respect. My grandmother used to say ‘You get respect when you act respectful.’

    • Vira Vandom

      She’s the pillar of entitlement.

    • Cassandra Smith

      OP here! Yeah, she’s apparently rather well known in the community for being the most miserly human being in town. It was a joy and an honor to knock her off her block a little.

      • Kathy Plester

        I’ve known plenty of ‘pillars of the community’ like this. I grew up in a small tourist town, which as you can imagine was a nightmare in and of itself but there was this old battleaxe who branded herself the ‘pillar of the community’ because she claimed she had lived in the town the longest. I don’t know if that was true or not, but she certainly believed it. She would butt into conversations, if you were doing something, she would tell you you were doing it wrong and explain the ‘right’ way (she once told a man who had been a mechanic for 30 years he was changing a tyre wrong!) and she would try and chase away any young people who were just hanging around even if they weren’t doing anything other than having a quiet conversation – she said they made the town look ‘untidy’ and that young people should always have something to do. Speaking of, she would come storming up to you if you littered, even if it was accidental like a wrapper fell out of your pocket. And just like this woman she demanded preferential treatment. You had to give up your seat, or parking space, or let her cut in front of you in line. She was a mean, judgemental menace.

        Glad you got to cut yours down to size – they deserve knocking off their self-appointed perch!

        • Luke Green

          What happened to her in the end? Is she still doing it or do you not know now?

          • Kathy Plester

            I moved away from said town when I was 18 to find work, as did most of my friends, so I have no idea what happened to her. Woman had to be at least 90 so she’s probably dead by now. No idea what happened to her.

          • Cathrope

            Then encased her in cement and is now a statue at the local park were the birds can land on her.

          • Kathy Plester

            This is what they should do to *everyone* who is like this. Then they can literally be a pillar or the community.

  • Chris Holmen

    personally i would walk up and knock on her head a few times, saying loudly to myself, well you’re not marble, so what kinda pillar are you made of?

    • Jackie Fauxe

      I feel like that might escalate things to someplace unpleasant.

      • TheMjohann

        This happening in the US i would not be surprised if she started screaming assult and demand a manager to call the police. Anything less would probably make the pillar make an even bigger scene.

      • Chris Holmen

        it would most likely escalate, but for some people, it might be worth it.

      • Crazed Sanity

        Pretend to knock on their head, maybe?

    • Kitty

      If she’s a pillar, she needs to be inanimate and stop talking. So, she’s lying about being better AND being a pillar. =P

      • Cerys Robinson

        Maybe her brain has autocorrect switched on, and she meant to say ‘pillock’.

        • Kathy Plester

          We used to have a similar old ‘pillar of the community’ battleaxe and my granddad met her and she had a go at him for something and he pretended to be hard of hearing and when she said ‘*I’m* the pillar of this community!’ he feigned shock and went ‘Pillock of the community? Surely not, madam, for you are so lovely and so kind how could anyone call you a pillock…?’ She kept repeating herself and he kept up pretending to mishear her and giving her all these flowery compliments in a really loud, over dramatic voice, waving his arms and such and she kept getting redder and redder in the face until she stormed off. It was hilarious. My granddads hearing is the one thing that is not failing him.

    • Matlatzinca Montoya

      You wouldn’t do a goddamn thing “Mr Retrospective Badass.”

  • Jackie Fauxe

    If your heart is cold and dead, you might be a little more zombie than “sorta”.

    • Cassandra Smith

      ….yeah, it was a rough week that week.

    • CommanderCorianderSalamander

      Zombies are room temperature. Some sort of ice lich, maybe?

      • Jackie Fauxe

        Or just colder in comparison to a living heart?

      • Crazed Sanity

        White Walker?

  • TheMjohann

    “Sure, i’ll give you my card if you give me your wallet. Sounds about as sane and reasonable dont you think?”

    • sackes

      What if her wallet was empty?

      • Huberton

        Still a free wallet

        • sackes

          But maybe not as valuable as the trade-in…

      • Harold Wagner

        Then the card is rather useless to her unless it allowed her to get something for free.

  • Lorne Smith

    And then the OP was fired for using such language to a customer, despite provocation…

    • Misoaaki

      OP was a customer.

    • I_browse_with_Lynx

      How did you understand the story when you can’t read?

    • Jennifer Smith

      Nothing said OP worked there. And they did mention the card they used was a family card, which could belong to anyway in the family (and probably not them, since they don’t have the physical card on them).

    • Flami

      “I’m a customer here.”

      How did you manage to fail so hard and miss THE FIRST F*CKING SENTENCE OF THE F*CKING STORY?!

      • Lorne Smith

        Wow, who pissed in your cereal this morning?

        • Flami

          Wow. Who says I even eat cereal?

    • Cassandra Smith

      OP here. Nah, don’t worry, I’m a regular at that grocery store; they like me because I know the pain. So. So well.

  • kaosfury

    Oh, well done! Well done indeed!

  • Adrian Mckeehan

    “If there was something in the Bible you wish you could do, What would it be?”

    The Pillar of Salt thing sounds like a great idea

    • Kitty

      I’d like to rewrite it?

      • Adrian Mckeehan

        I actually got yelled at when I was asked “What fictional stories power would you like to have?” and I said the “The Power of God”

        • Kitty

          Dragonball Beerus’ power of Destruction would be neat to have.

          • Flami

            Okay, now I gotta look this up.

            “In the Dragon Ball Super manga, Beerus extends his hand and by saying “Destruction” he throws a powerful blast that destroys his target, leaving nothing but dust.”

            AWESOME!

          • Cole Westin

            He also has another one that’s even better:

            By simply saying “Destroy”, he can ATOMIZE a specific target. Even fellow God-like beings are no match for it.

          • Flami

            Haha, what?! That’s great!

          • Luke Green

            Isn’t that too OP?

    • dave

      I dunno, while ‘Pillar of Salt’ is definitely *viscerally* satisfying, it wouldn’t be long before the local authorities started to become suspicious.
      Long term, I’d go with the ‘Water into Wine’ thing; personally satisfying, fun at parties and a HUGE business upside.

  • Kitty

    Nice comeback. I probably would have just shortened it to “F*** off”. Nobody gets automatic huge respect from me – you get basic politeness. And if you are a c***, I will treat you like one.

    • Katrin Schirmer

      yeah, if you act like an as$hat. i will treat you like an as$hat. it really is that simple.

  • Luke Green

    Mhahahahahahah. “Your Better.” Just because you are older, does not mean you are better than those who are younger.

  • Vulpis

    ….I hope you weren’t in uniform or otherwise identifiable as an employee of your place of work.

    • Ainoko_Ironrose

      As the OP never mentioned where they worked, I would assume that they worked in an office environment, cubicle farm or some other job where street clothes or suits are the norm.

      • Cassandra Smith

        OP here! Actually, I work in cabinetry, so not only was I clearly out from work (clothes stained, hair disheveled from the factory, etc), and as an added bonus, gladly out of fast food after way too many years. Even if I had still been a manager, I probably still would have responded as such; the rich people in our town are stupid cheap when it comes to nearly everything.

        • Kamikaze Blitz

          You don’t get rich by spending money.

          Hyuk hyuk

          Sorry…

  • Karyn McDonough

    Stranger: I HAVE BEEN A PILLAR OF THIS COMMUNITY FOR ALMOST FIFTY YEARS. Blah, Blah, Blah…
    Me: You should really wear a sign so that others will know.

    • Kathy Plester

      xD

  • Congratulations on being born first. Doesn’t mean I owe you anything.

  • AKchic

    As I’ve told my neighbor: respect doesn’t mean reverence. Respect means I don’t giggle when you accidentally crap yourself when you fart in public.
    Your age isn’t indicative of accomplishments or achievements. It just means you were born sooner and haven’t died yet for whatever reason. I’m not giving you a cookie for that, nor is it a marker of respect or deference. I treat everyone with the same amount of civility/politeness. Respect is earned. Deference is earned.
    If you have to tell me how important you are, then you probably aren’t that important.

    • Matt Westwood

      If you crap yourself when you fart in public, I don’t just giggle, I laugh so hard and so loudly I fall helpless to the ground in tears.

      • AKchic

        Some of us pretend to have a bit of decorum once in a while. Sometimes. When it’s convenient. Maybe.

        • Morgan Blackthorne

          Is it ever really convenient, though? 🙂

        • Matt Westwood

          Yeah, but (ha ha ha ) crapping yourself (hee hee hee) in public? (hoo hoo hoo waah boo hoo barf ho ho ho …)

  • Justin Salvati

    “Give me your member card!”
    “You don’t need one”
    “Oh. Okay.”

  • Sounds like the pillars are crumbling.

  • Passenger_Zero

    That “Pillar of the Community” sounds like an abusive person

  • Matt Westwood

    Pillars of the community do not tell people who refuse to be their slaves f****** c***s. Or maybe social mores in Kansas are different from those in civilised societies.

  • Matt Westwood

    “… didn’t notice until she started clearing her throat.”

    Somebody next to me is coughing in a rude tone of voice. Ignore, carry on. Nothing to do with me.

    1. Never engage with anybody with whom you haven’t made eye contact.
    2. Never make eye contact unless partaking in a transaction: social, financial, intellectual, etc.
    3. Never partake in a transaction if you suspect the prospective benefits to both parties is negative.

    • Cassandra Smith

      …No offense, but that sounds like a very lonely life.

      • Drillepind

        Not if you’re an introvert, or value your mental health, or don’t want to be someones “entertain me while I wait for the bus”.

        • Katrin Schirmer

          yeah, as an introvert, my default is to ignore people. clearing your throat at me wont get my attention probably. gotta use your words.

  • savage

    Don’t engage the crazy.

  • Abigail Hermione Irwin

    EXCELLENT comeback!
    And really … “pillar of the community”? Only in her delusions.

    • Cassandra Smith

      Thank you kindly. I’m fairly certain she was one of those people that thinks ‘I GO TO THE ART CENTER, I’M FAR TOO CULTURED FOR YOU SWINE’, and yet has no idea that the average bacterium is more cultured than she.

  • Christine Wood

    Wow. You burned her that badly and you didn’t even use real fire. I’m impressed.

  • Souless night

    It was muggy? As in what, mugs all over the dirt?

    • Flami

      Please look up the word “muggy” on a dictionary website.

      mug·gy
      ˈməɡē/Submit
      adjective
      (of the weather) unpleasantly warm and humid.
      synonyms: humid, close, sultry, sticky, oppressive, airless, stifling, suffocating, stuffy, clammy, damp, heavy

  • Crazed Sanity

    Stories like this warm my own cold, dead heart.

  • Kateřina Zeráková

    OP describing themselves as zombie-ish reminded me of ‘school zombies’, high schools student that were commuting to school early in the morning and had too much coffee. By noon, they were rolling on what little momentum they had left, looking exactly like this.

  • Ron Tipton

    If you have to describe yourself as a ‘pillar of the community’, you’re not one!