Scarier Than Slender Man, Is Sullen Man

, , , , | Right | November 26, 2020

The grocery store I frequent can get very busy and crowded, to the point where you have to take a number at the deli. Today when I approach the deli, a woman gets there just ahead of me and takes her number before I do.

We both stand off to the side, waiting for the two or three other customers ahead of us, when in comes the Sullen Man.

He doesn’t seem particularly grumpy, but for some reason, he gives me a long look as he walks past before turning to take his number, as well. However, he doesn’t stand back like the rest of us but leans right up against the display case, watching the two deli employees.

Eventually, one of the employees approaches the side of the deli we’re all waiting on.

Employee #1: “Who’s next?”

I’m confused as to why the numbers aren’t being called. Sullen Man looks right at me. Being a quiet introvert, I merely indicate the woman who was ahead of me, but Sullen Man has already turned back to the employee and starts rattling off his order. The woman and I share a look but say nothing. However, another customer, who has been standing towards the other end of the deli, speaks up.

Customer: *Firm, but polite* “Excuse me, but my wife and I have been waiting longer. Why aren’t you calling the numbers?”

[Employee #1] apologizes to both Sullen Man and the customer and proceeds to take the correct order. We all go back to waiting, with Sullen Man earning his name with an angry scowl and pointedly leaning against the display case again.

The employees start calling numbers after this. The woman ahead of me is soon being helped by [Employee #1], while [Employee #2] finishes up with another.

Employee #2: *From the other end of the deli* “Number forty!”

I go to approach, but before I can take a step:

Employee #2: “Forty-one!”

The Sullen Man leans over the counter while waving his ticket around, proclaiming loudly:

Sullen Man: “Here! Here! Right here! Forty-one!”

[Employee #2] comes over and starts taking his order. Fed up, I move over to the counter and into his space, which is definitely outside my comfort zone, but I’m determined at this point to make this impatient jerk twiddle his thumbs a bit longer.

Me: *Showing my ticket* “Excuse me, but I have forty.”

Employee #2: *To the Sullen Man* “I’m sorry, sir. I need to take care of her first. What can I get you, ma’am?”

The Sullen Man doesn’t say anything, and he certainly doesn’t move, either. I have to give my order over his shoulder. After that, I step back. A moment later, though, I see [Employee #2] look at me and say something. With the store being so loud and crowded, though, I can’t hear and have to move closer, again invading the Sullen Man’s space because he won’t budge an inch.

Me: “I’m sorry, what was that?”

Employee #2: “How did you want it sliced?”

Me: “Oh. Sand—”

Sullen Man: “I didn’t order anything!”

Employee #2: “I was talking to her, sir.”

I’m forced to stand behind him.

Me: “Sandwich slices, please.”

I immediately step back again. The Sullen Man is still making a show of leaning against the display case.

Sullen Man: “I’m just waiting here!”

Me:Everyone is f****** waiting!”

He was quiet after that.

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