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Seeing Red

, , , , , , | Right | January 20, 2023

I work for a well-known, large, and family-owned liquor store in my state. Our uniform is a red polo shirt with the company logo. We can wear any color of pants we want, as long as they’re a solid color with no tears or rips.

My location is next door to a well-known big box store that also wears red shirts. I head over one day during work to grab a quick-frozen meal for my lunch break. I’m trying to decide on something when another customer walks up to me.

Customer: “I need help tracking down some bedding you have here in the store.”

At this point, I’m used to other customers thinking I work at this store.

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I don’t work here. I work next door at [Liquor Store]. I’m pretty sure bedding is in the other part of the store.”

I don’t have other customers asking me for help every time, but when it does happen, they’re usually very understanding and make jokes about how great it is to work with a huge amount of alcohol.

Not this customer, though.

Customer: “You shouldn’t be wearing red and a name tag in here if you don’t work here! How was I supposed to know you don’t work for [Store]?!”

Me: “The logo on my shirt and name tag said it for me. I just assumed that telling you I didn’t work here — plus that fact — would have made it more than clear.”

Customer: “I shouldn’t be expected to look at your name tag or shirt! I’m at [Store], and that means only people who work here should wear red! I’m going to speak to your manager!”

I’m thinking this lady isn’t really understanding me.

Me: “Ma’am, like I said, I don’t work here. I work next door. You can’t report me.”

Customer: *After sputtering a bit* “Well, I’ll just go next door to your store and report you to your manager! And then we’ll see what happens!”

Me: “Ma’am, for one, I’m off the clock right now and can say whatever I want. And, two? I am the manager that you’ll be asking to speak to. If you need a nice bottle of wine or some information on single-barrel bourbon, I can help you. Otherwise, there isn’t much that I can do for you.”

The customer stormed off.

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