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She May Call You Honey But She Isn’t Sweet

, , , , | Right | January 27, 2021

I am training two new cashiers. An elderly customer decides to cash out at the register we are training on. We respect the rules of social distancing, but when we have three people on one register, the best we can do is to at least be a metre (about three feet) apart so we’re all watching and learning from each other. I’m in the middle, watching [Trainee #1] scan their items, and [Trainee #2], on my left, is watching from a decent distance.

While the customer’s items are being scanned and I’m watching, the customer is staring at [Trainee #2] and me.

Customer: “Neither of you is social distancing! [Trainee #2] needs to move back away from you!”

He has nowhere to go, so he just takes a step back and she shakes her head in disbelief.

Customer: “Oh, honey, that’s not far enough. Do I need to call the manager to teach you how to social distance?”

Trainee #2: “The manager has gone home for the night.”

Customer: “I don’t like your attitude.”

I step in and explain.

Me: “All three of us are training and he wasn’t giving any attitude; he just has nowhere else to step back toward.”

Customer: *Fake tone* “Oh, I’m not trying to argue with you, honey.”

She continues on spewing her nonsense about social distancing and getting management involved and then starts yelling at me loud enough for the whole store to hear.

Customer: “STEP BACK AWAY FROM HER!”

She gestures to [Trainee #1].

Customer: “MOVE BACK! MOVE BACK! MOVE BACK!”

Customers and coworkers are all staring in our direction. I’m shaking my head at her and she’s appalled that I’m taking her tantrum as a joke.

While this is going on, I notice that three of my other coworkers are gathered by the exit doors, talking to each other, definitely not two metres apart, and I bring it up to the customer.

Me: “So, if you’re going to tell us to social distance, then does that mean you’re going to tell them to do so, as well?”

Customer: “I’m only looking at you, honey.”

Me: “Well, you can’t be selective on who to tell to social distance.”

She had no reply. She paid for her groceries and left.

In the end, [Trainee #2] and I came to the conclusion that she was a passive racist because he and I were the only tanned ones there and we were the only ones she was giving trouble to.

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