Some People Take The Express Lane Way Too Seriously

, , , , | Legal | August 15, 2020

At the place where I work, this woman is always telling stories she’s made up in her head. We try to be polite and listen but eventually disengage without upsetting her. I am the unlucky target on the last day she is seen. I am running the twenty-items-or-less register and the woman was in line.

Woman: *To me* “Excuse me, I have places to be.”

Me: “I’m going as fast as I can, ma’am.”

Customer #1: “Who the h*** is she?”

I shrug, trying not to talk about it.

Woman: “Are you talking about me?”

She gets out of line.

Woman: “Hey, hey! Are you two talking about me?”

Me: “I’m just trying to keep the line moving.”

Woman: “My husband owns Apple! He will take down every cell phone tower in this town!”

Customer #1: *Laughs* “Okay, lady.”

Woman: “Don’t talk to me like that! I will get you evicted! I know the mayor!”

The customer looks at me again. I subtly shake my head, telling him not to engage her. He takes his receipt and leaves so I can start the next order.

Customer #1: “Good luck with the crazies!” *Leaves*

Customer #2: “Hi there, I—”

Woman: “Why are you in this line? It’s a speedy checkout, not for your whole cart!”

[Customer #2] is not over the twenty items.

Customer #2: “I’m fine, miss, please go back—”

Woman: “Don’t talk to me like that! You don’t know what I do to people who piss me off.”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, if you’d like, I can call to see if someone can open another line.”

Woman: “Get this a**hole out of this line!”

Me: “I can’t—”

Woman: “Do it or I’ll… I’ll… I’ll shoot up this whole store!”

Everybody freezes. I make eye contact with another cashier, who types in the code for a threat. The woman reaches under her shirt and we all hit the floor. A manager comes up to her, hands raised in front of him.

Manager: *Carefully* “Ma’am, how can I fix this for you?”

Woman: “This one—” *points to me* “—won’t serve me because I’m black!” 

She is Asian and probably not black.

Woman: “You don’t like [derogatory word]?”

Manager: “Ma’am, why don’t we go to my office and discuss this?”

Woman: “I’ll take down this whole store!”

Thankfully, the police are always just a few minutes away — we have a lot of theft — and they come into the store. Two officers approach her, each with one hand out, the other hovering over their guns.

Officer #1: “Ma’am, I’m [Officer #1] with the state police department. Do you have any weapons?”

Woman: “I just want to check out!”

Officer #2: “Ma’am, do you have any weapons on you?”

The woman takes off her shirt.

Woman: “No! See? Nothing!”

She pulls down her pants.

Woman: “Nothing!”

Officer #2: “Okay. How about you come talk with us, ma’am?”

He takes her gently by the arm.

Officer #2: “Let’s get your clothes back on and you can tell me what happened. Okay?”

Woman: “Fine, fine. But I have a flight to catch in an hour. I’m going to Rome.”

The officers exchange a glance.

Officer #2: “Okay, we’ll make sure you’re taken care of. Is anyone going with you?”

They lead her to the security office in the store. I have no idea what happened to her after that, but I hope she got the help she clearly needed.

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