Straight-Up Violence

, , , , | Right | November 5, 2018

(I’ve just printed out the cinema tickets for a woman and her son, who is 10 or 11 years old. There is a growing line behind her.)

Me: “Here you are, miss. I hope you enjoy the film!”

Woman: “Are you gay?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Woman: “Are you gay?

Me: “That’s really none of your business.”

Woman: “When it comes to my son, it is!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but what has being gay got to do with your son?”

Woman: *now hugging her son so tightly I wonder if he can breathe* “You might make him gay, too!”

Me: “Even if that was possible, I don’t see how that would be an issue. Now, if you could please stand aside, there are others waiting to be served.”

Woman: *quite literally dropping her son and ripping up the tickets I just gave her* “Get me someone else, like this young lady. I don’t want some [slur] giving me [slur] tickets!”

Me: *turning to my colleague — who is actually gay — who has been trying to serve her line without bursting into tears* “I’ll get a manager down. Are you okay with being alone until I get back?”

(My coworker nods, so I turn back to the woman.)

Me: “I’ll be back in a minute.”

(I can hear her screaming obscenities the entire time I’m in the back, and my manager asks about the noise as I enter his office. We both head back to find the son stood behind the counter, crying and hugging my colleague with quite a visible red mark on his face. My colleague is screaming at the top of her lungs along with the woman, who is being held back by several of the customers; it looks like she’s trying to mount the counter.)

Woman: *noticing me* “YOU [SLUR]! YOU DIRTY F****** [SLUR]! You did it! I’LL KILL YOU!”

Colleague: “Take him in the back. I think he’s bleeding.”

(My manager takes the boy into the back, as he is indeed bleeding down his neck. The woman is now being dragged out of the building as I call the police.)

Colleague: “No, one of the customers has already called.”

Me: “What happened?”

Colleague: “My girlfriend brought me my lunch, and she just turned on her. I thought she was going get physical, and I… I lost it. I told her to forget the tickets and get out, or I’d drag her out while phoning the police.”

Me: “But what about her son?”

Colleague: “She grabbed him by the ear and tried pulling him out. He started screaming and she full-on slapped him! That’s when the other customers stepped in. The boy ran straight to me.”

Me: “I thought the whole point of this was to protect him.”

(My colleague just shrugged. The police and paramedics arrived to find the son sitting with my colleague and her girlfriend in the back, watching one of the recent films that was pulled. He went off to the hospital to have stitches while we gave statements to the officers. About two weeks later, the son’s father came in and apologised for his ex-wife’s behaviour. They had divorced a few years back, and she had had visitation rights with the son that day. She was previously deemed unfit to be a parent due to severe psychological issues that emerged during her pregnancy, but they had believed her to be improving. We didn’t hear anything else after that, and hope they’re all doing well.)

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