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Never Pick A Fight With An Old Korean Woman

, , , , , , , , , , | Friendly | January 21, 2023

About ten years ago, I worked part-time as an assistant to an old woman in her eighties. The circumstances of how this came to be can be summed up as happenstance and being in the right place at the right time. The details are a bit lost on me nowadays, but I do remember her splitting into a big smile when she realized I was tall enough to reach the top shelf of a grocery aisle.

She was practically a South Korean grandmother stereotype; she was absolutely tiny — she barely reached my chest and I’m 6’0″ — she was very sweet and kind, and English was her third language. I worked full-time nights, so when I was done with my night shift, I went to her house at around 7:00 am, stayed with her for four to five hours per weekday to keep her company, assist her in getting around, drive her to the grocery store sometimes, and help her cook, as the rest of her family had school and work of their own to do. Then, I went home, usually between 11:00 and 12:00 when her daughter came back, to sleep until I needed to wake up again and get ready for work.

Safe to say, I — a big, 260-pound Caucasian man with a red beard — was a fixture of her house for a good few years. I met a lot of her family and even got invited to a couple of their reunions, though everyone seemed to be under the impression that her youngest daughter and I were dating, despite our protests.

I have plenty of stories, but one stands out in particular: the day about a year into working with her that this less-than-five-foot-tall grandmother protected me from potentially getting my butt kicked.

We were in a grocery store, and [Grandma] was holding onto my arm as we walked, with me pushing the cart and her holding the list of essentials she needed for one dinner or another. We’d just started going down the soup aisle when, as I bent over to grab a can, something bumped into my hip. There was a loud crash behind me, and I looked back to see another man, who had evidently dropped a big can of tomato soup when he bumped into me. The can had broken open and splashed his khaki pants up to his knees, as well as his formerly-shiny black dress shoes.

I’m not sure what his financial situation actually was, but his clothes certainly looked fancier than mine.

At that moment, I could see his face growing as red as the tomatoes, and I had a feeling that he wasn’t about to be gracious about it. So, I went full damage control, taking full responsibility and putting my body between the angry man and [Grandma] in case he started throwing stuff.

Me: “Oh, man, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to—”

Man: “YOU’RE D*** RIGHT, YOU’RE SORRY! DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I PAID FOR THESE PANTS?!”

Me: *Trying to deescalate* “Look, I’ll pay for the damages and your groceries—”

He cut me off, continuing to scream and making a big scene in the middle of a grocery store, while a woman who I could only assume was his wife kept trying to get his attention. His wife certainly looked pained and embarrassed, but also resigned. The man pulled himself away from her, moving toward me threateningly. As I said, I’m a big guy, but I was not looking for a fight, and my main priority would, of course, be to protect [Grandma]. This angry man was a little bit shorter than me but also fairly beefy, and I had no doubt he’d be able to throw his weight around if he made to attack me.

In my efforts to lead him away from [Grandma] so it was less likely for her to get hurt, she’d apparently moved like a ninja, as the next thing I — or the angry man — knew, a tiny hand came up from below and grabbed the man’s ear. As only a very perturbed grandmother of any race or creed can do, she wrenched him down by the ear so hard that I was worried she’d rip it off, and she started yelling point-blank into it.

Grandma: “HE SAY SORRY! STOP YELLING IN [GROCERY STORE]! FAMILIES AND BABIES HERE! YOU ACT LIKE BABY!”

At that point, she descended into what I could only assume were Korean insults and curses before she let him go, and the angry man stumbled away from the, frankly, quite scary Korean grandmother. I stepped back, as well, to put distance between myself and the formerly angry, now thoroughly dressed-down man, who mumbled something about not worrying about the pants or shoes and shuffled off in shame, his wife following with an apologetic look.

I looked back at [Grandma], who had immediately gone back to sweet old lady, holding up her grocery list, a smile on her face as though nothing happened.

Grandma: “We need soup.”

I did, of course, pay for the damaged soup can, and our shopping trip went on without any further incident, though I did jokingly call her “my bodyguard” when I relayed the story to [Daughter] when we got back home. [Grandma] made pretend martial arts moves when I said that, laughing heartily, obviously quite proud of herself.

I eventually moved on from assisting [Grandma], though I still kept in touch with [Daughter] and her other family members. A few years ago, [Grandma] passed away peacefully in her sleep, and I related this and other stories at her funeral, earning happy, tear-filled chuckles.

Later that day, [Daughter] took me aside.

She explained to me that the day she stood up for me in the grocery store had been the day that I, evidently, had basically become adopted, because [Grandma] had a history of being a bodyguard to her family; between nosy neighbors and angry fellow customers, she met them with just as much aggression and then immediately calmed down when the situation was rectified. 

I’m man enough to admit I cried even more after learning that.

Related:
Never Pick A Fight With An Old Scottish Woman

Customers Will Ask For Everything Except The Kitchen Sink

, , , , , | Right | January 18, 2023

I work in a food service store — a store that caters to hotels, restaurants, catering, and other such clients. This means that we only carry items to keep a kitchen running. It’s food mostly, but some equipment, as well, like disposable gloves, disposable aprons, foil pans, a few cleaning chemicals, and the barest selection of laundry detergent.

Despite being such a store, I have been asked the following and more.

Customer #1: “Where’s the deodorant? I’m staying in [Hotel] and need some more Old Spice.”

Customer #2: “Do you carry motor oil? I see you have peanut and corn oil.”

Customer #3: “Who do I talk to about getting this (vinyl) apron monogrammed?”

Customer #4: “Who in their right mind would buy three-hundred egg roll wrappers?”

Customer #5: “How can you have grenadine when you don’t sell liquor?”

This one is said to me by a customer as I am exiting the marked restroom door he claims not to have located:

Customer #6: “I can’t seem to find the restroom, where is it?”

Customer #7: “Where’s the pharmacy?”

But my favorite question of all time, asked with a deadly serious face:

Customer #8: “If I ordered something for ‘in-store pick-up’, do I have to come here to pick it up? Or will it be waiting for me somewhere else?”

Get His Details And CALL THE POLICE!

, , , , , , | Right | January 16, 2023

I work in retail at my boyfriend’s gun store. This was the first phone call of the day. The phone rang and I picked up. This had to be a male in his mid- to late twenties, by the sound of his voice, so a grown man.

Me: “[Shop], how can I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, miss, hello. You guys sell and know about guns, yes? Different calibers and all.”

Me: “Yes, we do. Is there something I can answer for you?”

Customer: “Yes, what caliber would I shoot a dog with? A small one.”

I froze for a moment, shocked. It crossed my mind that MAYBE he meant his own dog, an old one, maybe a terminally ill one, one that he couldn’t afford to put down — that type of deal.

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “Would a .22 do? My neighbor’s d*** dog never shuts up. It’s always barking.”

Me: “Sir, you can’t d—”

Customer: “Or would a different one do better? I want it down in one shot. Two if need be, but nothing more, and I want to do it soon.”

Me: “You can’t shoot your neighbor’s dog.”

Customer: “Why the h*** not? It never shuts up. And it’s so tiny that its bark sounds like loud squeaking. I want it gone.”

Me: “That doesn’t matter. You can’t do that. And I can’t help with that.”

This type of conversation continued for about five minutes.

Customer: “Fine! I want to talk with someone else!”

I handed the phone over to a coworker. I later found out the man threw a fit and wasn’t very pleasant but caved and hung up.

Look. NO ONE Likes Waiting In Line.

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: Fickle_Midnight5907 | January 16, 2023

I work as a cashier. The store has a line of maybe seven people. I have the “register closed” sign up, and I am stocking the accessories on the shelves behind the counter.

My coworker is handling the customers in line. I turn when I hear the door opening. A lady walks in without a mask on.

Me: *Politely* “Excuse me, miss. Do you have a mask that you could put on?”

She scoffs at me and rolls her eyes as she digs in her purse for a minute or two. Finally, she pulls out a ratty little mask with only one functional strap and holds it to her face while she’s waiting in the line.

Well, apparently, she can’t do that for very long. She comes to the front of the line ranting and raving.

Customer: “This line is too long! You shouldn’t be keeping a valued regular customer waiting!”

I’ve been working here for four months and I’ve never seen her; I’m fairly confident I know all the regulars.

Me: “There are other things my manager left for me to do before the end of closing, and I have to get them done.”

She doesn’t seem to like that all.

Customer: “I demand that you open your register right now!

Okay, you got it, lady. I move the “register closed” sign and then turn back to her.

Me: “Do me a favor and stand a little bit to your right.”

Surprisingly, she complies, albeit with her arms crossed and an angry gaze.

Me: “Next customer!”

It dawns on her what I’m doing, but the next customer shoots up in front of the counter before she can even fully process it. I go about this transaction as normal, despite the fact that this lady is yelling at me at the top of her lungs — no longer holding the mask to her face, mind you.

I finish up with the other customer and I turn to the lady. She tries to yell over me, so I raise my voice a bit and try to be as stern as possible.

Me: “Just because my register is open now, it doesn’t entitle you to skip all the other people in this line who also have lives, jobs, and other responsibilities. Get to the back of the line and be respectful, or I will have no choice but to have you removed from the store.”

We don’t have security, but we’re two blocks away from a police station, and one of the cool officers who comes into the store gave me their personal number to use just in case we have any issues.

The lady harrumphs loudly and walks dejectedly to the spot in the line she had before she left. In the time since she approached me to yell at me, more people have gotten in the line.

Me: *Pointedly* “I said the back of the line.”

She dropped her shoulders and walked to the back like a toddler.

Easy Like (I Can’t Work On) Sunday Morning

, , , , , , | Working | January 13, 2023

I found myself between jobs for a time and wound up in my first fast-food job. It was… different. I marked down on my availability that I was flexible all days except Sunday, and they assured me this would be no problem. You can already see where this was going. 

Schedules were posted via a chat app late on Saturday nights, and more than once I caught them attempting to schedule me for the following Sunday morning. I’d gently correct this oversight and go back to bed, though it was very annoying having to keep vigil to find out if I was expected at work in a matter of hours.

Then, one day, I came home from church and turned on my phone to find a number of nasty messages on the app, all from the manager, saying that I was a no-show and would be fired if I didn’t show up ASAP. These were not private messages, either, and neither was my reply.

I told her that I had marked Sunday as my one day of unavailability and that if there was a problem with that, it should have been brought up when I was hired.

Cue the 180-degree turn in attitude! [Manager]’s defense was that no one tells her anything. This sounds like a thin excuse, I know, but given how crazy that place was in every area of “functionality”, I can actually believe she had never seen my paperwork and knew nothing but my name.

At work the next day, she approached me in person, sweet as pie, and said that if I had a problem with the schedule, all I had to do was privately tell her.

Shortly thereafter, she was replaced with a new manager, and a new rule was instituted that only managers could post on the app. I’m sure that rule had nothing to do with someone being publicly called out for crap. I don’t miss that job at all.