The Engendered Confusion, Part 2

| St. Paul, MN, USA | Bigotry, Family & Kids, Wild & Unruly

(I’m in my hometown, babysitting my three-month-old nephew while my brother gets some much-needed sleep. I live on campus nearby, but because I look much younger than I am people tend to assume I’m still in high school. I’m picking up some groceries with my nephew when an older woman grabs my arm.)

Older Woman: “You ought be be ashamed of yourself! How dare you!”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Older Woman: “Parading your little b*****d around like it’s no big deal to get pregnant and drop out!”

Me: “Ma’am, I didn’t drop out. I—”

Older Woman: “Don’t you lie to me, you stupid b****! I’ll have you thrown out of the store!”

(My nephew begins to cry.)

Older Woman: “See, look at what an incompetent mother you are! You’re just letting him cry without—”

Me: “Listen, lady: I don’t know what your problem is, but making my nephew cry because you’re screaming at me is not okay. Even if he was my kid, do you really think it’s okay to yell at a stranger because they may or may not have made a choice you disagree with?”

(As I say this, I can see the store manager, a close family friend, approach to see what the fuss is about.)

Older Woman: “I can’t believe you! I’m going to get the manager and he’s going to teach you about respecting your elders, and maybe he’ll teach you to keep your legs closed!”

Manager: “Don’t bother. You…” *points at her* “…get out of my store, NOW.”

Older Woman: “I am a paying customer! You cannot—”

Manager: “I can and I will, and unless you want the police to get involved, you’ll leave now.”

Older Woman: “This little b****—”

Manager: “—first of all, is a GUY, and second of all, is on the honor roll at [University], and third, is my son’s best friend and grandson’s babysitter.”

(At this, the older woman turns red and leaves without buying anything. My nephew stops crying almost immediately.)

Me: “Thanks, Mr. [Name].”

Manager: “No problem, kiddo.” *grins* “It was kinda fun getting to yell at her. I’ve just got one question.”

Me: “Yeah?”

Manager: “Did she seriously think you were a teenage mother?”

Me: *shrugs* “Some people…”

Related:
The Engendered Confusion

A Man Needs His Nectar

| Finland | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Food & Drink, Health & Body, Top

(I go to my local store after a game of soccer, still wearing my full goalkeeper kit. The cashier and I have met several times but don’t actually know each other at all. I am buying beer.)

Cashier: “[My Name], you can’t buy beer!”

Me: “Why not?”

Cashier: “You come here looking so sporty and I thought you’d buy something healthy or nice, and you buy beer!”

Me: “Okay, I’ll buy something nice.”

(I turn around, grab a bunch of flowers, pay for them, and give them to her.)

Me: “There you go!”

Cashier: “What? For me?”

Me: “Yes.”

Cashier: “But… but why? No one has ever bought me flowers before.”

Me: “Well, you told me to buy something nice, and as you looked tired and a bit down I thought that it would be nice to buy you flowers.”

Cashier: “Thank you! This was so nice of you!”

Me: “May I now drink beer tonight?”

Cashier: “With both hands, if you like!”

The Register Light Is On But Nobody’s Home

| ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Top, Wild & Unruly

(I live in a small town with only two grocery stores. I’m constantly complimented on my friendliness and professionalism. When it’s slow, we assist customers. Today a customer has asked me to return a cart, during which we’re told to put our closed sign up on our lane, but keep the light on. After assisting three more customers, I wander back to my till that has the closed sign up to find a woman unloading her cart at my till.)

Me: “Oh! Hello, ma’am. Just for future reference, even if the light is on, but the closed sign is up, the till is not open. That way you won’t have to wait next time.”

Customer: “THE LIGHT WAS ON! YOU’RE OPEN IF IT’S ON!”

Me: “Ma’am, I do apologize, but the sign was clearly up. I’m just letting you know for next time so you won’t be delayed! I truly apolo—”

Customer: “IF THE F****** LIGHT IS ON, YOU’RE GODDAMNED OPEN. SHUT YOUR MOUTH AND DO YOUR JOB!”

Me: “Ma’am, I truly am sorry about that—”

(At this point, the customer has finished slamming her purchases onto the counter and leans over the lane to be about two inches from my face. It should be noted I’m in my mid-twenties.)

Customer: “I DID NOT COME HERE TO BE LECTURED BY SOME STUPID LITTLE CHILD!”

Me: “Ma’am, I apologize. I wasn’t trying to lecture you—”

Customer: “MAYBE NEXT TIME YOU CAN SHUT YOUR MOUTH AND DO YOUR JOB, YOU IDIOT!”

(At this point I stay quiet throughout the rest of the transaction, process her card, and hand her the receipt to sign. I say nothing.)

Customer: “Thank you!”

Me: “…”

Customer: “I SAID THANK YOU!”

(As she leaves, she pulls over my supervisor.)

Customer: “I need to give a formal complaint about the horrible and disrespectful service this employee gave!”

(The next customer going through the till behind me walks over.)

Next Customer: “And I have to comment on how polite that employee was, despite you being so rude!”

(Both customers got into a verbal altercation. Thank you to the random customer who stood up for me!)