Creep Spill In Aisle Fourteen

, , | Romantic | August 10, 2017

(This is before cell phones are common. My mom and I stop at a clothes store after she picks me up from school. Since I haven’t had a chance to change, I’m still wearing my uniform, with my middle school’s name clearly written on the front of the shirt. So, even though I look older than I am, it should be very obvious that I’m underage. My mom and I are shopping in different sections of the store with a plan to meet up in the shoe section in a half hour. As I start to browse, I notice a man in his mid to late twenties shopping in the section for teen girls. I find it a little odd, but don’t think anything else of it. There’s also a middle-aged woman in the same section. When I’ve finished looking at one rack of clothes, I turn to look at another and find that the man’s been standing right behind me, creepily close.)

Me: *jumping back in alarm*

Creepy Man: “Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you.”

Me: *trying to get around him* “It’s fine.”

Creepy Man: *blocking me into a corner* “So, do you shop here often?”

(Because I don’t look my age, I’ve had grown men hit on me before. Usually, a quick mention of my mom or middle school makes them practically bolt for the door.)

Me: “No, I’m just here with my mom on the way home from school.”

Creepy Man: *undeterred* “Cool, cool. Hey, I know of this great party at [Downtown Club] tonight. You should come with me.”

(At about this time, I notice the woman is browsing a rack of clothes nearby without actually looking at them. She’s watching the situation unfold intently.)

Me: “No, thanks. I should really go. I was supposed to meet up with my mom a few minutes ago. She’ll be looking for me.”

Creepy Man: “Aw, come on. It’ll be fun!”

Me: *deciding to be more direct* “I’m fourteen.”

Creepy Man: *winks at me* “Yeah, old enough to have a fake ID, am I right?”

Me: “Uh, no. You’re not. I don’t have one.”

Creepy Man: “That’s all right. I know a guy who can hook you up. Come on.”

(He tries to grab my arm, and I rear back. Before anything else can happen, the woman hurries up to me.)

Woman: “There you are! I was looking all over for you, honey. You were supposed to meet me five minutes ago.”

Me: *playing along* “Sorry, Mom.”

Woman: *smiling at the creepy man like a lioness sizing up her prey* “Oh! Who’s this, sweetheart?”

Creepy Man: *paling dramatically* “Um… I was just… uh… shopping for… uh… my sister.”

Woman: “Of course.” *turning back to me* “I found these shoes that would look adorable on you. I can’t wait to show you.”

(The woman and I walk away until we’re around a corner and out of sight of the creepy man.)

Me: *sighing in relief* “Thank you for that.”

Woman: “No problem. I’d want someone to do the same for my daughters. Now, do you know where your mom is?”

Me: “Yeah, she should be in the petites section.”

(We walked over together to find my mom and then explained what happened. My mom made sure I’m okay, and the three of us all went talk to a manager. Unfortunately, by the time security was sent, the creepy man was long gone. My mom used the store phone to call my dad and have him pick me up. I’m not really sure what happened after I left, but I think the police might have been involved. I don’t think anything came of it, though.)

The Only Way To Get Out Of This Pickle

, , | Romantic | June 16, 2017

(I’m having a bit of trouble with a classmate whom I went on a date with once. It didn’t work out, but now he won’t leave me alone. He stares at me throughout the whole class, ambushes me when I’m leaving the lecture hall, and sometimes follows me to my car. Nearly every time he talks to me, he literally begs me to go out with him again. So far, I’ve tried to be polite, but this is getting really out of hand. I’ve decided to be absolutely clear next time he tries something that I don’t want anything to do with him. However, I’m not looking forward to the conversation. I keep trying to avoid him if I can. On this day, I think I’ve managed to slip away unnoticed by using the back exit of the classroom. I’m walking to my car feeling relieved at avoiding him.)

Classmate: *from somewhere behind me* “[My Name]! There you are! I wasn’t sure where you went. Ha ha!”

Me: *walking to a more crowded area, then turning around to face him* “This needs to stop.”

Classmate: “What?”

Me: “I’m not going to go out with you again. Ever. You need to stop trying.”

Classmate: “But… but…” *tries once again to convince me we’d be the perfect couple*

Me: “No. I’ve made my mind, and I’m not going to change it. Also, the way you’re acting is—”

Classmates: *cutting me off* “We’re still friends, though, right? Let me walk you to your car.”

(We weren’t friends before he asked me out, but he’s somehow gotten it into his head that we were. Every time I think I’ve convinced him that I don’t want to date him, he continues to hang around, saying he just wants to be my friend. The next time I see him, he always conveniently forgets the last time I turned him down and tries to convince me to go out with him yet again. So much for just wanting to be friends. I’ve let him get away with the friends thing so far because at that point of the conversation, I’m usually just glad the begging is over. Also, it seems really mean to tell someone you don’t want to be their friend. I really don’t want to be his friend, though, so I decide it’s time to put my foot down.)

Me: “You know what? No. We are not friends. We have never been friends. Please leave me alone.”

Classmate: “But I got you a gift!”

Me: “I don’t feel comfortable accepting–”

(He quickly shoves something into my hands. I catch it reflexively so that it doesn’t fall, then look down to see what it is. It’s a jar of pickles.)

Me: “Um…”

Classmate: *looking at me expectantly, like the jar of pickles is supposed to magically make me jump into his arms*

Me: *trying to hand the pickles back* “Uh… This is… thoughtful, but like I was saying, I don’t feel comfortable accepting a gift in this situation.”

Classmate: *refusing to take the pickles* “But I got it just for you!”

(I have no idea why he would do that. I don’t actually like pickles, and I’ve never told him otherwise.)

Me: “I don’t—”

Classmate: “Please just accept it.”

Me: *sighing* “If I take these pickles, will you leave me alone?”

Classmate: *nodding*

Me: “Just to be clear, that means no more calling me, no more talking to me, no more walking me to my car, and no more staring at the back of my head in class. You’re going to stop doing all of that? Because of… pickles?”

Classmate: *still nodding*

Me: “Okay, then. Thanks for the pickles. Have a nice life.”

(He actually did leave me alone after that. I never ate the pickles, and I changed his name in my phone to “Pickle Guy – DO NOT ANSWER.”)

How To Become A Hit With Your Boss

, , , | Right | June 9, 2017

(I’m female, and work in a hardware store in a small town. My boss is an elderly lady infamous for two things: always taking the customer’s side, and being extremely proper and conservative. We have a regular customer who comes in a few times per week and always makes vulgar and sexist jokes, comments, and gestures towards the female staff. We’ve complained to our boss multiple times about him, but she never does anything. She claims turning him away will be bad for business. So, normally we let the male staff handle him and keep our distance. I would quit, but it’s a small town and jobs are hard to come by. This particular evening I’m kneeling down stocking screws when he comes down the aisle.)

Regular: “Huh, you look like you spend a lot of time on your knees, hey?” *creepy laugh*

Me: *trying to ignore him* “Can I help you find anything?”

Regular: “Naw, I’m just admiring the view” *motions to my butt and winks*

Me: “All right, well, if you need anything just ask. [Male Coworker] is at the back desk.”

(I stand up to leave, but as I’m walking past him, he proceeds to grab my butt and give it a squeeze. Having endured years of his comments and gestures, I snap and end up punching him square in the face. He staggers back and falls into a rack of car fuses, holding his face and cursing.)

Me: *having completely lost it* “DON’T YOU EVER F***ING TOUCH ME AGAIN, UNDERSTAND?! I’LL HIT YOU A LOT HARDER NEXT TIME!”

(I notice something out of the corner of my eye and turn to see my boss standing there, eyes wide and mouth open. Then she starts marching towards us, angrily.)

Boss: “How DARE you?!”

(At this point, I’m positive I’m about to be fired for both swearing and hitting a customer. However, she walks over to the customer instead.)

Boss: “Get the f*** out of my store!”

(She chases him out of the store, screaming profanities as he holds his bloody nose. She eventually comes back to me.)

Boss: “Now, [My Name], are you all right? Have you called the police?”

Me: “No, not yet, but I will. I honestly thought you were going to fire me.”

Boss: “Oh, heavens, no. The only thing I have to tell you is to hit the a**-hole harder next time!”

(I saw a very new side of my boss that day.)

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A Model Employee

, , , | Romantic | May 31, 2017

(I work in a computer store in a department where we sell computer parts. We assist customers in picking out parts and sometimes assist with actually putting the computer together as well. Assisting a customer with a complete build is a long process, and often takes a few hours — sometimes a few hours on multiple days. I have been working with this one customer for two hours at this point, and until now he has been completely normal. We have parts for nearly the entire build picked out, and the only thing left is a wireless card, because he wants his desktop to have wi-fi.)

Customer: “Have you ever been a model?”

Me: “No, not really—”

Customer: “You should be a model.”

Me: “Haha. I’m not interested in—”

Customer: “I’m an artist.”

(I don’t respond. This customer has quickly been getting creepier. For some reason, he changes his entire way of speaking when this exchange begins. He starts speaking more nasally, and elongating the vowels in words. Plus, he cuts me off when I respond to him.)

Customer: “I’m an artist. You should let me draw you.”

Me: “Sir, I’m really not interested–”

Customer: “I can pay you 50 dollars to come to my studio. I have clothes for you, but you wouldn’t have to wear any.”

(While he’s saying this, a coworker, also a woman, happens to come across us and addresses him.)

Coworker: “Sir—”

Customer: “Ugh, I don’t want YOU. Whatever.”

(He turned and left in a huff. He didn’t buy anything, of course.)

Three ‘Noes’ Could Be A Yes

, , , | Romantic | May 27, 2017

(I work at a well-known company helping to diagnose and troubleshoot devices when things go wrong. While I often have to face challenging, upset, and sometimes downright disrespectful customers, this one today was a bit overenthusiastic. This occurs after I begin to help a customer who has come in with his friend. Both of them are drenched in cologne and are almost 10 years younger than me.)

Guy’s Friend: “Hey, do you know any nice restaurants in this neighborhood?”

Me: *honestly* “No.” *goes back to helping out customer with his issues*

Guy’s Friend: “Oh, because I wanted to take you out.”

Me: “No.”

Guy’s Friend: “Are you sure?”

Me: “I have a boyfriend.”

Guy’s Friend: “But not a husband, so I still have a shot.”

Me: “No.”

Guy’s Friend: “So when we fix this phone, the first number that’s going in is yours.”

Me: “…No.”

(At this point, I just stopped responding to him completely and just focused on my job. It’s amazing how many people don’t care enough to respect personal boundaries to accept a “no” stated so plainly and simply.)

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