Enough To Have Misogynists “Foam” At The Mouth  

, , , | Right | January 24, 2020

(During college, I spend three years as a part-time employee at a popular fabric and craft store. It is a busy day around the holidays and I am working at the cutting counter. My next customer is a man carrying a big, three-inch piece of our green upholstery foam, along with an old, oddly shaped cushion.)

Me: “Hi. What can I get for you?”

Customer: “I need this foam cut in this shape so I can reupholster this bench seat. I need three pieces in this shape.”

(We aren’t allowed to cut things into custom shapes because if we mess up that item has been wasted and the customer is upset. Our job is simply to get people the amount of fabric, or in this case, foam, that they need so that they can do their project themselves.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. I’m not allowed to do custom cuts. I can cut this foam at the length you need, but I can’t cut it into the shapes you need.”

Customer: “I don’t understand. I just need this foam cut into three pieces in this shape. I even brought the old cushion so you could do it exactly as I need it.”

Me: “Again, I can’t do custom cuts like that. I can cut it to the length you need but not the shapes you need.”

Customer: “That’s absurd. How am I supposed to cut this at home? I don’t have the right tools.”

Me: “Actually, sir, we use either a bread knife or an electric turkey cutter.”

Customer: “But why can’t you just do it for me? I don’t understand.”

Me: “It’s against policy, sir. I could lose my job.”

(This goes on for about ten minutes, with me trying to explain that I can’t do a custom cut and trying to come up with a solution for him. We’re both getting frustrated and, honestly, the customer is getting aggressive. I want to avoid getting the manager because it is busy and I hope I can solve the problem myself and not bother them, but I finally suggest I call one.)

Me: “Sir, would you like me to get the manager?”

Customer: “Yes, you do that!”

(I call a manager, she comes over to the cutting counter, and I explain the situation. She tells him the same thing I did, and they argue back and forth for a moment before my manager finally relents.)

Manager: “All right, sir. If you buy the full amount of the foam and pay for it first, then I’ll cut the foam into the shape you need.”

(The customer agrees and I print him a ticket for the amount of foam he needs. He goes to the front and pays, then comes back to the cutting counter and my manager pulls out the bread knife and starts cutting it for him. He looks at me with a terrifying grin and drops this nightmarish line.)

Customer: “I never take no from a woman.”

(I stared at him, stunned. I glanced at my coworker, who had been handling the line during all this. My coworker looked equally horrified. I don’t know if the customer meant for it to sound as bad as it did, but I definitely had someone walk me to my car for the next couple of weeks.)

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There’s Already A Big Baby In The Room

, , , , , | Right | January 23, 2020

I work as a photo lab tech in a big box store. As I’m doing the morning’s setup and prep for the day, an older man comes in to print his pictures. As I’m helping him, we begin chatting. He asks normal questions, like, “How are you?”, “Nice weather we’re having,” etc.

Eventually, the questions start to become a bit more personal. “Are you married?”, “How long have you been married?”, “Have any kids?” I answer them, as they’re still normal chit-chat questions. “Yes, I’m married,” “We’ve been married seven years,” “No, we don’t have kids.”

Apparently, he doesn’t like that my husband and I don’t have kids, because his next question is, “Why not?” As this is a bit of a sore subject for me, I answer with my normal, “It just hasn’t happened yet.” This guy is not happy with this. He keeps asking, “Why?” Finally sick of this guy, I tell him the truth, hoping it will shut him up. “Because both my husband and I have medical issues that will not allow us to make babies.”

This guy, I kid you not, looks at my face, looks at my bust, looks at my pelvis, looks back at my bust, looks back at my pelvis, and then looks at the computer that is printing his pictures. “You should have babies.”

I glare at him and silently give him his pictures.

He is back two days later to print more pictures. He doesn’t recognize me.

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As Bad As Retail Is…  

, , , , | Right | January 20, 2020

(I’m still a rather new cashier and trying to balance an efficient checkout with the required social niceties and store greeting cause me to run on autopilot while checking out customers. Sometimes I do not fully process what customers are telling me when it’s just small-talk and I’m also naturally a little oblivious sometimes, which can either be a good thing or a bad thing. This is speedy checkout, but the customer and I have still managed to fit in a conversation. As I am already one of the fastest cashiers, I get lots of comments on this from customers.)

Me: “[Company required greeting].”

Customer: “D***, working hard for that money, huh?”

Me: “I try! It’s too bad money doesn’t just appear in my account.”

Customer: “Well, I’d be willing to give you some money for… doing some things for me.”

Me: “Ha, well, if they were easy jobs, that might not be a bad deal.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t think they’d be too bad, if I do say so myself.”

Me: “So, that’s [total]. Thanks for shopping with us and you have a good day!”

Customer: *pays and as he’s walking away* “Anyway, you just think about my offer!”

Me: *internally, finally processing and still smiling but shuddering* “Why the f*** did he just solicit me for sex like that was acceptable small-talk?!”

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The Party Stops Here

, , , , | Friendly | January 13, 2020

(I’m on the late bus after a long day at work. There are several other people scattered around, all of them looking just as exhausted and ready to get home as I feel. About halfway home, a guy gets onto the bus who seems pretty tweaked out. He is twitching and mumbling to himself. He goes and sits down, and after a minute, reaches over to poke the lady sitting in the row ahead of him.)

Man: “Hey. Hey.”

Woman: *looking tired and a bit uncomfortable* “What?”

Man: “Where you heading?”

Woman: “I’m going home.”

Man: “I’m going to a party.”

(The woman nods and then turns away a bit.)

Man: “Hey. Hey. You want to come? It’s a party, a fun party. It’ll be a fun party.”

Woman: “No, thanks. I’m headed home. My daughter’s waiting for me.”

Man: “Hey. Hey. I was just asking, you know, if you wanted to come to the party. It’ll be a fun party.”

(The woman didn’t respond, but she did start gathering her things. The man tried to ask her to come to the party a couple more times, and then, after a couple of stops, she stood up and headed to get off the bus. The man watched her blankly before he started struggling to his feet. I got up, too, and planted myself in the aisle, preventing him from getting past and just staring down at him. He looked between me and the woman before finally sitting back down and mumbling to himself. I stayed standing for a bit until the doors shut and the bus started moving again. Maybe he really did have to get off at that stop, but I really, really doubt it.)

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My Face Is Up Here, And My Age Is Way Down There

, , , , , | Romantic | January 12, 2020

(I’m sixteen, Catholic, and a virgin. I feel a tad uncomfortable talking about romantic matters in a work setting, let alone sexual matters; my face quickly becomes a tomato. Unfortunately, I have a larger chest size, but my face is definitely too young to look older than twenty. In short, I’m not someone you’d think one would try to aggressively flirt with. A 50- to 60-year-old man is placing an order as I’ve just gotten off shift. I don’t have my license yet; my mom’s supposed to pick me up in a few minutes to take me home to my brother’s First Communion party. She texts me she’s going to be late, so I use my employee meal to get a snack and sit down at a table to wait. Then, the older man sees me.)

Old Man: *staring directly at my chest, speaking seductively* “I like what I see up there, sweetie. Do you want to, perhaps, come over later?”

Me: *very uncomfortable* “Um… I–” *grimaces in discomfort and panic*

(The grimace eventually catches his attention, because his followup question has a note of panic in it.)

Old Man: “Wait. How old are you?” *still staring at certain parts”

Me: *a bit too loud due to panic* “Sixteen! I’m sixteen!”

Old Man: *now embarrassed* “Oh. Never mind, then.”

(Every one of my coworkers who was on shift laughed at me for my reaction. I suppose failing to appreciate the flirtatious endeavors of someone forty years older than you is hilarious. I hope I never see that guy again; he made me feel small and gross, like a used toy.)

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