Unlawful Sales

, , , | Legal | November 12, 2018

While shopping at a mall, I walked past a kiosk and the saleswoman at the kiosk tried to get my attention. I did what I normally do and ignored her. She tried to grab my shoulder as I walked past, so I grabbed her hand with my own hand, pulled it off my shoulder and twisted it to put her wrist into an uncomfortable angle before telling her never to touch me again. At that point, I let go and walked away.

After leaving the store I was visiting, I returned the other way and saw that the same saleswoman was at the kiosk. As I was watching her, she approached a female shopper and did the same thing when that shopper ignored her: she put her hand on the female shopper’s shoulder and tried to turn her around.

The female shopper screeched, whirled around, and hit the saleswoman in the side of the head with her purse. I don’t know what was in that purse, but the saleswoman dropped like a stone and was out cold on the floor. Mall security was there within a minute or so, and by that time the saleswoman was starting to come around.

Police were called — they happen to have officers stationed at the mall, so it didn’t take them long to arrive — and they started collecting statements from witnesses. I gave a statement from what I saw and also relayed my previous encounter with the saleswoman. I also saw them ask something of the mall security guard, who pointed up at the black domes on the ceiling, clearly indicating to the police where the security cameras were located.

The saleswoman refused medical attention and insisted on pressing charges against the shopper. The police officer laughed and said, “Lady, if the security camera footage matches up with what the witnesses have said, you’re the only one who’s going to be charged with anything.”

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.)

Physical Brawls Are Not The Best Way To Resolve Coworker Conflict

, , , , , , , | Working | November 5, 2018

At the café where I work, we don’t have a tip jar, but if a customer chooses to give the cashier a tip, we’re allowed to accept it. It’s a dumb corporate policy, but there’s nothing we can do about it.

Generally, what most of us do is divvy up whatever we get with whomever else is working with us; that is to say, if I get fifty cents and only have one other coworker on the floor, he gets a quarter and I get a quarter. But this isn’t an official policy, and if someone chooses to keep all the tips that they get, there’s nothing anyone else can do about it. It’s not very good form, in my opinion, but if that’s the choice that someone makes, no one gets too bothered by it. And it’s pretty much expected that if someone doesn’t share their tips, no one else is going to share with that person; it’s a trade-off.

I have one coworker who not only doesn’t share his tips, but also loudly announces to the rest of us whenever he gets a good tip. He’s even gone so far as to wave a handful of change in my face at the end of his shifts. Although no one gets too bothered by someone choosing not to share, this guy being so “in your face” about the whole thing has always rubbed me the wrong way.

I was on the register when one of our regulars came up, and said that he paid with his card almost every time he came through, but that he wanted us all to know how much he appreciated our hard work. And then he handed me sixty dollars.

In the café that day, I had two other coworkers on the floor with me. One of them has always shared his tips with me. The other one was the hoarder I mentioned earlier. So, instead of handing out a twenty to each of them, I opened the register, broke one of the bills, and gave the sharing coworker $30, keeping the other $30 for myself.

My coworker whined. He begged. He complained to our manager. But what I had done was completely in line with our store’s policy. My coworker cornered me after my shift, got very close in my personal space, grabbed my wrist so tightly that it left a mark, and asked me what he’d ever done to deserve me “acting like a stuck-up c***.”

I was going to be mature(ish) about this. I was planning on giving him $10 and then reminding him that that’s a bigger percent than he’s ever given me. But after he called me that? I let him have it.

And then, I filed a harassment complaint with my manager. Turns out, I was not the first person he’d gotten physical with.

My coworker is now my former coworker.

Has No Reservations At Arriving With No Reservations

, , , , | Right | November 3, 2018

(I am a store manager, and my store hosts “girls’ night out” type events. Basically people contact us and schedule them ahead of time, as an easy get-together. It’s a party-like atmosphere, there’s refreshments and a private lounge, we work one-on-one with each woman attending, and we offer a discount on anything purchased. I get an email from a woman looking to host an event for her women’s group. She asks what dates are open, and I respond back that we schedule at least three weeks in advance — so as to have staffing — and spots are open on Tuesday afternoons, Friday evenings, Saturday afternoons, and Sunday evenings after close. I send her an attachment with the contract, as well, and tell her the contract and payment is needed to hold the room. I say that the earlier she lets me know the dates, the better. She responds back saying she will discuss which dates are best at her next women’s group meeting. She doesn’t get back to me. The next Sunday, I close, and I am home making a late dinner when my phone rings. It’s the manager of the restaurant next door, who has my personal number, saying there is an angry woman in the restaurant demanding to speak to me. She puts her on the phone.)

Woman: “We are supposed to have a party tonight, and there’s no one at the store!”

Me: “I didn’t have a party scheduled for tonight.”

Woman: “Well, you did. Come out and open the doors!”

Me: “I’m not at the store anymore.”

Woman: “I have people here who drove three hours to go to this! What do you mean, you aren’t here?!”

Me: “There must be a misunderstanding, because there was not supposed to be a party tonight.”

Woman: “Well, come back and open up, or I’ll sue!”

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t do that. I don’t have the supplies or the staff to host anything.”

Woman: “Where do you live?! I’m going to pull you out of your g**d*** house and make you open the g**d*** door! This is so embarrassing! I’m going to have my husband kick your a**—”

(At this point, my friend from the restaurant evidently got the phone away from her. The woman demanded my personal address and phone number and was so loud that security removed her from the restaurant. Monday morning, my voice mailbox at work was full of calls from this woman, and I found out she had posted on the national page for her women’s group, demanding a nationwide boycott of our store, and calling for my termination. Her version of events had me scheduling the party, being in the store and refusing to let them in, laughing at them from in the store, and refusing to refund them. All of this was false, and in fact they had never paid nor scheduled the party. I quickly contacted our legal department and public relations, sending them the emails showing that the woman never got back with a contract or verified the date she wanted — and that she would have had to schedule at least a month out, anyway, so the date she showed up was impossible. Meanwhile, I started getting daily angry emails and calls from the woman and her friends. Finally, I sent an email laying out the facts to the women’s group’s headquarters directly, apologizing for the drama. I was honestly worried how the bad press was going to affect my career. To my surprise, the women’s group agreed that I had done nothing wrong, sent out the correct facts, and threatened to kick out any members sending me angry calls. They also apologized to the corporate office for the treatment I received. It didn’t affect my career. I still get people who come in and mention the incident, and I usually smile and set them straight.)

We’re More Good Than You, Apparently

, , , , , | Right | November 2, 2018

(I work as an event specialist handing out samples in a big box store. Our work outfits consist of a black hat and apron with the store logo on them, but they look nothing like the regular store employee vests. One day, my coworker and I are setting up our carts when we’re approached by a customer.)

Customer: “Excuse me? Can you help me find something?”

Me: “I can try! What are you looking for?”

(Technically, our job isn’t to find random items in the store, just to showcase our demo products, but we can tell a customer where something is. We are not obligated to find a store employee, nor do we have walkie-talkies to contact store employees.)

Customer: “I need [product I’ve never heard of]!”

Me: “[Coworker], have you heard of [item]?”

Coworker: “No, I don’t know where it is.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I’m not sure where it’s located.”

Customer: “Well, why not?”

Me: “We’re considered vendors in the store. Our job is to hand out samples to customers. While I shop here often, I don’t know where everything is located…”

(The woman’s demeanor suddenly changes; she goes from polite to irate, and she cuts me off before I offer to find a store employee to help her.)

Customer: “Well, what f****** good are you, then?”

(The customer slams her cart into our work carts — basically tables on wheels — and takes off down the aisle.)

Coworker: “Some people… Even the people that work here don’t know where everything is!”

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