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That Went Down Like A Lead Balloon

, , , , | Right | June 6, 2019

(I work at a local grocery store. My job is usually handing out samples of products, and today there is a new brand of cookies we will be stocking in our bake shop. My sample table consists of a tray of the product and some pamphlets about it. Behind the table, about ten feet high, taped to a wall, are large custom refillable balloons that have our store logo and “SAMPLES” written on them that we use to bring attention to the sampling table. I’ve run out of product and have gone to fetch a few more packages. Upon my return, I see a man, standing on top of the sample table, ripping the balloons from the wall.)

Me: “Sir! Please get down from there!”

Customer #1: “What? I’m just getting my kids some balloons!”

Me: “Those balloons are not for sale, they’re for display.”

Customer #1: “Well, how the f*** am I supposed to know that?!”

Me: “They’re attached to a wall, above customers’ reach! Now, please get down off the table!”

(The customer jumps down off the table, causing it to snap in half. My manager comes over to the area. A nearby customer, [Customer #2], walks over, as well.)

Manager: “[My Name]! Are you okay? What happened!”

Me: “I’m fine, this customer—“

Customer #1: *interrupts* “She put those balloons too high for me to reach! I could have been killed trying to get them! Then she yelled at me!”

Customer #2: “Sir, I saw the whole thing. This young lady wasn’t rude or anything; she was only telling him to get off that table. He was standing on it, pulling down that display. He broke the table when he jumped off.”

Manager: *to [Customer #1]* “Is that true, sir?”

Customer #1: “I just wanted some f****** balloons!”

Manager: “Those balloons were clearly not for sale, and you’ve damaged both them, and this table. You’ll need to pay for the damages you’ve caused.”

Customer #1: “Fine!” *throws a dollar at my manager*

Manager: “Sir, the table is $100 and those balloons are $15 each, and you’ve ruined three of them.”


Manager: *sternly* “Well, then we’ll just have to have you arrested for destroying store property.” *takes out his phone*

Customer #1: “No, wait. Don’t call the cops; I’ll pay!”

(After going to the back to do the money and paperwork, my manager then comes back over to me.)

Manager: “You handled everything perfectly. Good job.”

Me: “Thank you.”

Manager: “Go next door to [Hardware Store] and get a new table. When you get back, I think we’ll have an employee pizza day!”

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