The Type Of Customers You Don’t Want Any Contact With

, , , , , | Right | May 13, 2020

I am working the checkout at a very large and busy grocery store. Due to a few weeks of panic buying and people needing to protect themselves from infection, our store has taken some safety measures for the staff.

All the checkouts have clear plastic shields between our faces and customers, with only our hands-free to handle the items. We also all have bottles of hand sanitizer to use on our hands on a regular basis.

Before I start to scan the items of a snooty-looking woman, I pump and rub some sanitizer.

Customer: “How dare you?!”

Me: “Pardon, ma’am?”

Customer: “I am not infected! I am clean and hygienic!”

Me: “It’s just hand sanitizer, ma’am. I use it every few customers; it’s nothing personal.”

Customer: “No! You think I have the disease, don’t you?! I am not the type to get diseases! I am clean and I am not poor!”

Shocked at this outburst, I just start trying to scan her items as quickly as possible. She then starts rapping her — unprotected — hands against the plastic barrier.

Customer: “And this! What is this!”

Me: “Perspex, ma’am.”

Customer: “This is insulting! Why do you get all the protection?! Where is my protection?!”

Me: “Ma’am, that is there because I handle thousands of products and hundreds of customers every day. We need to protect ourselves at the moment.”

Customer: “That is unfair! Why don’t I get protection when I come out?!”

Me: “You can wear a mask and gloves, ma’am.”

Customer: “I shouldn’t have to! You should be providing them for us!”

Me: “Ma’am, I have scanned your items, and will not be arguing this point with you further. Your total is [total]. Cash or card?”

The customer looked outraged but paid huffily and started bagging her items. As she did so, I looked her in the eyes, pumped three large blobs of hand sanitizer, and slowly massaged my hands entirely. The look on her face as she left was worth it.

This story is part of our Anti-Masker roundup.

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