There… Are… Four… Customers!

, , , , , | Right | November 6, 2020

I’m an assistant manager at a charity shop that I volunteer at. Since returning from lockdown, anybody working on the shop floor has to also keep a track of how many people are in — our limit is four — and also make sure they’re wearing masks.

I’ve just finished putting more stock on the rails and I’m taking a breather behind the counter when a lady comes in.

Me: “Excuse me, madam, sorry, but we already have four people inside. Could you wait outside, please?”

Customer: “The sign outside says that four customers is preferred.”

Me: “Um, madam, that sign says that card payments are preferred and that our customer limit is four. It shouldn’t be long before you can come in; please wait outside, and you’ll need to wear a mask too.”

The customer suddenly sees that another customer is a friend.

Customer: “Oh, hi!” *Starts chatting away*

Me: “Excuse me, madam, but you need to wait outside, please.”

Customer: “Yeah, yeah, sure. In a minute.” *Keeps chatting*

Me: “No, not in a minute. You need to go outside now.”

At this point, she and her friend ignore me, so I repeat myself, raising my voice each time. After I’ve done this a few times, she walks over to the plexiglass and taps the sign.

Customer: “This sign says four customers preferred!”

Me: *Pointing at each word* “Card payments preferred. There isn’t even a four on this sign.”

She looks at me, and her gaze goes down to the charity-branded mask that I’m wearing.

Customer: “You really shouldn’t be wearing that; it’s going to do you no good.”

Me: “Okay, that’s enough. You do not come into my place of work and tell me to not wear a mask. It is the law to wear a mask. I wear a mask to protect other people. If I get sick, more than likely my mum will catch it from me, and at her age, she will die. I’ve asked you politely to wait outside, but now I just want you to leave. Get out.”

Customer: *Mouth drops open* “You can’t ask me to leave!”

Me: “Yes, I can. I’m the assistant manager here, and this is private property. Get out!”

Customer: “Hmph! Well, I’ll leave, but only because you’re clearly getting so distressed.”

Me: “Get out!”

She finally left the shop, and I shouted upstairs for the manager so that I could go and take a breather, as I was agitated and shaking. I’m lucky enough to work with a great manager who doesn’t take any nonsense from customers, which gave me the confidence to deal with this customer, but this was the first time I’ve had to actually kick someone out, so it was very stressful.

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