They Need Some Serious Help

, , , | Right | February 17, 2019

(I am a customer at my local pet supply shop. They’re currently undergoing renovations to their building, so the aisles are pushed a bit closer together than usual, and a lot of things are out of stock. On my way through the store, I encounter two women blocking access to the aisle I need, both standing with fairly aggressive body language: arms crossed, feet planted, and big scowls on their faces. I excuse myself to get past them to the items I want to buy, and end up lingering a while because the stock is out of order, and I have to dig a bit to find what I want. Despite renovations and disorderly stock, the shop is well-staffed due to it being a weekend. [Employee #1] near me is helping a couple with questions about cat food. Several other employees are walking the floor or working at the registers.)

Employee #2: *approaching the two women blocking the aisle* “G’day, ladies. Can I help you find anything?”

Woman #1: *snorts*

Woman #2: “No, we’re fine.”

Employee #2: “Okay, just let me know if you have any questions!”

(Less than five minutes pass, and the women are still standing in the same spot. I’ve mostly ignored them, because I assumed they were with the couple being helped by [Employee #1], and I’m busy with my own shopping.)

Employee #3: “Good afternoon! Can I help you with anything today?”

Woman #1: *snappishly* “No.”

Woman #2: “We’re fine.”

Employee #3: “Okay! If you need anything, just let us know.”

(Just at the end of this exchange, I’m about ready to check out. I start to excuse myself past the women a second time, as that’s really the only way I can get out of the aisle. Before I can do so, [Employee #1] finishes up with the couple she was helping, and turns to the two women from the next aisle over.)

Employee #1: “Good afternoon! Are you finding everything all right?”

Woman #2: *exaggerated sigh* “FINALLY!”

Woman #1: “We’ve been waiting at least thirty minutes! This is absolutely disgraceful! You’d think your store didn’t care about paying customers, the way we’ve had to wait!”

Employee #1: *looking a bit baffled* “I’m sorry to have made you wai—“

Woman #1: “Don’t natter; just help us, right?”

(They then led her across the store to the aquatic department, where no fewer than two other employees were currently trying to tidy stock. Why they needed someone from the cat and dog food department to show them something in the fish section is beyond me.)

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