Threatened By Your Own Threat

| Right | December 29, 2015

(It’s a typical busy time with folks who’ve just gotten off from work dropping by to grab smokes, beer, drinks, snacks, or other sundries on their way home. A man who appears to be, at the most, 21 years old has approached the counter asking for cigarettes but doesn’t have any ID on him. The typical bouts of arguing and cussing from him followed by me stating it’s policy and I have to card him ensues, up until he pulls out his phone and brandishes it at me like a weapon.)

Customer: “All right, let’s try this in a way that you might understand. I’m a personal friend of the head honcho of this chain. I press a few numbers on my phone, say a few words to him, and he will literally give me the order to fire you and boot you out the door myself!”

(A pause ensues as I try to process if he’s being serious.)

Customer: “Hey, you listening to me? Give me the d*** smokes or your worthless a** is going to be hitting the pavement outside.”

(I lean to the side and look at the line behind him.)

Me: “Sir, do you know how to run the register here?”

Customer: “Huh?”

Me: “Have you been trained in the pricing of items or our stock?”

Customer: “What? No!”

Me: “Do you know the codes to our safe? How to make change? How to mop and clean the store? How to lock up?”

Customer: “I just said, no!”

Me: “Then I feel I should point out that if you do get me fired there will be no one to ring up you or any of the folk behind you as it’s just me running the store today. Kick me out and you’ll basically be ensuring no one can buy anything from here, meaning you’ll also have to send everyone away empty handed and probably lose the store a lot of money. I don’t think your friend will like that.”

(The customer pauses and looks again at the growing number of folks, many of whom are now looking rather annoyed.)

Man In Line: “I just finished a 12-hour shift. All I want is to buy some beer, go home, and relax. If you’re going to tell me I can’t do that simply because of your own incompetence in not bringing ID then your friend, the head honcho, is going to be getting a very strongly-worded complaint. Probably it’ll be more than one considering how many of us are waiting for you to finish your business!”

(Several other customers voice their agreement, causing the problem customer to scowl.)

Customer: “Man, f*** this! I’m not wasting any more time here!”

(He storms out and I start serving the man who spoke up.)

Me: “Just goes to show most folks like him don’t actually think about the logistics of their threats before screaming their heads off. After all, if it weren’t for us lowly workers they’d have to be the ones doing all these menial jobs.”

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