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Uncovering Your Face Means Not Covering Your Tracks

, , , , , | Right | January 7, 2022

My store has a survey that customers can fill out on their receipt, with a one-to-ten scoring system. Everyone in the store gets punished if we get a score under eight because seven and below is considered a zero.

A customer comes up to the queue with her mask pulled under her chin and gets directly behind the other customer in line. It’s part of my job to enforce social distancing, and I ask her to step back and give the customer space.

Customer: “My God, is this the third f****** Reich?”

Me: “I’m just trying to make sure we stay open safely, ma’am.”

Customer: “The black b**** at the fabric counter was a Nazi; now you’re a f****** Nazi!”

Me: “There are children here, ma’am, so I need you to not shout.”

This includes her child in the cart. She has now arrived at my register, her mask still around her chin.

As I really don’t appreciate her comments, I decide to be as slightly antagonistic as store policy will permit. If I am confident that she’s leaving a negative survey, and a seven and a zero are the same thing, why bother trying to raise the score from zero up to four? I step as far back from the counter as I can.

Me: “Can you please pull up your mask?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “I can’t ring your items until you pull your mask up.”

Customer: “Get the manager.”

Me: “I’m the manager.”

She pulls it over her mouth. I scan her one item. The fabric counter employee — the black employee who she called a b**** — has given her a hefty discount.

Me: “Okay, with the 75% off that my coworker gave you, your $39.95 item comes out to $10.76 with tax.”

By sheer luck, the phone rings. There is a timer on the phone, and if it’s not picked up before the third ring, it counts as a negative survey. I have to turn around to answer the phone.

Me: “[Craft Store], please hold.”

I radio to my coworkers that whoever is able needs to pick up the hold. This is the standard operating procedure when there’s only one cashier. The entire process takes a few seconds. Before I can turn around, something small and hard hits my back. The customer has taken $10.76 cents out of her wallet, slammed the bills on the table, and thrown the coins at me. She storms out before I can put the money in the till.

Me: *Very cheerfully and loudly* “Have a nice day, ma’am!”

I put the money in the drawer and the next customer comes up as the receipt is printing. I’m genuinely smiling at this point.

Customer: “I’m impressed that you’re not upset by her.”

Me: “The only feedback that the store reads is the receipt survey. I have her receipt, so she can say whatever she wants on Yelp or Google Maps, and my store won’t care. But, when the next cashier comes in half an hour, I’m going to go find her face on the security cameras and send it to all our sister stores, so we can ban her from all the stores in our entire region. Normally, we couldn’t do this, but since she wouldn’t pull up her mask, we have a clear shot of her face. Would you like to buy a reusable bag for 99¢?”