Welcome To The Corner Store California

, , , | Working | April 6, 2021

I enter a store and go directly to the corner where I know I’ll find the articles I am interested in. I make my choice and go to the counter. Nobody is there. I wait patiently, thinking the person who should be behind the counter needed a bathroom break or something. No one shows. I yell. No reaction. I try again a bit louder. Nothing.

Fed up, I go up the stairs toward the doors, leaving the things I picked up on the counter. The doors are locked. Now, I’m a bit claustrophobic and the fact that I can’t get out makes me feel like freaking out. I manage to keep my anxiety down by taking action — I usually can stop a full-blown panic attack by diverting my attention if panic levels are not too high — and start looking up the number for the local police station. Google to the rescue! While on hold, I hear something at the door and it opens. The store owner or attendant or whoever has the key enters. I hang up.

Owner: *Accusingly* “How did you get in?”

I’m a tad ticked off.

Me: “Through the door!”

Owner: “Which door? How did you find the back door?”

Me: “I entered through that door.”

I indicate the door she just opened.

Owner: “Well, why didn’t you tell me you were in the store?!”

I’m totally flabbergasted, with a lot of responses going through my head, varying from the less polite to the very much less polite.

Me: “Why didn’t you warn me you were leaving?”

Owner: “You should have told me you were in here!”

Me: “Well, in a minute, I no longer will be. You’ll find the articles I picked on the counter.”

I need to add that I was in an obscured corner in an otherwise open plan shop. No, I did not see her behind the counter — which is placed directly opposite the door — upon entering, but I knew there was usually only one person in the shop and, as I said, I thought she was on a bathroom break. Thinking back, she probably was getting her purse and coat in the back, and as I made a beeline to the screened-off part of the store, we crossed each other unnoticed. I do understand she was a bit shocked finding someone in what she thought to be an empty shop — I was in plain view when she entered –and I probably would have been more forgiving if she was more apologetic and less accusing. To this day, I have never returned and I don’t plan to.

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