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What A Basket-Case, Part 2

, , | Right | September 5, 2020

It is in the middle of the health crisis. Like most other countries, the Netherlands also has social distancing rules. Stores are responsible for maintaining social distancing, which means we can only have a limited number of people in the store. There is a fine if you break the rules. My store has decided to keep track of people by requiring them to bring a shopping basket with them, like a lot of other stores. People still forget so we have to remind people all day, every day.

My coworker is on duty to watch the self-checkouts and to remind people to take a basket with them. 

Coworker: *In Dutch* “Can you please take a basket with you?”

Customer: *Angrily, in English* “What?!”

Coworker: *In English* “Can you please take a shopping basket with you? It’s required at the moment.”

The woman angrily picks one up and walks into the back of the store. I am in the back working on something but I walk up to the front of the store. 

Coworker: *In Dutch* “That woman was really rude. She swore at me when I told her to take a basket.”

Me: “I heard. I came to ask you to put things away in the stockroom. It’ll get you out of the store for a bit.”

Coworker: “Thanks. I’m a bit done with people.”

Both of us are looking at the rude customer. We see her take products off the shelf and, with her phone in her other hand, it looks like she’s taking pictures of them. This isn’t allowed by our store. 

Me: “I’ll go say something.”

Coworker: “No, I’ll do it.”

The door to the stockroom is next to the customer, so I don’t think anything of this. She tells the rude customer not to take pictures of our products as it’s not allowed. At this, the woman completely flips out, starting to cuss my coworker out.

My coworker comes up front to tell me this because I couldn’t have heard from where I’m standing. Then, she walks back and goes into the stockroom, while getting cussed out again by the customer.

Customer: “That girl was so rude, immediately saying something in Dutch when I came in in a rude tone. So rude.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “And now, I was only looking things up on my phone. I don’t know these products, so I wanted to check them out online, and then she rudely told me not to take pictures. I wasn’t taking pictures.”

It’s clear she wants me to agree with her, which I won’t because I heard everything my coworker said and she wasn’t rude.

Customer: “And now I’ll be late for my bus. She was so rude. I’ve never met anyone so rude. Can I check out now?”

Me: “You can check yourself out over here.”

The customer checks out, continuing to say that my coworker was rude. I speak to another customer who I was speaking with before the rude customer interrupted us.

Me: “I think she was the rude one. And why was she complaining to me about missing her bus? She could have left to go catch it.”

Nice Customer: “She was rude.”

My coworker comes back. I immediately see that things aren’t okay; she’s crying and shaking. 

Coworker: “Sorry, I’m having a panic attack. Is it okay; I’ll in the back for a bit. I think I need to call my best friend. She can always calm me down.”

Me: “Sure. Stay there as long as you need. You do know you did nothing wrong, right?”

Coworker: “Yes, I know. This was just a bit too much.”

Not everybody is happy with having to take a shopping basket with them, but I’ve never seen a customer go off on a colleague like that over it, or over being spoken to in Dutch in a Dutch store. 

For those wondering, my coworker’s friend came and calmed her down, and I made sure that she had stuff to do in the stockroom because she did want to continue working. Her friend left just before we closed for the evening and I made sure my coworker could go home safely.

What A Basket-Case

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