When Management Messes With Maleficent

, , , , , , | Working | November 16, 2018

(I’m a woman, and I’m in the feminine product aisle. I hear a loud noise behind me.)

Old Woman: “AHEM! Where are your [items]?”

Me: “I dunno. Try [the section likely to have said item].”

(I turn back, still trying find my preferred item.)

Old Woman: “EXCUSE ME! I ASKED YOU WHERE [ITEM] WAS!”

Me: “And I told you that I don’t know. Here’s a pro tip. Go find it yourself, or go ask someone who actually works here.”

(It is worth it to note that I am wearing a black shirt with [horned Disney Villain] on it. It is very much NOT a uniform employees would be allowed to wear. I find my necessary package of product and put it into the basket on my arm, before turning around and walking away. I’ve moved on three more aisles when an enraged-looking manager suddenly looms over me.)

Manager: “What the f*** did you think you were doing?”

Me: “Beg pardon?”

Manager: “What. The f***. Did. You. Think. You. Were. Doing?”

Me: “I would appreciate some context, please?”

(While this is delivered in the most non-sarcastic, genuinely confused tone of voice I can muster, it sets him off.)

Manager: “Maybe you’re new to this, but the Christmas season? You know, the time when we have a bunch of customers pouring in to buy presents for their kids? Yeah, that’s happening right now, and you’re sitting here f****** around with your g**d*** baby wipes! And a customer who asked you an honest question doesn’t need your attitude.”

(I look to him, then the basket in my hand, then at my black [Disney villain] shirt, and back to him.)

Me: “I don’t—”

Manager: “I don’t care what you think!”

(He gets really close to me at this point, and actually backs me into a corner.)

Manager: “You need to work on your customer service skills!”

(I try to say my side, that I don’t work at this business, and that I’m trying to shop, and all that gets an explosion before I get two words out.)

Manager: “I’M NOT HERE TALKING TO YOU SO YOU CAN ARGUE BACK! YOU WILL LEARN RESPECT! YOU WILL SHUT UP AND ACTUALLY LISTEN TO ME! YOU WILL NOT ACT LIKE A SPOILED F****** BRAT TO CUSTOMERS—”

Me: “I didn-“

Manager: “STOP. TALKING. I DON’T WANT TO F****** HEAR IT. SHUT! UP! NOW! YOU’RE A WASTE OF SPACE! YOU’RE GOING TO GET YOUR F****** A** INTO MY OFFICE!”

Security Guard: “Excuse me. Just what the h*** is going on over here?!”

(This situation looks bad from every angle. I’m a woman, backed into a corner by a much taller, screaming man. I have this man in my face, screaming obscenities and abuse. Tears streaming down my face, I look at the security guard and scream hysterically:)

Me: “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, GET HIM AWAY FROM ME!”

(Somewhere in my hysterics, I vaguely recall reality had apparently snapped back into the manager’s brain, as he jumped back from me and spluttered something that sounded vaguely apologetic and explanatory. I have flashes of a lady leading me away from the scene, flashes of the security guard planted between myself and my assailant, and a single, crystal clear image of a box of tissues getting pressed into my hands. It took quite a bit of time to get me back into a position of “functioning human” and away from “blubbering, traumatized mess.” By the time I was stable again, police were very much involved. Statements were taken, and yes, I wanted to press charges against this psychopath. This couldn’t possibly be his first incident, after all. The company got in contact with me right away, doing a frantic dance of appeasement, apology, and PR rescue… but regardless, I don’t think I want to shop there again for a long while.)

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