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When The Quit Is Writ

, , , , | Working | January 10, 2023

This happened a long time ago now and I am condensing the situation to just the important events.

I’ve been working in my grocery store for over seven years, and I am tired. My tenure here plus my time working in most departments means I am very knowledgeable about each department and its processes, plus my experience with customers is unmatched in the store.

As a result, I am often called upon to fix more difficult problems, even though I am not a manager and am not paid anything more than the normal associate.

Coworker: “[My Name]! I have a mom with her kid in the condiments aisle. The kid keeps knocking stuff to the ground and I’ve told them to stop but they’re ignoring me.”

Me: “Well, best to call [Manager] then.”

Coworker: “But they always take ages to come out, and they always moan at me for bothering them in the first place. Please?”

I sigh, but I head over. True to my coworker’s word, the mom is totally ignoring her child as he makes a mess of the shelving.

Me: “Ma’am, please stop your son from disturbing the items, or—”

Mom: “Ugh! Another one of you? For f*** sake he’s seven! He’s just playing! He’s not hurting anyone!”

Me: “No, ma’am, but some of these items are made of glass so he could hurt him—”

In perfect timing, the kid knocks over some glass ketchup bottles. The glass shatters and the ketchup flies everywhere.

Me: “—self.”

The kid starts crying as he knows he’s f*ed up.

Mom: “There, there my baby. You didn’t do anything wrong. The workers will clean it up, don’t worry.”

The kid immediately stops crying and points and laughs at me. Before I can even call in for a clean up the kid starts picking up some of the larger pieces of ketchup-covered glass and throws one at me!

Me: “Ma’am! Stop your child at once! He could injure himself or someone else!”

The mom rolls her eyes but realizes that her kid might have gone a bit too far. Suddenly my manager arrives after the commotion. He looks at the customer, the floor, and me covered in a little ketchup. Before I can even speak the customer interrupts.

Customer: “This worker broke the ketchup bottles and blamed my son!”

I am too shocked at the audacity of this woman to immediately refute her lies, giving time for my manager to talk.

Manager: “[My Name], how could you? This is totally unacceptable! Apologize to this customer and then clean this up at once!”

I’ve finally regained my senses, and I am reminded of how long I have worked here, how I’ve been overlooked for promotion many times, and yet how still vital I am to the running of this store. I’ve had enough.

I take a healthy amount of the ketchup that is on me and the floor, and write out five letters clearly for all to see:

Ketchup Message: “I QUIT.”

I stormed to my locker, got my bag, left the ketchup-stained shirt in the trash, and stormed out.

My boss tried calling me at first to punish me for leaving in the middle of a shift, and then to apologize and ask that I come back, to finally begging me to come back.

I only went back a week later to meet with HR, hand over an official resignation, combine my leave notice with my many untaken leave days, and found myself another job as an office manager within a few weeks.

Every time I have ketchup with my fries I smile.

Question of the Week

What is the most stupid reason a customer has asked to see your manager?

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