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Where’s A Drill Sergeant When You Need One?

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: DarksidedCookies | August 19, 2022

The store where I work has a new process for applying veteran discounts. All veterans with smartphones who want their discounts must register their status either on the company website or app. It requires their name, the branch they served in, whether they’re active or retired, their discharge date, and their birthday. When it’s done, they get a QR code that gets scanned to apply the discount. The code can’t be a screenshot as it refreshes randomly every hour so it can’t be shared.

Thankfully, I’ve had many appreciative people express their thanks to me for being patient enough to guide them through the new process and make it simple. I get the occasional anal orifices here and there, but I tell them the polite version of, “If you don’t want to do it, either pay full price or buy it elsewhere. There is no third option.”

We used to just visually check the IDs for validity, but let’s just say that too many bad people ruined it for everyone — namely, certain folks using their veteran discounts for their own companies or companies they worked for, which is not allowed as the discount is ONLY for the veterans’ personal purchases.

Our competitor store gives veteran discounts when the customers show their IDs and give their phone numbers. That’s going to change soon as that company will also be going by the new method to keep everyone honest. We get plenty of people who scoff at our new veteran discount policy and “threaten” us by saying they’re going to the other store instead. My coworkers and I lowkey laugh because that’s like telling us there’s free food in the break room. One less rude person to deal with, we say.

I was watching the self-checkout and went to help an elderly woman buying spray paint (an age-restricted item). She was very nice, and we chatted a bit while I scanned her items for her. I didn’t have to but just wanted to be polite. Then, a guy waved me over for help. I excused myself and bid her a great day.

Me: “How can I help you, sir?”

Guy: “I want to apply my veteran discount, but I’m having trouble.”

I asked what I ask everyone:

Me: “Have you registered your veteran status on our site?”

Guy: “What? I have my ID right here.” *Shows it to me* “My phone number is [number].”

I explained how the policy had changed and what he had to do, but he interrupted me.

Guy: “No, no, I don’t have to do that. Just type in my number like last time.”

Me: “We don’t go by phone number, sir. [Competitor] does. I can help you register—”

Guy: “I didn’t have to do that last time. Just do your thing, put my phone number in, and give me my discount. I do it all the time when I come here, so why won’t you do it?”

I swapped my friendly tone for the lukewarm neutral.

Me: “You’re mistaken, sir. We’ve never gone by phone number. We used to check IDs, but then—”

Guy: “The f***? You callin’ me a liar?! What the f*** is your problem?”

I was unfazed since I was not the problem here.

Me: “I didn’t say you were lying, sir. I said you were mistaken. As I said, [Competitor] goes by number. We go by the QR code you get when you register your veteran status online.”

At this point, the guy was raising a stink, using every cuss word imaginable, insulting me, whatever. I had already shut off my humanity at this point and just stood there watching this angry ape of a man turn an interesting beet-red color.

When he was done banging his vocal cords, I said in a slightly kinder voice:

Me: “I’ll get a manager for you.”

Guy: “You suck at your job. I bet you don’t even know who your manager is.”

I’ve worked a good while at this company, and I love to make goodies for my coworkers once in a while to show my appreciation for them. Because of those two things, not only do I know who my manager is, but EVERYONE who works in the store knows me. It’s hard to forget that one nice coworker who brings everyone homemade treats just because.

It took no time for a manager to show up since one of the cashiers had already called. The manager showed up and asked what was up. The guy went ape mode again, calling me all sorts of rather discolored things, including a liar when I tried explaining the veteran discount thing.

Manager: “[My Name] is correct. We’ve never given veteran discounts by phone number; [Competitor] does that.”

The guy wasn’t having it and dug his heels in so deep that I was surprised he didn’t fall over. Three male customers at the other checkout defended me, saying I wasn’t rude at all, and the shorter one said he was amazed I stood there and, in his words, “took it like a boss while this Hulk roared” at me. Not gonna lie, that made me laugh.

The guy kept saying I called him a liar. Again, the shorter male customer told him:

Short Customer: “Hombre, she said you were mistaken. That doesn’t mean lying. You’re the one lying, making up all that BS just now. We all heard you.”

The elderly woman I helped blew my mind when she piped up:

Elderly Woman: “You’re an a**hole for bullying retail workers! They have it hard enough. This girl was nothing less than nice and you s*** all over her kindness. Shame on you!”

Hearing an old woman cuss will never not be hilarious. It kind of warmed my heart to see strangers sticking up for me.

Manager: “I don’t appreciate you harassing my employee. You need to leave.”

The cherry on top of this whole thing?

Guy: “I can prove she’s lying about the phone number bit!”

This guy actually pulled out a receipt dated the day before from the last time he had shopped “here” and, lo and behold, the receipt was from [Competitor].

The guy went silent. The manager turned to see the receipt and then looked at the guy.

Manager: “So, are you leaving voluntarily or should I have the police give you a ride somewhere?”

With that, the guy hurried out empty-handed, without a word or glance at anyone.

Manager: *To me* “Are you okay?”

Me: “I’m fine, just annoyed.”

Manager: “I appreciate you keeping your cool with him.” *Gives me a fist bump* “Thanks for the cupcakes you made on Mother’s Day, by the way. I gave one to my wife. She’s pregnant, and she loved it!”

I thanked the customers who came to my defense. The shorter man gave me a fist bump and said how he knew what it was like to be bullied on the job and that he had a young daughter who dealt with it at her job.

Goes to show you that not all heroes wear capes. Some wear paint-stained clothes, safety vests, or thick boots. Some even wear orthopedic loafers and pearl earrings.

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