Wrestling With This Sale

, , , , , , , | Right | September 12, 2017

(I am a 17-year-old student, working part-time in a major supermarket chain as a checkout operator. Because of UK law, persons under the age of 18 must have approval from someone over 18 before they can sell alcohol, and my store requires that person to physically come to the checkout and type in their ID and password to authorize the sale. In this case, the customer is clearly old enough, ripped, and covered in tattoos.)

Me: “I’m really sorry to keep you waiting, but I’m afraid I have to get approval from someone over 18 before I can sell you this.”

Customer: “I’m over 18. Consider it approved.”

Me: “I’m afraid that it has to come from someone that works here, but I’ll have my supervisor over here just as soon as I can.”

Customer: *getting increasingly irritated* “Just put it through. They don’t have to know about it.”

Me: “I can’t sell alcohol without a code. My machine completely locks up as soon as it picks up alcohol, and I need someone over 18 to physically come here and override the lock-out. I promise you, my supervisor will just be a moment.”

Customer: “That’s a dumb-a** policy. Just type in their code or something.”

Me: “I’m afraid that’s actually the law. Section 153 of the Licensing Act of 2003 states that a responsible person is committing an offence if he or she allows a person under the age of 18 to perform the sale or supply of alcohol, unless the sale is approved by that or another responsible person. I don’t know my supervisor’s code, and if I was able to just sell alcohol, then the store could easily lose their licence, and both myself and all the managers could be fined.”

(At this point the customer loses it. It’s been less than two minutes since this entire exchange began, but he leaps at me over my checkout, grabbing me by the collar of my shirt and pulling me towards him.)

Customer: *shouting* “Listen to me, you f****** b****. I didn’t come here looking for a f****** lecture. Do you know who I am?”

(He shakes me a bit and moves right in my face, our noses about a centimetre from touching. A lot of people are watching, but none step in. I’m actually a black belt in three different martial arts, and more than capable of defending myself, but given that I am relatively new to the job and can see my supervisor on his way, I decide not to lash out.)

Customer: *as loud as he can* “I’m the f****** national wrestling champion. I’ve got hundreds of trophies, dozens of medals. What the f*** have you got you whiny c***?

(My supervisor arrives, taps the guy on his shoulder, and nuts him straight in the face. He drops to the floor clutching a bleeding, and probably broken, nose. My supervisor flips him onto his front and pulls both his hands up behind his back, zip tying his hands together, and pulling his phone off his belt.)

Supervisor: “Hey, when you’ve got a minute, can you get the police down here? No rush.”

(I love my supervisor.)

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