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You Can’t Auto-matically Assume Anything

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: wworrall | May 27, 2021

I am at the grocery store. My aunt works at this store and I am there every week, so I know a few employees that I see regularly, and when I pass them, I say hello, ask how their day is going, etc. The uniform there is a black T-shirt or sweater embossed with the store’s name written in yellow and a picture of the mascot, with a bright yellow name tag. They even wear black masks with the store name printed on them. I am wearing a black sweater that day, but it says, “Smile More,” on it in white, I have no name tag, and I have a black “Harry Potter” mask.

I stop at the toy’s section to look for something for my daughter.

Woman: “Excuse me?”

I turn and see a woman standing there with her hands on her hips, staring at me. She has a mask on with her nose out, of course. I think she wants something from where I am standing and doesn’t want to get too close.

Me: “Oh, sorry.”

And I take a few steps back. She gives me a weird look.

Woman: “There was a basket of books here last week. Do you know where they were moved to?”

As luck would have it, I do remember seeing some books there as I actually bought one for my daughter. I see a few of them on the shelf nearby and point to them.

Me: “Here they are. I guess they moved them onto the shelf.”

Woman: “No, these aren’t them. I’m looking for some smaller books.”

Me: “Hmm, sorry, not sure where they went. The book section is on the other side of the store; I’d try there.”

Woman: “Aren’t you going to check for me?”

I am a bit tired from working all day, so it doesn’t click in my head yet.

Me: “I have to pick up a few things from over here first, but I guess I can have a peek on my way to the registers and let you know if I see anything.”

Woman: *Huffing* “Doesn’t anyone want to work around here nowadays? You all are so lazy.”

Me: *Realizing* “Oh, sorry. I don’t actually work here.”

Woman: “Yes, you do. I saw you saying hello and laughing with all those other employees.”

Me: *Laughing* “Oh, yeah. Well, I’m a regular, and I said hello to a few people who I know, but no, I don’t work here. I don’t even have a uniform on.”

Woman: *Looking at my sweater* “I don’t care if you’re off duty; you still represent the store and have to treat customers with respect. I want to speak to your manager.”

Me: *Smiling* “Ma’am, I’m my manager… at the auto parts store that I work for. If you’re looking for a part for your car, I can definitely help you out, but unfortunately, that is all I can do.”

She seemed to be putting two and two together when an actual employee walked up, and she politely asked them to show her to the books instead.