Old Ladies Didn’t Stop Berating Until The Retail Worker Was In Tears.
So, I work in a regional grocery store chain as a cashier, and this morning, I was ringing an old lady up. She was very pushy and demanding during her order, but I just ignored that, since a lot of customers are like that. But when I got to the end of her order, she asked what her total was, and I read it to her. And she said she couldn’t hear me. So I raised the volume of my voice a bit. And she said she still couldn’t hear me, and actually started making fun of me for having a quiet voice. (It’s worth noting that I have a lung condition that makes it physically difficult and painful to raise my voice.) So I tried one last time to raise my voice a bit more so that she could hear me, and it makes my voice come out sounding strained since it’s physically painful for me to do so.
And then she just kinda stops and stares at me for a second and then goes “… You know, I don’t think you’re supposed to talk to your customers like that, young lady.” And the lady in line behind her, a middle-aged lady who just showed up right as this was happening goes “Yeah, no, that was super uncalled for. I didn’t like that. That was hostile.”
And I’m legitimately super confused and startled, because I genuinely didn’t mean for it to come out that way, and didn’t even think it came out that way at all? I didn’t yell or act snippy or anything, I just spoke up a bit louder in a genuine attempt to get her to hear me. And I tried to explain myself and apologize, basically, “I’m really sorry if that came across as rude, ma’am, I promise I didn’t mean it that way. I have a problem with my lungs that makes raising my voice painful, and I really apologize if my tone sounded curt. I really didn’t mean it.”
And she just looks at me and goes, “Oh, gee, well, I’m sorry for being ALIVE! I mean, wow, sorry I bothered you, right?!” super sarcastically and rolls her eyes at me, and the lady behind her backs her up, glaring daggers at me, going “Yeah, no, that wasn’t okay. That was really wrong. Seriously, what is your issue?”
And the two of them keep ganging up on me and telling me off like that for a while and treating me like I’d just slapped the older lady across the face or something, and I can’t help it and just start tearing up and crying right there. Only THEN do they both stop, and it’s like they both suddenly realized they were talking to an Actual Human Being With Emotions, because they both immediately backed off, started apologizing, promised not to tell my manager, and tried to reassure me?
It’s just… Do people like those two forget they’re talking to people when it comes to retail workers? Or do they just not care until they have to see the consequences of what they say and do?