Monday, 17 September 2018

Well That Was Interesting: Grocery Store Showdown

Kiddo has reached an age where it's fun to bring him to the grocery store, as long as the list is short. He pushes the tiny red cart and, mostly, follows directions. He wants the bananas in his cart and likes to put items up on the conveyor belt when it's time to pay. He pets the plastic dog—a coin donation receptacle—on our way out. If we include a visit to the lobster tank at the fish market next door, it can totally count as our outing for the day.

On my most recent trip for groceries, however, I was really glad Kiddo wasn’t with me.

As my order was being scanned, a customer at another cash began to ask, loudly, to see the manager. Not an unusual request, except it was more of an aggressive demand than a request. The manager came. Things escalated from there.

I didn’t catch what the beef was. Something the old store owner allowed that the new owner doesn't. Whatever the new rule is, the manager held firm. Before long, this customer was full-on flipping out. I'm glad to say, I don't see true grown-up temper tantrums often. That's what this was.

The tantrum peaked with a scream at the manager to, “Eat shit and die!”

I’ll interject here with a little word on conflict resolution. You probably know this already. If you don’t, me saying it isn't likely to change anything. But I’m going to say it anyway: Even if the manager (at a store, the bank, at work, wherever) is genuinely screwing you over, telling him or her to eat shit and die will probably not bring about the capitulation you’re looking for.

Another mother behind me in line, whose kids were with her, spoke up. “Excuse me, I have kids here.”

This prompted the very mature reply, “I don’t fucking care!”

It was one of those moments where you calculate how far to let this thing go before calling the cops. At least, that’s what I was thinking.

Thankfully, moments later, the irate customer stormed out declaring, “I will never fucking shop here again!”

I can only imagine how disappointing the prospect of losing this person’s patronage was to the employees who by this time, along with most of the other customers, were staring at each other wide-eyed in a collective “What the hell was that?”

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