Do I LOOK like I work here?

Oh, maybe I do… :smack:

Eons ago I was managing the concessions for a movie theater and had to dash off to the local grocery store to get some cleaning supplies that the general manager forgot to order. As I was striding along the chips & soda aisle, an old man turned to me and asked, “Can you help me find the Mountain Dew?”

“Oh,” I responded and pointed to the other end of the aisle, “That’s a Pepsi product.”

“How about Sprite?” asked a woman behind me.

“Coca-Cola makes that.” I pointed a few steps away at the shelf section full of cans and bottles.

“Oh, thank you!” she smiled. Before pushing her cart closer to the Sprite, she asked, “How about chickpeas?”

“You mean garbanzo beans?” I asked and received a nod, “I’d expect them to be either in canned foods,” I motioned over the wall-o-soda and then motioned even further, “or by the dry bags of beans and rice.” As another person joined the crowd, I added, “Or both – but I don’t work here, so I’m not sure.”

“You don’t work here?” the three shoppers asked incredulously.

“Nope.” I shook my head and started walking away, “I’m just trying to find steel scouring pads.”

After getting the cleaning supplies, I headed over to the hardware store to grab some plywood and studs to make a cheap ramp.

While I was picking out deck screws, a lady approached and said, “Excuse me. I need a big sheet of plywood cut in half.”

“Oh.” I said with a nod and led her around the corner and down the sheet-wood aisle to the end. We stopped at a panel-cutter and I pointed to it before noting, “I’ll send someone over.”

“You can’t do it?” she asked.

“I don’t even work here!” I told her as I wandered off in search of an employee. I found someone wearing a T-shirt with the store’s logo and told him, “There’s a lady who needs help at the panel cutter.”

As I headed back to study screws I wondered why everyone was asking me for help. Then I realized I was wearing my work clothes: black pants, belt, and shoes, a long-sleeved white shirt with a black bow-tie, and a full black vest. We at the theater hated the uniforms and called them penguin suits, but they apparently made us look like manager-types when we were away from the theater.

Anyone else get mistaken for an authority-type? What kinds of weird requests have you fielded in spite of the mistake?


*We needed to roll a quad racer (a recreational vehicle we had sitting outside the theater for use as a promo for one of the movies) into the back of my truck so I could drop it off at the motorcycle dealer’s lot.

I was in a K-Mart once back in the eighties, right after work and wearing my polyester pants, Arrow shirt, and knit tie (it was the eighties, remember). After three people stopped me thinking I worked there, I decided it was time to upgrade my work wardrobe.

I am constantly being stopped by visitors to the hospital where I work to ask where various departments and eating areas are. Last week a confused patient appealed for help since the meds they gave him in the E.R. for leg pain weren’t working.

C’mon people, I’m the world’s worst person to ask for directions.* The place is big, confusing and is in the process of getting a major overhaul plus a whole new wing just opened and there’s all kinds of different stuff there. Sometimes I temporarily get off track just trying to find my own office. Why do all these people think I know where everything is?

I’m really going to have to stop wearing this scrub top. :mad:

*And a pathologist is not necessarily who you want to get advice from on having your leg fixed up. I suggested to the patient that his best bet was to contact the E.R. about appropriate followup (as opposed to soliciting advice from random doctor-appearing people in the corridors).

I once went to Target during my lunch hour to get something, wearing a red polo shirt and khakis. After a couple minutes, I just put my head down and started at the floor in front of me as I hurried through the aisles.

When I was working for a beverage distributor, I was mistaken for an employee in myriad grocery stores despite the difference in uniform.
The kicker being that blue work pants, white shirt with vertical blue stripes, oval name patch, back belt and “SNAPPLE” hat looks exactly like tan pants and a red polo with a bullseye on it.

In my early 20s, I pretty much wore only Gap clothes, every time I was at the store, someone would ask me for help. And, I knew the store so well, I actually often did!

Little old ladies always ask me for help reaching things at Wal-Mart. I am tall (6ft) so I look able. I am usually wary of people, it’s part of my phobia, but little old ladies are ok. And the occasional kid. They freak me out sometimes, unless they are mine.

I worked as a reporter for the local paper in my early 20s. Guys had to wear a tie and jacket to work every day.

The Detroit Tigers opening day one year had a group of students from the town I covered on the field for some pre-game ceremony, and I got to go down there to take pictures. I happened to be wearing a blue blazer and orange tie that day-- the Tigers’ colors, but didn’t even think about it when I was getting dressed that day. I was stopped every 10 feet in the concourse by someone asking where their section was.

And this is why I wear earbuds, even if I’m not listening to anything.

I work in a store about 1/2 mile from a Target, where I wear a red shirt. I’ve learned not to go to Target wearing my red shirt. If I do, I feel like I’m being targeted (ha!ha!) as bad as a redshirt Star Trek character.

This reminds me, no good deed goes unpunished. I was at the grocery store when a little old lady asked me to grab something for her off the top shelf. After doing that, she says to me: “While I have you, I need you to help me with something else.”

She then makes me follow her over to the dog food isle and lift a heavy bag of dog food into her cart.
And she wasn’t done yet! After that, I had to follow her over to the soda isle, and load her cart with 12 packs of soda! :smiley:

I was just at Home Depot, looking for the rarely seen “employee”. Did come across two people in orange shirts who did not work there.

They’re just asking for it, I say.

That makes it worse.

I once went shopping downtown, stopping at a few clothing stores while wearing my (wired) earbuds and listening to podcasts. At three different stores, I had people come up to me to ask where things were (I didn’t know) and whether there were other sizes in the back (I really didn’t know). At Old Navy (and I was not wearing Old Navy or other Gap brands clothing) one of the people working there came up to ask me something. When I pointed out that I was not her co-worker, she said that the earbuds made it look like I was one of the floor workers.

The first time I can remember that happening, someone came up to me at the zoo, asked me if I worked there, and went on to ask some questions about one of the enclosures.

I answered the questions, then pointed out that I was 10 years old.

In fairness, my parents did own the place, so I looked like I knew what I was doing.

I’ve been mistaken for an employee at the local grocery and the local Walmart.

In fairness to the Walmart lady, I was wearing a blue T-shirt that day. Fairness aside, it was the wrong shade of blue and looked nothing like the actual employees’ shirts.

I’m still not sure what happened at the grocery; they wear white button-down shirts and khakis, and I was in jeans, a rather worn T-shirt and a red jacket prominently displaying the logo of a Wisconsin brew pub on the back.

At least both people were polite when I informed them I did not in fact work there.

I made the mistake of wearing an orange T shirt to Home Depot once. Probably told 6 people I didn’t work there before I escaped.

Happens to me all the time. Bookstores, grocery stores, CVS, factories, insurance offices, wherever.

I get asked a lot too, and it’s not because I dress like an employee. I think it’s just because I look like I have time (and I do). Hurrying people don’t seem approachable.

I wore a red polo shirt to Target once too. Despite the fact I was also wearing cut-off jeans, carrying a purse and a handful of coupons, and pushing a shopping cart I still got asked three times where stuff was. Yes, I do know where the aluminum foil is.

I frequently work on construction sites. I have found that if someone comes onto the site with a delivery or just looking for someone “in charge”, they will always assume that the woman in the room holds a position of authority and they’ll approach her first. Probably because it is really rare to see women working construction as low level labor.