Please do not ever enter my store again... (long)

It had been a bad night already. I’d mixed up two words in French and managed to insult one of our (francophone) regulars. I was running out of fives and no one had anything but twenties. I had had more than my usual Sunday-night share of drunk teenagers and obnoxious tourists. So I was already on edge.

You came in to buy your usual newspapers – New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post. I should have known you were really there because you were looking for someone to bully.

You knew my views. Awhile back, you heard me discussing politics with a friend, and knew my politics leaned left. You called me stupid and naive then, said that you “believed in a better world” when you were my age, but you grew out of it. Told me I should expand my reading, to match the authors you read. I could tell, even then, that you got a kick out of mocking and verbally abusing someone whose job required him to be polite to you.

For ten minutes tonight, you kept baiting me, and I knew you were. Kept talking about how anyone who was against the Iraq war was childishly naive, how stupid anyone would have to be for arguing for peace. I knew you were baiting, but after the night I’d had, I couldn’t help taking the bait. As patiently as I could, I told you you were right – I was against the war in Iraq.

It was what you were waiting for. For twenty minutes you yelled at me. You called me naive at least five times. Fed up, I pointed out that both your arguments you kept giving me contradicted each other. It was only time you listened to what I had to say in that half hour, and of course it just fuelled the flames.

When your shrill screaming began to drive away the customers, I tried to get out of this politely by returning to my work and tellig you I was too busy to work. You tried poking at me with more ad hominem attacks before you gave up…

…but that didn’t stop you from coming back five minutes later to tell me how disgusted you were with me for siding with Saddam (I’d done no such thing). In fact, you seemed to be suggesting I was gleefully enjoying every death under his murderous regime. You told me I had told you 100,000 people had died during the war (I’d said no such thing). You then “reminded me” that during the invasion of Kuwait, Saddam’s people had pulled babies off of incubators :rolleyes:

The rest of the night had put me on edge – your shouting and your cruel personal attacks put me to the edge of a panic attack. I asked you to leave. I am certain you will probably go to my manager to try and get me fired for asking you to leave. Fortunately for me, my manager is sane.

On any given night, I have to deal with shoplifting teenagers, crackheads, wealthy Westmounters looking for a member of the untouchable caste to abuse, people who pay for fifty-dollar lottery tickets in dimes, credit-card scammers and other fraud artists. You are the second-worst customer I’ve ever had. We ought to have had a prize ready. The only one who beat you out is the one who pointed a knife at me and took my wallet and the cash.

My nerves are on end. Hours and hours later, I am still too on-edge to sleep. I realize you’re not worth worrying about, but that fact does nothing to help. I feel like you’ve injected a poison. My faith in human nature is under steady assault every day at that store. Today, you almost broke it.

In two weeks, I can start looking for another job. Please do not come back to the store until I find one.

Ah, I see where you went wrong there. :wink:

Seriously, what kind of a moron hangs around a newsstand for half an hour hassling the clark?

Someone who has observed that people who have the option of leaving when he starts to rave tend to do so, obviously.

You have my sympathy and condolences, but try not to let him stay under your skin. Remember that for every idiot of that stripe that you can’t avoid, there are a million more you’ll never meet. Wait, that’s not quite right.

Aw, hell, I can’t think of anything reassuring enough to say. Get some sleep, even if you need to resort to soporifics. You deserve to sleep the sleep of the just.

As soon as a customer starts screaming at you, that’s when you shoo them out with a broom. Or, if you don’t have a broom, the baseball bat behind the counter.

If you’re alone in the store, threaten him. And then follow up the threat with actual violence.

Now, I know that violence solves nothing. In fact, it makes the world a worse place. But you feel less like suicide. And that mouthy fucker get’s a run for his money…

Sorry you had to deal with that, Hamish.

Some people live to irritate others.

Hopefully the fact that you’re a much better person than that can be some solace.

Small note: Hamish told me that it was a female. I don’t say “woman,” because he didn’t confirm her species to go along with it.

[quoteI tried to get out of this politely by returning to my work and telling you I was too busy to work.

Gaudere’s Law strikes again! w00t!

And again. :frowning:

Have you thought about calling the cops, or at least threatening to?

If his harassment is so bad that it drives away customers, I’d say that you’d be completely justified in doing so.

Doper Chic

Sorry, what’s Gaudere’s Law ?

Gaudere’s Law states that when posting to correct the spelling and/or grammar of another poster, one will invariably make a mistake in one’s own post.

Well, shit. There’s my theory right out the window.

Upon reading the OP, I was convinced december had moved to Montréal.


Don’t scare me like that, Coldfire.

You had a screaming maniac in your store for twenty minutes, driving off other customers?

They have policemen in Montreal, yes? I would think this would justify calling them. I sure would have, if only to get this sadistic asshole out of MY store…

Hell, the ACT of picking up the phone and dialing it and saying “Hello, Police?” might have chilled his attitude a bit, right there.

I don’t mean to sound unsympathetic, though. I worked a convenience store for a summer, once, and learned more about the uglier side of human nature than I ever wanted to. Every Sunday, I got screamed at by drunks who could not buy beer, because it’s illegal to sell beer on Sunday before noon in Texas, and they were firmly convinced that I was obeying the law ONLY to inconvenience them, or to solicit a bribe…

…and they took it damned personally that I would not risk a two thousand dollar fine and loss of my job in order to sell them a damn sixpack.

I finally quit that job after hearing about a rash of convenience store robberies in nearby Austin. The store I ran was right next to the interstate that runs right into Austin. The robberies always seemed to result in a dead clerk.

My first unemployed Sunday, I walked to my old job and bought a soft drink. Sure enough, a scraggly drunk was there, seething, because the new clerk wouldn’t sell him beer.

I felt sorry for the clerk, but I also rejoiced that it wasn’t me.

Hamish, I wish you the very best of luck in your job search, and I regret that I cannot scrape this sadistic bastard out of your memory…

Wang, enough stories about you, we wanna hear about Troll. Did drunks ever try to buy alcohol from him on a Sunday morning?

Thanks everyone.

I’m doing better with a night’s sleep (I finally did get to sleep), but now I worry about the next time I’ll see her. I’ve seen her in the cafe where my writer’s circle meets, and I just know she’ll try to come over and ruin that for me, too.

As for the store, I’m going to talk my manager about throwing her out next time I see her. I was afraid to when she was here, because I can’t afford to lose this job without having another lined up. In a week, I go to the west coast for a week, and at the end of that I can start searching for another job. I graduated last month, so my options have improved, and I no longer have to put up with an awful job beccause the hours are compatible with my courses.

I knew she was the kind who would go and complain to my boss if I’d thrown her out. That would be fine if she just went to my manager. If she went over her head to my supervisor, though, I would be in trouble. My supervisor does not know me well, and doesn’t like me, and I’m pretty sure she would believe this woman’s version of events :frowning:

I swear, the worst people seem to know I’ll be leaving soon, and have been taking one final shot at me. On top of that, in one month, there were two gunfights within two blocks of the store.

This must be that new-fangled “compassionate conservative” thing I keep hearing about. :rolleyes:

Phone your manager.

Explain that you had a crazy person screaming at you, & you had to throw this person out, because he/she/it was frightening the other customers.

Call today.

Before the Looney Toon can contact your boss.

** Hamish **, you sound like a lovely gentle soul and alas, that’s what the crazies count on.
The suggestions regarding how to deal with this person at your place of employment are great and I won’t add to them.
However, may I suggest that if she appears at the cafe you frequent and deliberately begins to harass you, you do something large and dramatic to scare her off?
Personally, I’ve always found that copious amounts of drool coupled with odd noises and interesting albeit nonsensical phrases can generally send any so-called nutter screaming for the hills.

HAMISH, I agree that you should raise your concerns with your manager, and (as a pre-emptive move) consider raising them with your supervisor as well. (Though I’m not sure of the distinction you’re drawing when you say “going over your manager’s head to your supervisor” – in the U.S., as those terms are used (at least to my knowledge), the “supervisor” would be the person who actually supervises you, like perhaps the senior employee on shift with you, while the “manager” would be the person who manages the whole store. The “manager” would therefore generally outrank the “supervisor.”) Anyway, you need to make your concerns known so that they don’t view your side of it as just some defense you’re making up to excuse your “bad” behavior after a customer complained. Certainly I think it would be reasonable to also mention how upset this woman made you.

As far as approaching you elsewhere . . . You are off the clock. If I were you and she dared approach me, I would tell her evenly but in no uncertain terms that the only reason I would ever talk to a person so crazy and rude is because I was required to do so at work, but when I’m not at work I expect her to stay the hell away from me. And if she doesn’t, get the manager of that establishment to throw her out.

You may have to put up with a small portion of harassment from customers at work – unfortunately – but you don’t have to put up with an iota of it when you’re just another citizen, off the clock.

And try not to let her get you down. What do you care for the opinion of a rude, shrill harridan anyway? :wink: