Saturday, August 15, 2009

I'm turning into a Old Battle Axe

I made a quick run to a nearby grocery store to pick up a few of the specials. As I approached the cashier, I overheard a young man who works there hollering at the cashier.

He seemed to be giving her some job to do, and she answered 'okay' and turned to go back behind the cash, and he YELLED: "JUST A MINUTE! DON'T TURN YOUR BACK ON ME WHEN I'M STILL TALKING!" My head spun around to look at the offensive little pup, and when he realized he had certainly gotten my attention, he headed up an aisle.

This was at least the third time I'd witnessed this behaviour while shopping there. I snapped.

ME: What the?
CASHIER: Oh, it's just been a bad day. (pleasantly)
ME: Is he your boss?
CASHIER: No. Would you like a bag? (still pleasant)
ME: No, but I would like to smack that kid in the mouth.

Once I had checked out, I went back up the aisles in search of "Tim". I found him kneeling on the floor, fixing stock.

ME: Excuse me.
TIM: Can I help you?
ME: I live in the neighbourhood, and shop here about once a week. On three different occasions I've overheard you yelling at other staff, and swearing. It is very unprofessional behaviour, and not very gentlemanly of you to be yelling at that little blonde girl at the cash.
TIM: (voice shakey - bullies hate confrontation, particularly misogynists who abuse women) I wasn't yelling at her, I was yelling at...
ME: (interupting)Well, then you can easily see how your behaviour can be misunderstood by others. You need to consider how customers might interpret things, because by all appearances, you seemed to be yelling at that girl.
TIM: I'm sorry.
ME: Tim, you need to take a look at your temper. Losing control of your temper at work can be very serious, and you'll find yourself going from job to job to job for the rest of your life unless you figure out how to control your temper. I suggest you put your mind to it immediately.

I'm sure he rolled his eyeballs as soon as I left, but I couldn't not stand up for the little girl, despite his assurances that he wasn't yelling at her.


  1. Good for you. You certainly made your point to Tim. I only hope he takes it to heart. You taught him a lesson he needed to learn. However, as a retired school teacher, I know many good lessons go in one ear and out the other. I hope this lesson sticks between his ears.

  2. You go girl!
    I do this stuff all the time....then I remind the girls, now this is why you need your education so you can be the boss. You are just doing this while you wait for classes to start right?

    Good for you, more of us need to speak up! And if he back talked you... call the manager immediately!

  3. Good for you!
    I would also follow it up with a letter to the company head office and/or store manager/owner (if it's not him).
    I do this all the kids are mortified!

  4. Good for you and I would also call his supervisor and report the bad behavior. He needs to find a different job.

  5. Yes, you did well! You were polite, direct and honest. As I get older, I'm less inclined to let things slip past. It's best to deal with 'stuff' on the spot - everyone's better for it - you, him and the girl.

    It's called wisdom and I see it as part of our responsibility to the community we live in to pass on the things we've learnt, politely, honestly and firmly.

    You walk the talk!!

  6. Good for you! I also will not accept unaccepatble behaviour in public and let people know. Whether it is offensive Tee stirts, spitting, swearing not saying excuse me please or thank you AND throwing litter, specifically cigarteet butts.
    People have to stand up to others and perhaps society will start becoming less ME and more We.

    My children wer mortified but now as adults they do the same as I.

    That's my rant. Enjoy your blog.

  7. It's unfortunate that customer service has disappeared in my places of business... People forget they have internal and external customers. My hats off to you for pointing this young man's error in judgement.

  8. I wish I could hug you and shake your hand right now! You did the exact right thing. It sounds like you were assertive and respectful, which means you were modeling the behavior you hope to see. Wow! You're my hero.