OP, a hardworking cashier at a regional grocery store chain, was going about his usual duties. During one of his morning shifts, an elderly lady, known for her stern demeanor, approached his register. She was part of the group of customers who were notoriously pushy and demanding. Yet, OP, like every other time, chose to ignore the rudeness and concentrate on his job.
He Couldn’t Speak Louder Because of Health Issues
Upon ringing up all her items, the woman demanded to know the total cost of her purchase. In his usual tone, OP announced the total. However, she insisted that she couldn’t hear him.
Despite a health condition that made it challenging and painful for OP to raise his voice, he pushed himself to speak louder.
Even after his effort, the woman claimed she still couldn’t hear. Adding insult to injury, she began making fun of OP for his quiet voice.
Ignoring the blatant disrespect, OP tried one more time to amplify his voice. His words came out strained due to the discomfort caused by his lung condition.
“You Know, I Don’t Think You’re Supposed To Talk to Your Customers Like That, Young Man.”
The woman stopped dead in her tracks and looked at OP, her eyes widening in apparent surprise.
Breaking the uncomfortable silence, she accused, “You know, I don’t think you’re supposed to talk to your customers like that, young man.”
Suddenly, an unsuspecting middle-aged woman, standing in line behind the elderly lady, decided to step into the conversation.
Agreeing with the older woman, she stated, “Yeah, no, that was super uncalled for. I didn’t like that. That was hostile.”
He Was Surprised at Their Attitude
Her words sent waves of confusion and surprise through OP, who had been trying to accommodate the elderly woman’s needs.
Stunned by the sudden hostility, OP attempted to defend himself. He explained his lung condition that made raising his voice a painful endeavor.
However, the explanation, an honest attempt to clear the air, was met with disdain and disbelief.
The elderly woman reacted with dripping sarcasm, snapping back, “Oh, gee, well, I’m sorry for being ALIVE! I mean, wow, sorry I bothered you, right?!”
And Burst Into Tears
The middle-aged woman in line, instead of diffusing the tension, amplified it by further criticizing OP’s conduct.
Cornered by their relentless criticism, OP couldn’t contain his emotions any longer.
Tears welled up in his eyes, and he began to cry in front of his accusers. It was only at this point that the harsh reality of their actions seemed to dawn on the two women.
They Soon Changed Their Tune
Their demeanor shifted dramatically upon seeing OP’s tears. Their aggressive attitudes softened into apologies.
They even promised not to escalate the matter to his manager, attempting to console OP. This whole ordeal left OP questioning the women’s initial lack of empathy and disregard for his well-being.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kyrylo Horoliuk. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.