A man came through my line last month and left quite the impression. This guy is a regular, comes in every week, always has his iPod on and never talks much. Now, he’s always struck me as a creeper, but like I said, he never says much, so you can’t really judge.
When he came through a month ago, he pulled into my line with the cart behind him. He started to unload the cart from the front, constantly reaching over the whole cart and loading the groceries close to the end of the belt near the scanner. Basically, he was loading a few things at a time next to my hands, never filling the whole belt.
An old couple came in behind him, set up the divider and started to put their groceries on the belt as well. Since I had the belt on, every time I picked up one of his things, the old couple’s items came closer to me. They weren’t paying attention, just having a conversation between themselves and loading their items slowly, since the guy was still loading his things one at a time. I turned the belt off once I saw that their items were starting to impede the guy from loading his stuff slow as hell. Once I did this, all hell broke loose.
The guy started to throw the old couple’s things to the end of the belt, some of them hitting the man and landing on the floor. He started to yell at them. “What the hell do you think you are doing? Can’t you see I’m still loading my stuff here? What are you retarded? Jesus!” He then continued to load his groceries on the belt.
The old couples’ faces looked just like mine, with complete disbelief. I couldn’t believe he would blow up like that on two 80 year olds, all over groceries. He continued to scream. “Seriously, get your shit out of here! I can’t believe how f&$%ing retarded you are, get out of here, Christ!” Now, the supervisor in me knew that I should be calling someone over to my lane to talk to this psycho, but I couldn’t do anything. I just kept ringing up his items and kept my head down. I couldn’t even look at the old couple to reassure them that I was sorry.
They took their items to another lane and I finished the order with the guy. He never said another word during the order about what happened. He didn’t acknowledge that it even happened. After we finished I turned my light off and called Billy Bob to tell him what happened. The guy just went to the service desk and bought lottery tickets. He acted like he didn’t do anything wrong and this kind of thing happens all of the time.
I found out later that the old couple was distraught over the whole thing, rightly so, and that they had someone walk them to their car. They were afraid the guy would be waiting in the parking lot for them.
It still amazes me what small things set some people off in our store. Like my boss Samson says, “We just sell groceries. It’s not the end of the world.”