Sunday, 25 October 2009

Sometimes it's a bitch

Normally when there has been a bad episode at work (the one which I have to smile a lot), I usually get over it quite quickly and shrug the whole thing off in a matter of minutes.

For the past two days however, I have been deeply disturbed by a bad experience at work on Friday night. It was not really, really bad, if you think about it, but I just can't seem to get it out of my mind.

As usual, it was around 7pm, I was the only serving assistant at the till and I had four customers queueing at the till. When I was still serving a young customer, the next customer in line  (an old chap) practically shoved him aside and crossed that 'invisible line' where you're not meant to cross until you are being served. So, naturally, being a good customer assistant (kepo and brave at the same time), I tried to say something in the nicest possible way I can to help the customer understand what he's done.  It turned out to be the one thing that I would regret doing later on. Here goes the conversation...

Me : Excuse me Sir (see how polite I am?), this gentleman is still being served, if you don't mind standing back just a little?
Old man : (With eyes glaring like they're gonna fall out of their sockets)YOU DON'T MIND ME DOING WHAT I LIKE TO DO AND YOU CARRY ON WITH WHATEVER YOU'RE DOING. I'M STANDING HERE DOING NO HARM.
Me : (Shocked, a bit red-faced but composed, giving change to the previous customer)Ahem, your change, 12 pounds 75 pence. Thank you and have a good evening.
Old man : WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE TELLING ME WHAT TO DO. WELL ARE YOU GOING TO SAY SOMETHING OR HAVE YOU NOT GOT A TONGUE?!
Me : (Still scanning the items bought by the old man, *toott* *toott* *toott*)That's 3 pounds 76 pence, PLEASE.
Old man : (giving me money and still grumbling, I didn't fully hear what he was saying coz by then I 
had lost interest and was too humiliated to comprehend)

After I had given him his change, he was still standing at the end of the till packing his stuff and glaring at me at the same time so I tried to be as composed as I am and started serving the next customer, just to let him have a taste of his own medicine (I usually like to wait until the previous customer has left the till before I start serving the next customer because I believe it's rude otherwise).

Like I said, it was not a really really bad experience as in I wasn't slapped or being called names but I just cannot get it out of my mind. It kept playing at the back of my mind, the way he looked, his awful facial expression and also the phrase 'have you not got a tongue'. I think partly because I regretted not doing what I should have done. What I should have done was not to sit there and take it in like that. What I should have done was to ring the bell for assistance and refuse to serve the old man for being extremely rude, unnecessarily. Just because we are working at a supermarket, wanting to earn a decent living, it does not mean that we deserve to be treated with disrespect. That's what's bugging me, I think. What I should have done.

I'm hoping that after blogging about it, I will feel a lot better. Next week when I get into work again on Tuesday, I know that I'll be a little wary and phobic in case he should come through my till again. I want to be able to get over this episode and move on.

10 comments:

escape2 said...

that is just plain discriminatory. i think he just can't stand an asian standing there serving him. forget about the episode. not worth mulling over.

Audrey Wiles said...

he's a bastard. nuff said. dont waste your breath on him. i once had an old woman enter a charity shop which i was volunteering at.. and she said she was unhappy that she had to pay 20 pounds out of her pension every week to support 'you immigrants' and i told her that i wasnt an immigrant and my govt was sponsoring me fully. guess what her reply was.... "which country are you from?' malaysia "ohhhhhhh... the country WE CIVILISED' weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeellllllll if i could i would hve slapped her right across her face, stupid old baglady!

anyway, too much breath wasted on idiots like that. dont worry bout it k peng2, what goes around comes around. ;-)

eugene said...

You know, life is made up with some many kinds of people good, bad, funny, rude, nice, weird, sacarstic, warm, and whatever........

as long as we are happy, just dont give a damn about the rest, you did well cos that was what you were supposed to do, wasnt it?

hey take care now,,,,and have a great week ahead

Fely said...

Once bitten and twice shy Peng Peng, that's what i say. At least, next time this happens to you, you'll know what to do. If this didn't happen to you, you'd never know how to react when it happened to you in the future, would you.

I used to be like that as well, always thought of things I should've done or should've said after it all happened (or rather when I came out of the whole shock of it). But lately, i've been better at biting back so i'm more pleased with myself.

Dont worry hun, the world is full of shit and shitheads. Don't let em get to you. Hugs xxx

PengPeng彬彬 said...

thanks guys. i shall have my 'teeth' armed next time and 'bite back' !! *snap* *snap* *snap*

ash said...

Don't mind these sorry sods. Chin up girl, and it's a very Asian tendency to be nice. Just keep it for the right person next time. *Hugs*

Bea said...

I agree! Hard as it is,...ignore them!

SJB said...

I know!!. some people out there just rude!. and i want to say, ignore them but sometime we can't heheh. Well girl, just breath....

Anonymous said...

It's not always a race thing like some people seem to want it to be - some people are just plain old nasty. People of all colours get ignored by sales assistants or get money dropped into your hand or put on the counter - happens regularly to me and I don't care about it (white people, black people, Asian people all can be rude - I'm white and all the above have been nasty BUT they have all been lovely too). People of all colours are rude to sales assistants - no please, no thank-you. People are sometimes rude everywhere they go. Please put this nasty old man out of your mind - maybe he is unhappy and no one loves him so he doesn't love the world very much. Maybe all his life he has been sad. Nothing you can do about that. Some people would say that's no reason for him to be mean - well, no reason for him not to be either. Carry on being nice - the world needs you to be. Making a difference is important.

PengPeng彬彬 said...

well said anonymous. I've had some lovely people through my till and they make my day. Old man is now out of my mind, although my heart still goes thump thump thumping whenever i see someone who resembles him approaching the till :)

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