Just because you happen to need something right now doesn't mean that the next person you see is an employee. That's a one-way road to Awkward City.
1. Cash and carry.
I'm not particularly proud of this. Last weekend, I was at a big box home improvement store. I wasn't dressed remotely like the staff, and I had my headphones in so I wouldn't be bothered.
Apparently, a guy in his early 30's in a pair of tattered jeans and a paint-splattered t-shirt with headphones in and a piece of scrap paper in his hand looks like a person you should ask for assistance.
This middle-aged dude kept asking me where some product was. He asked significantly louder the second time, so I said, "Sorry, man, I don't work here," gesturing at my clothes and the obvious lack of a name tag.
I went back to browsing the shelves, when suddenly I felt my bluetooth headphones being ripped from my head. I looked quickly to my right, just in time to see the middle aged guy throw them to the concrete floor with as much force as he could manage. I heard a distinct snap.
Which was appropriate. This is the part I'm not too proud of.
I saw red.
I grabbed the guy by the front of his shirt and slammed him against the wall. Actually snarling, I said, "I told you I don't work here, you moron! You destroyed my headphones. What you're going to do is give me all the cash you've got in your wallet and pray that it covers the replacement cost. And if you make a scene, I'll give you something to scream about."
He'd gone from livid red to pale white. He rummaged, brought out his wallet, and handed over $40. I jammed it into my pocket, snatched up the headphones, and left the store. I got in my car and drove away as quickly as I legally could.
2. Momma mia.
This happened a few years ago. A friend and I decided to hit up a gaming store to see if there was anything worth buying. I was wearing a polo shirt and had a lanyard/ID around my neck because I had just left the office.
This kid comes up to me in the Xbox section and asks me if a certain game is is available for PS3. He must have been about 12, and, knowing a fair bit about video games, I knew that yes, this title was available.
I went ahead and answered him, and he simply says, "Get it for me."
I tell him, "How about...you go get it for yourself, the shelf is right there," and point off into the distance.
I start to turn away, but he is NOT finished with me. He forcefully demands that I get him this "f******" game. (continued…)