“I was the retail worker who was being treated badly at the time. In this case, the customer literally threw the other customer straight out the door. I’m not exaggerating at all.
When I worked at GameStop in high school, it was one of those little strip-mall locations that is located in a plaza with other, larger stores such as Walmart and the like. We were a standalone store (meaning no security like you would have in a mall) and, because the plaza was new and in a location surrounded by subdivisions that were still under construction, it was also an extremely low-traffic store. Therefore, it wasn’t at all unusual for me to be alone in the store because we didn’t make enough sales to justify having two people on staff for most of the day. Plus, we rarely had multiple customers in the store at the same time due to low traffic.
This was the setting in which a short, rotund, middle-aged man came in to return a copy of Scarface for the PC. Now, GameStop’s return policy is pretty terrible at the best of times, but PC games are basically just final sale, excepting defects. This was back before Steam and other such DRM services had really taken off, so we still used CD keys, and if you opened the box, the CD was assumed to be used, which meant absolutely no returns under any circumstances. The only thing we could do was an exchange for another copy of the same game. It was very ‘buyer beware.’
Now, this guy had clearly opened his game and he wanted his money back because he didn’t like it. I apologized and informed him that our return policy didn’t allow that. It was defective exchanges only. Well, then he changed his story and started claiming it was defective. I told him that my only option was to exchange it for another copy of the same game. He didn’t like that either and started getting extremely upset. He was shouting, calling me names, all kinds of horrible things. He was being quite aggressive about it, too. I kept trying to calm him down, and offered everything I could offer without being fired. I told him I could come back tomorrow to see if my manager could override the policy, call customer service, anything. It only seemed to enrage him further. This culminated in him trying to lunge over the counter to physically attack me.
Now, this is why I mentioned earlier that he was short and round– he didn’t get very far in his lunge and just kinda bounced off the counter without coming all that close to me. Still, his intent was very clear. It’s not like the counter was an unassailable fortress – all he had to do was walk around it to try again. So, I’m left standing there wondering if punching a customer in self-defense would get me fired because I really, honestly had no idea what I was going to do if he tried again to any greater success.
Now, this is when another customer entered the store. I should note that the front of the store was just a set of basically floor-to-ceiling windows and this was pretty late in the day, if I recall, so this other customer saw the whole thing play out through the windows while he was on his way inside. This other customer was enormous. I realize my memory has probably exaggerated his size a little, but he really was genuinely built like a football player– tall and very broad in the shoulders and obviously quite strong. So here he was, walking into the video game store on time to see a middle-aged man try to physically assault the teenage girl behind the counter. I’m sure I looked quite distressed.
Without a single word, he walked straight up to the counter from the door, literally lifted the angry customer off his feet, carried him back to the door and tossed him out onto the sidewalk.