There’s a Safeway in walking distance of my apartment. Desperate for human contact that wasn’t a)Mike or b)me yelling coaching comments to the guitar player beneath me, I decided to go over there to get a few small things for dinner. It was after 8 pm, the line was long, and cashiers few. A man started screaming at a cashier “I’m ready now!” He screamed it repeatedly, not swearing but otherwise becoming completely verbally abusive. She hunched her shoulder and leaned away, finishing whatever task it was she had been ordered to. It seemed she had asked him if he was ready, he wasn’t then, and he had a tantrum when she was unable to open a line for him immediately; that usually happens for some security/manager related reason, not that most customers know that.
It was obvious he wanted her to feel threatened. A line of customers looked on at this guy, screaming from his belly, and at the giant carpet slung in his bag, all of us afraid to interact. I think I was the only female customer in line at that point. It was the Chinese cashier, the screaming African American man, me, and otherwise all white men. I watched security walk by, look at the guy…and just walk off. Are you fucking kidding me? He may not have used threatening words but he clearly intended to threaten/use anger to manipulate the situation. It’s the most guy of all misogynist tactics.
When my turn came, I asked the cashier if she was OK. “This happens a lot,” she told me.
This happens a lot? I know it’s near the beach, and drunks, but wtf? That’s hostile working conditions! This isn’t some soccer mom getting shirty that her double coupons have expired, this is someone actively bullying her with no motivation but his own sense of power!
As I walk away, I heard the manager asking, “What’s the problem?”
“I feel racially discriminated against!”
I’m pretty sure any discrimination happened because he was an abusive possibly-drunk. Bullies are bullies, all colors of the rainbow.
“What can we do for you?”
Oh hell no:NOT acceptable. Since intervention might cause this guy to follow me home – and I had about five blocks, alone, at night in a neighborhood where no one knows me – I did the next best thing I could. I called Safeway corporate. I got a woman, I explained the situation that I witnessed and my problem with how it was handled, and highlighted that the claim was race but misogyny seemed a much bigger problem, especially with management ignoring the safety of their employee.
I then mentioned that it was my second time ever in that store.
That should put a fire under ’em. I hope. I only know how these things turn out when I can check the police blotter.
- Misogynistic Online Creeps Threaten Emma Watson Over Her ‘Feminist Cancer’(crooksandliars.com)
- Understanding How to Survive Workplace Bullying and Abuse(modvive.com)
- Customer Abuse: Attendant Called Gay Slur, Then Had To Apologize To Custys For His Tone(retailhellunderground.com)