I was in a Goodwill store shopping for treasures. As I browsed I heard a woman talking to her two companions. She pointed to different items for sale and said the prices were “too high,” and items were “garbage.” I wondered why she and her friends didn’t leave the store since everything for sale was so awful or overpriced, in her opinion.
Then I got to the front of the store. And the threesome was in line to check out. I heard the same woman yell at the cashier, “What did you say you a**hole?” The cashier’s back was to me and he wasn’t shouting so I don’t know what he replied, but whatever he said made her madder. She spouted a stream of obscenities, then yelled for the manager. It happened so fast I wasn’t sure I actually heard what I heard.
The woman demanded that the manager fire the cashier on the spot and discount her purchases 50% for all her trouble.
Ah, I thought. That’s her game. Bully people to get a discount.
The manager declined to give her a discount and said something that I couldn’t hear. The cashier left the area. Almost without pausing to take a breath, the woman accused the manager of laughing at her and cursed at him. Then she turned to the other people waiting in line behind her and said, “You are all witnesses!”
No one met her eyes. No one said a word.
My mind raced: Is she deranged? Does she have a gun? What next? I shouldn’t have asked.
The woman pulled out her cell phone and called 911 to report an emergency. She explained in a very loud voice to whomever answered the phone how disrespected she was and asked for officers to come to the scene. Immediately.
Within minutes, police arrived. They spoke to the woman and her companions in the parking lot. The rest of us stood in line, silently, then paid for our purchases.
As I walked by the officer getting out of a second patrol car that had just arrived I said, “That woman complained from the time she walked into the store. She’s a bully.”
The officer raised his eyebrows and said, “Got it.”
I got into my car and sat there, upset with myself that I didn’t do more.
I know the cashier is mentally handicapped. Is the woman who called the police mentally handicapped too? And even if she is would that make her behavior okay?
What do you think?