Shirts, Shoes, Pants, Fury

Submitted by Ryan:

Kimberly showed up as a potential match on a dating website.  She was a manager at a clothing store in a nearby mall.  We seemed to have a lot in common, so I wrote to her and we had a good connection. 

Our first date went well.  I took her out to dinner and then to a bar.  We were out a lot longer than I thought we would be, talking about everything from politics to family to travel to even skydiving, and how we had both done it for the first time through the same company.

She kissed me goodnight, and I didn't have much reason to think that things would go sour.

The following week was inventory week for her, meaning that every item in the store had to be accounted for by hand.  If you've worked in retail, you'd know that it's done to account for discrepancies between how many items the computer says that you have and how many you actually have on hand.  It's long and can be stressful.

Keeping this in mind, I wrote out a nice card to her and planned to surprise her at work.  During my lunch break, I drove to the mall and slipped into her store.

Weaving between various clothing racks, I looked around for her, but didn't see her anywhere.

Then, I heard her.  Shouting.

"Have you ever heard of color coordination in your life?  Stand up straight.  Do you want to get fired?"

That was her voice, all right, coming from behind a tall aisle of shirts.  Someone mumbled in response.

"Speak up!  If I can't hear you, the customers can't hear you, and if the customers can't hear you, then how can you provide good customer service?"

Mumbled response.  Then, Kimberly went on, "Or maybe this is your way of telling me that you don't provide good customer service.  Is that it?  If you want to succeed in life, like me, then you're going to have to learn a few things, and I'd be glad to be the one to teach you.  Now stand up straight!"

I peeked through the rack.  Kimberly was standing over a short young woman, who couldn't have been older than a high school senior.

She yelled, "Look at me when I'm speaking to you!  Are you chewing gum?"

Ugh.  I had to save this poor girl.  I stepped out and handed Kimberly the card.  I said, "Hey.  I was just in the neighborhood and thought I'd drop by to say hi."

"Oh," Kimberly began, then spat, "Get lost," at the girl, who shuffled away.

"'Get lost'?" I repeated.

Kimberly said, "She's just a clerk.  It's a stupid little job to her, and she doesn't take it seriously."

Good customer service is once thing, sure, but berating an employee in public struck me as monstrous.  I stopped being into Kimberly at that moment.

We hugged goodbye, and I called her not too long afterward to tell her that I didn't think that things would work out.  Sure, the date had gone fine, but I couldn't be happy with someone who treated their employees like that.  How would she treat me?


  1. I wonder if this is the same girl from that other date who said that her employees used "secret makeup tricks" to look prettier than her.

  2. I'm somewhat conflicted on this one... I've worked with people that would bring me to that level. Though it's a good indicator, one incidence doesn't define a person.

    If you've never made a mistake when you're stressed out, then by all means...

  3. Don't know why if you got along so great ("...from politics, to family to even skydiving"..) why you would let her interactions at work affect your decision to continue to see her.
    I mean, I get it ~ to an extent...but maybe this employee of hers was a snotty nosed spoiled little brat who needed to be spoken to in that way. You know kids these days...too many of them have feelings of entitlement.
    I am a different person at work then I am with my family and friends and I bet you are too.
    Your loss, dude...besides, you probably could have gotten an employee discount at Walgreen's for the rest of your time together.

    1. No one needs to be spoken to that way, especially not at work. There are effective ways to be strict with employees. This wasn't one of them; it was just unprofessional and bitchy.

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  5. Dave, I totally had the same thought!!

    And I've worked in retail jobs, food service jobs, and administrative jobs, and I've NEVER been talked down to or talked down to a person this severely, no matter how stressed out the boss was or I was. It's not good for employee loyalty or morale. And it's just completely disrespectful to do it in public.

    While I get that one incident is not necessarily indicative of a person's whole personality, this is definitely a clue of how she could act if there were any disagreements or stresses in her life and relationship with the OP.


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