Checking You Out At The Checkout

| Birmingham, England, UK | Harassment

(There are several small, family-owned corner stores around where I live. The nearest is just five minutes away and the staff are very friendly and welcoming when I go in, but it closes around nine pm and I frequently work until nearly midnight. There’s another store that’s open 24 hours just two minutes around the corner but I stopped going there after several uncomfortable experiences with one of the workers. I never reported it because all the workers are the owner’s family.  One late night about a month ago, I needed to pick up something. Peering into the 24 hour store, I didn’t see the worker and decided I had to chance it. I didn’t see him any time I checked for about a month after and thought that maybe something had happened like he’d quit or been fired or was working a different shift. Two nights ago I didn’t check for him before I went in and he was there when I got to the till. For context I am mid-20s but I look younger. He looks between 35 and early 40s.)

Me: *places items on the counter, clearly avoiding looking at him*

Worker: “Oh, hello. I haven’t seen you in a while. I was beginning to think you’d moved away.”

Me: *refusing to engage him*

Worker: “I still think you’re very pretty, you know. And you’re still not married? No boyfriend?”

Me: *still not answering*

Worker: *scanning my items and bagging them* “I still don’t understand why you won’t give me your number. I’m kind of heartbroken. Why won’t you give me your number? I could make you very happy.”

Me: *realising that he isn’t going to take my silence as an answer* “Like I told you last time, I don’t want you to have my number.”

Worker: “But I would be a nice person for you. We would be happy. I was very worried about you. I know you have a phone.”

Me: *give him my card to pay* “I don’t care. I don’t want to give you my number.”

Worker: *as he is processing my payment* I think you are being very silly. We could be very happy together. You should give me your number.

(I see the receipt print and snatch my card off him because I’ve had enough.)

Me: “I don’t want to give you my number. I am not interested in you. I have never been interested in you. I have said no multiple times as politely as I can and if you don’t take ‘no’ as an answer now, why the h*** would you take it as an answer at any other part of our non-existent lives together? You always ask very invasive questions and I always ask you not to. You once tried to hold my items hostage in an attempt to get me to give you my number and you constantly tell me how pretty I look despite me telling you how uncomfortable that makes me feel. You don’t even know my name yet you constantly pass judgement on me for ‘not being married’ and then you promise to ‘save me from the shame if only I’d give you my number.’ You want to know why I haven’t been here in a while? It’s because of you. It’s because I don’t want to deal with you and frankly I’ve had enough. Thank you. I will not be coming back.”

(He looked like a kicked puppy as I took my items and left but I refuse to feel sorry. I don’t even walk past that store any more.)

Time To Kick Some Honey Bun

| Broward County, FL, USA | Flirting, Popular

(It’s 11 pm and I’m working with a new employee. I’m showing her how to check in the night delivery. The phone rings and she answers it.)

New Employee: “[Convenience Store], how can I help you?”

(She listens to what the person on the other line has to say, then she replies.)

New Employee: “Yes, we have honey buns… Yes, they are fresh… Yes, they are soft… No, sir, I’m not squeezing them!”

(She hangs up the phone immediately.)

Me: “Ugh, what happened?”

New Employee: “He was asking me questions about the honey buns and the conversation started getting gross.”

(The phone rings again. I answer it this time.)

Me: “This is [Convenience Store].”

Caller: “Hi! I’m calling to ask you about your honey buns.”

Me: “Okay…”

Caller: “Are they soft and warm?”

Me: “Soft and prepackaged.”

Caller: “Ooohhhh, sooo soft. Can you open one up and put your fingers in it and lick the honey bun while talking to me? I’ll pay you after for the honey bun with my credit card over the phone.”

(I’m extremely annoyed with this whole thing.)

Me: “Nope. Sure can’t. Stop calling here, freakazoid.”

(I hang up the phone and ten seconds later the phone rings again. I answer it and plan to put an end to this.)

Me: “[City] police dispatch.”

Caller: *in a very serious voice* “Hi, I…” *click*

(The new employee starts laughing.)

Me: “It works every time.”

(He never called again.)

Need To Reorient Your Priorities

| PA, USA | Flirting, LGBTQ, Popular

(It’s Easter Sunday, so the store I work in is basically empty. I’m chatting with my female co-worker when our supervisor’s boyfriend comes in to bring him dinner. After a brief introduction, they leave for the back.)

Coworker: “Oh, my god, he’s so hot.”

Me: “I know.”

Coworker: “It’s too bad he’s gay.”

Me: “…”

Coworker: “And that I have a boyfriend.”

Me: “I love how that’s the second problem you saw.”

Beginning To See The Reason For The Breakup

| USA | Flirting, Popular

(I’m a 19 year old female, working alone. A male comes in, and ask to use the bathroom. I give him the keys and he looks up at me. His expression lights up like he’s seen an angel and he can’t take his eyes off of me. I’m nervous, because it’s three am and he’s much older than me, probably in his 50s.)

Man: “I’m going to to the bathroom, but I’ll be coming back to see YOU!” *points at me and runs off*

Me: “Oh… kay….”

(I hide out in the back room. After a short time, I see him rush back out, looking around. Another customer comes in needing help, so I have to come out again. Once the other customer leaves, the older man grins, excited.)

Man: “There you ARE! I was looking! For you! Where were you?!”

Me: “Oh. I was in the back. Is there, um, anything—”

Man: “I’ve had a terrible night. My girl broke up with me and…”

(He tells me about this awful breakup, and that his now ex stole his stuff, all he wanted was a good girl, and that “maybe” I could be her, and how women were terrible for breaking up with him. He was babbling away and I was nodding, hoping he’d go away. Finally he stops and looks at me with that lit up expression again.)

Man: “How old are you?”

Me: “19.”

Man: “Oh… well, it’s okay. I’m too old. You’re an angel, you know that? I saw an angel today, and that’s you. Thank you for listening. Bye, angel.”

Me: “Uhhh… bye.”

(I felt happy that I had helped him feel less lonely, but I was more happy that he left.)

What A Harasshole

| OK, USA |

(It is a very busy afternoon. My younger coworker and I are trying to power through long lines as quickly as possible. She begins helping a man and I overhear some of the conversation. It starts with a normal “where are you from?”, and then quickly progresses.)

Customer: “Let me get your number.”

Coworker: “No, thank you.”

Customer: “Oh, come on.”

Coworker: “No, thank you. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

(The customer proceeds to pester her with questions, asking if she has a boyfriend. When she replies that she has a girlfriend, he gets more persistent.)

Customer: “I know her. She won’t mind.”

(I have cleared my customers and fully turn my attention to him.)

Me: “Sir, I am her girlfriend and I do mind. Please stop asking.”

Customer: “Nah. How do you know she’s not my sister?”

Me: “Sir, I honestly hope she’s not because that’s frowned upon here.”

Customer: “I was just playing. If she’d just give me her number—”

Me: “Sir, you are harassing my underage employee. I must ask you to leave. If you refuse, I will be forced to call the police.”

(When he told her that he’d be back to ask again when she’s alone, I stand between them and promise that she won’t be. A week later, he came in again. That coworker wasn’t scheduled, but our main manager was present. I mentioned that it was the same guy and she followed him to his car. His wife was with him and threatened to sue for falsely accusing her husband – at least until we pulled up the cameras and had proof of him doing it.)

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