The world seems like it’s getting smaller by the day. Whenever I go to a party, I meet people I’ve never mer before who somehow look familiar. And then I realize that I’ve seen them on Facebook commenting on a mutual friend’s post, they’re a suggested Facebook friend, or they’re a fellow member of a Facebook group.
I even saw this happen at a party recently: Two guys who had argued about politics on a mutual friend’s Facebook wall were suddenly face-to-face for the first time. They both said some terrible things to each other online, but once they met each other in real life, they both apologized for their online behavior.
While this has never happen to me personally, it was a good lesson to learn. Because you never know the consequences of being rude, even to someone you think you’ll never see again. And this story is a perfect example of that. It takes place in a small town where everyone knows each other, but I think it could just as well have happened in our online, connected world.
The writer is a guy who works at a retail store. He developed back problems during childbirth, and even though he’s a hard worker, he takes longer to do some things that other people. So when an impatient customer comes into the guy’s store, the customer—who is a stranger in the small town—treats the guy with the disability poorly.
But the consequences are much more surprising than my friend who met his Facebook enemy at a party. And it just goes to show you that you should treat every one with kindness.
Read the story and enjoy its surprising ending below.
“(When I was born, there were serious complications, and doctors had to step in to keep both me and my mother alive. They tore all my muscles and damaged a lot of nerves in my neck. I went to a physical therapist for many years. I hardly ever notice it now, 20 years later, but once in a while, after lifting heavy items for a long period of time, my back acts up and it hurts a lot. All of my coworkers know this, and despite this, I’m a very hard worker.
A customer in his 40s walks in, skips right across the line, and to me, where I’m currently working on a problem with a coffee machine. He sets an empty can of gas, the steel type, down on the floor next to me. I have equipment all over the counter and floor, trying to figure out the problem with the machine. It is also worth mentioning that I live in a small town, where everyone knows everyone. I have hardly ever dealt with rude customers because of this, and it’s well known that we can take abuse until a certain point.)
Customer: ‘I need you to go out to your gas cabinet and fetch me a new one of these.’
Me: ‘Sure, let me just clean up a little here.’
Customer: ‘Do you think I have time for that?! Do you know who I am? I have other places to be!’
Me: ‘All right, then.’
(I shuffle all the pieces and tubes onto the counter, hoping no one will brush them off and step on them. I run out to the cabinet, open the lock, grab a new can, and head back inside. Right as I walk into the store, I get insanely painful cramps in my back, I manage to scoot over to the customer and set the can down, obviously in pain, but I smile and shrug it off to my coworkers.)
Customer: ‘You teens are so useless these days! All you do is stare at your phones and your computers! Look at you, you can’t even carry a can of gas! You’re all useless! Now hurry up, for f*** sake! I’m going to a very important job interview over at [local entrepreneur, with the owner’s name as a company name]!’
(The other customers have been startled at his behavior by now, but at the mentioning of said company, many of them snicker.)
Me: ‘You know what? My neck was nearly broken when I was born. I have worked at [Gas Station] for three years, and never have I had a more rude and pretentious customer than you. I want you to calm down so we can finish this transaction. You’re startling the other customers.’
Customer: ‘Does it look like I give a s***!?’
Me: ‘That’s it.’
(I pick up the phone and dial a number. My boss is looking at me with approval.)
Me: *on the phone* ‘Hey, Dad, I want you to know there’s a man in his 40s, drives a green Honda CRV, who said he’s heading over for an interview with you today. He has been a real pain in the butt, and if you hire him, I’m not giving you grandchildren.’
(The customer’s face goes pale. He looks at me, the other customers who are now laughing at him, and scurries out the door, leaving both his old and new can behind. My dad didn’t hire him, either.)”
The customer in this story certainly got what he deserved, right? Share if you agree!