My brain short-circuited again today.
I’m at work. The phone rings. I answer it.
ME: Thank you for calling your friendly [CITY NAME] [KGrocery-Affiliate Chain] Marketplace, this is Becky. How can I help you?
KAREN: I’d like to speak to a manager.
I know. How cliché. But she actually said it.
ME: I am a manager. How can I help you?
KAREN: I want to lodge a complaint. I was in here the other day, during your Senior Hour. I was shopping for my elderly mother, who can’t leave the house.
Honestly, the more I think about this whole scenario, the more my brain collapses into something that bears a striking resemblance to the goo on the sides of the cocoons in Gremlins.
KAREN: I’m not a senior, but my mother is.
ME: Of cou–
KAREN: –AND I’ve never been treated so poorly in my life. I probably won’t shop there for a while.
ME: Oh? What hap–
KAREN: –WELL. This elderly couple just YEHlled at me about how I shouldn’t be in there, that I should leave because I’m not a senior citizen. I tried to explain that I was in there shopping for my elderly mother. That I wasn’t buying a single thing for myself. But they kept yelling.
I still haven’t figured out how WE have wronged this woman.
KAREN: And your employees stood by and watched and didn’t say or do nothin’ to help me.
Ah. There it is. And yet…
KAREN: So I’d like it if you coached them that there should be exceptions.
ME: Exceptions…to who we allow to shop during Senior Hour?
KAREN: Yes! My mother can’t leave the house to shop. I have to shop for her, so you should make exceptions for people like me.
ME: …First. Let me say I’m sorry you had a bad experience. I think the misunderstanding is with the purpose of the Senior Hou–
KAREN: –NO. I get that you want Seniors to shop during that hour, but my mother can’t, so I have to shop for her. I’ll show you my receipt. I didn’t buy a single thing for my own use.
There is definitely smoke trickling out of my ears. Or possibly grey matter.
KAREN: And your employees should be coached to accept people like me.
ME: Ok. So. Again. I apologize that you had a bad experience. However, I just want to clarify the purpose of the Senior Hour.
Karen is, surprisingly, silent. So I continue.
ME: The purpose was to set aside an hour where only elderly people are allowed to shop, so they can be protected from the rest of the population. If everyone came in to shop for their elderly neighbor or mother during that time, it would defeat the purpose. You can come in and shop for your mother any time you want.