A while back I had an older gentleman in my line. He was unkempt; his hair looked like it had seen neither brush nor a washing in some time. I waited patiently as he sat down in front of my register and whipped out a discolored sandwich baggie to sift through the stack of money in search of a twenty to pay for his order.
I gave him a smile as I handed him his change, telling him to have a great day before I turned my attention to my next customer.
He returned a few minutes later, saying that he’d forgotten to buy some bread. As he went through my line again, he discovered the fact that I wasn’t wearing a wedding ring. He informed me that he’d been looking for a “good woman” to take care of him, that I was absolutely perfect for the position, and that I’d never have to work again since he had plenty of money to take care of me with.
I humored him, informed him that he was being a bit forward as he revealed to me his entire financial status, and sent him on his way as he declared that he would return to court me properly.
Guess what? He did. My spidey sense alerted me that someone was standing behind me a few weeks later. I turned and got smacked in the face by a single rose, held by the man I’ve now nicknamed “Deliverance.”
Eyes bright as Manson’s, he apologized for taking “three weeks and X days” to return and explained the delay. He’d been working to repair his transport. Failing that, he’d been out all day shopping for another vehicle. When he bought it, would I go home with him?
“I’m not in the habit of going home with complete strangers,” I snapped, creeped out by the odd gleam in his eyes.
He informed the customers in my line that I was “the perfect housewife,” he just knew it, and that he was going to convince me that he was serious about taking care of me. I noticed that some of my male customers started shifting to defensive positions. He had this look in his eyes that made me wonder if he was thinking about tossing me over his shoulder and carrying me to the hills, so I was more than a bit nervous.
After some back and forth I had to assert that no, I wasn’t going to give him my phone number and I definitely wasn’t going to go home with him or tell him where I lived no matter how much he badgered me.
“But I need to see you!” he protested.
“Sorry.” I wasn’t sorry at all. I just wanted him gone since by that time I was shaking. I eventually had to tell him that he needed to go because I had to get back to work before firmly ignoring him to deal with my customers.
He thankfully took the hint. Promising once again to return he finally left me alone to deal with the line of concerned customers that had grown since his arrival.
I really hope he doesn’t come back again but if he does I’ll be ready. A friend of mine gave me a taser and I’ve bought some mace just in case he ever decides to make good on the threat I could see in his eyes. I’ve also alerted management and set up an emergency code just in case he reappears at the store.
I’m not going to take any chances.
4 thoughts on “I Hear Banjos!”
I’m sorry you are having to deal with this. Some men don’t understand, “No.” I hope he doesn’t return but if he does I’m sure your response will continue to be appropriate.
I’m accustomed to dealing with persistent customers; usually they give up after I explain that I don’t have time go hang out since I work two jobs (I count this website as my second one). This gentleman, however…there’s something about him that really spooked me. I really hope he doesn’t reappear.
Linda, sometimes women don’t understand “No” as well. I once got home from my job as a night clerk at a convenience store only to have a customer knock on my door a few minutes later. She had followed me the fifteen miles from the store to my apartment in a neighboring city. That’s just one example. It seems like when you work in constant contact with the public you run the risk of having a nutter take a liking to you. Some people just have no sense of what is socially acceptable and others are legitimately dangerous. Annie remain vigilant and be safe.
Oh wow, Jimmy! What happened? Did she eventually leave you alone? I agree that it does happen with both genders; I had a male friend who encountered this. A lady whom he considered just a casual friend started telling everyone that they were going to get married and trying to control him to a rather disturbing degree. It didn’t stop until her family had her committed.
I’m glad you’re okay!
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