We occasionally get some dodgy folk coming into our stores, but the majority of them tend to be at Queen St, Auckland. Two incidents in the last week have reminded me how it is not easy to work behind a counter.
The first involved a customer walking into our Queen St store in the morning, eating a meat pie. Yes, in the morning. This bloke walked around the mags, and then stood next to one of our stationery stands. He then, in full view of our store manager and other customers, re-arranged some product to leave an empty space on the stand, and deposited his half eaten meat pie there.
I kid you not.
The pie was oozing meat (is it really meat?) onto the stand and it was about to drip on the floor. So, our store manager walked up to the customer and asked him politely if he would remove the pie. The customer told her it wasn’t his. She responded that she saw him leave it there just a few seconds ago. He then went ballistic, screaming at our store manager, getting in her face and calling her an immigrant bitch who is ruining the country. This is a very threatening situation for anyone. She asked him to leave the store, and he yelled back that she would be sorry and he could make her pay.
Now, you will say that unfortunately dickheads like this exist everywhere. However, they don’t come into our store in Ponsonby, Auckland. Nor is it a fact of CBD life, because we don’t get this sort of behavior in our Elizabeth St store in Melbourne’s CBD. It only tends to happen on Queen St. The other really sad thing about this story is that there were 6 other people in the store, 4 of them guys. Not one of them said or did anything.
After the bloke walked out of the store, a middle aged lady came up to our store manager and said
“You shouldn’t confront such people, dear. They are dangerous. Next time just pick up the pie”
Why should anyone put up with someone leaving a pie in a store? And how was she to know the guy would react in that way? No one can ever tell me that dealing with the public is an easy prospect.
A few days later, we received a call from one of our staff members just prior to closing time. A customer had walked into Queen St, and was blatantly taking mags and stuffing them under his jacket, making very little attempt to hide what he was doing. Our staff member called the cops. For once, they turned up in time, and grabbed the guy and liberated him of his stolen mags. They then did a background check, and it turns out that this guy was on their wanted list, and they dragged him away in handcuffs!
Never a dull moment at Queen St Auckland (I haven’t even told you about the restraining order we once took out in relation to a bloke and one of our Queen St staff members). It was our first ever store and it will always command a special place in our hearts for this reason. But, if dodgyness is to occur at mag nation, we know where it is likely to be.