Saturday, June 2, 2012
Crazy bigots with guns
It was three days into my new job and I'm still trying to learn everything. (There's so FREAKING MUCH to learn and it hurts my brain but I'm trying.) Just when I felt like I was getting a grip on the service desk (where the returns and disgruntled customers go) something unexpected happened.
A man approached the desk and asked to speak to a manager. Now, technically I'm a manager and can handle some of these situations, but since I still don't know shit I asked him what it was about so I could decide if I needed to call someone else over. This man stood there in his blue "Freedom" T-shirt with an eagle spread across his chest and a big, black gun strapped to his hip and replied, "I'm here to protest your stance on gay marriage."
Well, blow me down. (Not literally, though.) That's the last thing I expected him to say but after taking him all in, I knew exactly which side of the issue he was on. He might as well have had Gayle Ruzika in that holster. Knowing this whole situation was waaaaay out of my depth, I called over another manager. The tiny blonde woman calmly let the man talk, then politely thanked him for sharing his views and watched him walk out the door. The two of us stood in our red shirts and stared at each other for a moment. Then Tiny Blonde Manager said, "I really wanted to tell him I'm going to Pride this weekend."
For the rest of the day I was just in shock that someone would feel the need to CARRY A GUN TO A SMALL, QUIET, SUBURBAN STORE. The only reason I could think of was subtle (or not so subtle) intimidation. Not that he even touched the gun or brought any attention to it, but just the fact of it's bulk hanging there on his side was a threat. He was the fourth man within an hour to come in specifically to share that opinion but he was the only one packing heat. I also felt a growing anger that I couldn't voice MY opinion right back at him. If I hadn't been wearing that damn red shirt that means I'm representing the company, I would have freely given MY opinion. "I won't tell you who your children can marry if you don't tell me who my children can marry. And fuck you." Or I could just politely invite them to shop across the street at J C Penney. Heh.