Welcome to “Why I Yelled,” Fatherly’s ongoing series in which real dudes discuss a time they lost their temper in front of their wife, their kids, their coworker — anyone, really — and why. The goal of this isn’t to examine the deeper meaning of screaming or come to any great conclusions. It’s about yelling and what really triggers it. Here, Andrew, 35, a personal trainer, recalls how a bullish shopper unwrapped his rage on a holiday cash-register line.
So, when was the last time you yelled?
Two or three weeks ago.
Who was the focus of your rage?
This lady at Target.
Care to elaborate?
Well, it was the holidays, right? So, people were shopping like crazy. And, every once in a while, you run into those people whom the world just revolves around. This lady was one of those people – at least, she thought so.
What’d she do?
She was rude to a cashier. Just blatantly and knowingly rude. The lines this day were ridiculously long, as you’d expect, and this lady had somewhere to be. I was behind her in the line, and as soon as she got up to the cashier she just unloaded on the poor girl. The cashier was probably 18 or 19 – a seasonal worker, obviously who had no control over anything except ringing up items.
What did the shopper say?
“What the eff is your problem? Why are you so bad at this job?” She actually dropped the F-Bomb in this girl’s face. “How hard is your job? How hard is it to move a line quickly?” The poor girl started to tear up, which is when I stepped in.
How did you respond?
The first thing I did was yell, “Hey!” That got her attention – and everyone else’s, too. Then I said, calmly, “I think you need to relax, pay for your items, and leave.” Of course, she got indignant with me, so I yelled “Hey!” again to shut her up, and said, “Listen, lady, you can lay into me all you want, but no one else here cares about your shit. You’re obviously mad, so it’s probably best you pay for your stuff and leave.” By then, people were starting to clamor around – I probably ended up as a video on YouTube somewhere.
What made you so mad?
She was a bully! Just a textbook bully. I don’t know this lady’s story, and I get it: “Be kind, because everyone is fighting their own battle,” and all that. She might have been having the worst day of her life. But, that doesn’t excuse the unnecessary rudeness. Bullies are the worst, and this lady was a prime example.
Did the manager show up or anything?
He did. He asked us to calm down. By the time he got there, the woman’s items were all rung up and she was on her way out. So, the situation sort of diffused itself.
Did anyone thank you?
No. Not at all. Like I said, everyone had their own things going on. Some people were probably more upset with me for yelling. The cashier seemed grateful, though. She was still upset while she rang me up, so I just told her, “It’s okay. People like that are everywhere. I hope I didn’t embarrass you.” And then I paid for my stuff and left.
Did you mention the incident to anyone?
Just my wife when I got home. We laughed about it. I did a good impression of the woman. I just hate bullies. I’ve worked with them. I’ve gone to school with them. And when I see them in public, it just sets me off. This wasn’t the first time I went off on a “shopping bully”. First time this holiday season, though.
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