Lately I’ve found myself telling this story to some of my current coworkers. This is one that has still got me riled after leaving three years ago. Basically what I’ve told them is a shorthand version of this very petty story. They all ask the same basic question “did she try make this as if I did something to her” or “was she trying to imply that there was something sexual”.
The answer to those question is, I have no idea. The basic story is that she ran to mgmt because I bumped into her to basically illustrate the pettiness of this story. And the worst part of this story is that the house manager – the no. 2 honcho at the theater – decided to handle this and this situation escalated. To be fair I was already not in a good state when this happened and the house manager has a tendency to handle things indelicately. This story will illustrate this.
This story started when I had to cook more pizzas due to a picky customer who complained that the pizza given to him was burned. So when I came back from behind the stand to hand him his pizza I was looking for him and he had walked off. Just as I was going further into the front suddenly this young lady – we’ll call her Kelly – was in front of me with her elbow in my chest. She said nothing and I just simply kept it moving thinking we both knew what happened.
Allow me to briefly introduce Kelly, physically she had been something to look at however as far as personality she was young and often showed it. She often used her high-pitched and occasionally squeaky voice to complain. She may have on at least two other occasions used that voice on me to complain about something i.e. I wasn’t doing any work. One time she used her voice to mouth off on another male coworker who asked me and another coworker if we’d like to trade with him in his words “I can’t work with her”.
It was some time later that I was about to head to bathroom and walked past customer service in the lobby and h.m. bellowed behind his perch there “Jack, did you bump into Kelly”. when i answered in the affirmative his next question was “then why didn’t you say excuse me?” When he decided to start in on me right in the theater lobby while seated I heard Kelly state “you’re being very rude Jack”. Basically this is how well that went
Jack: OK how about this? i will say excuse me to you when you say excuse me to me. *to Kelly
Kelly: No because you were being very rude *to yours truly
Jack: WHAT DO YOU MEAN RUDE?!?!?! *back to Kelly
H.M.: Walk away Kelly, walk away
As you saw there I went off on her immediately and as she walked to the back I just simply asked h.m.: “YOU’RE TAKING THIS UP? REALLY? YOU’RE TAKING THIS UP?”. All he said was that well he was giving me the opportunity to make it right as there was no disagreement as to what happened. Bad news is that since he got involved in something so petty now it’s taking on a different tone and hence why it got heated real quick. While I tried to remember this is the general manager’s #2 I was talking to i just couldn’t contain how out of line this was.
Now granted she had every right to do what she did, this was clearly uncalled for. In my mind who got hurt and what exactly did I do for her not to be able to handle getting bumped into by yours truly. I have no idea if she wanted to suggest it was harassment or if she just had the need to complain about something which is more likely. And also was h.m. jumping on this because she was his favorite employee or had a serious crush on her that she decided to play off of one more time?
Regardless his involvement was a bad trigger and my voice raised to the point where he suggest I watch my tone. Eventually after this he pulled me towards the back where I wasn’t backing down and I had no problem telling him “I don’t understand why she RAN to YOU!” and still he wants me to just say excuse me and i tell him what i told her “I’ll say excuse me to her when she says excuse me to me”. Finally just to calm things down he quickly and loudly told me to put my hands down as I’m being violent. “WHAT ARE YOU TALKING VIOLENT? WHAT DO YOU MEAN VIOLENT?” If I was thinking about doing something when he said that I wanted to just give him a weak slap across the face just to illustrate a dumb point.
At this point, the general manager who for whatever reason was in the background walked up and ushered us into the office, finally. While I won’t discuss much about what was said in the office. I will say the GM approached this neutrally without pointing a finger at anyone. He did wonder what my problem was with saying excuse me to kelly. Well here’s the answer I’ll tell you if I was at my wits end with “The Show” and why sometimes fingers get pointed at me for some odd reason then how did a simple bump become a huge issue for the top two managers to address. Also h.m. i always knew as a d!ck towards me so I saw this as another incident and chose a very small one thanks to a very complaining young lady.
Eventually I finally went to the bathroom after being ushered out of the office so that the h.m and g.m. can further discuss the issue. When I got back behind the stand I was called back into the office with Kelly so that the h.m can oversee us say excuse me to each other. And without being specific Kelly had to say something before being cut off by the h.m. The h.m had to repeat a basic lie he wasn’t able to prove during this whole “fight” of sorts claiming “she said excuse me”. Which he only said after I repeatedly made my statement that “I’ll say excuse me to her, when she says excuse me to me”.
Before this point I had an interview with a bank which I was still waiting on a decision. Regardless this was just one sign that it was time for me to go. After this strange incident I made it a point to stay as far away from Kelly as possible. Was mostly successful until she finally cut her ties with “the show” later that summer.
And one last line with regards to h.m. – “If you had been watching where you were going, you wouldn’t have had an elbow in your chest.” GRRRR!