Ban the Sagging Pants-profiling veteran from Walmart
What Walmart can learn from their own employees’ patience
“Iain’t a fighter, but don’t push me.” I live by this Tupac line (from “Hail Mary” but one word is edited). I’ve also worked at Walmart for a whopping eight months after undergrad, surprising myself at how long I lasted there. It takes a special level of patience to work in any retail stores, just from tolerating and being nice to customers alone. It’s the reason I try my absolute best to be pleasant to cashiers and sales clerks. I know what it’s like on the other side of the counter.
But there’s a level of entitlement that has increased to a disturbing amount in Trump’s America, and this latest incident is a prime example of what it’s like to be a minority employee in retail. A 36-year-old army vet took it upon himself to decide a Walmart employee’s pants were too low. Instead of just doing what a customer should do in this situation if it bothers him this much, he decided to physically assault the Hispanic worker, who looks to be about half his age.
In a non-coronavirus-filled world — with 3.4 million U.S. people infected with coronavirus and almost 136K who have died from it — one would expect that another customer or employee would stand in the way of this fight. But customers’ hands are tied with a worldwide health outbreak on their hands. To absolutely no one’s surprise, the veteran is also not wearing a face mask.
While the comment section is flooded with one group blaming this attack on white people, the other group is cheering for the white woman with the shopping cart who defends the worker immediately. I, for one, am elated to see someone stand up to him and a white woman at that — because it surely frustrated the white male veteran even more. How dare she go against him? There is absolutely no way one can convince me the veteran’s issue is wardrobe store policies. Are the Hispanic young man’s pants too low? Absolutely. Is it unprofessional? Yes. But is it really about the pants? You’ll never convince me it is. No one’s pants should ever make a sane person this irate. And the woman who stood up to him knew it.
But what happens now? Does Walmart shrug off this behavior and hope its employees just tolerate people physically assaulting them through a worldwide health outbreak? Or, does this moment result in a mediocre lecture to one worker about pulling up one’s pants to avoid confrontation again?
I, for one, believe Walmart needs to ban the customer who cannot keep his hands to himself. This isn’t just a matter of physical assault; it’s also deadly in a world where being within 6 feet of another person can put that same person 6 feet under. For the Walmart employee to keep his cool, and for his fellow colleague to patiently pull him away, is a teachable moment — that I don’t think my waist-wearing caprid self would have ever learned. The next time they want to show someone customer service training videos, run this video by new employees — sagging pants and all. And give both employees a raise for not sinking to the level of this absolutely abhorrent customer.
The ball is in Walmart’s court. And right now, this veteran needs to be in someone’s court instead of someone’s shopping aisle.
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