Looking Aghast

Yesterday I had an experience that took my breath away. A friend and I went shopping at a national department store. We were looking for an item and stopped a clerk to inquire about the availability. As we patiently waited for her return, we discussed things like lunch and where we should stop next… When the clerk returned she informed us that the item was available only online. Then it happened. She turned and stated clearly that “if we wanted to check for any other items we find the prices at the Heil Hitler kiosk.” My mouth dropped open. I looked at my friend and she looked at me. We were beyond speechless. I asked her if she heard what I heard. Yep. She heard it as clearly as I had. The thing was this woman said it as if it was just a figure of speech, the way you’d say “fly by night” or “new-fangled”. As my head spun and my stomach churned I just wanted to leave the area as quickly as possible. Sadly I couldn’t out run the soul sickness I was feeling. I could only think of my grandmother, a little Jewish lady. She would have immediately responded to the outrage. She would have slapped the woman’s face so hard it would have sent her into the last century. She would have sent up a hew and cry that would have woken the dead. She would have had the clerk’s head on a pike. She lost relatives in the Holocaust. My cousin lives in Israel and is an Orthodox Jew.

I decided action was required. I had been so taken aback that I hadn’t gotten the clerk’s name. We circled back to housewares trying to figure out a way to get her name. Divine intervention occurred when I kicked something that went skidding across the floor. It was a name tag for Taylor. Picking it up I was able to return it to a woman working with the mystery clerk; her name was Becky. At the customer service desk I spoke with a manager and expressed my outrage and shock. I let her know that Becky needed some serious sensitivity training and possibly be moved to a job that had zero contact with customers. The manager was shocked and assured me that the situation would be addressed.

My friend realized that the clerk in question looked familiar, but she was a school teacher for 35 years so everyone looks familiar to her! But once we had her name it all clicked – she was someone from the neighborhood where my husband and her husband had grown up. They had all gone to school together… I’m still confused by her flippant use of a phrase that is so loaded with negative connotations. Was she trying to send a message? Did she really have no clue? Was she announcing her affiliations? Trying to recruit us?

What is the world coming to? Is this a harbinger of things to come?

32 thoughts on “Looking Aghast

    1. I just might do that. As for my grandmother, she was one of a kind. She wore the latest fashions, was always put together and acted the complete lady unless you crossed the line. Then she was ferocious.

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  1. I wonder if it was a throw away sarcastic comment … inferring the person in that position was hitler like? Your Granny sounds like the type of lady I’d like to know!
    You do need to complain in writing and link this post … I did that with a railway complaint. They need to be shamed into action

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems the consensus that I need to put it in writing. I suppose I will write a letter to corporate headquarters. The comment was not directed at a person so I’m still at a loss as to her intentions. My husband suggested she has Tourette’s but she didn’t have that condition in grade school or high school…

      Liked by 2 people

    1. They only have one kind of kiosk in the store so there wasn’t any reason to inquire about the specific kiosk. They are just price scanning stations with a touch screen to access wedding or baby registries.

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  2. Not good. I have a relative I’m dealing with who has gone to the dark side. I don’t know what to do, so this person lost visiting privileges. I’m not going to be punished for this individual. A quote like the one she said could land her without a decent job ever again.

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  3. That is terrible! I would have been shocked too. When we visited the Armenian Genocide Museum, we saw a quote from Hitler when he said “The world doesn’t remember what happened to the Armenians” not those exact words but that’s what was meant. I hope the world will never forget what happened what has happened to innocent people because of hatred and pride.

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  4. I hope you really DO write that letter. It needs to be done, and they need to weed through the rest of the employees. She may have been reflecting the casual name of the kiosk from the break room. 😦

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  5. Wow..I’m shocked from reading this..I can’t imagine being there. You did the right thing going to customer service. Whatever her intentions were, to be so disrespectful (and plain hateful) was uncalled for to put it mildly.

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  6. Your Grandmother would have been a kindred spirit to my maternal grandfather-who was disgusted by Hitler, in the 1920’s and early 30’s, when Papa was a shoemaker, of German ancestry, who believed in taking responsibility, humility and hard work-three things one does not associate with Herr Schickelgruber.

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