A little background for this one:

About two or three weeks ago a woman came into JCPenney Optical, where I am an employee. It’s hard to describe this woman as anything but rude. She was very rude. First thing she does is come up to the desk. The conversation goes like this:

Me: Can I help you?

Her: I’m here to pickup my glasses.

Me: Last name?

Her: (Says her last name.)

I pull out her glasses and check the note on them, they are a “Warranty”. She starts to tell me about the warranty fee she had to pay.

Her: “I had to pay forty extra dollars to have those fixed. The first ones fell off my face because they weren’t adjusted properly. That’s what I call poor service! I shouldn’t have to pay the warranty fee—.”

And on and on and on. I try to adjust the new glasses for her to which she keeps saying, “They’re too loose. These will fall right off my face! That’s how I broke the last ones! These will fall right—.”

The text does not convey the tone of this woman very well. Her voice gets louder the longer she speaks. Her method of demonstrating how loose the glasses were was to fling her head down as hard as she can so that the glasses come flying off (surprise). I keep doing minor adjustments and she gets angrier the longer I take. Basic problem: If I tighten the temples any more on her glasses they will break and that there is no reason they should fall off (being properly adjusted by yours truly), but I tell the woman that I will keep her there all day if I have to because fixing her glasses is that important to me. Her problem magically vanishes and she decides to go.

About a week ago she comes back in. This time she doesn’t bother moderating her tone at all:

Her: You didn’t adjust them right. They are too loose! Like I TOLD YOU! Why did they hire you if you don’t know what you are DOING!

She insists that I take the glasses back and have the manager fix them. I tell her she needs to be here in person to have any sort of adjustments made. She asks when my boss will be here. I tell her the manager’s hours.

Her: I have to come back again? I WASTED ENOUGH GAS COMING DOWN HERE.

I note that there is a customer waiting behind her.

Me: Ma’am if you could lower your voice.

She doesn’t, she continues yelling.

Me: Ma’am if you don’t stop yelling I’ll call security.

She doesn’t, I call security with predicable results. The guard comes and escorts her out to the relief (they told me) of the customers who had built up behind her.

So today I’m sitting at the desk reading (because there was nothing to do). I hear someone come in. I’m about to say, “How can I help you?” But then I see that it’s her. Oh no.

Her: Young man… Listen, I just wanted to apologize for my behavior last week. I just… just want you to know I’m not a monster or anything.

What? This doesn’t happen. Not in real life. It takes a very brave person to admit they are wrong. I have trouble doing it and it must have been hard for this woman. Her apology has more than made up for anything she has said to me and I will respect her forever because she did something that most of us cannot.