This happened to me about a month ago. I was running errands and my final stop was to buy some groceries. I had just gotten off of work, and was still in my work uniform which is a black polo with a big ‘STAFF’ across the back and my companies logo on the front of the shirt.
Now, I hate walking into stores with a staff shirt on. I’m not a fan of strangers people knowing where I work or causing confusion for having a staff shirt on when I don’t work at a business. For this reason, if I’m in my work shirt, I will throw on a jacket or hoodie before I walk in someplace. This is exactly what I’d done just before I entered the grocery store. So my staff shirt for the place that I do work is completely covered by an oversized varsity jacket with studs and a big tiger across the back, and I have ripped black jeans on. The uniform for the grocery store is green branded t-shirts and khaki pants. I look nothing like the staff there.
Because this is the time of Covid, when I go to grab a shopping cart, I stop by the sanitizing station to wipe down the cart before I begin shopping. The sanitizing station is just inside the entrance doors of the grocery store. As im finishing up wiping down my shopping cart, another shopper walks in. A man with a baseball cap on. The man sees me cleaning a shopping cart, walks up to me and says “Oh great, thanks!” and tries to grab the front of the cart and walk away.
Not understanding yet that he thought I worked there, I think he’s trying to steal it from me and have a vise-grip on the back of the cart, which causes him to stumble. He whips his head back around and goes, “What do you–” before cutting off mid-sentence and actually looking at me. In my ripped skinny jeans. And my tiger-varsity jacket. And my judging eyes.
He then quietly says: “Oh. You don’t work here,” before immediately turning around and walking away into the grocery store, without a cart of his own. As I watched him walk away, finally realizing that he thought I was cleaning the cart for HIM, I see him pulling his baseball hat low down on his head in shame. He then stood in the distance by a soda display, hat low, and turns to face the shopping cart section. No doubt waiting for me to leave the area.
I chuckled as I walked away to do my shopping, and when I was finally a safe distance away, I did catch him out of the corner of my eye slowly approach the carts again, shake his head slightly, and grab one.
It’s alright, man. We all make mistakes!
(wrote this on my phone so apologies for any writing mistakes)