There are a lot of situations for which you can't really prepare.
Life is such a surprise, you can't really plan for everything.
How would you react in an unfamiliar situation? Would you know how to help someone you couldn't quite understand?
It's time we return to our favorite board on Reddit, AITA. For those not in the know, AITA is short for "Am I the A$$hole?"
Responses can vary, but are usually one of these:
NTA - Not The A$$hole
YTA -You're The A$$hole
ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
INFO - Not Enough Information
Today's story comes to us from markrobertrow.
Poor Mark had a situation at his job, and he's wondering if he handled it right.
"Work at a supermarket and we regularly have this lady come in to do her shopping. She's always by herself and never has anyone else for her, no carer or anything. This lady is completely confined to her wheelchair and has extremely limited motor skills to the point where she can only slightly move her fingers."
"She cannot speak at all, besides little mumblings that are completely unintelligible. If you ask her a question, she will just look at you and try as hard as she can to give you an answer but she never has the ability to do so (you can see it in her eyes and the way that she's looks at you that she wants to respond to you."
This is a difficult situation, but everyone needs help.
You go to the grocery store, you expect the person working there to help you, right? Mark does his best, but it's not a situation that he's well prepared for.
The fact Mark's boss just kind of throws him right into it doesn't help either.
"Anyway, I was working the other day and she came in and it was me, my supervisor and another guy. My supervisor is a total a$ and audibly complained that she was in the store because it meant she couldn't anything whilst she was there (she had to fill on for someone whilst one of us helped the lady)."
"My supervisor told me to help the lady as the other guy was on his break. No problem with that but I've never dealt with this lady before (helping her actually get the items she wants/needs to buy, it's always the other guy)."
That said, it really takes someone who's been in this situation before to properly handle it.
Mark has little experience with this, and in fact has zero experience helping this woman. But who needs 6 tubs of mayonnaise?
Althouhh it's not like Mark just threw whatever at her and had her buy that.
"So obviously I had no idea what she wanted, and essentially she ended up buying 6 tubs of mayo and that was it. It is extremely hard to get confirmation from her but she pointed to the same brand of mayo 6 times and slightly smiled after each one I picked up so I thought that she really just needed the mayo. Got her through check out, and she went on her merry way."
"Later that night her daughter comes in and demands a refund because, as she put it, 'who in this world needs 6 f*ing tubs of mayonnaise?' My supervisor agreed with her that I'm an a$$hole for not trying to do a better job at understanding her which pissed me off a lot."
So we have to ask: Is Mark the jerk in this situation?
Redditors thought not.
"NTA - if her daughter has enough time to rage into your store and demand a refund, then she has enough time to accompany her mother during her shop in the first place. You did the best you could!" - parttimeshrink
"Yeah, definitely NTA. She has trouble communicating and can't actually do her shopping alone so she needs to have someone help her. I work in a supermarket, this is not part of the job. The daughter is definitely TA, why is she not organizing her help or helping herself?" - jaxon7au
"NTA you arent trained to care for her. You did your best. Why doesnt the daughter help her with groceries instead of causing such a problem? She could have just returned them easily, and taken that as a sign that maybe her mother is not able to grocery shop for herself without someone who knows her." - sedatedprincess
"NTA. My dad regularly buys six tubs of mayo or similar food purchases because "it's on sale." Then he uses it when it's three years past its expiration date and tastes completely gross, and he insists it's still fine." - FF3LockeZ
This wasn't easy for anyone to deal with.
Mark used what information he could to help the woman, the woman's daughter is upset he sold her so many things she didn't need and the supervisor is trying to find a solution. Admittedly, that solution is just pinning the blame on Mark, but we'll get to that.
You might be wondering how the other employee knows what the woman wants and Mark doesn't.
"INFO - how does the other guy know what she wants? It sounds like you're not telling us the whole story, otherwise this would happen all the time.
Did you do this just to get her out of the store as quickly as possible?" - Sue_H
"The other guy always does her shopping, so he knows what she usually buys. And no, I wasn't in a rush at all, but she did seem to be - she usually takes 20 minutes to shop but only took 5." - marktobertrow
The supervisor is probably the person most at fault here.
Ignoring the fact she complained that the customer was even there, just having Mark handle it was obviously not the right solution. Giving him any kind of tips would have had a much better outcome than this. But when things go wrong, she just blames Mark.
Though in her defense, who did Mark think would buy 6 tubs of mayonnaise?
"Man I have to say NAH. But seriously.. Who buys 6 tubs of Mayo? I understand that it was a difficult situation and maybe she was just that bad at communicating what she wanted so you followed instructions to the best of your ability. But 6 tubs of mayo? Why didn't this ring some alarm bells in your head? Why not check with the other guy in the store who usually tends to her? Or at least ask your supervisor as to what you should do in the situation? I feel like common sense failed to prevail here." - yeerth
"I should've really made a point that it wasn't 6 of the same type of mayo. There was a mixture between garlic mayo, egg mayo and egg free mayo but you're right, who buys that much mayo? I did ask myself this, but if you did read the edit, she was only there for 5 minutes so I didn't really the time to 1000000% confirm that she wanted it haha" - markrobertrow
"I agree that OP isn't a mindreader, but I could see the daughter coming home from work to check on her mom, and seeing that her mom got 6 tubs of mayo and wondering WTF? Who needs 6 tubs of mayo??? I am not saying she should berate the employee, but getting a refund makes sense." - chop1125
The internet agreeing that Mark did his best and is not the jerk here is definitely a load off his conscience, but it also doesn't really help.
Hopefully Mark found a way to settle things with his boss.
And if you're a boss in a similar scenario, prepare your employees for these kinds of situations. You'll save yourself a headache.