Disclaimer: I was actually only around briefly for part of this incident. The rest of it was patched in from my co-workers, who sort of kept an eye on it in shifts.
The players for this incident were a guy, his wife, their toddler son, our resident pair of belligerent lesbians, and some old woman. We've vaguely encountered the guy and the old woman before, in a store sort of way, and we don't particularly like either of 'em.
Anyway. Apparently, the kid throws a fit in the store, we think because he couldn't have a toy. Like,seriously a fit. 'Cause we can hear him wailing all over the store, and we're all getting that glazed trying-not-to-kill-people look. Eventually the guy takes the kid outside to tantrum, where apparently the kid throws himself down on the ground and wails for a while longer.
Enter old woman. She goes over the kid to make sure he's okay. The guy at some point goes off about how she needs to leave his kid alone 'cause she's, like, a child molester or something. And she points out that it's his kid that's lying on the ground screaming, and that this is because he's abusive.
(Note: There is nowhere good that the exchange can go from here.)
Eventually the guy goes back inside, since his wife is still in there. At some point the old woman comes in, too. So they scream at each other some more, around the store. Then she tries to make one of our cashiers call the police, which doesn't work because 1) they're intercoms. Good luck calling anyone on 'em, and 2) we hate you both. So they both stomp out again.
(At this point, I actually was up front. And wow, let me tell you, there's nothing like standing at the front of a store holding three bags of money while two wildly unstable people scream at each other while heading towards you. Hello, adrenaline.)
I left again at this point, on account of holding many hundreds of dollars and feeling awkward and mildly unsafe. From what we can patch together she got his plate number and then went next door to call the police. Now, I'm pretty sure their phone policy is something like ours, so it's hard to tell what lie she used. She came back talking on a cell phone, though, now that I think about it, maybe they called her BS, too.
So, she calls the police and, since she's called the police, the guy sticks around too. Also, his wife. And our two belligerent lesbians, who are totally on the guy's side, although how anybody can be on the side of either of two such repellent creatures I do not know. Although the BLs are reasonably repellent, too, so maybe there was some fellow-feeling there.
At some point the cops actually showed up, got all of the repellent people's names and such, and kicked them out for us. And it was quiet once again.
Points of interest:
1) There was a visiting manager wandering around our store. By "wandering", I mean "watching with interest, after calling someone on his cell phone, and also taking notes on a notepad". So someone will probably try to get us into some trouble.
2) Some woman complained. To us. That there was a disturbance. "Well, frankly ma'am, I'd shoot 'em both right here and now, but I left my semi-automatic in my other trousers, and besides the cleaning guys don't come until tomorrow morning, and by then the blood will be all congealed and we'd have the strip the wax from the floors. So I can't do that." I especially like it when they complain to our 5'3", size 1, 24-year-old female floor person. What, you think she's gonna wade in there and give 'em a talking to? Really?
1) If you see a small, screaming child, and there is some adult nearby who is looking upset/embarrassed/frustrated, you've really got to assume they've got it under control.
2) There's really no way to gracefully get out of calling an old woman a child molester. Nobody will ever believe you, and it makes you look like a creep.
3) You can't call the cops on someone just because, basically, you don't like them and they are being mean to you. I mean, it'd be super-sweet if you could, but think of the bills that would rack up.
4) Being louder doesn't actually mean you won the argument. Mostly, it just makes you look like a raging psycho.
5) YOU ARE IN PUBLIC WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE WHY ARE YOU SCREAMING AT A STRANGER IN A STORE?!?!
...In other news, I learned that I live about a quarter mile away from my district manager. I drove past earlier today and admired his Christmas lights, before I knew it was his house. Wow. Awkward.