Shopper: I Was Banned From Safeway Because I Asked For Large Chicken Breasts

A man in Colorado claims he was given the boot — and a trespassing notice that bans him from the property for one year — from his local Safeway. But it wasn’t over shoplifting or anything like that; he says it was all because of a misunderstanding about his poultry order.

According to the 61-year-old shopper, he recently stopped into the Safeway to purchase some chicken breasts from the deli counter. And when the woman behind the counter asked which ones he preferred, he says he pointed out his selection and said, “I like the large ones.”

It’s unclear whether or not he had intended on the double entendre, but the man claims the female employee “chuckled” at his statement.

But thinks weren’t quite as funny for him the next week. When he approached the deli counter, he saw the woman who had previously served him walk away from the counter, leaving a different female employee to take his order.

He says that this second woman was so rude to him that he felt compelled to complain to the store manager. And that’s when he got the earful, he says:

She said, ‘The last time you were here, you giggled about this woman’s large breasts.’ And I said, ‘Oh, baloney.’ And then she opened up her flip phone and called the police, and I listened to her make up this whole story about me cussing and threatening her.

As he exited the store, the man was stopped by a police officer who issued him a trespassing notice, effectively forbidding him from entering the Safeway for one year.

While the man feels his rights were violated by summarily being banned from the store, a rep for the Lakewood Police Dept. sees it differently:

[He] faces absolutely no criminal charges… We issued him a trespassing notice, which is a civil type of thing. When a business would rather someone not come into their place of business, we can issue these notices that ask a person not to come back for a period of one year — and if they do, then they can be charged with trespassing.

What do you think of this situation? Couldn’t both the store and the customer have handled it better without getting the police involved?

Man gets trespassing notice for telling deli clerk he likes large (chicken) breasts? [Westword.com]

Thanks to Alice for the tip!

Comments

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  1. c!tizen says:

    I’d have to see how large the breasts in question are.

    • dr_drift says:

      For us to come to a proper conclusion about this issue, I would like to second the need for pics.

    • sliverworm says:

      pics or it didn’t happen

    • Jack Handy Manny says:

      Hey, what were they like anyway? They looked pretty good, are they real? Are they built for speed or comfort? What’d you do with them? Motorboat? You play the motorboat? You motorboatin son of a bitch! You old sailor you! Where is she? She still in the house?

    • uber_mensch says:

      At a reception in Richmond, Virginia, in the USA, his hostess, an
      ample lady, led Winston Churchill, the guest of honour, to the buffet table.
      When she offered him some cold chicken, he asked if he could have
      a breast. As she helped him to a particularly succulent-looking
      piece his hostess informed him genteelly that ‘We Southern ladies
      use the term “white meat”.’
      The next day a corsage arrived for her – with the flowers was a
      card from Churchill on which he had written ‘I would be most
      obliged if you would pin this on your “white meat”.’

  2. smo0 says:

    Do a local boycott of the store. Then make picket signs with “boobie” jokes plastered all over them.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      In this case I disagree (usually I like boycotts). In this situation the banning is due to a legitimate sexual harrassment grievance by an employees. It’s legitimate because SHE felt it was unwanted sexual comments (the law is worded to favor the “victim’s” perception of the incident regardless the intent). Also, Safeway could be liable for a hostile work environment if they allowed the man to continue to patronize the store and potentially causing more sexual harassment.

      • smo0 says:

        Even moreso… as a former “big boober” I get pissed when people can’t take jokes… laugh at life.
        I’d like to send this chick some hate mail too….. I bet her taters aren’t even that big…

      • FredKlein says:

        Maybe they should stop selling “breasts” then.

      • cash_da_pibble says:

        There’s also a clause for overly sensitive people- the act or item in question has to be seen as offensive to an AVERAGE person.

      • fourclover54 says:

        I wonder if this would have gone differently if he had apologized to her or the manager when they explained the issue. Most people are apologetic when something unintended like that happens, but if the manager approached him aggressively he may have gone on the defensive …

      • El_Fez says:

        How do you sexually harass someone who isn’t a co-worker?

        • The Lone Gunman says:

          Hell, I once fielded a complaint as a manager from a competitor concerning an employee of mine.

          There are all kinds of stories about complaints filed about customers, vendors, you-name-it who are not direct employees of the business.

        • Scorps1 says:

          Employers have an obligation to provide a employees a harassment free workplace. This includes harassment from fellow employees, vendors, and customers. Harassment is defined largely by the person who feels harassed. A joke which you or I may not find offensive may very well be offensive to another person and would therefore be deemed harassment. This is a CIVIL issue and not a criminal one therefore the rules are different. On the other hand I think immediately trespassing the customer from the store was a bit extreme BUT we are only hearing one side of the story.

          Many types of behavior which the average person would not feel are harassment have been found to be just that and with the massive judgements possible, businesses prefer to err on the side of caution.

      • Difdi says:

        On the other hand, filing a false police report is both a misdemeanor and libel. In other words, jail time AND you get sued.

        In order to commit sexual harassment, or any crime, you must have both intent to commit the act, and actually commit it. If all it takes to make a crime is the feelings of the victim, then all concepts of fairness and justice in courts go entirely out the window.

        Or put another way, the clerk’s neurosis makes the customer her victim, not the other way around.

      • Dave on bass says:

        The victim’s perception thing isn’t how it’s worded as a matter of mandated sexual harassment training, though – they’re very specific, at least in the corporate world, that harassment is willful and repeated. A single incident of saying something that *could* be construed by a reasonable person as a double entendre might be grounds for a talking-to, but I don’t think it would be considered harassment.

        While I don’t agree entirely with difdi’s interpretaton of crime commission (intent without commission still counts sometimes), I do agree that the woman who lied on the phone to the police should absolutely be held accountable for that little action.

  3. ubermex says:

    The store can issue a warning for any reason, but he should complain to higher management, since that’s obviously not the way corporate would want the individual stores doing business.

  4. Pavlov's Dog says:

    What a bunch of boobs. Er, I mean, what a bunch of idiots…

  5. humphrmi says:

    Now, don’t get me wrong… I think that Safeway misunderstood him, and then treated him shabbily. But here’s what always peeves me about articles like this:

    “While the man feels his rights were violated…”

    What rights are involved here? Too often, people yell “you violated my rights!” when it’s really just a simple matter of a business misunderstanding, then mistreating customers.

    • OnePumpChump says:

      He was slandered.

      • smo0 says:

        on top of that… if someone decided to press charges, he could be labeled as a sex offender which bring a world of crap….

        • Jdavis says:

          Ummm, this would fall under the category of sexual harassment, which is more likely cause for a civil suit, not jail and the whole sex offender.

        • Shadowfax says:

          And if an asteroid hits, you might die. Breathlessly babbling wildly improbable hypotheticals doesn’t put Safeway in the wrong.

          There are specific situations in which stores are forbidden to deny entry to people.

          “You’re black and can’t shop here” would be one of them. “We’re too stupid to realize that when the man said he wanted large chicken breasts he wasn’t talking about the human breasts on the halfwit behind the counter” is not.

          Safeway obviously does not want his business or his money. I’m confused as to why he is so insistent that they let him give them money. Go shop elsewhere.

          • Murph1908 says:

            You think it’s ‘widely improbable’ that the woman would decide press charges or file suit? She already had him thrown out of the store.

            Maybe you are right, considering the understanding, non-litigeous society we live in.

            /sarcasm

      • humphrmi says:

        Slander is a matter of monetary damages, not personal rights.

    • Difdi says:

      You have a right not to be defamed (ask any civil court, why it awarded damages in such a lawsuit).

      You have a right not to be the object of false police reports (if not, it wouldn’t be a crime).

      • humphrmi says:

        You’re still confusing monetary losses, which can be recovered via litigation, with explicitly granted rights. Rights are things like religion, liberty and free speech; freedom from private citizens filing false police reports and engaging in slander are not guaranteed by any constitution, federal or state.

        My point is, the guy could have very well said “I feel that my good name was tarnished”, or “I feel that my ability to purchase large breasts at Safeway has been lost” and he would be right. But saying “My rights have been violated” is a cheap fall-back when someone can’t think of, or convey another reason why they’ve been wronged.

      • Scorps1 says:

        I would wager no police report was taken since no crime occured (I have trespassed people dozens of times). He would be hard pressed to recover damages for hurt feelings since he had no “real” damages.

      • Chaosium says:

        “You have a right not to be defamed”

        If he was defamed.

        • YouDidWhatNow? says:

          I would say that being publicly accused of sexual harassment, and then having the cops illicitly sicced on you, qualifies for defaming.

        • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

          Agreed. I don’t know what these trespassing “notices” really are, but judging from the description it seems these don’t become part of anyone’s record.

          If they do, there’s probably a legitimate defamation case.

  6. SkokieGuy says:

    Strangely, a female shopper who inquiried of the male butcher, “Is your kielbasa spicy?” was not banned.

  7. RubiksDude says:

    Depends on who’s story is more truthful. Only hearing his side though, I would complain as high up in the chain as I could.

  8. mikeluisortega says:

    This is one of those things where you would have to be there to understand the context. I would be annoyed as well if a pervy old man came into my work place.

    • dolemite says:

      Maybe he was just flirting? She chuckled, didn’t she?

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Because she’s normally allowed to be a jerk to customers, right? It couldn’t possibly be because she was embarassed and insulted and wanted to smooth it over with an aukward laugh?

        • blag says:

          Definitely agree with Choc, IT and Lolas. Sometimes you just “grin and bear it” but don’t want to feel forced to deal with harassing behavior on a continual basis.

          And as someone else pointed out, we’re only seeing one side of the story.

      • The_IT_Crone says:

        I wish I could convey the number of times I’ve “chuckled” to an embarrassing/harassing situation. It doesn’t mean I found it funny, it means I’m uncomfortable and want the moment to pass NOW.

      • chocolate1234 says:

        I’ve been in her exact situation, and I’ve done the fake laugh/chuckle to try to get over the awkwardness of the situation. Escalating it at the moment does no good. We’re only hearing his side of the story, and I am wondering if he was being a pervy old man. Those are the worst, seriously. They think they’re perfectly entitled to make those comments because they’re older.

  9. edison234 says:

    Hmmmm…. I guess he likes big breasts and he doesn’t lie. Sounds familiar…

  10. Hungry Dog says:

    Living in Colorado myself, I feel I need to keep abreast of this story.

  11. Browncoat says:

    Useless without pictures, hehehe.

  12. dolemite says:

    I’m not sure how the old guy could have handled it any better.

    • Scorps1 says:

      Intead of saying “oh baloney” he could have said “I apologize if my remarks were misunderstood but I clearly pointed to the chicken breasts when I said I liked the large ones. I would have said the exact same thing if a male was serving me”.

    • Chaosium says:

      “I’m not sure how the old guy could have handled it any better. “

      It’s not surprising that an aggressive, dominant creep would try to sue and/or get her fired.

  13. grumpskeez says:

    Perhaps a breast-in can be organized in protest. Maybe he could arrange for shoppers to flash mob the deli counter asking for large breasts while chuckling.

  14. smarmyjones goes cattywampus says:

    When I worked for KFC:

    Me: How can I help you?

    Customer: How Large are your breasts?

    Me: *blank stare, turn around and check chicken window*

    Me: They’re about average size, sir.

    Apparently he had done that a few times before to different female cashiers, but no one really complained about him. I thought it was kinda funny.

    • ophmarketing says:

      Well you know the old saying:
      “Anything more than a mouthful…requires a larger soft drink.”

  15. RookOmega says:

    hmm – ex-Navy – making a comment about breasts that could be taken the wrong way?

    Then not get belligerent when accused of something?

    There is more than meets the eye here….

  16. evnmorlo says:

    Yet another reason to prefer small breasts.

  17. ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

    There’s a classic French dish requiring a mature rooster. I remember asking for an old cock and next thing I knew I was in an alley behind the store getting sausage.

  18. kutsuwamushi says:

    I think the company did the best they can do, since it’s impossible for them to know what truly happened. If the man’s story is true, then of course they overreacted. They should apologize to him and punish the employee for making stuff up.

    The problem is that they have no way to know for sure.

    I think that protecting employees from harassment is more important than ensuring this man’s access to Safeway. He’s been inconvenienced and now has to go to another store, which sucks, but it would suck more for the female employees of the store to have to either put up with harassment or find a new job.

    • partofme says:

      I’m sorry. You have one incident, which was obviously questionable and very disputed. Have a beer summit. Have everyone say they’ll be more careful the next time. Then start doing ridiculous things like year-long bans if it happens again.

      • Chaosium says:

        “I’m sorry. You have one incident, which was obviously questionable and very disputed. Have a beer summit. Have everyone say they’ll be more careful the next time. Then start doing ridiculous things like year-long bans if it happens again.”

        Or just protect your employees from pervy dudes. Protecting one employee’s well-being is worth more than a single-customer.

      • herbie says:

        I see. So the employee who felt harassed now should be forced to have drinks with the customer? Riiiight.

        • partofme says:

          I read somewhere that a computer program has been developed that can detect sarcasm 77 percent of the time.

      • Clyde Barrow says:

        Careful about what? Asking for chicken breasts? Good f’ing grief. I saw naked female statues in Europe and no one battered an eye over here we’d go apeshit. Big deal. I’ve been around and I have seen this happen a lot and it has ruined many men’s lives and caused divorces. It’s not funny. It’s not funny what she did. Let’s look at it both ways: he didn’t imply anything. She needs to learn the difference between snide remarks and common shop talk. If a woman asked for “large breasts” what would she have done? Probably nothing. And if he did mean it with a snide reply? They’re adults; let it go. It’s gotten out of hand to run to the police like they’re daddy.

        • partofme says:

          Actually, over here we have plenty of naked statues. Ok, maybe I spend more time on campuses and in museums than most people, but whatever. But you’re still freaking out. Chaosium is freaking out the other way. One way or another, somebody’s freaking out… man. And they’re doing it with no real information. Thus, my suggestion: everybody chill out. One small incident does not require any real action. Make sure everyone’s complaints are known, but do not take punitive steps. Then you can keep a closer eye on the situation and get more information if there is a real problem that comes back around. You can, ya know, actually find out if she was being irrationally hypersensitive or if he was being unreasonably inappropriate. Everyone is just guessing. This is not a horrible time-sensitive manner. If it’s truly an isolated incident with no more information than he said she said, how is the appropriate response NOT to just wait and gather better information if/when problems reoccur?

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      Exactly. It sounds like only two people know what really happened, but the store manager hopefully knows if this employee is reliable or a little flaky, and might have interacted with this customer before. Unfortunately, even if they have reason to doubt the employee, they’d probably still have to do exactly what they did unless they had a good, verifiable reason to doubt the employee’s story. And now that it involves sexual harassment, they can’t fire the employee if they were a problem because it will look like retaliation.

      (I’m just sayin’, I’ve seen firsthand psycho employees take this exact route. I have no idea if this is actually the case here. It may well be that this is the most reliable, dependable employee, and the manager would stake his or her life on the veracity of their story.)

  19. Blueberry Scone says:

    I am sure the female employee “chuckled” at the initial comment, but it was probably in a “Oh boy, is this uncomfortable, and I’m not sure what to say” kind of way. But of course, he remembers that she chuckled because she DID.

    If that store manager made up the story about him cussing and whatnot, then that’s obviously wrong.

  20. grapedog says:

    When a large breasted woman working poultry asks you what size breasts you would like, you’re going to have to expect some of that. She needs to not be a huge bitch…

    • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

      There’s a world of difference between casually saying, “large,” “big,” or even “as huge as they can get;” and leering at someone’s chest and saying, “Mmm, biiig.” Which I’m 98% certain is the sort of thing that happened- because men are fucking stupid. Or, I should say that we’re not stupid so much as we’re socialized to think that sort of thing is a compliment.

      • Dunkelzahn says:

        I’m not sure about you, sir, but I know when something is inappropriate to say.

        You’d have to be pretty daft not to know the difference between an appropriate moment and an inappropriate one.

        • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

          Really? Really? You obviously have Internet access and you can’t conceive of someone at the very least, saying something weird?

          • Hoboman725 says:

            It was a 61 year old religous Navy Veteran, not a 15 year old 4 chan jackass.

            How about you use the internet and find me a few examples of women getting bitchy and uppity over misunderstandings THEY have made or other relevant cases. I’ll even accept faked rape charges. Shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes.

            • JennQPublic says:

              Yes, ’cause old vets and religious types are never pervs.

              • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

                The Catholic church is right behind the sentiment… and other things too.

            • oloranya says:

              I work retail, and I’ve found the older guys tend to be more sketchy than younger ones.

              • chocolate1234 says:

                After four years in retail, I agree. The old ones are the worst! They have no shame, and act like they’re entitled to make whatever comments they want, no matter how rude or inappropriate. I rarely encountered that with younger guys.

                • bwcbwc says:

                  Mostly because modern sexual harassment attitudes are split in the boomer generation and only really took hold in Gen X. So yeah, the older people will be more sexist, more racist and so on. They grew up before or during the 1960s and ’70s when everything was changing.

            • Chaosium says:

              “It was a 61 year old religous Navy Veteran, not a 15 year old 4 chan jackass.”

              I fail to see how 61 year old religious Navy Veterans are more moral than a 15 year old 4chan jackass, or less likely to sexually harass and degrade a woman in public.

    • Chaosium says:

      “When a large breasted woman working poultry asks you what size breasts you would like, you’re going to have to expect some of that. She needs to not be a huge bitch…”

      Sounds like someone needs some sexual harassment training!

  21. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Could have certainly been handled better – in my brief stint working at Safeway I’ve seen the store maager tolerate a lot more from customers

    But what the officer said is 100% accurate. The man is not being charged a crime; they are simply banning him from the store, Soup Nazi style.

    • Dunkelzahn says:

      Nobody is really refuting the officer’s statement. Heck, I wouldn’t really have a problem with the women feeling uncomfortable. It’s the fact that the manager *allegedly* lied about the customer’s attitude and language to get him banned.

      It is the store’s right to have someone banned from the premises and issued a trespass warrant. They do not need to lie in order to get it to happen, they just need to explain to the officer that they do not want them on the premises.

    • Doubts42 says:

      No breasts for You!!!

  22. Ladybird says:

    Oh for the love of….

    I worked at grocery stores for all through high school. Did I get my share of pervy guys throwing condoms on the counter and wiggling their eyebrows? God, did I ever. And lets not speak of those buying AstroGlide and NOTHING ELSE at 11 pm.

    My point is that you learn to pick up on honest “That’s what she said!” moments and when a customer is being an all around pervo. If she really was uncomfortable about the comment, a simple “I’m sorry?” would have clarified the meaning. This tactic would force my pervy customers to drop the act, pay for their merchandise and shuffle out the door.

    All that being said, this sounds (to me) like a big misunderstand that got way out of hand.

    • do-it-myself says:

      So Cashiers DO judge!

    • RxDude says:

      I proudly buy condoms and lube, with no off-color comments or leering at the cashier.

      I’m not going to be apologetic about getting laid, nor do I feel compelled to call particular attention to the intended use of my purchases.

    • Conformist138 says:

      Thank you! Took awhile to get to a reasonable comment. These harmless jokers show up, it happens, calling the cops on all of them is just retarded. As a girl with large… pieces of chicken… I have had to hear all kinds of comments, they would have to go really far for me to even walk away. I just got over it- lots of guys are pigs and I can’t be responsible for their manners. Now, if my boyfriend tried that (with another woman, of course), I’d give him a piece of my mind. But if I’m working and a customer does it? Not my problem, look at my rack all you want, say what you want- you’re never getting any closer to them than that.

  23. James says:

    I made a similar error in at a supermarket in Mexico when asking for “Pedazos de pechos.” (Pieces of a woman’s breast)

    La mujer amable informed me that it’s “pechugas” and laughed without throwing me out of the store.

    • JustLurking says:

      Yeah, but fortunately political correctness does not exist in Mexico. They laugh at things there that would make 90% of people in the U.S. under 60 cringe because we have been socialized to be supermegaubersensitive about EVERYTHING.

      Also, we gringos, no matter how well we know Spanish always literally translate and don’t always know that certain cognates really aren’t (embarasada, anyone?) so they expect us to put out feet in our mouths.

      But they definitely don’t get their panties in a bunch over little things, that’s for sure.

  24. herbie says:

    I really don’t understand how the commenters at Consumerist can be so pro-Consumer rights and mostly progressive politically yet be unapologetic sexist assholes as well.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      It’s a rather interesting dicotomy, isn’t it?

    • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

      What? People here are pro-consumer rights? Most of the time it’s BlametheOP City. Unless the OP is some kind of self-righteous bigot. I think the people who read are pro-consumer. The people who comment are a different story.

    • Difdi says:

      Frivolous claims of sexual harassment set the progress of womens rights back, not advance them forward. I would submit to you that your “the woman is always right” approach to the matter is in itself sexist.

      The man was asked by a woman selling chicken which chicken breasts he wanted, and he pointed to them and answered her. That is not sexual harassment. If she is so hyper-sensitive to things that might be harassment, that she cannot even do her job, then she should not have that job.

      And before you blast me for being a chauvinistic male, my mother would tend to disagree with you about how she raised me. Just about all the sexist tendencies got trained out of me at a very early age, what with her being a past chapter president of NOW, and all…

      • The_IT_Crone says:

        Did you even bother to read the post before flaming it? They are referring to the COMMENTERS, not the story itself.

        It starts right at the first post and continues. Get a clue.

        • NarcolepticGirl says:

          Uh, I’m pretty sure the comment was made in reference to the replies about the article, pal.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      There’s always one like you. Let me guess. An unhappy American female bent on upsetting every male for having “any discussion” and making it “sexually perverted” at your will. It’s your little world of control. Have a nice, single, life.

    • Twonkey says:

      You don’t seem to want to entertain the possibility that the guy isn’t a perv, and that maybe the real issue is that the woman is just a tad too neurotic for her own good, so I think you can drop the self-righteous indignation. That ship don’t sail, and all that jazz.

    • Chaosium says:

      It’s not a monoculture, you know.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      Sadly, you’re wrong about the commenters here being pro-consumer. It used to be that way, but no more.

      But you’re totally correct about so many of them being unapologetic sexist assholes. Women of my generation fought so many battles so that we could work in non-hostile work environments, free from sexual harrassment. Yet today there are still so many of those unapologetic sexist assholes, including some of the commenters who responded to your post.

      • smo0 says:

        I blame Mad Men…. unless you’re of an age to have experienced the “60”s….come again?

        There’s always a level of harassment…

        but…. would you call it harassment or human nature… people are sexual creatures… if a guy’s gaze moves down to the ta-ta’s … whatever, if it’s continuous and I ask him to politely, look at my face… and he does… whatever, if he DOESN’T… I acknowledged what he was doing… he didn’t stop… that’s harassment.

        I’m sorry… a true, strong fighter of “the cause” would say something… not “awkwardly laugh” if that really was the case, and let it go – but then bitch about it later…. another thing women tend to do… complain later to avoid confrontation.

        Men don’t do that… so we wanna be equal right? START DOING THAT… take MAN-CUE’s… or just live as nature intended… we are NOT equal – we are superior to each other in our own separate ways.

        Am I the only one who reads science articles?

      • NarcolepticGirl says:

        “Sadly, you’re wrong about the commenters here being pro-consumer. It used to be that way, but no more.”

        That’s because of the articles that have been posted in the last year or so. One of the editors has a habit of posting posts about consumers being ‘entitled’ idiots.
        So, we, as honest and blunt commentors, tell it like we see it.

    • Marshmelly says:

      How are the (male) commenters here being sexist assholes at all? I think most people regardless of gender would see this lady as being overly-sensitive.

      Try glancing at the comment section of an article on Digg that even vaguely relates to women. Now THAT shit is sexist like you wouldn’t believe. haha

  25. Cyniconvention says:

    How else could he say that without looking like a fool? “Those big ones”? “The ones that are packin'”? “The ones that make the roosters stop and stare”?

    • Blueberry Scone says:

      What about “The one at the end” or the “I’d like the one on the left” or even just pointing at the window?

      • cash_da_pibble says:

        He did point at the window. I think what happened was that if he was pointing at glass- she may have either not seen his hand, or in her line of sight he may have looked like he was pointing at her breasts.

    • George4478 says:

      I was wondering the same thing. “What breasts do you prefer” — what can you say that can’t be taken as a double entendre?

      In retrospect, the customer should have either:

      a) asked for a male deli worker
      b) walked away and ordered a pizza instead
      c) leveled a harassment charge against the sexist deli worker for making sexual advances and sued Safeway and the woman

  26. Southern says:

    It’s stories like these that make me want to travel around with my own personal camera crew following me everywhere I go, or having a Mini Cam w/microphone strapped around my head.. So that when someone says “He did THIS!” I can say “oh no I didn’t, and here’s the proof!”

    It’s too easy to get in trouble over these “it’s his/her word against mine” stories. :-(

  27. APCO25guy says:

    “[He] faces absolutely no criminal charges… We issued him a trespassing notice, which is a civil type of thing. When a business would rather someone not come into their place of business, we can issue these notices that ask a person not to come back for a period of one year — and if they do, then they can be charged with trespassing.”

    Okay this makes no sense. A trespass notice is just that, a notice that you are violating a CRIMINAL law by being on someone’s private property- and using the force of CRIMINAL ARREST, CRIMINAL TRIAL, and if found guilty by a jury trial or trial before a CRIMINAL court judge, a CRIMINAL CONVICTION. So how is this a “civil type of thing”?

    Sure, Safeway or any private property owner can CT someone for any reason, but this is absurd. Banning a paying customer from your store and issuing a CT warning is bad for your business. Unless he was threatening even if he did make a comment about someone’s breast size, that should be overlooked. People are getting a little too sensitive these days.

    • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

      All civil adjudications and affairs are enforced by threat of criminal sanction to some extent. Have you not noticed? Ultimately, the only way to get any to do anything they don’t want to do is with violence.

    • JMILLER says:

      A civil trespass was issued. If he violates the civil trespass, he THEN would be charged criminally. The store could do that because the man smelled, had bad breath, talked with a lisp, or was just plain stupid. A PPO is also a civil matter UNLESS it gets violated.
      As for people getting over it, I would suggest that is not YOUR decision what some people get over or not. I wouldn’t care if the guy whipped out his dick and rubbed one out in front of her, but thats just me.

    • herbie says:

      A comment about breast size IS threatening to many women. Women should be able to walk around and do their jobs without being objectified sexually. It’s basic human decency.

      • Difdi says:

        It’s not any of those things, when the woman in question is working in a grocery store meat department, selling chicken breasts, and she asks what size of chicken breasts the customer wants. It’s also not the least bit offensive for the customer (male or otherwise) to point at the chicken breasts he wants, and identify them verbally.

        I’d say the poor guy was her victim, not the other way around.

      • tsukiotoshi says:

        We also need to harden up a bit. I know a lot of women who take offense at things they THINK are being directed at them sexually but it has all been a misunderstanding. There’s also some chicks out there who enjoy the attention accusing someone of sexual harassment brings.

        I’ll clarify I’m not accusing all women of this behaviour, but I’ve seen enough of it to be annoyed.

      • jason in boston says:

        It’s not threatening. Are women scared?

      • Clyde Barrow says:

        You are also responsible for learning to deal with it and blow it off. There is no such thing as ESP and we’re way too over sensitive and expecting perfection from others. Being able to deal with things you don’t like, without throwing a temper-tantrum and going to daddy (the cops) is being an adult. Trust me; find yourself in Europe pulling this stunt and your female peers will laugh at you.

        • myCatCracksMeUp says:

          Thankfully things are better for women here than they are in Europe. We don’t have to put up with that type of crap here. We demand a work environment where we are not receiving sexual innuendos.
          I know plenty of you men want to keep women in their place – either a mommy figure or a sexual figure, and in your own home that’s fine, but the work place is no place for sexual objectification.

          • NarcolepticGirl says:

            “Thankfully things are better for women here than they are in Europe.”

            Tell that to my friend who got sexually harassed constantly in Italy and France constantly.
            And to my ex’s ex-wife who was raped in Italy.

          • NarcolepticGirl says:

            misread that. I apologize

      • Twonkey says:

        You’re not even attempting to understand the context in which this went down, are you? The fact that she works in the deli and had just got through asking him which breasts he preferred probably wouldn’t matter to you even if occurred to you in the first place. The guy’s got a dick, so he’s evil incarnate.

        Grow the hell up.

        • myCatCracksMeUp says:

          I feel like I understand exactly how this went down, and I think there’s a good possibliity that the guy deliberaterly made a sexual innuendo. If the worker felt that was the case then the store did the right thing in banning him from the premises.

          You should grow the hell up.

      • Conformist138 says:

        No, it’s not. Saying, “Hey honey, after your shift I’m gonna motorboat those melons all night! I’ll be waiting outside” would be threatening and over the top. Just grinning like a little boy because of the double entendre? Screw that, it’s just a joke.

        I have tits. Men like tits. This seems to work FOR me far more often than against me, so I take the jokes in stride.

        • myCatCracksMeUp says:

          You’re pathetic if you don’t mind working in an environment where your “tits” have anything to do with your job and how your coworkers, customers, or any other people treat you or talk to you.

      • Doubts42 says:

        A comment about mammary size is offensive. At the DELI counter, asking for large breasts is simply business. I spent to many years in retail and customer service to believe that the customer is always right, but they do deserve the benefit of the doubt.
        That being said, unless the manager was sampling those large breasts himself there would seem to be no benefit gained from lying to the cops about this guy cussing him out and being hostile.

        My best guess is that the guy made an innocent comment, then he and the deli woman both realized the HARMLESS pun, and chuckled and walked away. Later she decided he was a perv and told her manager about the incident, probably with a great deal of hyperbole, the manager confronted the guy, who being a 61 year old Navy vet, cussed like a sailor about the false accusation. Everybody loses.

      • Bob says:

        If that is the case then those women should not be selling chicken breasts in the Deli. Look, these women employees should have known the job was dangerous, in that manner, when they took it. That would be like working on roofs with a phobia of heights and then shouting to OSHA for what you think is a dangerous condition, like working on heights even with the proper safety equipment.

    • Chaosium says:

      “Banning a paying customer from your store and issuing a CT warning is bad for your business.”

      Creating a safe work environment for your employees is better, especially if there were prior complaints about this dude, which we don’t yet know.

  28. OnePumpChump says:

    I was banned from the bird-watching club for asking a woman about tits.

    I got thrown out of the state fair for complimenting a 4-H kid on his magnificent cock.

    I got fired from my cat-grooming job for telling some woman that her pussy stank.

  29. Reading Rainbow says:

    Can you issue one of these things for breastfeeding in the store too? Consumerist readers converge!

  30. stanner says:

    I heard he was thrown out of a Kroger later that day for buying large melons, firm tomatoes, and sweet sweet peaches.

  31. TPK says:

    It always astounds when in this depressed economy, store managers decide to insult and remove paying customers for no real reason. I would think the stockholders would be quite angry about this sort of thing.

    I suppose if the store doesn’t want paying customers, then the paying customers (all of them) should go somewhere else.

  32. frank1569 says:

    So some over-sensitive nut makes a false accusation and the cops issue a trespassing violation without any investigation? Is Safeway also Dictator of Colorado?

    I’m thinking ‘Safeway has big breasts’ T-shirts…

  33. Jack Handy Manny says:

    They threw me out of PetCo because when I was buying a chew toy, I told the female cashier “It’s for my bitch”.

  34. nosense22 says:

    Why is it just taken for granted that the guy is telling the truth?

    • Derek Balling says:

      Because people are innocent until proven guilty, and there’s no “proof” either way.

    • coren says:

      I’m pretty sure with all the comments here, the majority aren’t assuming he is, and many of those who are aren’t taking his side.

    • Twonkey says:

      Why is that any less acceptable than the folks who think he’s guilty?

      In my case, I’m judging this story based on my experiences as a guy who has had a totally innocent comment or two taken out of context in the course of his lifetime. Hell, I’ve taken shit out of context myself. I’m not willing to assume the guy is guilty, given that.

  35. Derek Balling says:

    Safeway is well within its rights to ban whomever they want from their premises. It’s private property and as long as they’re not violating a “protected class”, they’ve got every legal right to refuse him access to their private property. (It’s a different argument for a different day whether or not protected classes should exist.)

    That doesn’t stop them from being complete tools for doing so, however.

  36. Chaosium says:

    I’m willing to give the deli operator the benefit of the doubt. Customers are often terrible, and people are often too creepy to realize it.

  37. Difdi says:

    If it can result in an arrest and criminal charges if you violate it, it’s not a civil matter at all, it’s criminal.

    Filing false police reports, lying to the police to get them to act on a matter that is far beneath their notice and making wild claims against someone for things that make them look bad, that they did not do, are defamation, and good for a lawsuit.

  38. CyGuy says:

    Why has Consumerist edited the man’s story so it doesn’t match the linked article? Was the linked story edited or another story relied on?

    In the linked article there is no mention of the woman behind the deli counter on the first visit asking him which breasts he was interested in, it reads:

    According to Stults, 61, … he headed to the deli counter to order some chicken breasts. He describes the clerk who waited on him as a “heavy-set woman,” and when he pointed at the breasts and said, “I like the large ones,” he recalls her chuckling.

    If she did not ask him that question, then I could easily see this as sexual harassment. One thing that bothers me though, is that typically you buy chicken breast at the meat counter or sometimes at the prepared foods counter. not at the ‘deli counter’. You can’t have raw meat at a deli counter because of the chance of cross contamination. It’s possible you could have cooked breasts in the deli, but I would typically refer to this as the prepared foods counter, if that is the kind of chicken breast at the center of the disagreement.

    One final note, the linked article notes that the man (it seems while they were interviewing him) was “going off on long rants about fascism and how “a lot of people lying in marble fields died to preserve our rights” — the very rights he feels have been snatched away from him because of what he sees as a terrible misunderstanding.” This definitely sounds like the kind of person who could get into a heated argument with an assistant store manager that might lead to him being banned from the store for a year.

  39. maraa01 says:

    This is one of those times where I feel like I cant take a side. After working in retail I have to wonder if this guy didnt do more and didnt think he was being Mr Sexy and making boob jokes. Then he gets banned, which is embarrassing, so he has to make up a story.

    Then again, he could be telling the truth.

    It is just that I have seen and heard to many jackasses make up stories to either cover themselves, or get someone else in trouble just because they can.

  40. HogwartsProfessor says:

    You know, it’s entirely possible that he was innocently talking about the chicken breasts, and the angry rant at the manager is what got him kicked out.

  41. yagisencho says:

    Clearly, he should have asked for large, gender-neutral chicken CHESTS.

  42. erratapage says:

    Let’s assume that this guy goes up to the counter and leers at the woman’s breasts while he makes a comment about large breasts. I know that’s not the story, but I’m giving the store the benefit of the doubt.

    Now, let’s assume that the clerks all hate him, because he’s lewd and suggestive and a creepy old man. We all know the type, right?

    I’d still say the store mismanaged the situation. There is no crime against leering or making lewd, suggestive jokes. The store should be training its staff how to respond to this sort of thing. We need those skills in this society. We need to stop sending police on petty trips to hand out little detention slips and mediate the silliest of disputes.

    Stores have the right to issue bans for any non-discriminatory reason. They have the right to refuse service to this gentleman. But training its employees to handle these types of situations would prevent problems in the future, and relieve the taxpayers of the burden of paying police to be glorified hall monitors.

  43. RxDude says:

    What a hyper-sensitive bitch.

    If she can’t handle a comment about breasts, she shouldn’t be selling them.

  44. Ducatisti says:

    “Still, Stults, a Navy veteran who describes himself as a Christian, feels extraordinarily aggrieved, going off on long rants about fascism and how “a lot of people lying in marble fields died to preserve our rights” — the very rights he feels have been snatched away from him because of what he sees as a terrible misunderstanding.”

    I think this really shows what kind of guy Safeway was dealing with here. Read the entire article, and you’ll see that every single person Mr. Stults deals with behaves in a bizarre and unbelievably rude manner, the first clerk walks away, the second clerk is rude to him, the store manager calls the cops and lies about her encounter with him, the female police officer nearly runs him over and is also rude to him…. see a pattern?

  45. sopmodm14 says:

    if thats the case, i’d sue retailers for deceptive sale practices if someting was misplaced in the aisle, out of stock, or even if i don’t think that price is worth the product

    then i’d call the cops on my phone so i can win first

  46. mcnerd85 says:

    I am sorry, but employees just don’t do this kind of thing for fun. And if they do, they don’t stick around the company for long for various reasons. There was probably something about how this man handled the situation (to put it lightly) that explains why she felt uncomfortable dealing with him further.

  47. Clyde Barrow says:

    Welcome to America. This kind of reaction is why people are so f’ing afraid to speak to each other at jobs in this country. Of course she laughed, but of course, she relented and made a big deal of it and lied to get this guy in trouble. AND her laughter was misguided because, if he is being honest, his statement had nothing to do with actual breasts. Of course he cannot prove otherwise and that is the glitch in American Law and cops; it’s irrelevant what he thinks cuz it’s all about her. Play the princess, laugh, then show denial, call the cops, ruin a guy’s life. How nice of her. I hope he sues her big time (if he can). A damn shame.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      Wow! You really don’t like women, do you? Oh, you probably like them as long as their submissive to you and you’re allowed to make whatever comment you want to them. But let one say they object to your comment, or any man’s comment, and you’re all ‘princess this’ and ‘all about them’ that. You’re the type of man that tried to keep women from progressing beyond being secretary, nurse, or teacher.

  48. MrsLopsided says:

    After reading the last paragraph in the article, and that he walked away – not in his car, I’m leaning towards the employee’s version. I also suspect that he is Epic Beard Man.

  49. JustLurking says:

    What this country needs is insensitivity training, not being more sensitive. (credit to Penn Gillette for coming up with the term)

    This is yet another example of mountains out of mole hills.

    This was nothing and someone was offended over it and seemingly misunderstood the guy without asking to clarify.

    Ridiculous.

  50. FrankReality says:

    I know a guy who was accused of rubbing a woman’s leg at work during a meeting in our auditorium. The auditorium has very small seats and close rows so there isn’t much room. It started out as incidental contact, but her friends trumped it up and she eventually filed a complaint against “a” man.

    The company was set to fire the man without so much as a hearing when he said he was somewhere else (another meeting) and had ten people as witnesses. HR called in everyone one of them, read them the riot act about lying and questioned each of them. The ten agreed on everything and HR was forced to admit they had no case. The complainant had fingered the wrong person.

    Had that guy not had witnesses and those witnesses had not stood up for him, he would have been fired for something he didn’t do – all because a woman perceived a physical contact as deliberate and perceived hte wrong person did it.

    Our constitution guarantees free speech – but doesn’t guarantee the right to not be offended. I’d much rather be offended on occasion than not be allowed to speak relatively freely.

    In short, lighten up.

  51. brinks says:

    Seems like there’s a big chunk of the story missing here. I’m automatically filling in the blanks in my head.

    No employee, no matter how bitchy they are and no matter what kind of day they were having, would act like that. However, I’m sure she has to deal with idiots all day who think they’re being funny and original when they are in fact NEITHER. She is probably made to feel uncomfortable several times a day and is sick of it.

    Having dealt with enough of them myself, I’m guessing this old hasn’t yet realized he is past the point in his life where that kind of comment might be funny. This woman might be able to tolerate it a little better it from a hot young guy (let’s be honest here), but not some pervy, creepy old dude.

  52. rookie says:

    ‘Oh, baloney.’

    First he talks about breasts and then moves quickly to sausage???
    The man is a deviant…

  53. lordargent says:

    I’m a leg and thigh man myself, I love some drumsticks.

  54. warik says:

    Why would you buy “big chicken breasts” from a deli counter? The guys story doesn’t add up. The only way I know how to get chicken breast from a deli counter is sliced thick or thin.

  55. Mihkel says:

    It seems like everyone in the US now tries to screw absolutely everyone. Before it was just the matter of suing that person, but now it’s just to screw each other. That’s so ridiculous.

    • RxDude says:

      The article probably is misusing the term “deli counter”. It’s probably the meat counter, where you can buy steaks, ground beef, pork chops, chicken, etc.

      Maybe the guy should have started the conversation with, “So, how long have you been handling meat?”

  56. attackgypsy says:

    The store has the right to ban him for ANY reason. They have the right to not do business with him. Period.

    Sucks, but its the truth.

  57. Harry_Greek says:

    ‘And when the woman behind the counter asked which ones he preferred, he says he pointed out his selection and said, “I like the large ones.”‘

    Uhm, no. You reply with; “I want 4 pounds of chicken breasts please.” Or, “organic”, “the cheapest”, etc. This guy was being an ass on purpose and he needs to stop acting like he is the victim here.

    • AI says:

      Uh no. When I want the large steak I say I want the large steak. When I want the large tenderloin I say I want the large tenderloin. When I want the large chicken or turkey breasts I say I want the large breasts. I expect that as adults everyone can be mature about a normal grocery sale without childish double entendres.

    • RxDude says:

      Maybe he pounds the breasts flat and stuffs them. A larger breast would be easier to stuff. When a clerk asks a customer’s preference, then customer is allowed to respond without consulting an an answer sheet written by you.

  58. jessie_monster says:

    I work at a deli counter and I have people order “large breasts” constantly. Unless the customer has repeatedly done this schtick, this was a gross over reaction on the part of the employee/cop/manager.

    If the employee really did feel threatened/offended, the duty/store manager should have been informed and intercepted the customer. We have those customers and all the employees no them on sight.

  59. GrandizerGo says:

    This happens at KFC all the time. I have heard the woman taking the order yell back that she needs large original breasts up here…
    Grow up people…

  60. MarkSweat says:

    For any legal action, it is very important what exactly was said to the police officer by the manager. If she did what she should have, the only statements to the police would have been about the specific conversation between the manager and the customer, and not the alleged harrassment. If she followed this approach, there would be no legally actionable case. If the manager even once mentioned the harrassment without expllicitly clarifying that it was only an alleged harrassment, the customer could sue for defamation.

    Now, the whole matter could have been avoided by the customer simply buying the groceries and leaving. It’s not our job as customers to “fix” every personell issue at a business. Sometimes, it’s best to just walk away.

  61. TerrorFinger says:

    I used to get lunch at a supermarket deli because it was next door to the shop. One particularly busy day whilst checking out I remarked that we were getting our asses kicked. The middle aged korean man working the checkout nodded in agreement, completed the transaction, and I left to sit under a tree and eat. When I got to the shop there was a police car waiting for me, and I got to answer a bunch of questions and get searched. Apparently my comment translates into Korean as: “I am in the mafia and am going to kill you. Look, here’s a gun!”, as that is what the officer told me the complaint was. We straightened that out, and life went on. About a week later, I decide to have lunch from there again. Get back to work, cop car again. I ended up having to get lawyers and everything involved after the cop told me “enough of these calls and someone is gonna believe him”. Crazy Korean Man got transferred, as grocery store workers are unionized and impossible to fire. How’s that for protecting my right to shop?

  62. Kahn Soomer says:

    The older gentleman should be made aware that bigger breasts aren’t usually as moist and tender as smaller ones. Or maybe he should have inquired about her thighs. Personally, my thighs are usually juicier than my breasts. I can’t abide dry breasts at all.

  63. baristabrawl says:

    I wonder if this is all Safeway managers or just this one. While checking out at a Safeway here in CO I was stalled because the clerk was under 21 and was unable to ring up my bottle of wine. He asked for the manager to approve it twice and then paged overhead. When the manager arrived who had been standing just 2 lanes over ignoring the casheir’s request. She admonished him for using the paging system and he said, “I asked for you twice and you ignored me.” She said, “Don’t argue with me in front of customers, it’s inappropriate.” So I called her on that. “You shouldn’t verbally discipline your employee when he has a legitimate point and what you’re asking him not to do, you just did. He followed your protocol and you ignored him while you talked to your friends. My time is valuable, too.” Or something to that effect. Not being satisfied with that I also called the store manager to complain about the manager on duty.

  64. varro says:

    Ah, so that’s where Chevy Chase is!

  65. Boomshadow says:

    As with many, many reports on Consumerist, this is only part of the story. We’re hearing the customer’s side of it (and to be fair, it’s not necessarily untrue, nor is it necessarily a bad thing to have an informational outlet where a customer can tell his or her story), and the Lakewood PD’s side of it, but not Safeway’s.

    Video or audio giving the exact conversation would be really, really helpful.

  66. Plasmafox says:

    And people wonder why I don’t like talking to women.

  67. heythere says:

    Kudos to Safeway!! At every retail job I have ever had, there has been some creepy dude(s) who come in there just to harass the women because they know the employee HAS to be nice to the customer. FINALLY a store is standing up for its staff!!

    • Hydroxide says:

      Except in this particular customer’s case, he was only talking about the large chicken breasts he wanted, not that of the deli clerk’s. Either she took the statement out of context by mistake or she was probably so bored at work she made up a fake sexual harassment claim just for some cheap thrills.

  68. Blious says:

    You read this story and get the feeling a big portion of it is being left out by the customer

  69. elliemae says:

    large breasts don’t matter when the woman has an ugly outlook on life.