We've all been there: A retail employee is talking to a co-worker while we wait in line, seemingly invisible to the chattering colleagues.
Most folks just endure it, or perhaps clear their throat to gain some attention, but when a Charleston woman decided to go a little further, a Walmart store employee's reaction required police involvement and resulted in the employee being suspended on the spot.
It happened Dec. 9 at the Walmart on Proprietors Place in Mount Pleasant, according to a police incident report. That's when the Charleston resident went to the customer service counter to return an item. After waiting, she decided to ask one of two talking employees if "she was ready to assist her."
That's when the employee called the customer "rude," according to the report. The employee "stated she was discussing something with a fellow associate and (the customer) had no business interrupting them."
The argument continued, but eventually settled down when another employee took over the transaction. The customer went on about her shopping elsewhere in the store, according to the report.
But later, the employee again called out to the customer and began yelling threats, the customer told police. Eventually the argument became physical and an employee and the victim's husband had to step in between the women, according to the police report.
Though police list the employee as a suspect in the disturbance, the Walmart worker told police that the customer's husband was involved in the physical confrontation and that she was fearful the customer was waiting around the store to engage her in an assault.
Walmart managers told a police officer they were reviewing video of the incident and that the employee had been suspended until further notice. Police are letting the store sort out the matter administratively.
This Walmart also was the scene of a brutal employee stabbing in 2011 and a high-dollar theft of Apple products in October of the same year.