Cashier would stand up to rude customer again

KAMLOOPS — She inspired thousands of people when she defended an autistic boy to a rude customer and while she’d do it again, she better understands both of her customers that day.

The 17-year-old, who asked to remain anonymous, was only a month into her first job at Extra Foods back in August when she had the encounter now shared thousands of times across the internet. Selina Olsen of Kamloops was shopping for a movie with her 11-year-old nephew. He was excited, pushing it onto the cashier in front of another customer who was clearly agitated and confronted Olsen.

“She said 'how hard is it to control one child?’ the cashier says. “And I said: ‘It would be easier to be nice and be quiet.'”

Olsen had a slightly different recollection of the words that impressed her so much she immediately told the manager. Then she posted her appreciation on Facebook, now shared across the country.

The cashier is familiar with autism and recognized the child’s behaviour. She guesses her customer that day might react differently if she understood.

“I think she thought is was just a misbehaved child, he kept handing me a movie and I would put it back on his side of the belt,” says the Grade 12 student. “She gave dirty looks, nudged him. She wasn't comfortable with him being in her space. I don't think she realized he was autistic.... I think more it was a bad day and she just didn't understand.”

She’s thankful her employer supported her and hopes more people stick up for those who need it.

“I don't think it's a big deal,” she says. “This should be happening every day.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email or call (250)819-3723.

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