I actually worked at a parts store for about 4 years in/right after college. So my story comes from the other side of the counter.

The store I worked at was in a very...blue collar part of town. Normal Saturday morning starts with a line forming before the doors are even unlocked, so I knew we would be busy. I was the assistant manager, which meant hopping between the register, floor and back end to restock. Everything was going fine, until a rather flustered gentleman came in with an alternator.

The gentleman in question was quite heated to say the least. He swore we intentionally sold him a bad alternator. The employee who was helping him called me over, but I was already on my way due to the yelling....from the customer. I politely ask what the problem is, and let him know I am a member of the management team so I have more options to help. This, oddly, upsets him more. He yells something about how a man of my race (white) won’t want to help him anyway and that I am a crook. O...k....

He shoves an alternator in my face that is completely covered in black arcs. As in, somehow, he hooked it up wrong and it arced so badly, it left black lighting patterns all over it. It, at the time, was actually pretty cool to see. He wanted a full refund, not replacement, as we had intentionally “sold him a bad alternator”. O...k...

I ask him if I can take a look at his car, and when we pop the hood of his nondescript late 1980s Olds, I can see that he has hooked up a “system” directly to the alternator positive out post, as he had already replaced the alternator with a “good” one from a competitor that morning so he could drive over. This “good” alternator was also covered in the super neato arcs! I let him know that non-professional, non-standard instillation was not covered by warranty. He did not like this. He threw the alternator he was trying to return on the ground, mumbled some expletives, and walked to the back of his car. He opens the trunk and produces a baseball bat. JOY!

I run back into the store, lock the door, and he proceeds to beat the windows and door with the baseball bat. He then throws the alternator that began this lovely interaction at the windows at well. I didn’t know, but the windows were shatter proof! YAY!

We call the police. They show up, sit him down and have a chat. Seems he had forgotten his medication that day and was having an episode. The entire store is terrified as we unlock the door to take the alternator from him and hand him his cash refund. He smiles and says Thank you! And goes on his merry way.

I transferred stores the next week.