Tori couldn’t believe what was happening as she stared at the man over the top of her glasses. He was standing in front of the teller, indignation radiating from him as he waved the toothbrush around wildly.
He was demanding to see the manager, so Tori walked over to find out what was wrong and to resolve what was wrong. However, when she tried to help the man and explained the situation he simply called the police on her.
Tori worked as the manager of a Swansea, Massachusetts branch of Target. In her time there she had thought that she’d seen everything her customers could do and could handle even the rudest or most difficult customers.
Dealing with angry or rude customers was an everyday part of her job and she prided herself on how she managed to deal with them. However, despite everything that she had dealt with before, she was about to discover something completely new.
Something Tori had learned during her time working in the retail industry was that if they were given half a chance customers would walk all over them. This meant that she needed to be firm and strict but fair with customers like that.
She also knew that customers took chances and tried their luck. However, in all the time she had worked retail, Tori had never encountered something as outlandish or ridiculous demand as this man was making. He even tried to ruin her life.
David Levitt is a self-proclaimed “award-winning journalist”. Our story starts when David walked into the Target where Tori worked and ended up making such a huge scene in the store that the police needed to be called in.
However, the entire situation escalated even further, ultimately spilling over onto the internet. While the debate raged on the internet, Twitter users were forced to pick a side and their response to the situation was unexpected to say the least.
David was someone who was clearly used to getting their way which is why the entire situation started. While walking through the store he noticed a display version of an Oral B Pro 5000 electric toothbrush.
Needles to say, this toothbrush had simply been used for display purposes. However, when David noticed the ludicrously low “price” for the demo model, he immediately grabbed it and headed to the checkout.
David had some small knowledge of the customer protection laws. While his knowledge of the law was clearly rather limited, his inherent sense of entitlement made up for it. At least in his own eyes.
He placed the toothbrush on the counter and waited for it to be scanned. That’s when the trouble started. It’s hard to tell if he genuinely thought he’d win the argument or if he was simply looking for a fight. Tori didn’t care, either way, she simply did her job.
The cashier that David had now confronted knew that she was in the right, David was wrong and clearly trying his luck. However, despite her best attempts to explain that it was only a display model, David refused to budge.
She calmly pointed out the fact that the price tag had the word “DISPLAY” in big capital letters on. By default, the price shown on a display tag was set to $0.01. David wasn’t having it though and demanded she calls the manager.
Being a good manager, Tori had been watching the entire encounter for nearly five minutes since it started. She could see that things were quickly getting out of hand. However, this wasn’t her first rodeo, so she was sure she could resolve the issue.
Under normal circumstances, Tori would have been right. However, these were not normal circumstances as she had no idea how far David was willing to take things just to get his own way. When she tried to reason with him and explain the situation, he simply pulled out his phone and started dialing.
Another man would have accepted Tori’s response, but not David. When she flatly refused to be bullied, his face went from an expression of indignant to defiance as he pulled out what he thought was an ace up his sleeve.
He shoved his phone in her face, took a picture, and uploaded it for his 210,000 followers on Twitter to see.
When Tori responded by rolling her eyes, it incensed David even more. In a blatant display to show her the extent of his power, he called the police on her. To make matters worse, he was sure to document the situation as it unfolded with live tweets on his Twitter account.
Little did he know, it was all about to backfire on him spectacularly.
Underneath the photo of the unflappable retail worker, David angrily typed the caption: ‘this @target manager Tori is not honoring the price of their items per Massachusetts law.’
But when he saw that his intimidation and public shaming tactics weren’t working, he decided to try a different tactic. Not fifteen minutes later, he posted another smug update that had the Twitterverse rallying.
‘I just had to call the police because @target refused to sell me the toothbrush,’ David wrote obnoxiously. He obviously expected his fans to feel sympathy for him. What he didn’t anticipate was the tweetstorm that followed.
In an amazing show of instant karma, his followers immediately began to roast him online. But the show wasn’t over yet.
Twitter users immediately jumped on the fact that David was clearly wasting the police’s time with such a petty request. David found himself scrambling to defend his actions, stating that he did ‘not call 911’ and had explained to the police that it ‘was not an emergency’ and they ‘could take their time.’
Eagle-eyed fans were also quick to point out that the law wasn’t on David’s side, either. In a stunning turn of events, they began to back Tori.
One user retaliated with: ‘So, Let me get this straight. You’re bothering the police because of an obvious mistake Target made that you want to exploit? Because we all know those toothbrushes don’t sell for .01. Then you went on Twitter and blasted the photo of a $15 per hour employee just doing their job?’
After David saw that his followers weren’t fooled, he tried the sympathy card one more time.
‘I have not been able to afford to go to a dentist in over three years,’ David retorted. ‘So yes I wanted a good toothbrush and was thrilled to see such an amazing prize on an @OralB but @target refused to honor it and now I have to take them to court.’
Well, the Twitterverse was about to see to it that that never happened.
‘How can you be an award-winning multimedia journalist and also be illiterate?’ another user wrote scathingly, referring to the obviously incorrect price tag on the toothbrush. ‘It’s for the display, not the item. Probably because that display is a spot on the shelf, and has to have a tag on it because of the store’s internal system.’
Then, Twitter users turned their attention to Tori.
‘I want to go give this woman a hug, one former retail worker to another,’ another user wrote. Then, someone had an amazing idea that would turn the tables against the self-important “journalist.”
One woman was so sympathetic toward Tori’s thankless occupation that she decided to open a GoFundMe account — pledging to raise enough money to send the retail worker on a well-deserved holiday!
Tori, whose full name was unknown to the Twitterverse at the time, earned the nickname #TargetTori. Soon, the internet was flooded with her story. Memes were made of her now-famous eye-rolling photograph and local news stations clamored to interview her.
People were so enamored by the battle between the rude man and the blue-collar worker that the donations began to pour in. But would they reach their target of $5,000?
Meanwhile, David Leavitt’s face also began to flood the internet. His appalling behavior had earned him an unflattering meme of his own, referencing the ‘let me talk to your manager’ temper-tantrum-throwing people that retail workers have to deal with on a daily basis.
And, just a few days after the story went viral, the GoFundMe account had garnered over $35,000!
It wasn’t long before ‘Target Tori’ had been tracked down and the money that the GoFundMe account had raised was released to her. She opened a Twitter account of her own under her new moniker to express her gratitude to all the netizens who stood up for her.
She has since decided that instead of going on a holiday as originally intended by the creators of the account, she will donate all the money to charity.