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    In Line And Out Of Line, Part 6

    | Chicago, IL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

    ( am around five and I am at the grocery store with my dad. We are waiting in line and it is long because only a few registers are open. When we are next to be rung up a business lady defiantly walks in front of me and my dad and proceeds to unload her cart.)

    Me: “Hey, dad, that lady just budged us!”

    (To this my dad replied loudly enough for everyone around us to hear:)

    Dad: “Well, [My Name], it’s all right for her to do that because she is important. Far more important than we are. In fact, she probably works for the government and she has to cut in front of us because they need her to help save the world. So, don’t get angry that she walked in front of us like we didn’t exist because she’s way too important to the country to wait in line like a normal person. In fact, she probably doesn’t wait in line anywhere because lives could be lost if she doesn’t get her milk and eggs three minutes sooner.”

    (At this point the cashier has stopped ring her items up and everyone around us was watching. The woman turned to us, a mixture of annoyed and embarrassed.)

    Woman: “I, uh… You can go in front of me if you’d like…”

    (My dad holds up his hand.)

    Dad: “I would never, ma’am. Your time is far too important for us mere peasants to waste. You go off and keep protecting our country.”

    (She was completely red as she finished her purchase and walked out quickly.)

    Related:
    In Line And Out Of Line, Part 5
    In Line And Out Of Line, Part 4
    In Line And Out Of Line, Part 3

    Driving 100 km In Another Man’s Shoes

    | Roermond, The Netherlands | Bizarre, Crazy Requests

    (I work at the customer service desk in a big outdoor/camping store. One of my jobs is to handle returns. Today, a guy comes in. I greet him.)

    Me: “Hi, how can I help you?”

    Customer: “Yeah, hi. I bought shoes here a while ago and they’re damaged. I want new ones.”

    Me: “All right. Did you bring the shoes with you? I would like to take a look.”

    (The customer nods and bends down. I know what is about to happen and so does my coworker. I can tell she’s about to laugh and she walks away to make sure the customer doesn’t see her. He takes one shoe off his foot and put it on the desk. It’s smelly and feels warm.)

    Customer: “There, you see? It’s damaged!”

    (I ask to see his receipt and look up the procedure for this particular brand of shoes. As it turns out, I can’t give him new shoes, but instead, I have to send his shoes in for repair.)

    Customer: “But how am I supposed to do that? I can’t go home without having shoes on! I need you to give me new shoes and I want a refund for the money I spent on gas! I drove over 100 km to get here!”

    (At this point, I notice his t-shirt. It’s a shirt from a local amateur soccer championship in a town very near to where we are. 12 kilometers, tops.)

    Me: “No, sir, I am afraid I can’t do that. I would love to send your shoes in for you. It’s no problem if you decide to come in another time. The procedures won’t change.”

    (The customer then, angrily, took his shoe back, grunted and moaned, and hopped away on one leg.)

    Going Nuts For Donuts

    | Lawton, OK, USA | Crazy Requests, Theme Of The Month

    Customer: “Why can’t you take this coupon?”

    Me: “Because it’s for a [Popular Doughnut Chain]. Though we sell the doughnuts, we’re not the actual store.”

    Customer: “So you admit it! You sell the doughnuts but won’t take my coupon! I want to speak to the manager!”

    Me: “I’m the only one here.”

    Customer: “Well he’s got a phone don’t he, your manager? Call him up!”

    Me: “It’s four am. I’m not waking my manager so he can tell you the exact thing I just told you.”

    Customer: “Why not?!”

    Differing Degrees Of Snobbery

    | Memphis, TN, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, School

    (I’m a cashier at a small, high-end grocery store. One day, towards the end of my shift, a middle aged man and a girl, around 11 or 12, walk up. Note that I appear around five years younger than I actually am and took the cashier job out of necessity.)

    Me: “That’ll be $25.62, sir.”

    Customer: *ignoring the other customers waiting behind him* “Are you in school?”

    Me: “I… excuse me?”

    Customer: “Are. You. In. School?”

    Me: “Well, no, I already—”

    Customer: *talking to the girl* “See, this is why you gotta study hard! I don’t want you working some crap job because you didn’t go to college.”

    Me: “Um, sir? That’ll be $25.62.”

    Customer: *slams $30 into my hand*

    (I get his change and hand it to him along with his receipt. As the next person in line starts putting their items onto the counter, he stands in place and starts counting his change.)

    Customer: “You shorted me.”

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. How much did I give you?”

    Customer: “This is why you have to work a crap job like this! Because you can’t even count right!”

    Me: “Sir, I need to see how much I gave you so I can give you the right amount.”

    Customer: “You gave me $4.38.”

    Me: “…that’s right. It should be on your receipt.”

    Customer: “No, I need a five.”

    (I print out another copy of his receipt and show him that his change was correct. He stands there and argues with me, so I call over the manager to talk to him. The conversation takes a while, so when my next customers are done, I stroll over.)

    Manager: “I don’t know how else to tell you… that IS the amount you’re owed.”

    Customer: “No, it’s basic math! Can’t anyone here do basic math?”

    Me: “Here.” *I pull out my phone and show him on its calculator* “It all adds up to $30.”

    Customer: “What do you know?! You didn’t even go to school!”

    Manager: “I thought you went to [Well Known Private College]?”

    Me: “I did. I have a bachelor’s from there.”

    Customer: *stunned* “What? How? You’re a kid.”

    Me: “I’m 25, sir.”

    Customer: “Why didn’t you say so! I guess it’s okay, then.”

    (He and the girl finally exit.)

    Manager: “…that’s the kind of man who gives his credit card number to a prince of Nigeria.”

    Online And Over The Line

    | USA | Crazy Requests, Money, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (I work in a craft store with two entrances; each entrance has multiple registers. I am on the register called ‘side door.’ At the time of this transaction, I am a new hire and am highly concerned with not breaking company policy about coupons.)

    Me: “Hello, did you find everything all right?”

    Customer: “Yeah, thanks. Do you have any coupons right now?”

    Me: “Yes, there’s currently a 40% off of one regular priced item going on right now.”

    (At this point, I haven’t realized that she was asking me if I had any coupons with me at the register, which I don’t. Employees are required to throw them away if we don’t scan them from a phone.)

    Customer: “Okay, great, I want to use it on [item].”

    Me: *after scanning the item* “All righty, because this item is your highest priced, regular priced item, the coupon should work.”

    (The customer starts typing on her smartphone, and I finish ringing up the items she put on my counter. When she looks up, she stops me to examine the items.)

    Customer: “Oh. That one’s not on sale?”

    Me: “No, it’s not.”

    Customer: “Okay. Can I use a coupon on that one too?”

    Me: “Unfortunately, no. It’s only one of this kind of coupon per transaction, per customer, per day. I’m sorry.”

    Customer: *suddenly getting irate* “Okay, I don’t have the money to be spending on these both.” *she has trouble deciding on which item to keep, and a line starts to form behind her, making her even more irate* “Look, is there any way you can let it slide? Other cashiers have let it slide before…”

    Me: “I’m really sorry, but I can’t use two of this kind of coupon in the same transaction for the same customer.”

    Customer: *with an impatient sigh* “Fine, you know what? I’ll just take this one.” *she goes back to texting while I take the item off of the transaction*

    Me: “Okay, I can scan your coupon for you, ma’am.”

    Customer: *with an are-you-stupid look* “You said you had a coupon.”

    Me: “Oh, um… I can pull this week’s coupon up on your phone for you? Unfortunately, I don’t have any back here.”

    Customer: *now very annoyed, for no real reason that I understand; she also refuses to let me see the screen of her phone to navigate the badly designed store website* “Okay, so how do I do that?”

    Me: “In the browser, go to [site name].”

    (I radio in for backup, not because the line is long, but because I know that pulling the coupon up on the site takes a while. The customer shoots me an annoyed look when I do this.)

    Customer: “Okay, I’m on the site, now what?” *she’s taken an imperious tone with me by now*

    Me: “There should be a small icon in the corner of the screen you can tap that gives you a popup side-bar menu-thing.”

    (I watch as she struggles with this, again asking if I can help her navigate the site and again getting refused.)

    Customer: “Okay, so what do I tap on now? Weekly Ad?” *she sounds extremely irate, impatiently glaring at me when she has the chance*

    Me: “I’m not really sure, but that should be the right thing, unless you see a ‘coupons’ button?”

    Customer: “I don’t see a coupons button.”

    Me: “Oh, okay, it’s in the weekly ad, then. Sometimes the site acts differently on different phones, depending on whether or not you have the app—”

    (I get told over radio that there’s no backup for me, and the line continues to pile up and my customer gets more agitated.)

    Customer: “Look, I don’t need you to lecture me right now about this. Just tell me how to get the d*** coupon!”

    Me: *taking a slow breath of air to calm my nerves, as this is my first angry customer* “Okay, once the screen loads, tap on the right side that says coupons.”

    Customer: *irritated, taking offence to the deep breath* “I don’t like your tone. I want you to call your manager.”

    (I call my manager, who tells me that she’ll be a couple minutes because of the store being busy and so few of us employees to keep up with the rush.)

    Me: “Unfortunately, the store is a little busy and my manager won’t be here for a little bit. I’m sorry.”

    Customer: “Yeah, sure, whatever. Make excuses.”

    (The customer manages to pull up the coupon after I help her a little more, continuing to give me death glares.)

    Me: “Okay, that brings your total down. Your receipt is in your bag and a coupon for next week. Have a good rest of the day.”

    (The customer just glares at me, then seeing my manager who just walked up behind me and paling a little, gives me a half-a**ed threat to write me up online and literally flees the store.)

    Manager: *to me* “Okay, so, what just happened?”

    (I explain the situation, while my other customers patiently wait for me.)

    Manager: “All righty, then. Don’t worry, she won’t be writing anything. She was just having a bad day.”

    (My manager left, and the rest of my customers were very polite and sweet for the rest of the day. It’s been almost five months since that incident, and no, I never did get a bad online review from it.)

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