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  • Category: Awesome Workers

    Paging Insecurity

    | Oakland County, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Theme Of The Month

    (I am a customer in this pharmacy store late at night. As I walk up to the counter, a male customer is loudly complaining to a male cashier about ‘the gays.’ Being a lesbian, I’m gathering up the courage to say something when the following happens.)

    Male Customer: “The gays keep trying to turn everyone!”

    Male Cashier: “It must be rough.”

    Male Customer: “How do you mean?”

    Male Cashier: “I have a handful of gay friends, and no matter how much time I’ve spent with them, I’ve never wanted to have sex with other dudes. I’m just saying it must be rough to have such a tenuous hold on your sexuality that you’re always worried about being turned by the slightest contact. I feel for you.”

    (It takes a moment, but the male customer realizes what the male cashier is saying.)

    Male Customer: “…Hey, f*** you, buddy!”

    Male Cashier: “You want to f*** me? Oh god, it’s happening now! There must be a gay in the store! Run!”

    Customer: *screaming* “Go to h***!”

    (The customer then runs out of the store. As I put my stuff up on the counter, the manager runs up from one of the aisles.)

    Manager: “What the h*** was that?”

    Cashier: “Oh, I’m probably just getting a customer complaint in the morning. Totally worth it… I’ll explain later.” *to me* “Sorry about all that. How are you tonight?”

    Me: “If I was straight, I would totally be giving you my number right now.”

    He Can Light Up The Sky(rim)

    | Cambridge, MA, USA | Awesome Workers, Geeks Rule

    (I work in a small comic shop. Our bathroom lights don’t work quite right. Once you flip on the switch, they do light up, about five seconds later.)

    Customer: “Excuse me, the lights in your bathroom don’t work. I think it’s a dead bulb.”

    Me: “Oh, no, they work. You just need to—”

    Customer: “No, they don’t! Come with me, let me show you!”

    (The customer leads me to the bathrooms, I follow. He flips the switch on and off a few times, leaving it in the off position.)

    Customer: “See? Can you give maintenance a call or something?”

    Me: “Hold on, I can fix this…”

    (As I take a step into the bathroom, I flick the switch on behind me, then count out the time it takes for the lights to power up. Just as the lights power on, I shout…)

    Me: “STRUN BAH QO!”

    (For those that don’t know, that’s ‘Storm Call’ in Skyrim.)

    Customer: “T-The Dragonborn…”

    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Powers

    | Queens, NYC, NY, USA | Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers, Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Top, Wild & Unruly

    (I’m half-Chinese, but with my sunglasses on, people usually can’t tell. I’m fluent in Mandarin. One day I get a text from my friend, a grade-school teacher.)

    Friend: “You speak Chinese, right?”

    Me: “Yeah, why?”

    Friend: “Come down to [intersection] around noon and explain what the f*** is going on.”

    (At my lunch break I head down there. On one side of the street is a crowd of school kids, while on the other side an elderly Chinese man with an ice cream cart.)

    Kid #1: “I’m gonna do it.”

    Kid #2: “No way.”

    Kid #1: “Yeah way. I’m fast enough!”

    Kid #2: “You’re not Chinese.”

    Kid #1: “So?”

    Kid #2: “Only [Chinese name] can do it.”

    Kid #1: “I’m gonna do it.”

    (Kid #1 dashes across the street, yanks back the cover of the cart, and grabs a handful of ice cream. He takes off, but the vendor catches him, pinning both arms behind his back.)

    Vendor: “Ah, three bars? Your total is $9.28.”

    Kid #1: “Lemme go!”

    (The vendor removes some money from the kid’s pocket with his free hand.)

    Vendor: “Cash paid is $20.”

    Kid #1: “Yeah, yeah, I know the drill.”

    (While still holding the struggling kid, the vendor deposits the $20 in his till and takes out change.)

    Vendor: “Your change is $10.72.”

    (The vendor puts the change and ice creams in a bag and hands them to the kid, who takes off.)

    Vendor: “Have a nice day!”

    Kid #2: “Told you.”

    Kid #1: “Fine! Okay, [Chinese name], you do it!”

    (A short Chinese boy steps forward. His clothes are patched and despite the weather, he’s not wearing a coat.)

    Chinese Kid: “Let us meditate… on the way of the wind.”

    (He strikes a ridiculous pose and exhales loudly. The other kids jump back.)

    Chinese Kid: “…on the way of the snake…”

    (New pose, hissing loudly. The others back away even more.)

    Chinese Kid: “…on the way of the hawk.”

    (He flaps his arms and jumps in a circle. The kids are a good twenty feet away now.)

    Chinese Kid: “The meditation is done.”

    (He runs up to the ice cream vendor and grabs a handful of bars. The vendor strikes him with an exaggerated karate chop which the kid easily blocks.)

    Chinese kid: *flees, speaking Chinese* “Thank you, Mr. [Name]!”

    Vendor: *shakes his fist angrily, also in Chinese* “Sorry, we are out of lime today!”

    (The Chinese kid kicks towards the vendor from across the street.)

    Chinese kid: “My mother says she hopes your leg feels better!”

    Vendor: *red-faced with rage* “It does! Tell her thank you for the tea!”

    (The kids are enthralled. As they eat the ice cream, I approach the vendor.)

    Me: *in Chinese* “What just happened?”

    Vendor: “Oh… you understood. That little boy is a new immigrant, and all the other children mocked him because he is small and weak. He told them Chinese people have special powers, and they beat him up and told him to prove it. But I overheard and whispered to him to rob me. Now we have a deal.”

    Me: “How wonderful!” *pointing behind him* “Hey, can you tell what that is?”

    (As he turns around, I drop some money on the cart and grab a bar of ice cream, fleeing.)

    Vendor: “You forgot your change!”

    Me: *shakes my fist* “It’s a tip!”

    Kids: “Whoa! How did you do that?”

    (I slip off my sunglasses. The Chinese kid bows to me and I bow back.)

    Kid #2: “Told you they have special powers. Never bully a Chinese kid, man. Never!”

    Despicable Free

    | New Zealand | Awesome Workers, Holidays

    (It’s the holiday season and my 6-year-old daughter and I are in our local library. Money had been a little bit tight lately, since we’ve had to spend on decorations and presents and I’m a single parent. The library loans out DVDs, $5 for a week but there is a special section where kids DVDs are free and they are generally Disney movies or kids cartoons/TV shows.)

    My Daughter: “Mom, can I get this Despicable Me DVD please? It was in the kids section!”

    Me: “Sure thing sweetie. Let me just get my card so we can go.”

    (As I self issue the DVD out, I realise it was misplaced in the kids’ section and actually costs $5. My daughter sees this on the screen.)

    My Daughter: “No mom, it’s too expensive! I don’t want it anymore.”

    Me: “It’s only 5 dollars! It’s fine; we can get it.”

    My Daughter: “No no no! I don’t want it anymore!”

    (Not wanting to cause a tantrum from her, I go up to the library assistant behind the counter.)

    Me: “Hi there, I issued out this DVD a couple of minutes ago, but my daughter doesn’t want it anymore. I was wondering if I could return please?”

    Library Assistant: “Is there something wrong with the DVD?”

    Me: “Oh, not at all. There was just a little misunderstanding with the price.”

    Library Assistant: “Oh. Well, tell you what! Take it for free. Just give me your card and I’ll take the charge off.”

    Me: “Thank you! I know it doesn’t seem like much but, $5 is a lot to us. Thank you so much, happy holidays!”

    (When I returned to my daughter with the DVD in my hand and told her the whole story, she was grinning from ear to ear. She got up and ran by herself to thank the lovely library assistant and he even gave her a high-five! We’re much better off now, but I’ll never forget that small act of kindness.)

    1-800-WE-R-NICE

    | MO, USA | Awesome Workers, Pets & Animals

    (Our medical device company has an 800 number that is one digit off from another company, which sells skin care products. We therefore get a lot of wrong numbers.)

    Me: “Good morning, [medical devices company], how may I help you?”

    Elderly Lady: “Hello? I need to order some cream. I have a terrible rash on my bottom.”

    Me: “I’m sorry ma’am, but we are [medical devices company], not [skin care company]. I can give you their number.”

    Elderly Lady: “But this rash is terrible! I live in Florida and the heat makes it worse!”

    Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. If you want to write down the—”

    Elderly Lady: “It’s very red and sore! I live alone, you know. My husband died a few years ago. I really need some cream!”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am. But we don’t sell that. Their number is almost the same—”

    Elderly Lady: “I have a cat. Do you like cats?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am. I do.”

    Elderly Lady: “His name is Buster. He is old like me.”

    (She seems lonely, so I decide to just talk to her for a while. I finally manage to give her the other number.)

    Lady: “Thank you, sweetheart. You are a very nice young lady!” *hangs up*

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