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    Category: Geography

    You may call them “lost”, but we prefer the name “geographically disadvantaged.”

    The Big Country Of Small Talk

    | UK | At The Checkout, Geography, Money

    (I work in a large retail clothing chain in the UK. The chain is actually an American brand, and popular in both countries. I am serving a customer at the till. I am always friendly to my customers, and always make small talk.)

    Me: “Hello, sir, how was your day today?”

    Customer: “Why do you want to know?”

    Me: “I was just asking, sir; you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”

    Customer: “Quit the small talk. I don’t care what they tell you to say when I am here.”

    Me: “I am sorry, sir; that comes to [total]. Would you like to pay cash or card, sir?”

    Customer: “What’s with this ‘sir’ bull-s*** your giving me?! You should just stick to your job, and quit the small talk. No one wants to talk to you anyway!”

    (He throws his money on the counter, even though I am holding my hand out. I say nothing, and collect his change. He continues to rant at me.)

    Customer: “This is what is wrong with the world! People are becoming robots, and just saying things and not meaning them! It’s all fake smiles and stupid small talk!”

    Me: “I do not get paid any more or any less for talking to you, sir; I was just being polite. I am sorry if I offended you in any way. Have a nice day.”

    (The customer glares at me. His eyes go wide, and he starts to go red.)

    Customer: “HAVE A NICE DAY?! HAVE A NICE DAY?! THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN! WE ARE IN ENGLAND! WE ARE NOT AMERICANISED! THIS IS ENGLAND! I SUPPORT OUR ECONOMY, AND I DEMAND TO BE TREATED LIKE AN ENGLISH PERSON!”

    Me: “Quite right, sir, we are in England as you correctly pointed out. However, you do realise that you have just spent money in this store, which happens to be an American company?”

    (He opens his mouth to retaliate, but he can’t when he realises what I have just said. The line of customers behind him all start laughing at him, as he walks away rather briskly!)

    No ID, No Idea, Part 11

    | Australia | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Geography, Money, Theme Of The Month

    (An American customer approaches, and tries to pay with a card that isn’t his. It has a typically female name on it, and the signatures don’t match.)

    Me: “I’m very sorry, but I don’t think this is your card. I can’t put through the sale.”

    Customer: “It’s my girlfriend’s. She said I could use it.”

    Me: “That might be so, but it’s illegal for me to finish the sale; I am sorry. Is your girlfriend in the store? She can come and sign for it.”

    (I suggest this cheerfully, so that he knows I’m definitely not accusing him of having a stolen card. However, the customer instantly snaps and begins yelling.)

    Customer: “YOU F****** AUSTRALIANS! I COME HERE FOR A HOLIDAY, AND YOU’RE ALL A BUNCH OF RACIST PRICKS! IF I WAS AUSTRALIAN, YOU’D F****** PROCESS IT! THIS S*** DOESN’T HAPPEN IN AMERICA! F*** YOU!”

    (My manager, who happens to be nearby, decides to intervene.)

    Manager: “Sir, that’s simply not true. It’s legislation to protect people from having their card stolen. We’re protecting your girlfriend’s money.”

    Customer: “WHAT A LOAD OF S***. WELCOME TO F****** AUSTRALIA, HEY? F*** ALL OF YOU! F*** YOUR F****** COUNTRY! F****** AUSSIE RACIST C****!”

    (He storms out of the store, leaving everyone speechless.)

    Manager: “I wonder what he’ll do when he realises he left the card behind.”

    Related:
    No ID, No Idea, Part 10
    No ID, No Idea, Part 9

    Trapped On Mount Karma

    | UK | Bad Behavior, Geography, Health & Body, Top

    (We are having one of the coldest Easters in record. I work in an outdoors equipment shop, where we sell everything for use in outdoor activities, from hiking boots and tents to climbing gear and ice picks. I also volunteer for the UK’s mountain rescue. My manager and colleagues all know this, and are happy for me to go on calls.)

    Customer: “I’m looking for some hiking boots so I can go out in the snow.”

    Me: “Okay, sir, they are just over here.”

    (We walk over to where we display our boots. As he is looking, I get paged that my team is going out on a rescue.)

    Me: “Sorry, sir, I am afraid I have to go. I volunteer for mountain rescue, but one of my colleagues will assist you.”

    Customer: “What! How dare you! You shouldn’t trouble me just because some random people managed to get themselves hurt.”

    (The customer grabs onto my sleeve. My manager comes over, as he is aware of my needing to leave.)

    Manager: “Sir, please let my employee leave. I will help you personally, and we will give you some free walking socks for your inconvenience.”

    (I eventually leave, and my team performs our rescue. The casualty had hypothermia and a broken leg, but other than that was fine. A couple of days later, my team get another call-out. I bet you can’t guess who it was…)

    Looking For A Toast To The East Coast

    | WI, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Geography

    (I work the night shift. We regularly get the bar crowd in trying to buy beer after the bars close. Due to a city ordinance, we can’t sell it after midnight.)

    Drunk Customer: “Where is all your beer?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir; we can’t sell beer after midnight.”

    Drunk Customer: “Well, where can I get beer?”

    Me: *jokingly* “I think the bars are still open in New York City!”

    Drunk Customer: “Cool, how do I get there?”

    Me: “It’s over one thousand miles away.”

    Drunk Customer: “No, which direction is it from here?”

    Coworker: “That way.” *points east*

    Drunk Customer: “Cool, well thanks.”

    (He stumbles out towards his car. I turn to my coworker.)

    Me: “You’d better call the police.”

    Coworker: “Already on it.”

    Racism Comes In Many Languages

    | AZ, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Geography, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

    (I am standing behind a woman at a supermarket. Of the two cashiers available, one is of Asian descent and speaking in what seems to be Chinese to some customers. The other appears to be of Middle Eastern descent, whose customer is speaking very loudly and slowly.)

    Woman: “Do you understand what I’m saying? I want this in a separate bag.”

    Cashier: “Certainly, ma’am. I can definitely speak—”

    Woman: “—it’s like they don’t even cater for English speakers! Not a proper American in sight!”

    (The woman then spots me, a white guy in my late 20s.)

    Woman: “You’d know what I mean! Eh?”

    Me: “I’m an Australian tourist here visiting friends, et Je crois que vous ‘tes conasse raciste.”

    (“I think you’re a racist b****”, in French.)

    Woman: “UGH!”

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