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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    Category: Holidays

    Even during the holidays, customers don’t seem to take a break. With that many extra light-bulbs around you’d think a few extra would appear above their heads?

    Fits The Bill Of A Criminal

    | England, UK | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Holidays, Liars & Scammers, Money, Theme Of The Month

    (A couple of years back I worked as a Christmas temp at a major supermarket during a year off from university course. It is in the middle of a very busy shift.)

    Customer: *walks up to checkout with two very expensive electrical items*

    Me: “Hello, sir.” *scans items* “That will be £380 please.”

    Customer: *hands me a wad of £20 notes*

    Me: “Thank you very much.”

    (I start to count money out in front of him while also checking each note for authenticity.)

    Customer: *suddenly aggressive* “What are you doing?”

    Me: “I have to check that this is the correct amount of money and it is our policy to ensure that all notes are genuine. I do the same for all notes I get handed.”

    Customer: *grabs notes and starts to count them out in front of me quickly*

    Me: “Sir, I need to count the money myself so I can check each note.”

    Customer: “I am not a criminal!”

    Me: *getting suspicious* “I am not saying you are, sir. I am only doing my job as thoroughly as I can. Sometimes fake notes can be picked up by accident and the person who has them is not aware they are fake. But if I were to allow one into the till it could be passed to another customer and at that point the shop would have committed a criminal offence and could be held liable. I need to check the notes.”

    (I pick up the notes and start to check them again.)

    Customer: “I AM NOT A CRIMINAL!”

    (The manager comes over at the noise.)

    Me: “Please calm down, sir!”

    Manager: “[My Name], what is going on?!”

    Me: “This gentleman is not allowing me to check and count his money.”

    Manager: “Please calm down, sir, or we will have to call security.”

    Customer: *screaming at the top of his lungs* “I AM NOT A CRIMINAL! WHY ARE YOU TREATING ME LIKE THIS?! I WILL F****** SLIT YOUR THROAT, YOU F****** B****!”

    (Security came running over and the customer was restrained. When we checked his money all but £100 of it was fake. The police were called.)

    Restoring Faith In Humanity All Over The Snow Globe

    | USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (Around Christmas, I’m at a large convenience store buying groceries when I hear the sound of glass breaking and a child’s shriek. I drop what I am doing and run to the aisle to find a two- or three-year-old boy staring at a shattered snow globe. The poor kid bursts into tears:)

    Boy: “I sorry, Mommy! I sorry!”

    (To her credit, the mom remains completely calm and assures her son that she knew he hadn’t done it on purpose, but that she would have to pay for it. I start clearing away the glass to keep the toddler from getting cut while his mother tries to calm him when an employee shows up.)

    Employee: “Oh, my goodness! Are you okay, sweetie?”

    Boy: *sobbing* “I sorry! I broke it!”

    Employee: *grabbing a broom* “It’s okay, honey. That’s why they’re called accidents. Just stand over there with your mommy so this glass doesn’t cut you.”

    (She kept up a stream of friendly chatter the whole time, reassuring the boy that he wasn’t in trouble. She was so sweet, whoever she was!)

    In A Happy Holi-daze, Part 2

    | NY, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    Me: “Happy Holidays!”

    Customer: “It’s Merry Christmas you heathen!”

    Me: “Really? I had no idea they cancelled Hanukkah, Ashura, Ramadan, and Yule this year!”

    I’m Driving Thru For Christmas

    , | Vernon, BC, Canada | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (We close on Christmas Eve at 3:00 pm, and all employees get the duration of Christmas to spend with their family. It’s 3:20, and we’ve closed the lobby, and are letting all the customers who were in the drive-thru line before 3:00 through. It’s going decently, despite our lack of stock, until the last car.)

    Me: “Hello, welcome to [Fast Food Chain]. What can I get for you?”

    Young Man: “Hi, I’d like a medium Iced Capp, and an everything bagel, toasted, with cream cheese.”

    Me: “Unfortunately, the Iced Capp machine is shut down, as we’re closing for Christmas Eve, and we’re all out of the everything bagel.”

    Young Man: “WHAT!? This is completely unacceptable! You can’t just shut everything down! What time do you close!?”

    Me: “Twenty minutes ago. There should be a sign under the speaker box.”

    Young Man: “Uh… oh.”

    Me: “Yeah… Is there anything else I can get for you?”

    Young Man: “Uh… no, sorry.”

    Me: “Well, have a good one.”

    (The young man drives off and I take off my headset, foolishly believing that I had hit my stupid person quota for the day.)

    Manager: “Hey, [My Name], can you finish taking out the trash?”

    Me: “Sure.”

    (I head out back with the last couple of trash bags, and take the lot of them to the dumpster across the parking lot. As I’m returning, I see a car, trying to drive over the curb and around the pylon barrier blocking the drive-thru that my manager had set up. I approach the vehicle.)

    Me: “Uh, hello? Whatcha up to?”

    Young Woman: “Oh, uh, hi. Yeah, I was wondering if you could like, move these cone-thingys. They’re blocking the drive-thru.”

    Me: “Well, that’s because the drive-thru is closed. The whole store is closed so everyone can spend the holidays with their families.”

    Young Woman: “Wow, that’s like, weird. How are people supposed to know the drive-thru is closed?”

    Me: “Well if the large, orange pylons in front of the entrance are too subtle a hint, there’s also the sign taped to that middle one that says that the drive-thru is closed.”

    Young Woman: “Oh, wow! I didn’t read that!”

    Me: “Literacy is a beautiful thing.”

    Young Woman: “…Huh?”

    Me: “Never mind. Have a nice day, ma’am.”

    (I walked back inside to finish cleaning and wondered about the bleak future of humanity.)

    Nutty Nativity

    | Auckland, New Zealand | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (We had just finished putting up Christmas trees and decorations around the library, and I was taking work photos.)

    American Tourist: “Oh, my god. What lovely trees. They look magnificent.”

    Me: “Thanks.”

    American Tourist: “Are you all going to put up a nativity scene as well?”

    Me: “No. Unfortunately not.”

    American Tourist: “Why not?”

    Me: “Council directives.” *glancing around and whispering* “Council has directed us not to put up Christian related symbolism and displays.”

    American Tourist: “And why the h*** not?”

    Me: “Well, unfortunately, Christianity has a bit of a bad image in the eyes of some of our patrons due to perceived injustices, abuse, persecution, and so forth, from people they assume are acting under the name of God. I myself have had bad experiences with some evangelists, but I do not hold it against the religion personally.”

    American Tourist: “That’s sad to hear.”

    Me: “Funny thing is, it only applies to Christian displays.”

    American Tourist: “What do you mean?”

    Me: “If I want to put up a three-meter tall Buddha for Wesak day, I am allowed to turn this library into a Buddhist temple. If we wanted to splash out on a Divali display, we can drag in a giant blue statue of Krishna that can fill the mezzanine area. But a nativity scene, nope. Not allowed.”

    American Tourist: “That’s discrimination.”

    Me: “I know. Tell me about it. I think it’s unfair and discriminatory, and I’m not Christian. We’ve tried to get Council to back down, but have failed for the last five years. But I suppose if enough customers complain…”

    American Tourist: “Ah… right. So where can I find some comment forms?”

    Me: *points it to her*

    American Tourist: “Right. I’ll get to it in a minute. Can I take photos? The trees are lovely.”

    Me: “Usually, no. But what the hey, it’s the holidays, so one or two I suppose.”

    American Tourist: “Thanks!”

    (Suddenly, a local patron comments loudly between the both of us and points at the Christmas trees.)

    Local: “Holy Jesus and Lord. Such displays of idolatry. Such sinful displays here in a public space. Jesus will be spinning in his grave to see such displays.”

    (Both of us stand there silent for a minute or two.)

    American Tourist: “You know what, dear? I’m not going to put in that complaint. Maybe the Council has a fair point after all.”

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