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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    Category: Top

    Two Thumbs Up

    | Houston, TX, USA | Awesome Customers, Top

    (I have gone to the DMV to get a Texas driver’s license. They have an electronic fingerprinting machine that has a digital display to tell you what fingers go where and when. The woman helping me and I have the following conversation:)

    Employee: “Please put your four left fingers on the screen.”

    (I do so, and while she’s typing, the digital display changes to show me what fingers to use next. I move my fingers to mirror the display.)

    Employee: “But— what? Did you just change that on your own?”

    Me: “Yes? The pictures changed to the next step.”

    Employee: “But people never follow the directions. They never do it on their own.”

    (Then, after she takes my picture:)

    Employee: “Here, you can see what your picture is going to look like, since you can follow directions. Let me know if you want me to retake it.”

    (Best DMV experience ever!)

    Filled With Creamy Justice

    | USA | Bigotry, Food & Drink, Top

    Customer: “I’d like a donut.”

    Me: “What kind would you like?”

    Customer: *points out the donut* “But use tongs to pick it up.”

    Me: “Tongs?”

    Customer: “I don’t want anything touched by your white hands.”

    Me: “Okay…”

    (I use the tongs, and complete the sale.)

    Customer: *takes bite of donut* “This is good.”

    Me: “I made it fresh this morning. With my white hands.”

    Change Can’t Make You Change

    | ME, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Top

    (I’m a 22-year-old queer female. While I don’t exactly go around singing my orientation from rooftops, I do have two queer pride pins on my work uniform and I always wear a rainbow bracelet, so it’s pretty hard to miss. A  man who’s about 60 years old comes through my line.)

    Customer: “I have a bad back. Can you lift that out for me?”

    (He points to a 15-pack of beer. I lift it out, scan it, and put it back in his cart.)

    Customer: “Wow, look at you. You’re pretty strong. Your boyfriend must be happy with you.”

    Me: “I don’t have a boyfriend.”

    Customer: “Well, why not?”

    Me: *deadpan* “I have no idea.”

    Customer: “Well, we can’t have that. How about I take you out to dinner tonight?”

    (I take a moment to very pointedly look at my two pins and then hold my arm up in plain sight and stare at my bracelet.)

    Me: “I already have supper plans.”

    Customer: “Come on, it’s just one night.”

    Me: *as I hand him his change* “I already have supper plans.”

    Customer: “That’s a shame. I would have let you keep the change if you’d said yes.”

    (After he leaves, my manager, who’s known me since high school, approaches.)

    Manager: *laughs* “Yeah, because eight bucks is gonna turn you straight and take away your standards.”

    Hasn’t Quite Cottoned On

    | Australia | Extra Stupid, Language & Words, Top

    (I work in a fabric store and am a lot younger than I look, so customers often patronise me. I’m used to it.)

    Customer: “I’m looking for cotton fabric.”

    Me: “Okay, any particular weave? We have plain woven, knitted jersey, japara—”

    Customer: “I don’t think you heard me. I want cotton fabric.”

    (Deciding not to argue I take her to the cheapest cotton fabric, which is just plain woven poplin, very similar to the fabric they use to make bed-sheets.)

    Customer: *in a patronising tone* “Don’t you know anything? I want c-o-t-t-o-n!”

    Me: “Yes, this is 100% cotton.”

    Customer: “No, it’s not. Cotton is the fabric they make jeans out of.”

    Me: “Oh, you mean denim?”

    Customer: “No, cotton. Jeans are made of cotton.”

    Me: “Yes, jeans are made of cotton, but it is woven in a particular way to make a fabric called ‘denim.'”

    Customer: “It’s not called denim, you silly girl. Denim is a boy’s name. Cotton comes from a special animal and is used to make jeans. Or have you not gotten to that part of school yet?”

    Me: “Actually, cotton comes from a plant and has a variety of uses that are not just restricted to jeans. Now if you’ll excuse me, my shift ended two minutes ago and I need to get home and finish my university assignment, which is a literature review on the critical success factors of the implementation of enterprise resource planning information systems.”

    (I showed her the fabric she was looking for on my way out. She looked embarrassed when she saw the tag did, in fact, read ‘denim.’)

    Don’t Always Have To Scream For Ice-Cream

    | WI, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Food & Drink, Top

    (It is a busy night in the drive thru. I am trying desperately to catch up on the significant line, and the previous customer had asked for directions at the window after receiving her food. We sometimes miscalculate and get our dessert items ready too early, so the next customer’s ice cream is getting a little ‘melty.’ I know I should re-scoop it, but the line is so long and I hope she won’t mind.)

    Me: “Here’s your ice cream. [Price], please.”

    Customer: “I don’t mean to be a b****, as I know it’s not your fault they asked for directions, but could you re-scoop this for me?”

    Me: *ashamed* “Of course. I’m sorry.”

    (I get her a new one. She produces a $10 bill.)

    Customer: “Can you break this ten into two fives for me?”

    Me: “Here you are.”

    Customer:  *only takes one of the bills* “That one’s for you! Thanks for getting me a new ice cream!”

    Me: *astounded* “Thank you so much!”

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