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    A Minor Mistake, Part 2

    | Northland, New Zealand | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

    (I’m the night supervisor at a supermarket. I’m in my 20s but look younger than I am.)

    Customer: “I have wine here. You’ll need to call your supervisor.”

    Me: “That’s okay, ma’am. I am the supervisor on duty tonight.”

    Customer: “Really? Surely you have to be old enough to drink it before you can sell it.”

    Me: “Well, yes. But I am old enough to drink and have been for a few years now.”

    Customer: “No, you haven’t. You look like a child.”

    Me: “Ma’am, I can assure you. I’m in my 20s. But I’ll take that as a compliment.”

    (The customer begins to rant about child labour laws.)

    Me: “Thank you. Have a nice night.”

    Customer: “GO TO BED!”

    Related:
    A Minor Mistake

    Same Name, Shed Load Of Difference

    | ON, Canada | Crazy Requests, Home Improvement, Money

    (It’s the middle of January, in Ontario, early morning. I’m working the customer service/return desk when I get a call.)

    Customer: *slightly hysterical* “I need your help! I just need you to listen. My ex-husband just dropped off a shed at my place but it’s the wrong size! He got me the wrong size! I need to return it!”

    Me: “That’s not a problem. Just bring back the shed in the original box and the receipt. We can give you a full refund.”

    Customer: “But I don’t want a refund. I want a god-d*** shed!”

    Me: “I understand that. Just bring in the shed with the receipt and you can use the refund to buy a new shed.”

    Customer: “Well, how does that work?”

    Me: “We’ll refund the purchase to however much he paid for it. If it was cash, we’ll give you cash. If it was credit, then we’ll refund it to his card.”

    Customer: “He paid cash!”

    Me: “That’s fine. Bring in the receipt and we’ll give you cash. But I do need that receipt and the product in the original packaging. Without the receipt, I can still offer you store credit for the shed, but you may not get as much as he paid.”

    Customer: “Okay. I’m going to have to get a cab, and you still have the box.”

    Me: “I… what?”

    Customer: “You still have the box. My ex-husband couldn’t fit it in his truck. So they took the shed out of the box and left the box behind.”

    Me: “I need that box. I can’t take back something like that in bits and pieces. It has to come back in the same condition it left.”

    Customer: “I need you to take it back! You still have the box!”

    Me: “I appreciate your position, but I need that box. Without the receipt I can still offer you store credit but I can’t take it back without the box. I need it to sell it to someone else.”

    Customer: “But I need you to take it back! It won’t fit! My ex-husband—”

    Me: “Please, miss. Let me take a look around. If we’re lucky, the box hasn’t been sent to the compactor yet and we can put the shed back in the box when you get here. Give me your name and number. In 10 minutes I’ll call you back. It’s early and it’s been slow, so maybe I still have that box.”

    Customer: “Okay. I’ve already called a cab to pick me up and take back this lousy shed! Call me back soon.”

    Me: “Okay. I’ll do what I can. Please don’t leave until I call you back.”

    (I give her my name and position, and end the call. I start going across the store looking for the box. The compactor is completely empty. It’s not by our loading area. I’m starting to suspect something isn’t quite right. I go out to our outdoor garden area, which is where the sheds are stored. The area is closed for the season. It has two feet of snow and not a single footprint since the last snowfall. No one has sold a shed today. I call the customer back but only get voice mail. The customer has already left, there is no box, and no one remembers selling or loading a shed. I leave a message anyway, asking the customer to call me back, and that I can’t find the box. Three hours later I get a call.)

    Customer: “Is this [My Name]?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Customer: “I called earlier about the shed? I just got back and got your message.”

    Me: “Okay. So, I—”

    Customer: “I came into your store and returned the shed. You weren’t there. There was another man there, and they still had the box. They gave me a store credit. But you said that if I had the receipt and my ex-husband paid cash, then—”

    Me: “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Miss… I have been here all day. I haven’t left my desk once because I was expecting you. There has been no one else.”

    Customer: “I went to the store on the north side of town. Do you work in the store on the north or south side?”

    Me: “Miss, there is only one [store] in town.”

    Customer: “Well, no. They told me that there are two. One in the north and one in the south.”

    Me: “Miss, do you still have the receipt?”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    Me: “Could you read it to me? Right from the top?”

    Customer: “It says [Competitor], [address], [date]—”

    Me: “Miss, your receipt is from [Competitor].”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    Me: “This is [store].”

    Customer: “Oh…” *click*

    (The really funny part? That day, working at the returns desk at the competitor’s store was a guy with the same name as me! She came gunning right for him. The poor guy never had a chance.)

    How To Make Grandma Nun Too Happy

    | Toronto, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Family & Kids, Love/Romance, Top

    (I am Asian. I work as a cashier at a supermarket. Today I get one of my great-aunts in line. We chat as I am checking out her groceries.)

    Aunt: “So have you found anyone yet, [Name]?”

    Me: “Not yet, Auntie.”

    Aunt: “Well, [My Grandma] is getting anxious, you know. She wants great-grandchildren.”

    Me: “She already has great-grandchildren, Auntie. My cousins have kids, remember?”

    Aunt: “Then, your parents! They want to see you married and settled with grandchildren!”

    (My parents have never made any such demands of me, nor made any indication of such being expected. I remain calm and polite, as I am still at work and my great-aunt is a paying customer.)

    Me: *changing the subject slightly* “I think my sister would have something to say about that!”

    (My sister is both older than me and already married.)

    Aunt: “Oh, yes, that’s right! She did the right thing, you know; marrying properly.”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Aunt: “She married that nice [regional Chinese] boy. Not just [other Chinese], but [regional Chinese], like us. Proper. Your grandma said so.”

    (I am appalled, all the more so because she’s utterly sincere.)

    Me: “…I thought she was joking?”

    Aunt: “Oh no! Very serious. She was quite upset when [My Cousin] married that Vietnamese boy. And all these others, gwailo (white people) and…”

    (She goes on a tirade about not marrying outside the group. I am speechless.)

    Me: “Your total is [amount], Auntie.”

    Aunt: “Oh, I bought too much again! Ah, the boys will eat it. See you soon, [My Name]!”

    (I automatically wave goodbye, still dumbfounded. Finally, she’s bagged her things and gone.)

    Me: *thinking out loud* “Screw this. I might as well join a convent.”

    Next Customer: “I don’t think that’d work for a bright young girl like you, sweetheart.”

    (It is at this point I realize both my new customers are wearing habits and veils.)

    Me: “Oh, crap! Sorry, Sisters.”

    Nun #1: “Don’t be!”

    Nun #2: “We heard what she said. You love who want, when you want, in your own good time.”

    Nun #1: “Besides, running off to a convent doesn’t work like that these days. You need a vocation.”

    (She leans forward to take my hand.)

    Nun #1: “And convent life isn’t all that cracked up to be! You’re a good girl, and a lovely person. We always look for you when we stop by, you know. Take your time to figure out your path.”

    Nun #2: “And if it does lead to us, at least you’ll be prepared! Either way, have faith. Bless you, dear!”

    (I finish ringing them up, and they go on their way. My supervisor walks over.)

    Supervisor: “You all right?”

    (I shrug, dazed.)

    Supervisor: “Go take your break. You’re due for one, anyway.”

    (One of the weirdest and most heartwarming shifts I ever had!)

    I Used To Smile…

    For-those-that-work-retail

    Displacing An Order

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