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Putting The Pain In Pain Au Chocolat

| Portland, ME, USA | Food & Drink, Math & Science, Top

(I’m 21 years old, but look considerably younger. I have just spent the day with my professor collecting ticks for a research internship, as well as driving quite a bit to find proper fitting gear for the next time we go out.)

Me: “…and I’d like a chocolate pastry.”

Cashier: “Okay! That’s the last one; they’re fantastic!”

(The customer behind me suddenly starts shouting.)

Customer: “NO! I wanted one of those; what makes you so special you get to have one? I’m your elder; you should give it to me!”

Me: “Ma’am, I was here first, and I’ve had a long, stressful day. I would like to get it, as it is the first thing I will have eaten since 7:30 this morning.”

Customer: “What could you have done that was so stressful? You’ve clearly been laying out in the sun; you’re sun burnt for crying out loud! I’ll have you know that I have had an extremely stressful day, and as your elder, I would like this pastry.”

Cashier: “Ma’am, she was here first. Unless she wants to give it to you, I am going to let her have it.”

Customer: “Well, she should give it to me. I mean, how hard is it to lay out in the sun all day?”

Me: “Ma’am, with all due respect, I have been outside working in the field all day, capturing small mammals and collecting deer ticks from them, and releasing them. I have dealt with angry squirrels, as well as a very frightened cardinal. I then had to drive about 300 miles today to find proper fitting gear. While I may look younger, I am 21 years old. I would like that pastry, as it is now 5:00 pm, and I have not eaten anything since this morning, and I need to continue driving home after this. If I may ask, what was so stressful about your day that could possibly compare to that?”

Customer: “I BROKE A NAIL! Do you understand how much that hurts?”

(The customer storms away to get a manager, who, having heard the whole thing, laughs in her face.)

Retail Problems

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Smiling On The Outside

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He’s Not Fine With It

| Zion, IL, USA | Books & Reading, Money

(A few weeks earlier, we had a massive power outage in the area. Even after we got power back, the system was down for a time, and patron accounts were not accessible. Because of this, if anybody wanted to use the public computers, we had to print out a guest pass. The system is now working again.)

Patron: “I’d like a guest pass to use the computer, please.”

Me: “Actually, the system is back up. You should be able to sign in with your card.”

Patron: “The fines on my card are too high; it won’t let me on.”

Me: “Oh. I’m sorry. In that case, you can’t use the computer.”

Patron: “I don’t understand. Somebody printed a guest pass for me last week.”

Me: “That’s because the system was down. Nobody was able to use their cards then. But now that they’re back up, we have to go by the rules.”

Patron: “Tell me something: if somebody came in from a different library district and had to use the computer, what would you do?”

Me: “I’d give them a guest pass.”

Patron: “So how is this any different?”

Me: “If a patron came in from a different library district, then they wouldn’t owe us money.”

His Magnetic Personality Won The Day

| Boston, MA, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Health & Body, Love/Romance, Top

(I am an African-American male. When I was 13, I was in a car accident that has left me with a little bit of a limp since. I have two metal rods in my leg from the accident. An elderly customer comes into my lane for checkout.)

Me: “Hello, how are you today ma’am? Did you find everything you were looking for?”

Elderly Customer: “Actually, I couldn’t find this brownie mix.”

(The customer shows me a coupon for the mix.)

Me: “Oh, I can get that for you! Just a moment!”

(I start to walk away. My limp is showing, as it always is. I hear the woman speak up from behind me.)

Elderly Customer: “Excuse me!”

Me: “Yes?”

Elderly Customer: “I know that you guys like to walk like that, but could you hurry? I’m in a bit of a rush!”

Me: “What do you mean, ma’am?”

Elderly Customer: “The way you young lazy n****** walk these days. I’m surprised your pants are even up!”

(Now I get what she’s saying, and I feel I should show her something. We keep fridge-magnets for sale near the checkout. I call out to a nearby coworker)

Me: “Hey, [coworker], can you toss me a magnet?”

(My coworker tosses ones to me, and I stick the magnet to my leg.)

Me: “My mother and I were hit by a drunk driver when I was 13 years old. I am lucky I can even walk, since my leg is held together by metal rods.”

(The customer is now screaming incoherently; the only words that could be made out are racial slurs and shrieking. My manager walks up.)

Manager: “Excuse me, but I’m going to have to ask you to leave the store immediately. You cannot speak to my employees like that.”

Elderly Customer: “Fine! I don’t care! I wouldn’t buy anything any n***** touched anyway!”

(The customer continues screaming the whole way out, slowly being drowned out by people cheering her out. When I look at who has been behind her in the line the whole time, I see the girl from the coffee shop next door. I have had a little crush on her for a while. She says that was the most amazing thing she has ever seen, and asks me out!)

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