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    Playing The Race Ticket

    | OH, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Money

    (I am black/white biracial. I have just started working at a clothing and home goods store. We have a return policy that states that if an item doesn’t come back with a ticket, we have to go find one out on the floor. I’m working register, as are a Spanish/Mexican lady, a Puerto Rican, two African American women, and our Polish manager. An older African American lady comes up to the register five minutes before closing and wants to return a pair of jeans.)

    Coordinator: *who is Spanish/Mexican* “Sorry, ma’am, these don’t have a ticket and we haven’t received any of these in a while. We will have to find a pair on the floor to match the price.”

    Customer: *huffs* “Those pants were 12.99. Just make a ticket and take them!”

    (The coordinator sends out one of us to look for a pair.)

    Coordinator: “I’m sorry, but I can’t do that, ma’am. I need to have a number to make them from so that the computer will accept it.”

    (It’s taking a while to find a style that matches what the customer is trying to return and two minutes pass. During this time, the rest of us have finished behind the counter and are waiting for the return to finish so that we can close the store. Our manager has come up from the office to see what is taking so long.)

    Customer: *more huffs* “This is taking too long! Where’s your manager? I wanna talk to your manager about this!”

    (We all look at our bemused manager.)

    Customer: “What, that blonde lady?!”

    Manager: “I’m sorry, but this is our policy. To do the return, we need to copy a ticket.”

    Customer: *eyerolls*

    (A match is found and the return is completed. As the customer is stuffing her wallet back in her purse, she leaves the store, muttering.)

    Customer: “That’s racist. If I was a white woman it would’ve been done faster.”

    (We all turned to each other and start laughing.)

    Manager: “[My Name] is the only white person here! This blonde is all peroxide!”

    Has Hang Ups Over Not Pressing Buttons

    | Los Angeles, CA, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work at an IT department for a phone company handling calls from customers. This is the tail-end of a conversation my coworker has been having for over 30 minutes to help a self-proclaimed ‘Princeton-educated lawyer’ change the settings on her smartphone.)

    Coworker: “All right, ma’am, please listen to me. Do not touch any buttons on your phone before I tell you to. Do not touch any buttons before I tell you too. Please don’t press any buttons before I tell you. Now what you will need to do is [gives first set of instructions].”

    (The line immediately goes dead as the woman hung up. Three minutes later my coworker gets a flagged call saying someone is asking for him by name.)

    Customer: “Why the h*** did you hang up on me?!”

    Coworker: “Did you press any buttons?”

    Customer: “Well, yeah. You told me to press [button that also hangs up].”

    Coworker: “Pressing that button hangs up the phone, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Well, why didn’t you say something?”

    Southern Discomfort

    | Washington DC, USA | Bad Behavior, Bizarre, Food & Drink

    (I am giving out samples of hot sauce with tuna salad. An old man with a long grey beard and a thick Southern accent comes up to my table…)

    Me: “Hello, sir, would you like to try some tuna salad with hot sauce?”

    Customer: “Maybe. Can I see the hot sauce bottle?”

    Me: *thinking he wanted to see the ingredients* “All right, sure.” *I hand him the bottle*

    Customer: *carefully shakes the bottle, then tips it upside down to see how much is left*

    Me: “Sir?”

    Customer: “Good girl, you’ve used a lot of it.”

    Me: “Well, I’ve been serving it to a lot of people.”

    Customer: “Yee-hee!”

    (The man unscrews the bottle, then tilts his head back and starts shaking hot sauce into his mouth.)

    Me: “Sir! Sir, I have to ask for that back now!”

    Customer: “Hee-hee. You can’t say you’re Cajun unless you can do that. You need one of those little bottles. I can chug them. Can’t call yourself Southern otherwise. Yee-hee!”

    (The man handed back the bottle and walked off. I sanitized the bottle as thoroughly as possible!)

    Has No Meat Between Their Ears

    | Milwaukee, WI, USA | Extra Stupid, Health & Body, Pets & Animals, Top

    (I wear a leather duster, leather hat, and leather boots. I am working a booth for my employer and am approached by a customer.)

    Customer: “Leather is murder.”

    Me: “Well, the animal died for its meat. Might as well use its skin.”

    Customer: “Meat is murder.”

    Me: “Okay, so is eating anything else.”

    Customer: “I am a vegan. Nothing I eat or wear is alive.”

    Me: “Plants are alive.”

    Customer: “But they do not feel and are not really alive.”

    (I spot her leather boots.)

    Me: “What about your boots?”

    Customer: “They are made from vegan-friendly leather.”

    (I look again at the obvious cowhide name-brand boots.)

    Me: “They look like cowhide to me.”

    Customer: “But they are VEGAN friendly. The salesperson told me. I think they come from a leather tree. You know like a rubber tree.”

    Me: “There are no leather trees. They came from a cow.”

    (The customer is getting really mad and shouting at me.)

    Customer: “This isn’t about me wearing vegan leather! This is about you wearing non-vegan leather!”

    Me: “I am sorry, but there is no such thing as vegan leather.”

    Customer: “The salesperson told me it was vegan friendly. I bought them from [Major Boot Chain] and they wouldn’t lie.”

    Me: “Sorry, but the only place you get leather is the skin of an animal.”

    Customer: “Well, then cows must shed their skin like a snake and they used that. But this IS vegan leather.”

    Me: “If a cow sheds its skin it dies. That is how you get the meat out.”

    Customer: “LEATHER IS MURDER!”

    (The customer walks off pointing at me and yelling ‘murderer!’)

    Me: “Next?”

    Following Customer: “Did that just happen?”

    Me: “I would love to know what happened at the leather store that sold her the boots.”

    Not Happy About The Bright Future

    | KY, USA | Books & Reading, Technology

    (Finishing just this year, our branch underwent a three-year-long, multi-million dollar renovation. It was much needed as the original building was from the 1970s and no longer met building safety codes. We have received nothing but compliments on the updates until…)

    Woman #1: “Oh, my god! This is horrible!”

    Woman #2: “Isn’t it?”

    Woman #1: “Why is it so bright? Where are the dark corners for me to hide? Where’s the history? There’s no history here! I want my exposed brick! I want the busts back on the tables! Where are the busts?”

    Coworker: *to me* “Have we ever had busts on the table?”

    Me: “Not that I’m aware of.”

    Woman #1: “My taxes are not paying for this! This is awful!”

    (Woman #1 storms out with Woman #2. Neither actually looked at the books.)

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