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  • Surrogate Swearers

    | Hampshire, UK | At The Checkout, Language & Words, Top

    (I am working on a till that frequently has problems with the scanner. I attempt to scan a customer’s item, but the barcode won’t go through and I mouth a swear to myself.)

    Customer: “Go on, say it.”

    Me: “Sorry?”

    Customer’s Husband: “What did she do?”

    Customer: “Swore under her breath.” *turns back to me* “You can say it. Vents the frustrations!”

    Me: “I’m afraid I’m not allowed to swear in front of the customers.”

    Customer: “Shall I say it for you?”

    Me: “If you like.”

    Customer: “Bugger!”

    Me: “Ah, I feel better now.”

    Never Say No To La Novia

    | Roselle, NJ, USA | Awesome Customers, Bigotry, Family & Kids, Top

    (I am watching my girlfriend’s two-year-old sister near the counter while she does her shopping. Her sister is learning to talk in Spanish, so I’m quizzing her with colors. While we’re playing, a seven-year-old girl approaches us and asks to play because she takes Spanish at school. Everything is fine until the girl’s mother comes.)

    Mother: “Leona, what are you doing? You know not to bother people.”

    Me: “Oh, she’s not, ma’am. She just asked to play with me and my girlfriend’s sister.”

    Mother: “Girlfriend?” *thinks for a few moments* “Oh, a close friend! Sorry, I was thinking you meant a girl you were dating.”

    Me: “I did. I am dating a girl. This little girl is her sister and your daughter was just playing with us. She wasn’t bothering us.”

    Mother: “What?! Leona, you were playing with a homo?!? Come over here, right now!”

    (In tears, the girl slowly approaches her mother, who yells at her about how she knows better than to interact with “h***-bound sinners” like me. She then chides me for “sinning” around such a small child, referring to my girlfriend’s sister. While I’m speechless, a man comes up, who I assume is the girl’s father.)

    Father: *to the mother* “I got the rest of the stuff. What are you yelling about?”

    Mother: *to her daughter* “Tell Daddy what you did!”

    (In hysterics, the girl tells her father what happened, ending her telling by clinging to his leg and apologizing over and over. I’m feeling dreadful and very guilty and am near tears myself. But to my surprise, this happens.)

    Father: *to the mother* “Are you serious?! What is wrong with you?! I don’t even know why I came out with you! Just go wait in the car! Sheesh!”

    (The mother, now apparently embarrassed, exits the store. The father calms his daughter down and apologizes to her and me before leaving. Right after they leave, my girlfriend comes up, having seen the whole thing.)

    My Girlfriend: “I actually know that family. The father moved in next door to me two weeks ago. That girl’s parents are divorced and her parents have joint custody of her, but today is her birthday and she wanted to be with both of them together. They said yes to make her happy, but I don’t think that’ll happen again.”

    (A few weeks later, my girlfriend tells me the father got full custody of his daughter. Now, she and my girlfriend’s sister play together on a daily basis, and I occasionally help her with her Spanish homework.)

    A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Woes

    | NY, USA | Criminal/Illegal, School, Top

    (My sister is doing a high school project at a grocery store where she has to interview the store manager. It’s in a shady part of town, so when she leaves her digital camera unattended for a few moments someone steals it. After alerting the security guard, he agrees to ask the customers in the store. The only people in the store at that time are my sister, the manager, my sister’s groupmates, a college student with an iPhone, and a few admittedly shabby-looking customers.)

    Guard: *to the college student* “Excuse me, sir, can I inspect your bag? There’s a reported missing item.”

    College Student: “I don’t have time for this! Those students should have taken better care of their belongings! I refuse to be searched!”

    Guard: “But—”

    College Student: “I’m a college student, for **** sake! Why would I steal a camera?!” *points to a shabby-looking customer*He’d have more reason to steal it! I refuse to waste my time for a bunch of kids who think their irresponsibility to take care of their camera makes them a priority!”

    Guard: “Sir…when did I ever say the missing item was a camera?”

    College Student: “I—”

    Guard: “I’ll need to search your bag now, or if you’re in such a hurry, I can have your ID.”

    (The college student consents and allows the guard to search his bag. Soon enough, the guard finds my sister’s camera.)

    Guard: “Is this yours, ma’am?”

    My Sister: “It is!”

    College Student: “What the f***?! That’s mine! I’ll have it back now and be on my way, please!”

    (The guard ignores the student and turns on the digital camera. The pictures show many pictures of my sister and her groupmates. There are also a few teenage pictures of my sister in that typical provocative teenage pose in front of the mirror while wearing a revealing two-piece. The college student turns paper white.)

    College Student: “Oh, that camera! Yeah, I found it on the table someplace and I was going to return it, but totally forgot and—”

    Guard: “Sir, I can either charge you with stealing, or I can charge you with stalking and pedophilia, since this lady is obviously a minor. Which one is it going to be?”

    (In the end, my sister got her camera back and the college student was taken away by police. The guard got a raise!)

    The Stairway To Heaven Is To The Left

    | Springfield, MO, USA | Musical Mayhem

    (This occurs when I have just gotten off of work. I have my hair down, and I am waiting on my fiancé to come pick me up. I’m an almost 29-year-old female with a passionate love for music. I listen to a bit of everything. Today, I happen to be singing to Kashmir by Led Zeppelin.)

    Older Customer: “STOP SINGING THAT!”

    Me: “Sir?”

    Older Customer: “You are singing Led Zeppelin. You are too young to listen to that. It makes me SICK!”

    Me: “Watch me.”

    (I put in my ear buds, crank the volume up and continue singing along.)

    Older Customer: “Young people trying to live in OUR ERA!” *stomps off*

    Things Every Employee Must Grow Accustomed To

    | Vancouver, BC, Canada | Bizarre, Food & Drink

    (While putting out some stock in the organic produce section of a small grocery store, I get asked this question by a well-to-do customer his early thirties.)

    Customer: “Is this all your organic stuff?”

    Me: “Yep, everything on this wall.”

    Customer: “Great! What about the rest of the produce? Is it safe to eat?”

    Me: “Yeah, they might have just used pesticides and whatnot on them.”

    Customer: “Yeah, but are they still grown on trees, or are they all made in a factory?”

    Me: “No…they’re all still grown on trees and in fields.”

    Customer: “So, they’re all still grown on trees and stuff?”

    Me: “Yep.”

    Customer: “Great! Thanks!” *walks off*

    (Another customer has heard our conversation and turns to me.)

    Another Customer: “They don’t pay you nearly enough, do they?”

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