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    Putting The Bus Into Busy

    | Toronto, ON, Canada | Food & Drink, Top

    (My mother and I go to lunch at a popular fast food restaurant. The store’s location is in a plaza directly across the street from the local mall; as such, despite the fact that it is the lunch hour, there are few customers in the dining room other than us, though the drive-thru is a flurry of activity. We wait at the counter, and the woman there takes our order.)

    Cashier: “Will there be anything else today, sweetie?”

    (I am a pretty scrawny and short eleven year old, and painfully shy.)

    Me: “No thank you, that’s okay. But um… there’s a bus full of kids coming here for lunch. They should be here soon.”

    Cashier: “Wait, what?”

    My Mother: “Well, my daughter was late to school today because of a doctor’s appointment. I normally drop her off with a note for the teacher, but her grade is on a field trip touring the local police station up the street from the restaurant. I drove her to the station and stayed with her as we caught up with the tour, and then decided to drive the two of us to the restaurant after. We’re here first because it takes time to load up two classes of kids into a school bus.”

    Cashier: *pale* “Could you just wait one moment, please?”

    (She goes and gets her manager, and my mom and I explain everything again.)

    Manager: “How many people are we talking about here?”

    Mom: *to me* “How many kids in your class, honey?”

    Me: “It’s not just my class. It’s [other teacher]’s class too, and there’s 25 kids in hers. [My teacher] has 27 kids, but there’s [classmate] and [teacher’s aide] ’cause she’s special ed. And [third teacher] has some of his kids too, so…” *does the mental math* “Maybe 60 people?”

    Manager: “60. Some adults, mostly kids.”

    (She breathes deeply in and lets it out slowly with a whoosh.)

    Manager: “Got it.”

    (She turns to her crew, barks out orders, and the previously laid-back kitchen area explodes into action. Meat’s on the grill, batches of fries and nuggets are dropped into the fryer and just in time because five minutes later my classmates and teachers are swarming the place. The manager was nice enough to track me down in all the fuss and give me a free sundae. It wouldn’t be until years later, when I was working in fast food myself that I appreciated the reprieve even a few minutes’ advance warning could bring!)

    A Disabling Argument

    | Champaign, IL, USA | Bad Behavior, Theme Of The Month

    (I work in the computer department at a major electronics retailer. Another employee is helping a woman who is pushing around a man in a wheelchair while I am looking at tablets with another customer. The woman and the man in the wheelchair leave the other employee and begin looking at tablets at the opposite end of the row. When they move away from the display, I scoot down to show those tablets to my customer. The woman makes annoyed noises but doesn’t say any words.)

    Me: *to my customer* “So, the main differences between this tablet and the ones at which we were just looking—”

    Woman: “You know, you need to learn how to treat people. Just because he…” *motions to the man she’s pushing around* “…is in a wheelchair doesn’t mean we don’t want to look at the tables too! You can’t just walk right in front of us and block our view!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, when you folks backed away from the display table, I thought you were done looking at that one. Here, you can keep looking at this one, and we’ll look at iPads for a bit.”

    Woman: “No! We’re leaving! You can’t treat people like this just because they’re in wheelchairs!” *leaves with her companion, who hasn’t said a word*

    Customer: “That was weird. They left the table. How were we supposed to know they were still looking at it?”

    Me: “Welcome to retail, sir.”

    (After finishing up with my tablet customer, I go to tell another employee about the few weird customers I’d already had that morning. Just as I get to telling him the wheelchair woman…)

    Me: “And the third crazy customer…”

    (Just as I say this, she storms up the aisle screaming loudly enough that people from across the store are looking, now without the man in the wheelchair, which means she must have left him in the car.)

    Woman: “You! You need to learn how to treat people! You can’t ignore people just because they’re in a wheelchair! You think you can just walk in front of us while we’re looking at things because he’s in a wheelchair!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I didn’t mean to block your view. Can I explain what happened from my perspective?”

    Woman: “No! I know what happened! I don’t want to hear your lies! You can’t lie to me!”

    Me: “Ma’am, you left the table. The other customer I was helping also thought you were done with that tablet. It had nothing to do with anyone being in a wheelchair. I am sorry that I moved in while you were still interested in looking at that tablet, but I did offer it back to you right away, and you decided to leave instead of accept that offer.”

    Woman: “What’s your name!? I’m reporting you to a manager for lying and discriminating against people in wheelchairs! And I’m calling corporate to report you! That’ll teach you a lesson about treating people in wheelchairs fairly!”

    (The customer is now crying and letting out the occasional loud sob.)

    Me: “My name is [name]. Feel free to report me if you think that’s what you need to do.”

    (As the customer leaves, I turn back to the employee to whom I was talking before the crazy woman returns. He has been watching the whole incident with a shocked look on his face.)

    Me: “So, I guess now I don’t need to fill you in on how crazy that third customer was.”

    (My very next customers were an older couple that waited for me to free up because I’d helped them pick out a computer before and they thought I gave them excellent service. The couple was a woman who was pushing the man around in a wheelchair!)

    To And Fro Is The Way To Go

    | Houston, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Top

    (It’s the holiday season, and I’m shopping for DVDs as gifts for my family. I see a movie that I want to get for myself, but decide against it. A few minutes later, I change my mind, but the movie has disappeared. I take the rest of my purchases up to the counter, where I notice the customer in front of me is about to buy the movie I was looking for.)

    Me: “Ah, so that’s where it went.”

    Other customer: “Pardon me?”

    Me: *chuckling* “I was thinking about getting that DVD, but when I went back to the shelf, it was gone. I couldn’t figure out what happened to it.”

    Other customer: “Here you go!” *hands me the DVD*

    Me: “Thanks, but I don’t really need it. You go ahead.” *I hand the DVD back to her*

    Other customer: “If you want it, by all means, please take it.” *she hands me the DVD again*

    Me: “Are you buying this as a gift?”

    Other customer: “Well, yes, but…”

    Me: “Then you should definitely take it. I’ll pick it up some other time.” *I hand the DVD back to her*

    Other customer: “Are you sure? Because I can easily find something else.”

    Me: “I’m positive, but thanks again.”

    (At this point, we realize the cashier is staring at us with wide eyes.)

    Other customer: “Miss? Is everything okay?”

    Cashier: (emotionally) “You two are the only nice customers I’ve dealt with all day!”

    Needs To Take A Chill Pill

    | Portland, OR, USA | Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Health & Body, Theme Of The Month

    (I’m at a chain company pharmacy/mini-stores getting a bottle of water. As I pass by the pharmacy, I witness an exchange between a very burly, muscular customer and a short, skinny female clerk.)

    Customer: “I need to refill my prescription.”

    Clerk: “Well, I’m sorry, but according to our systems, you have no refills left. You’ll need to contact your doctor and get a new prescription.”

    Customer: “What?! I want my pills. Give me my pills!”

    (The exchange continues for a while, with the customer getting more and more agitated. The clerk appears to be frightened and close to tears. The commotion is drawing the attention of the people around.)

    Customer: “You dumb b****, are you f***ing stupid? Give me my pills or there will be a problem.”

    (At this point, I step between him and the clerk behind the counter.)

    Me: “Look buddy, she already said that she’s not giving you pills and told you what to do. So you better just listen to her, leave, and stop making an a** of yourself.”

    (For a moment he looks like he is going to hit me, then just stomps away swearing under his breath.)

    Me: *to the clerk* “I’m sorry you had to deal with that.”

    Clerk: “It’s alright. Thank you for that. Here, that water is on me, okay?”

    Disobedient Kids Can Leave You Pooped

    | ID, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Theme Of The Month

    (At our summer camp, we have a new shower house/bathroom building installed. With it came a septic system. The covers of the tanks are simply planks of wood. This causes some kids to walk over the short fence around the leech field, and bounce on the planks of wood. It is nearly lunch time, and I’m with some of my family and co-workers.)

    1st kid: “Woo!” *starts bouncing on plank*

    Mom: *shouting at 1st kid* “Hey! Get out of there!”

    (The wood slides around, and his leg falls into the tank.)

    1st kid: “Eww! What is that?”

    Mom: “You see that building behind you?”

    1st kid: “Yeah?”

    Mom: “That’s the bathrooms”

    1st kid: “Yuck! I just fell in poop?!?”

    Mom: “Yep.”

    1st kid: *running to clean himself off* “Eww!”

    (A short while later, a 2nd kid starts bouncing on plank.)

    Mom: *looks at 2nd kid* “Get off of that!”

    (As she turns her head around, we all hear a splash.)

    Mom: “Did he just…?”

    Younger brother: “Yep.”

    (With that, my 5’10 younger brother runs to the tanks, and pulls the kid out, with one hand.)

    2nd kid: *visibly shocked* “What was that?”

    Younger brother: *plainly* “That was poop. You need to take a shower”

    2nd kid: “Okay…” *starts heading to campsite”

    Mom: “No. You need to shower in your clothes, and then head to get new clothes, then shower again.”

    2nd kid: “Okay…”

    (After he gets in…)

    Older brother: “I bet he’s going to have a crappy day.”

    (We all look at each other, and laugh at the pun he accidentally made. We continue on with it.)

    1st coworker: “A really crappy day.”

    2nd coworker: “He’s going to be in deep doo-doo.”

    Me: “Yep. Waste deep.”

    Coworker: “No, he’s swimmin’ in da poo-l!”

    (I am signaled that I am needed elsewhere.)

    Me: “This is a crappy conversation; I’m leaving.”

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