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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    Branding Is All Smoke & Mirrors

    | Sydney, NSW, Australia | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior

    (The Australian government has recently made it law that all cigarette packages must be plain with no branding or colouring. A lot of people are angry over this and are taking it out on the cashiers.)

    Customer #1: “…and can I get a pack of [brand cigarettes]?”

    Employee: “Sure!”

    (The employee fetches them and leaves them on the counter while she finishes ringing up the customer’s other items.)

    Customer #1: “Hey! I said that I wanted [brand]. What’s this s***?!”

    Employee: “That is [brand]; it’s just a different package.”

    Customer #1: “Don’t you lie to me, you b****!”

    (He then grabs them from the counter and hurls them at her, but they bounce off her and land on the ground. She calmly bends down to pick them up.)

    Me: *to Customer #1* “Hey! What the h***, man?”

    Employee: *turns to me* “It’s okay.” *turns to Customer #1* “Sir, can I show you something?”

    (She gestures for the customer to look at the cigarettes.)

    Employee: “This writing right here says [brand] Optimums, see? And this number right here says 25. So, this is [brand] Optimums 25s, which is what you asked for. Have a nice evening.”

    (He storms out, and the next customer steps up. He’s been fiddling with his basket and looking impatient while the employee was dealing with the first customer.)

    Customer #2: *quietly* “You’re doing a very good job dealing with jerks like that. I’ve never seen such patience and poise in a young woman such as yourself; they are very admirable qualities to have.”

    Employee: *near tears* “Thank you.”

    Customer #2: “Don’t let vicious people get you down. You’re just trying to do your job.”

    (The manager, who had just returned from dealing with Customer #1 outside, overheard this gave Customer #2 his groceries for free for being a decent person!)

    Causing Infractions

    | Iowa, USA | Math & Science, Top

    (I work in a grocery store meat department. I’m helping a customer who is wanting items packaged specifically, like six steaks in two packages of three. She has been talking to me with a very condescending tone like I’m stupid. I am a science major in college.)

    Customer: “Can I get two packages of four rib eyes?”

    (I wrap the steaks in two packages and give them to her.)

    Customer: “You can add, subtract, and multiply, but can you divide?”

    Me: “I can divide, differentiate, integrate, and do logarithms, just to name some of what I can do.”

    (Her face goes pale and her tone completely changes the rest of the time I have to deal with her. She leaves in a hurry.)

    Someone’s Been Pumpkin At The Gym

    | Cleveland, OH, USA | Bigotry

    (I work in a grocery store, and we’ve just gotten some very large pumpkins for the fall season. I am a female.)

    Customer: “Excuse me, is there a man working here who could help me out?”

    Me: “Um, he’s somewhere around here. What did you need?”

    Customer: “Well, I really want that big pumpkin, but it’s so heavy and I can’t lift it.”

    Me: “Oh, I can get it for you!”

    (The customer puts her hand on my arm to stop me as my male manager walks by.)

    Customer: “You, can you help me with this pumpkin?”

    Manager: “Are you kidding me?! She’s much stronger than I am!”

    (I get the pumpkin into her cart with ease, and she doesn’t say a word to me.)

    Me: “There you go, ma’am. Have a nice day!”

    Counting To Eternity

    | Birmingham, England, UK | Awesome Customers, Bizarre, Top

    (I am working on the tills, and pretty bored when a transaction equals £12.34.)

    Me: “That is…” *glances at screen* “…ha! One, two, three, four!”

    Customer: “What?”

    Me: “Sorry, twelve-thirty four… one, two three, four. It just made me smile.”

    Customer: “Wow! Has this ever happened before? That’s amazing.”

    (As I rarely work the tills, this is actually the first time this has happened to me.)

    Me: “This is the first time. We’ll remember this for the rest of our lives.”

    Customer: “This is an unbreakable bond!”

    Me: “Stronger than marriage, some would say!”

    Customer: “You can’t divorce out of this!”

    Me: “It’s eternal!”

    (By now another customer behind is staring at us like we are mad.)

    Customer: “I’m going to have to tell all my friends about this! Can you sign my receipt?”

    Me: *signs his receipt*

    Customer: *walks away, grinning*

    Loonie Over A Toonie, Part 2

    | Victoria, BC, Canada | At The Checkout, Canada, Money, Tourists/Travel

    Me: “Alright, that’ll be $26.17, please.”

    Customer: “Do you accept American money here?”

    Me: “We sure do. And, just so you know, the exchange rate right now is even at 1.00.”

    (I finish counting out the change and hand it to the customer along with her receipt.)

    Me: “Your change is $23.83. Enjoy the rest of the day!”

    (She stands beside my till looking confusedly at her hand for a few seconds.)

    Me: “Is there something else I can help you with?”

    Customer: “What is this?!”

    Me: “That’s your change, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Why would I want this?! Why don’t I get American change back? I’m an American!”

    Me: “Unfortunately, ma’am, you are in Canada. We don’t carry American change on the tills.”

    Customer: *hesitantly* “But Canada is practically a part of the States, isn’t it?”

    Me: “No, ma’am, it’s not. If you have any more questions, my supervisor at the service desk will be happy to help. You have a nice day.”

    (She moves off to the end of my till, slowly puts away the money, and wanders off.)

    Next Customer: *jokingly* “That definitely made my day. Do you get those types here often?”

    Me: “You have no idea.”

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