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    He’s Got Your Barack

    | Monterey, CA, USA | Politics

    (Just after the election in 2008, we sell out of Obama’s two books, as well as most books portraying him well. In order to sell more of the other candidates’ books, we put them out on a display with lower sales prices. A young man approaches.)

    Customer: “Dude, what’s with the Anti-Obama section?”

    Me: “What?”

    Customer: “Yeah, what do you guys have against Obama? Seriously?”

    Me: *noticing what he’s pointing at* “Oh. We’re sold out of his books, and we need to get rid of a few of these.”

    (Our city is overwhelmingly liberal, so we have a hard enough time selling these books as it is.)

    Customer: “Why do you even have this trash anyway?”

    Me: “It’s got nothing to do with politics. We just would rather sell these books than toss them out. If you need me, I’ll be shelving.”

    Customer: *to his friend as they walk away* “God, Obama just gets no respect.”

    How To Train Your Dragon Loving Child

    | Sydney, NSW, Australia | Awesome Workers, Family & Kids, Pets & Animals, Top

    (I’m a customer at a bookshop. As I’m browsing, I overhear a nearby mother spending five minutes patiently explaining to her young daughter that dragons aren’t real. The daughter is only about 3 or 4.)

    Mother: “For the last time, they’re just made up! For fun! They don’t actually exist!”

    Daughter: “But they’re in this book! Look!”

    Mother: “Oh, for… I’ve already explained this. Come on, we’re leaving.”

    Daughter: “Can I buy the dragon book?”

    Mother: “Of course not! That’s the last thing I need.”

    (They make their way over to the cash register, where the mother pays for a few books. The daughter looks up at the salesman with big eyes.)

    Daughter: “Excuse me, mister. Are dragons real?”

    Salesman: *leans in close* “Well, that’s what we have to tell you.”

    (The daughter’s face lights up instantly and the mother lets out an exasperated sigh. That man just made my day, and the day of a tiny little girl who loves dragons.)

    Taiwannical Behavior

    | Taiwan | Awesome Customers, Bigotry, Language & Words

    (I’m browsing in a bookstore in Taiwan, when I notice two Caucasian customers looking in the Young Teenage Girls section and laughing.)

    Customer: *to his friend, in English* “Watch this.”

    (He grabs a random book and hands it to an employee.)

    Employee: *in somewhat broken English* “Can… I… help you?”

    Customer: “Yes. I should like that you would exemplify the thesis behind the philosophies illustrated in this literature.”

    (I’m looking at them now, rolling my eyes, but the pair are having a good time of it and don’t notice me. The employee is very confused and mutters in English as best he can.)

    Employee: “Eh… uhh… sorry?”

    Man: *gesturing as he speaks* “You. Need to. Exemplify. The. Theories. Of the. Thesis. As manifest. In this literature.”

    (It’s obvious the customer has no idea what he himself is saying, and is just having a laugh at the employee’s expense. The other guy with him has a wide grin on his face like he’s thoroughly enjoying the exchange. I’ve had enough, so I go to the employee, take the book out of his hands, turn to the synopsis given on the back cover and turn to the two guys.)

    Me: *in perfect English* “A girl’s parents have just divorced and the father moves her to a new school. She’s having difficulty adjusting to a new environment and life as a young woman and the changes to her body as he matures. Because she’s new, she’s having a difficult time telling anyone about it and doesn’t know how to tell her father about the various changes she is experiencing with her body. She falls for a popular boy, but she’s new and awkward and nobody likes her. Eventually, she contemplates suicide.”

    (The two customers are staring at me like I’ve got ten heads. I decide to rub it in a little further.)

    Me: “What the h*** is this? You managed to find the girliest book in here!”

    Customer: *opens his mouth, as if to say something*

    Me: “Where’re you from?”

    Man: “Uh, uh, uh, uh… CANADA!”

    (Embarrassed, he and his friend dash out of the store.)

    Me: *to the employee in Mandarin* “They were just screwing with you. There’s only one thing you need to know in English if something like that ever happens again: you tell them:” *in English* “F*** off!”

    Would Make A Great Book One Day

    | Moncton, NB, Canada | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Wild & Unruly

    (I’m a cashier in a book store during the holiday season. It’s just me and one other cashier working the registers as it’s a slow afternoon. One woman walks up and asks to do a return on a book. As my coworker is authorized for returns, she goes ahead and takes over.)

    Coworker: “Alright Ma’am, I just need the receipt and the book you’re returning.”

    (The customer places a bag on the counter and hands the receipt to my co-worker. The coworker scans the receipt and start the return transaction.)

    Coworker: “And what would be the reason you’re returning this book?”

    (As she’s asking the question, she’s pulling the book out of the bag to inspect it before furthering the transaction. Upon seeing the book, she finds it is in fact extremely damaged. Before the customer can respond to the first question, my coworker speaks on the company’s policies.)

    Coworker: “…I’m sorry Ma’am, but we can’t take this book back, as it’s not in resellable condition.”

    Customer: “You have to take it back! You’ve got the receipt and you’ve got the book. Now do my return and give me my money!”

    Coworker: “I’m sorry Ma’am, but it’s company policy that we can not take any merchandise back that is not in re-sellable condition, unless it is found to be defective.”

    Customer: “Well then, that book is defective! Look at it—the cover is mangled and the pages are stuck together!”

    (Clearly this book has been mishandled before it was brought to be returned.)

    Coworker: “Again, Ma’am, we can not take this book because we can not put it back on the shelves.”

    Customer: “Get me your manager!”

    (My coworker complies with this and pages our manager up to cash. The manager arrives and my co-worker explains what is going on. My manager then reiterates what my coworker told the customer.)

    Customer: “No! You have to take it back. You have the receipt and you have the book! Now give me my money!”

    Manager: “Miss, as we’ve already said, we can not do that as this book is not in resellable condition.”

    Coworker: “Fine! If you won’t take it back, then I’ll make you take it!”

    (The customer then proceeds to rip the book from my coworker’s hands and tears it into pieces. She then proceeds to take the chunks from the book and throw them at my manager. The customer then storms out of the store.)

    Me: “Well… that was sure interesting.”

    Twice Bitten, One Goodbye

    | OH, USA | Awesome Workers, Bad Behavior, Theme Of The Month

    (We have an information and special orders desk on the upper level of our store. A customer has just taken it upon himself to come behind the desk to throw trash away despite the fact that there are several public trash cans around our store. I happen to see him do so.)

    Me: “Excuse me sir, please do not come behind the desk. This area is for employees only.”

    Customer: “You need to put trash cans where we can find them!”

    Me: “Sir there are three in the cafe, one over there, one in the restroom, and you’re welcome to ask an employee to assist you.”

    Customer: “Well I shouldn’t have to!”

    Me: “Sir, entering an employee’s only area of our store is technically a theft prevention issue and I’m afraid that I’ll have to ask you to leave the store.”

    Customer: *gets inches away from my face* “Bite me.”

    Me: “You need to leave the store right now.”

    Customer: “Bite me!”

    (He stomps off as I call my manager to assist me. He returns having heard me page my manager and ask to speak to my manager.)

    Me: “He’s already on the way.”

    Manager: “Hi, I’m the manager, what’s the problem?”

    Customer: *turns his yelling to the manager* “Your employee was completely out of control. I walked behind the desk to throw my trash away because I got food at your cafe, and—”

    Manager: “Wait. You walked behind the desk?””

    Customer: “Yes! I needed to throw my trash away and your employee was completely rude to me.”

    Me: “Sir, with all due respect, I was merely informing you that you had entered a customer restricted area.”

    Customer: “Your behavior was completely rude and unprofessional woman! If your store is going to have a food establishment in it, you need to have trash cans for your customers.”

    Manager: “Sir, there are three trash cans in the food establishment part of the store alone, and you could have asked her to throw the trash away, we are happy to oblige.”

    Customer: “Your employee was rude! I should not have to deal with such thing!”

    Manager: “I understand. I’m hearing your side of the story, and I’m hearing her say she was not rude to you. And sir, I understand that your response was to tell her to bite you?”

    Customer: *defensively* “Well, yeah!”

    Manager: “If that was actually your response, I’m inclined to side with my employee. You need to leave the store now, or I can call security.”

    Customer: “Well I can see talking to you is a waste of my time.” *stomps out*


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