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    An Alarming Lack Of Patience

    | MI, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

    (A man walks up behind the person at the counter, even though the line is away from it.)

    Cashier: “Sir, the line is over there.”

    Guy: “What? Where?”

    Cashier: “Right there, sir.”

    (Guy leaves. I go up to the counter. He returns.)

    Guy: “I’m going to pull the fire alarm if you don’t serve me.”

    Teenage Drama

    | OH, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

    (Due to a problem with teens destroying merchandise when unsupervised, my store has implemented a curfew which states that after nine pm, no person under 18 may be in the store unaccompanied by a parent or guardian. It’s frequent for children to lie about their age or say their parents are in another part of the store.)

    Me: *spotting two obviously underage kids* “Hey, guys, are you both 18?”

    Boy: *laughs* “No?”

    Me: “Are your parents in the store?”

    Girl: “…No?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, guys, but we have a curfew and after nine you need to have your parents in the store with you.”

    (They leave. About 15 minutes later a coworker spots them:)

    Coworker: “Hey, are you 18?”

    Boy: “Yeah.”

    (I radio my coworker to tell her these are the same kids we just spoke to. She kicks them out again. 10 or so minutes later I’ve moved to the upstairs of the store and I spot the boy again.)

    Me: “Hey, come on now; are your parents with you this time?”

    Boy: “Yeah, she’s just downstairs.”

    Me: “I’m sure. Look I need you to stay WITH your parents; you’ve been kicked out twice already.”

    Boy: “What? I need to sit on my mom’s lap?”

    Me: “You have to be accompanied by a parent after nine.”

    Boy: “She’s right downstairs.”

    Mother: *coming up the stairs* “Is there a problem?”

    (I try to explain to her about our curfew but the whole time she is shouting over me.)

    Mother: “HOW DARE YOU! I don’t understand why anyone would talk to a CHILD like this.”

    Me: “I’m sorry if I addressed your son inappropriately, but you see we have a curfew—”

    Mother: “YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m calm, but I’m trying to explain to you that we need your children to remain in your supervision at—”

    Mother: “GET YOUR MANAGER. NOW!”

    (I radio my manager who is covertly standing around the corner the whole time. The customer insists that I was screaming at her kids and that I rolled my eyes at her when she asked for a manager. After she leaves, another customer walks up.)

    Other Customer: *to my manager* “I just want to say that she was fine, and that lady was a crazy person.”

    Me: “THANK YOU.”

    All Wrapped Up In Sexual Orientation

    | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Bizarre

    Customer: “Can you wrap that?”

    Me: “Sure. Is it for a man or a woman?”

    Customer: “A man.” *pause and then rather frantically* “Oh, but he’s gay! Does that make any difference to how you wrap it?!”

    Sadly This Behavior Is Old News

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

    Customer: “One copy of the local paper, please.”

    Me: “Okay, that’ll be [amount].”

    Customer: “I just want to look at it for a minute.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, our newspapers are not for browsing. You will need to purchase it.”

    Customer: “When the h*** did that become a rule?”

    Me: “People were clipping coupons, marking up, and otherwise rendering the papers unsalable, so management—”

    Customer: “Well, I’m not going to do that! I’m here to buy gifts. Just give me the d*** paper.”

    Me: “Ma’am, I can’t do that. I’ll be happy to hold a copy for you until you’re done shopping and ready to be rung up.”

    Customer: “You f****** little b****. Whatever happened to ‘the customer is always right’? I’m one of your best customers! Get me your manager!”

    (I call my manager to the counter. The customer continues to berate me, at one point telling me she hopes I burn in h***.)

    Manager: “What seems to be the problem?”

    Customer: “Your employee will not let me merely look at a newspaper. I came in here today intending to purchase gift cards for my entire family for the holidays, but if this is the kind of customer service I get, I will take my business elsewhere!”

    (My manager looks at this customer, and I can see the moment he picks business model over me.)

    Manager: “Your behavior towards my employee was very rude, but given the holiday season, I’ll let it slide. Here is a newspaper. Please bring it to the checkout with your purchases when you’re ready.”

    (The customer walked off with her paper, and I was graciously given five minutes in the back to ‘get myself together.’ Two hours later, the cafe employees brought the news that the customer clipped three coupons out of the paper, spilled water on it, and left without buying anything.)

    Getting Out Of Your Square Bubble

    | USA | Bad Behavior, Tourists/Travel

    (The bookstore is in a small, fairly quiet town and we frequently get people asking for directions. On this occasion, a 50ish-year-old lady and her husband come in.)

    Customer: “I was wondering if I could get some directions? We are looking for the quilt square.”

    Me: “Quilt square? I’m not sure what you are looking for. Is that a store?”

    Customer: “No, it’s a piece of wood painted to look like a quilt. There are about 50 of them; they are hung up on the sides of buildings around the state. There is supposed to be one here.”

    Me: “Oh, I didn’t know anything about that. I can look it up for you though.”

    (I get on the internet and finally find the website. The whole time the customer is just chatting about how long it took her to find the square hanging on the barn. The only information I can find is that it is on a particular street.)

    Me: “Okay, I found something. This says that it is on [Street].”

    Customer: “Okay, but what building is it on?”

    Me: “I am not sure. I am not familiar with that street but I know it is towards town.”

    (The customer is starting to get frustrated for some reason, so I look up the street on Google Maps.)

    Me: “If you take a right out of the store, it looks like the road is about five streets down.”

    Customer: “But where is the square?!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I am really sorry, but I don’t know anything about the quilts. I can’t really tell you where it is because I have never seen it. If you go down the street, you will probably find it.”

    (At this point, I am starting to lose my patience. She isn’t even a customer for my store.)

    Customer: *grumbling to her husband* “I swear! These young people just don’t know how to get out of their bubbles! She’ll probably never leave [Small Town]!”

    (I just let her leave without saying anything, but it still bugs me to this day. She assumed I don’t have any culture because I don’t know where a piece of wood is. I am not American, was born in Europe, and am not yet an American citizen. I have lived in multiple states in USA plus some of USA’s territories. I am probably more traveled than she is.)