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    Bound(ary) To Serve

    | Canberra, ACT, Australia | Bizarre, Health & Body, Theme Of The Month

    (We have a regular that comes in every Wednesday or Thursday night. This time, I’m on the register when he comes in. I am female, wearing a knee-length tunic over linen pants as it’s high summer and very warm.)

    Customer: *without saying hello* “Are you pregnant?”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “I was wondering if you were pregnant. Are you?”

    Me: “I don’t see how it’s any of your business, but no.”

    Customer: “It’s just that I had a haircut today, and my hairdresser was wearing a similar outfit to you. She was four months pregnant and got angry at me because I didn’t notice or say anything. So now I’m wondering, do all women wear what you wear when they’re pregnant?”

    Me: “I’m not sure why your hairdresser had such a strong reaction, but I’m pretty sure most women are wearing what I’m wearing right now because its 45 degrees celsius outside and not because it’s a secret code that we’re reproducing.”

    Customer: “Oh, good point. Sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude by asking personal questions.”

    (The very next week, he returns and again walks right up to the register.)

    Customer: “Do you have a boyfriend?”

    Me: *sigh* “Yes.”

    Customer: “Are you going to marry him?”

    Me: “Okay, sir, I think we need to have a quiet chat about boundaries…”

    Moved On And Far Away

    | Canberra, ACT, Australia | Bizarre, Theme Of The Month

    (A colleague of mine has just gotten a job as an editor and left us, but she and I keep in touch as we are good friends. I am working in the shop when this happens but we both live in the area. Please note: she is very tall and good-looking. A customer comes in, does a few laps, and then comes up to me.)

    Customer: “Where is [Colleague]?”

    Me: “I’m afraid she’s moved on, sir. She doesn’t work here anymore. Can I help you?”

    Customer: *completely losing it* “WHAT DO YOU MEAN SHE DOESN’T WORK HERE ANYMORE?! WHERE IS SHE? WHHEREEEE ISSS SSHHHHEE!?”

    (Before I can answer, he storms out, enraged. I call my colleague on her mobile.)

    Me: “Did you say you were having dinner out tonight?”

    Customer: “Yeah, I’m just two doors down from you actually. Why?”

    Me: “When you’re done, don’t walk to the parking lot by yourself.”

    Her Logic Isn’t Adding Up

    | IN, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Math & Science

    Me: “All right, your total comes to $26.48. Will that be cash, check, or card?”

    Customer: “Card, please.”

    (We finish the transaction. When I hand the customer her receipt, she squints suspiciously at it.)

    Me: “… Um, is something the matter?”

    Customer: “That doesn’t sound right. It’s too high. You must have overcharged me.”

    Me: “Well, let’s take a look at your receipt. This item was about $10, these two were $5, this was $3, and this was $1. And there was sales tax, too. It can add up quickly.”

    Customer: “I don’t believe your math. You overcharged me! This is way too much for what I bought.”

    (I pull out a calculator and add each item’s exact price together. I also calculate sales tax and add that to the total, which comes out to $26.48, the exact amount she paid.)

    Customer: “No, you added wrong! I don’t believe your math!”

    (I add everything again, slower.)

    Customer: “I don’t believe your math!”

    Me: “I don’t know what to tell you, ma’am. I’ve just proved to you that I charged you the correct price. If you’re not happy with your purchases, you can return them here.”

    Customer: “No, I need these things. I’ll take them even though you overcharged me!”

    Fortune Favors The Foretold

    | USA | Bizarre, Books & Reading, Theme Of The Month

    (A customer walks up to bookstore counter. Our bookstore isn’t very big, and it doesn’t have a lot of employees, but a lot of regulars.)

    Me: “Are you having trouble finding any books?”

    Customer: “I need my fortune told!”

    Me: “I’m sorry. This is a bookstore. We don’t do fortune telling.”

    Customer: “I need my fortune told!”

    Me: “Again, we don’t do fortunes. But if you need to find a book, I can get someone to help you.”

    Customer: “I NEED MY FORTUNE TOLD!”

    (At this point I realize it’s easier to give the customer her fortune, real or not, than to try to explain that, no, this is not a fortune telling area.)

    Me: “Okay, okay. Give me your hand.”

    Customer: “What? Really? Oh, thank you. Thank you!”

    (Customer eagerly gives me her hand, palm up. I stare intensely at it, tracing each line and muttering to myself.)

    Me: *looks up* “Your future…”

    Customer: “YES!?”

    Me: “Your future is uncertain.”

    Some Customers Are A Pet Hate

    | PA, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Family & Kids, Pets & Animals

    Caller: “Hi, I’m looking for a specific book to help my children deal with the death of a pet.”

    Me: All right. Can you give me the title or author?

    Caller: “Oh, I don’t remember it. But I’ve purchased copies from your store before. I know you have it!”

    (I search for at least fifteen minutes; using every variant on the phrase ‘death of a pet’ I can think of. The customer alternates between telling me about her poor sick dog, insisting that she’s purchased it here before, and that I really should know about it. Finally, I find the book she wants.)

    Customer: “Thank you! That wasn’t all that hard, now, was it?”

    Me: “All right, ma’am. I’m afraid we do not have this book in the store right now. I’ll happily order you a copy—”

    Customer: “When will it get here?”

    Me: “Three to five business days.”

    Customer: “But she’s being put down tomorrow! I was counting on you!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m very sorry, but this is the best I can do, unless you want to order the book from our website yourself and pay extra for overnight shipping.”

    Customer: “… You know what? Never mind. I’ll just tell the kids she went to live on a farm, and tell them the truth in a few years.” *click*

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