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    Teaching The Next Generation

    , | Chicago, IL, USA | Top

    (I’m folding clothes when a young girl of about six comes up to me. Her mom is in a nearby fitting room trying clothes on.)

    Girl: “Why do you have to fold those shirts?”

    Me: “Well, they have to look neat on the tables, so I need to fold them.”

    Girl: “So whenever someone looks at a shirt, you have to refold it?”

    Me: “If it gets unfolded, yes.”

    (Just then another customer walks up to the table and proceeds to unfold the top shirt from the pile, look at it, and throw it back down on top of the pile.)

    Girl: “That must get really annoying.”

    Me: “You have no idea.”

    As The Checkout Line Churns

    , | Philadelphia, PA, USA | Top

    (I’m ringing up a customer and notice her last name is the same as mine. I have a very uncommon last name, so I made the mistake of mentioning this…)

    Me: “Your last name is [name]? Mine, too. Wonder if we’re related?” *chuckle*

    Customer: *very serious* “What is your name?”

    Me: “Oh, I was joking, we’re not related; almost all of my family lives up in New England.”

    Customer: *more serious* “What is your name?”

    Me: “Uhhh…I’m no–”

    Customer: “Do you have a brother named [brother's name]?”

    Me: “Yes, actually…”

    Customer: “Is your mother [mom's name]?”

    Me: “Uh, yeah…”

    Customer: “And your father’s name is [my estranged father's name]?”

    Me: “Well, he’s my biological father, yes.”

    Customer: *sticks out hand* “Nice to meet you, I’m your step-mother!”

    (The entire line of about a dozen people behind her gasps, like they were watching a soap opera.)

    Me: “Oh, God…please don’t tell my father I work here.”

    Customer: “You know why your father left your mother, right?”

    Me: “Uh…no?”

    Customer: “Because she cheated on him with [my stepfather]!”

    (The line behind her gasps again.)

    Me: “Oh, okay…”

    Customer: “You know, your father is very heartbroken about you. You’ve grown up to be such a beautiful young woman. You should call him and talk to him just so he can see how you’re doing.”

    Me: “Actually, we don’t–”

    Customer: “You and I need to go out for coffee sometime. I have a lot of stories to tell you.”

    Me: “Okay, well–”

    Customer: “I promise, I’m not an evil stepmother. Well, I’ll see you later, sweetie!” *bounces out the front door*

    Me: *speechless*

    Next customer: “Sweetie, are you okay?”

    Me: *still speechless*

    Next customer: “Why don’t you take a break? We don’t mind waiting.”

    Entire line: “No! Go take a break!”

    Me, to my boss: “Hey, I’m taking a break. I’ll be back in–”

    Boss: “For God’s sake, go home! I’ll see you on Monday.”

    The Next Bachelorette

    | New York NY, USA |

    (An elderly lady walks into a clothes store. She is wearing an exceedingly bright hat with a large, floppy flower on it. She obviously likes the hat very much because she looks at herself in every mirror she walks by.)

    Employee: “You sure look spiffy today, ma’am!”

    Elderly lady: “Young man, I look spiffy EVERY day!”

    A Time To Laugh, But Mostly A Time To Cry

    , | United Kingdom |

    (A woman and her three year old daughter leave the changing room and approach my counter. She looks to be flustered and in a hurry.)

    Me: “Hi there, can I help you?”

    Customer: “Just this, please.” *hands me her items*

    Me: “That’s £49.96, please.”

    (The woman frantically searches her bag for her purse and almost turfs the contents out onto the floor.)

    Customer: “I can’t find my purse.”

    Me: “It’s okay, take your time. Perhaps you left it in the changing room?”

    Customer: “No, I didn’t leave anything in there! Here it is.”

    (She hands me her credit card, I complete the transaction and hand her her purchases.)

    Me: “Here you go. Thank you for visiting today.”

    Customer: *nervous smile* “Thank you.”

    (The woman walks away hastily. Just before she gets to the shop door, her daughter speaks up.)

    Customer’s daughter: “But mummy, we did leave something in the changing room!”

    Customer: *starts walking quicker* “Shhh!”

    Customer’s daughter: *triumphantly* “We left my poo in there!”

    (The woman grabs the child by the hand and runs out of the shop. My colleague and I run over to the changing room to see for ourselves. Sure enough, in the corner of one of the changing rooms, there is a small pile of poo. We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.)

    Desperate Times Call For Half-Hearted Measures

    , | Canada |

    Me: “Three items? Here’s your fitting room, let me know if you need a hand.”

    (The customer goes in, stands there for five minutes and searches the fitting room.)

    Customer: “There’s no mirror.”

    Me: “Nope, but as you can see there’s a mirror right outside.”

    Customer: “That won’t do. Can I have the handicap room, please?” (The handicap room is a larger room with a bench and mirrors.)

    Me: “I’m sorry…that’s reserved for customers with wheelchairs and strollers.”

    Customer: “But I want it.”

    Me: “Sorry, it’s a store policy…obviously someone with a stroller or a wheelchair can’t fit in a normal fitting room, so we have to keep that one free.”

    (The customer lifts one arm, laden with jeans and shopping bags. She waves it around, and points to it with her other arm.)

    Customer: “…but, my arm is broken!”

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