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    Sorry, Please Chai Again

    | Olympia, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Liars & Scammers

    (I am working in a new coffee shop on campus that is very busy at certain times of the day. We start to notice a professor pulling a scam on us at our peak times. Every day she waits until we are really busy. She waits with her friend in line but does not order anything. Then, after ‘waiting’ a while, she demands to know where her drink is. Several students are pulling this scam as well. We put up a sign that says you have to present your receipt, and make sure we tell everyone that orders. All the scams stop, except one.)

    Professor: *slamming her hand over and over on the pickup counter* “Where is my chai!? Where is my chai!?”

    Coworker: “Do you have your receipt?”

    Professor: *indignant* “No.”

    Coworker: “Then you don’t have a chai.”

    (She never tried to pull the scam on us again!)

    Didn’t See That (Second) Coming

    | Detroit, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Religion

    (I run an independent coffeehouse on the main drag in a small town. A regular walks in, doing her usual purposeful strut to the counter.)

    Me: “Hey [Name], how’s it going?”

    Customer: “Good. You know what I want?”

    (I nod as I begin making her nonfat, no carb latte with extra ice.)

    Customer: “You know, I like Criss Angel…”

    Me: “Yeah, he’s… something all right.”

    Customer: “You know…” *drifts off for a second before coming back down to earth with the rest of us* “I really think he’s the second coming…”

    (I stop what I’m doing to look at her as I wait for the punchline. Turns out it’s not coming.)

    Customer: “He can do everything Jesus could do.”

    (I’m still waiting for the ‘HA! Funny huh?,’ but I see she’s dead serious and waiting for commiseration.)

    Me: “Criss Angel is a magician.”

    Customer: *nods smiling*

    Me: “An illusionist. He does tricks.”

    Customer: *her smile slowly fades to a look of total desolation* “Oh.”

    (I finished her latte and rung her up. She didn’t say anything else and walked out looking much less sure of herself. I almost felt bad.)

    Dethroning Assumptions

    | NY, USA | Books & Reading, Geeks Rule, Movies & TV

    (During a quiet moment at work, I overhear a college-aged guy snickering as he watches a woman in her mid-twenties at the next table. She’s reading ‘A Game of Thrones.’)

    Woman: *finally sets down the book and smiles politely at him* “Can I help you?”

    Guy: *still snickering a little, gesturing to her book* “Let me guess. You’re reading those because of the show, right? And the hot guys on it?”

    (This is so out of line that I consider intervening, but before I can, the woman the guy the most condescending smile I’ve ever seen in my life.)

    Woman: “I’m sorry. How old are you?”

    Guy: “What? Why?”

    Woman: “This book came out in 1996. I’m curious to see if you were even alive when it was first published.”

    (The guy gapes at her, then scowls, mutters a sexist slur, and gets up to storm out. The woman notices me watching and grins.)

    Woman: “This is my fourth time through these books, and I bet you anything I was reading the first one before he even knew how to read. Plus I’m gay, so I actually watch the show for the hot ladies!”

    (Faced with this, I do the only thing I possibly can and bow deeply to her.)

    Me: “Khaleesi!”

    Time To Call It A Night

    | ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Theme Of The Month

    (I work the overnight shift. There is an older gentleman who says he can’t sleep at night so he often comes through my drive thru on his scooter to talk to someone. I feel bad for him at night and talk with him because there’s no way for him to get inside, but whenever I see him in the light of day he gets a lot creepier. It’s about 6:30 in the morning when I’m leaving work. My dad has come in to offer me a ride home when the customer rides into the parking lot.)

    Customer: *yelling across the parking lot to my dad* “Where are you going?! That’s my night time girlfriend!”

    On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 7

    | Toronto, ON, Canada | Health & Body, Rude & Risque, Theme Of The Month

    (While I’m cleaning the men’s washroom, a regular has walked in.)

    Me: “I’m sorry. I’ll just be a minute longer and then you can use the washroom.”

    Customer: “Nope. Gotta go now.”

    Me: “Well, then, I’ll leave and finish when you’re done.”

    Customer: “Nah, don’t worry. I don’t have anything to hide.”

    (I only just managed to get out of the room before he finished opening his pants!)

    Related:
    On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 6
    On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 5
    On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 4
    On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 3
    On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 2
    On The Need For Hazard Pay

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