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    Calling At All Stations To The 19th Century

    | FL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Religion

    (I’m working in the deli section of my store part-time and studying computer science at a local university. Tomorrow I have an exam and it’s making it hard to concentrate at work, as the elderly woman I’m serving notices.)

    Customer: “Excuse me, young man. I said I wanted the smoked ham, not the honey ham.”

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry about that. I’m just a little distracted. Smoked ham coming right up.”

    Customer: “You really should pay closer attention to your work.”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am. I just have an exam tomorrow and it’s a little hard to concentrate.”

    Customer: “You look a little old to still be in high school.”

    Me: “I’m not in high school. I’m studying computer science at [University].”

    Customer: “[University]? Oh, no, no, no. That won’t do at all.”

    Me: *stopping slicing* “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “Oh, honey, you need to leave that university right away. You’re not smart enough to go to college.”

    Me: “Uh…”

    Customer: “If you were, you wouldn’t be working here. Besides, God ordained you to be part of the servant class. The purpose of your life is to serve the good people, like me.”

    (My jaw is hanging open.)

    Customer: “You need to invest yourself totally in your work here. This is what people like you were meant for. You should never try to rise above your station. You’ll make God very angry.”

    Me: “…well. I’m just going to step away from my ‘station’ for a moment. [Coworker], could you give me a hand here? I really need to step out.”

    (I walked into the cooler, closed the door all the way, and didn’t come back until the customer had gone and I had calmed down.)

    Mismanaged The New Management

    | Edmonton, AB, Canada | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Money

    (Our small store, previously belonging to a large chain, has been bought out by a smaller chain. Most customers are aware of it and acknowledge the changes.)

    Me: “And your total is [total]. Will that be everything today?”

    Customer: “Aren’t you going to take my loyalty card?”

    Me: “Sorry, but as we’re no longer owned by [Previous Chain] and [New Chain] doesn’t have cards, we’re not accepting any of them.”

    Customer: “Well, I NEVER! What AWFUL customer service this is. How on EARTH is anyone supposed to know that this store changed owners?”

    Me: “You walked in the front doors under a banner proclaiming the new name, with a cart labelled with the new name, buying brand products of the new chain while passing by dozens of posters explaining the changes, and are now standing in front of me, while I’m wearing the new store uniform, holding a flyer with the new store name.”

    Customer: “Well, how was I supposed to know?!”

    Change Can’t Make You Change

    | ME, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

    (I’m a 22-year-old queer female. While I don’t exactly go around singing my orientation from rooftops, I do have two queer pride pins on my work uniform and I always wear a rainbow bracelet, so it’s pretty hard to miss. A  man who’s about 60 years old comes through my line.)

    Customer: “I have a bad back. Can you lift that out for me?”

    (He points to a 15-pack of beer. I lift it out, scan it, and put it back in his cart.)

    Customer: “Wow, look at you. You’re pretty strong. Your boyfriend must be happy with you.”

    Me: “I don’t have a boyfriend.”

    Customer: “Well, why not?”

    Me: *deadpan* “I have no idea.”

    Customer: “Well, we can’t have that. How about I take you out to dinner tonight?”

    (I take a moment to very pointedly look at my two pins and then hold my arm up in plain sight and stare at my bracelet.)

    Me: “I already have supper plans.”

    Customer: “Come on, it’s just one night.”

    Me: *as I hand him his change* “I already have supper plans.”

    Customer: “That’s a shame. I would have let you keep the change if you’d said yes.”

    (After he leaves, my manager, who’s known me since high school, approaches.)

    Manager: *laughs* “Yeah, because eight bucks is gonna turn you straight and take away your standards.”

    That Snobby Attitude Isn’t Working For You

    , | Toronto, ON, Canada | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

    (I work at a high-end gourmet grocery store as a cashier. Most of our customers are well-off. I work within walking distance from the store. I often cut through the parking lot of another grocery store to cross the street to my place of employment. One day after my shift I am crossing the parking lot of the other grocery store towards home. I DO NOT work at the other store. I hear my name being called and see a snobby lady I recognize as one of my regular customers gesturing for me to come to her. Not wanting to be rude, I walk over to her and to see what she wants.)

    Customer: *snaps her fingers* “Finish loading my groceries into my car!”

    (She then gets into the drivers seat to wait. I stand there stunned for a moment then go to the driver’s side window.)

    Me: *politely* “I am off duty and I do not work actually for this particular grocery store.”

    Customer: *annoyed* “I am not stupid! I know you do not work here but I am a regular customer of your store and you should help me!”

    (I just look at her open mouthed and walk away. She flips out and starts yelling after me.)

    Customer: “Your manager will hear about this!”

    (The next day I am called to the office and my manager told me that the lady called and said I refused to help her pack her car. When I explained to my manager that this happened after my shift and at the grocery store across the street, he called the lady back right in front of me and sternly told her that if she ever harassed one of his employees or made a false complaint again he would ban her from the store. I never saw her face in the store again!)

    Cash-Backtrack

    | QC, Canada | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Money

    (I’m the supervisor in charge for the night and am standing right behind my coworker. The bank situated right next to us recently moved and they didn’t even leave an ATM, so we get lots of people who only want to withdraw money.)

    Customer: “I would like to withdraw money, please.”

    Coworker: “I’m sorry, but we do not offer this service. If you want to withdraw money, you need to buy something.”

    Customer: “But I don’t need anything. I just want money.”

    Coworker: “I’m sorry ma’am, but it costs us money when people take cash back, so we can’t accept any withdrawal if you do not purchase something.”

    (The customer insists she doesn’t want to buy anything and I can see my coworker starting to lose patience. So I turn around to face the customer.)

    Me: “We’ll charge you for a plastic bag. It’s only a nickel. Withdraw as much money as you want.”

    Customer: “Finally!”

    (My coworker gives me an annoyed look, but he proceeds with the transaction. As soon as the transaction is done with and the woman gets her money, she looks up at my coworker.)

    Customer: “I almost forgot! I’ll take a $2.00 lottery ticket!”


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