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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    Makes You Freeze In Place

    | Phoenix, AZ, USA | Bad Behavior, Health & Body

    (I work in a fairly large grocery store. Arizona heat can be brutal. As I am walking around the store, I see a shopping cart full of ice cream, but since it’s so hot, I don’t think much of it. As I am walking down the aisle, I look and see a man INSIDE the freezer.)

    Me: “Sir! Please come out of the freezer!”

    Customer: “No!”

    Me: “Sir, you could suffocate in there!”

    Customer: *in a whiny voice* “But it’s hot outside!”

    Makes An Age Of Difference

    | Canada | At The Checkout, Health & Body

    (I’m in my early twenties but I look younger than I am. Many people comment on it, asking if I’m old enough to be a cashier. This happens near the end of my shift one night, close to my twenty-second birthday.)

    Me: “So, your total comes to [total].”

    Customer: *as he’s paying with his card* “You look young, but you have the mannerisms and grace of someone in their twenties and sound older than you look.”

    Me: “Thank you?”

    Customer: “You look young, but you’re probably mid-twenties, maybe 24?”

    (After two years of people saying I look like I’m 12, or that I look too young to work, this is the best thing to hear. I must be grinning like crazy at this.)

    Customer: “Based on your expression, you don’t hear that too often.”

    Me: “You have no idea. I’m close to 22, but your guess is the closest I’ve heard in the two years I’ve been working here.”

    Customer: “Seriously? You have the manner and grace of someone in their early-to-mid twenties!”

    Me: *handing him his receipt* “Thank you for that. Not many people are happy to be asked if they’re older than they are. Have a good night!”

    The Highs And Lows Of Retail

    | Natick, MA, USA | Bad Behavior, Health & Body

    (I’m a bag girl and I’m bagging a customer’s groceries. An extremely tall man, like, 6’8″, 6’9″, comes over to me while I’m working.)

    Man: “Hey, did you know you’re, like, really short?”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    (I’m 4’11” and, while I’m not terribly sensitive about my height, I can’t believe he actually said this.)

    Man: “Well, compared to me, you’re really short.”

    Me: “And so is Stevie over there; he’s six feet. You are a rather tall person, sir. Excuse me, please, you’re blocking the bags.”

    Man: *suddenly offended* “It’s so rude of you to say something like that about my height. That’s a sensitive topic for tall people.”

    (The cashier is trying really hard not to laugh and the customer, who is maybe 5’2″, is staring at the man like she can’t believe this guy is for real.)

    Me: “It’s rather sensitive for short people, too, and you really were incredibly impolite about MY height. Please move; I need to bag this order.”

    (He stomps off in a huff and I turn to finish bagging the customer’s order.)

    Customer: “Do you take tips? You deserve one after handling that man.”

    Me: “I’ll take any tip that doesn’t involve drinking more milk so I can grow.”

    A Crackers Request

    | New Orleans, LA, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

    (I’m a cashier at a local grocery store. A woman comes to my line holding an open pack of crackers, one from a larger pack of eight.)

    Customer: “I got these crackers, and I got hungry so I started eating some, but then my grandson called and said these aren’t the kind he likes. Can I just pay for this one?”

    Me: “We don’t sell the packs individually; you’ll have to pay for the whole thing.”

    Customer: “But I don’t have any use for them!”

    Me: “Well, since you opened it, neither do we.”

    No ID, No Idea, Part 22

    | Norway | At The Checkout, Underaged

    (I’m at our local grocery store, buying some snacks and alcoholic beverages. The drinking age here is 18, and the store policy is to check the ID of anyone who looks younger than 25. Since I’ve used the same store my entire life, most of the cashiers know me and don’t bother to ID me. The customer behind me, who is also purchasing alcohol, has been glaring at me through the entire transaction. It’s her turn.)

    Cashier: “I’ll need to see an ID, please.”

    Customer: “Why do you need that?”

    Cashier: “Store policy.” *points to sign*

    Customer: *points to me* “You didn’t check her ID, and I’m clearly older than her. I’m not even sure she’s legal.”

    Cashier: “She is. ID, please.”

    Customer: “No! Not until you ID HER.” *glares at me*

    Cashier: *sighs and turns to me* “[My Name], may I see an ID, please?”

    Me: “Sure.” *hands over my university ID*

    Cashier: “Oh, you’re at [University] now? How’s that going?” *hands my ID back*

    Me: “It’s great, thanks for asking. Say ‘hi’ to your parents for me.” *I turn to leave*

    Cashier: “You too!” *to customer* We’ve known each other since we were six. ID, please.”

    No ID, No Idea, Part 21
    No ID, No Idea, Part 20
    No ID, No Idea, Part 19

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