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    Crazy Old Lady 1, Bag Boy 0

    | Seminole, FL, USA |

    (I was a cashier at a local grocery store one summer. At 9 o clock every night, it was the bagboy’s duty to clean the store…which included vacuuming the rugs in front of the automatic doors. One night, about 8-8:30, an elderly lady comes in and sits by the doors.)

    Me: “Hello! How are you tonight, do you need any assistance?”

    Lady: “No, I’m fine, I’m just going to sit here.”

    Me: “Okay, then.”

    (She sits there until about 9 o clock until a bagboy comes out with a vacuum cleaner…he proceeds to do his job.)

    Lady: “AAAH!!! What is that? What is that horrible noise? I can’t take it! I can’t take it!” *Walks up to the bagboy* “What are you doing? Stop it! Stop it!”

    Bagboy: “I’m just vacuuming the rugs…”

    Lady: “Stop it! I can’t take this noise! Why are you doing this?!”

    Me and the other cashiers: “…”

    (She goes back to sit down and doesn’t leave until late. Our managers come out and forbid the bagboys from vacuuming while she is there. She then proceeds for a couple more times that week to come in at 8 o’clock and if some bagboy even brought out the vacuum cleaner, unaware of who she is, they get an earful about the horrible noise that afflicts her.)

    The Sound Of Silence

    | Bellingham, WA, USA |

    Me: “Thank you for calling ****, how may I direct your call?”

    Lady: “Can I get your Orient kitchen?”

    (I put her on hold, page the kitchen. 30 seconds later, the phone rings.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling ****, how may I direct your call?”

    Same lady: “Yeah, I was holding for the Orient kitchen, I think I got disconnected.”

    Me: “Just a sec.”

    (I put her on hold again, page the kitchen again. 30 seconds later, phone rings again.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling ****, how may I direct your call?”

    Same lady: “You keep hanging up on me! Every time I call for the kitchen, you hang up on me.”

    Me: “Ma’am, I am putting you on hold.”

    Lady: “No, you keep hanging up on me. You say hold and then there’s silence.”

    Me: “If I was hanging up on you, you would hear a dial tone. The silence is you being on hold. So if you wait a minute, I will get the kitchen for you.”

    Lady: “Okay.”

    Me: “Now, there is going to be silence. This isn’t me hanging up on you. You are being put on hold. Just wait and someone will pick up the phone. ”

    Lady: “Thank you.”

    (I put her on hold and turn to see my co-workers laughing at me behind my back. I question the state of humanity.)

    I Gave Birth To A Guinea Pig

    | Philadelphia, PA, USA |

    Me: “Hi there ma’am, what can I get for you today?”

    Customer, with her young son: “Yeah, could I have a piece of that bologna so my son can taste it?”

    Me: “Sure, would you like to try it too?”

    Customer: “Oh no thanks. I just want to see if my son is allergic.”

    Me: “…”

    Focal Discrimination

    | Salem, NH, USA |

    (I’m working at the cigarette counter. I wear glasses–this is critical.)

    Me: “How can I help you today?”

    (Customer is clearly not from this country and speaks in broken English with a thick accent.)

    Customer: “Glasses!” *points at my face* “Glasses!”

    Me: “You like my glasses?”

    Customer: “No glasses. No glasses!”

    Me: “You don’t like my glasses.”

    Customer: “Not you. No glasses.”

    Me: “Not me? No glasses? You want someone without glasses?”

    Customer: “Yes. No glasses!”

    (I look over at another cashier and a nearby register who heard everything and have her switch with me. Meanwhile everyone around us is cracking up laughing.)

    Not Quite Getting What “Return” Means

    | Old Bridge, NJ, USA | Top

    Customer: “I’d like to return these ice pops.”

    Me: “Ok, I just need to see your receipt.”

    (I take the box of ice pops.)

    Me: “…this is an empty box!”

    Customer: “Well, we ate them. Some of them taste good, but some of them had a weird taste, so we threw them out.”

    Me: “I can’t give you money back on something you already ate.”

    Customer: “Why are you so difficult?! I’m never shopping here again!”

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