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    Dealing With A Smoking Gun

    | CT, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

    (I work at a grocery store at the courtesy desk. Our store is relatively new and doesn’t sell cigarettes, unlike most others of the same chain. One day a woman approaches the desk.)

    Me: “Hello. How may I help you?”

    Customer: “Yes, can I have a carton of Marlboro Lights?”

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am. This [Store] does not sell cigarettes.”

    Customer: *shocked and annoyed* “What? Why not?!”

    Me: “The owner made the decision not to sell them before he opened this store.”

    Customer: “I can’t believe this. That’s just UN-AMERICAN!”

    (Her husband who was nearby hears her and walks up.)

    Customer’s Husband: Hmm? What’s the matter?

    Customer: “This store doesn’t sell cigarettes! Have you ever heard of that before?! It’s just un-American!”

    Me: “I’m sorry for the inconvenience. There is a store in the plaza that sells cigarettes just outside here.”

    Customer: “I shouldn’t have to! It’s just un-American to not sell cigarettes!”

    (The customer storms off leaving me and her husband to just stare in confusion.)

    Me: “Have a nice day, sir.”

    Customer’s Husband: “Yeah, not when I’m out shopping with her!”

    Surprisingly Latex Tolerant

    | Dover, OH, USA | Food & Drink, Funny Names

    (I am stocking the dairy department in the store.)

    Customer: “Where’s the latex free milk?”

    (I felt really bad correcting him and kindly pointed and said:)

    Me: “Sir, the lactose free milk is right over there.”

    Her Threat Is Not Worth The Paper It’s Written On

    | Lake Forest, IL, USA | At The Checkout, Wild & Unruly

    (My store offers customers the choice between paper and plastic bags. As we are very busy in the days leading up to Easter, we run out of paper bags and only have plastic. It is now the day after Easter. An old woman comes up to my register with a small cart of items.)

    Me: “Hello, did you find everything you needed?”

    Customer: “Yes. I need all this in paper.”

    Coworker: *who is bagging* “I’m sorry, ma’am, we ran out of paper bags.”

    Customer: “Now, I said I’d NEVER shop here again if you ran out of paper bags.”

    Me: “I’m sorry; we ran out just Saturday. It—”

    Customer: “Well, [Other Grocery Store] never runs out of paper bags! This store is just too cheap to buy enough paper bags.”

    Me: “I’m sorry but I can’t speak for [Other Grocery Store]. All I know is that it was very busy Friday, very busy Saturday, and paper bags don’t come in until Tuesday.”

    Customer: *gives me a look of pure hate*

    Me: “Your total is [total].”

    (I finish bagging her grocery in silence and hand her her receipt.)

    Me: “All right, you have four bags. Would you like some help outside today?”

    Customer: “No, just put it in the cart.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, we’re not allowed to let the carts outside of the store. I’d be happy to help—”

    Customer: “Just keep your d*** groceries!”

    (The customer walks right out the door and leaves behind her paid-for groceries. I don’t know what to do, so I just go and tell my supervisor. She freaks out and gets me freaked out about what our store manager will say to both of us. The customer’s groceries are still just sitting at my register. 15 minutes later my customer comes back, somehow looking both haughty and intensely embarrassed.)

    Customer: “Well, since they’re mine, I’ll just take them.”

    Me: “Do you need help out—”

    Customer: “NO!”

    But We Do Have Some Everlasting Gob-Stoppers

    | Annapolis, MD, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

    (It’s a snowy winter day on the East Coast. Customers are placing their items on the checkout counter to be rung up by me. I’m wearing jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt, not a winter coat, no gloves or hat, and I’m three registers away from the open outside door.)

    Customer: “Brrr! It’s so COLD! How can you STAND it in here? You must be FREEZING!”

    Me: “No, I don’t mind it. We keep busy when we are at the register.”

    Customer: *eyeing the previous customer’s frozen ice cream containers being bagged by a coworker* “How can anyone buy ice cream on a freezing day like this?”

    Me: “Ah, well then, you should buy some Willy Wonka’s Hot Ice Cream! It’s perfect for those cold days.”

    Coworker: *stops bagging items and stares at me with open mouth*

    Customer: “Wow! Really? That sounds great! Is it too late to go back and get some?”

    Me: “Sorry, we’re temporarily out of stock.”

    Coworker: *turns away to laugh*

    Customer: “Oh. Too bad.”

    Me: *smiling at the customer’s ignorance of Roald Dahl’s book ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’* “Maybe next time. Have a good day!”

    Talking Turkey About Working Here

    | Lansing, MI, USA | Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Theme Of The Month, Wild & Unruly

    (I am shopping at a grocery store, when another customer reaches into my cart and grabs a package of ground turkey. It was on sale, so I was buying eight packages of it. Of note, I am wearing a black t shirt and blue jeans; the store employees wear blue vests and nametags.)

    Me: “Excuse me, what are you doing?”

    Woman: “I’m trying to help you out. God, you can’t even say thank you?”

    Me: “How does taking food out of my shopping cart help me?”

    Woman: “Now you don’t have to go put this one back. Geez, you’re welcome.”

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m a customer here. If you take my food, it means I have to go back and pick up another one. That’s not helping.”

    Woman: “Don’t lie to me, boy. No one would buy this much turkey at once.”

    Me: “I would. It’s on sale, and I’ve got a chest freezer at home, so I can buy a lot when it’s on sale and use it up gradually. Please give me back my food.”

    Woman: “It’s mine now. And I’m going to complain to your supervisor. You shouldn’t be so rude to your customers.”

    Me: “Since I don’t work here, good luck with that.”

    (I decided it wasn’t worth arguing with her anymore, and went to go get another package of turkey. I hope she did try to complain to a manager.)

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