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    Will Not Be Moved

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Family & Kids, Geeks Rule

    (I’m working the register at a grocery store when a mother and her 10-year-old son start unloading their cart. As I’m finishing with the customer before them, I hear the boy continually trying to finish his mother’s sentences, occasionally getting them right and prompting her to say, ‘Hey! Stop predicting the future!’ Their turn comes up and we exchange the usual greeting pleasantries. I address the boy.)

    Me: “So you’re trying to tell the future, huh?”

    Boy: *matter-of-factly* “Uh-huh! I’m trying to learn all kinds of stuff, like telepathy and telekinesis.”

    (I happen to be Pagan with some mystic friends who taught me a few tricks. Plus, despite being a humanities major, I spent a good deal of college reading up on quantum theory.)

    Me: “Well, you know the secret to telling the future, right?”

    Boy: “Um…”

    Me: “It’s not about seeing the future, it’s remembering the future.”

    Boy: “Huh?”

    (I explain to him the theory that all time happens at once but the human brain only perceives it as moving in one direction, meaning the future is already here and we just don’t remember it yet.)

    Me: “So what you’ve got to do in the future is bundle up what you’re trying to remember and send it back in time to yourself. I’ve been training myself to do it for years and now I can sort of remember emotions from situations I haven’t experienced yet. It’s a good thing you’re starting so young. Maybe by the time you’re my age you’ll be able to remember words, too!”

    Boy: “… I think I’ll stick to learning telekinesis.”

    Me: “Ah, that’s slightly trickier. What you have to do there is learn how to mentally manipulate the electromagnetic attraction between certain objects.”

    Boy: “… Never mind, then.”

    (As they left, the mother was chuckling to herself and the boy looked both confused and dejected. Hopefully he had better luck with telepathy!)

    Smoking Before She Even Gets Cigarettes

    | FL, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Wild & Unruly

    (I am cashiering without a bagger at the farthest register from the front service center.)

    Me: “How are you doing today, ma’am?”

    Customer: “You need to go get me a pack of d*** cigarettes.” *continues texting*

    Me: “I’m not allowed to leave my register and don’t have a bagger to run and get some. How about you go grab them while I finish ringing up/bagging the rest of your items?”

    Customer: “What?”

    Me: “I said, please go grab them while I finish your order. I can’t leave now.”

    Customer: “Did you seriously just say I… should go get them MYSELF?!”

    Me: “Yes, I did…”

    Customer: “OH, MY GOD! You can’t be serious! If you think I should go get them, then you are crazy!”

    (She then grabs a bagger who is obviously helping out another customer.)

    Customer: “You need to go get me my cigarettes now before I FLIP OUT!”

    Bagger: “…okay.”

    Customer: “And I am telling your manager about how rude you are!”

    Our Great DiscrimiNation, Part 3

    | Panama Beach, FL, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Religion

    (I’m currently stocking food in the aisle, stacking some ramen noodles on the cart. I’m a born American of Islamic parents. I’m also Catholic. A customer approaches me with a security guard.)

    Customer: “See! He’s putting up square packages. They’re bombs! He’s going to blow up this store and kill us all to appease Muhammad!”

    (The guard looks at her like she’s an idiot.)

    Guard: “Ma’am, I hardly think that just because he’s doing his job he’s goin—”

    Customer: “No, his kind are all evil! The Lord is my shepherd and his is false!”

    (I’ve been trying to ignore her but finally get fed up. I stand up and walk over towards her, crossing my arms.)

    Me: “Being born of an Islamic family does not make me a member of the Islamic faith nor any more likely to inflict violence than anyone else with a proper upbringing. Furthermore, I’m Catholic so your bigoted claims that I’m doing something malicious in the process of doing my job are completely irrelevant and unfounded. Furthermore, by trying to use your religion as a cover for your irrational hatred of those who are different on you, I have no doubts that the Holiest is looking down on you right now with sorrow and contempt, and preparing you a special place in Hell for using his word to justify your hatred.”

    (The customer tries to sputter out a response but it’s clear she can’t find the words. I watch as her face turns red like she’s about to throw a tantrum, but she just stomps off instead, leaving me and the security guard standing there. I’m calming down and realize I shouted pretty much all of that, and there are people staring at me.)

    Me: “Well, that came out of nowhere.”

    Guard: “Dude, that was awesome! You shut her down cold.”

    (The customers who had walked over to see the commotion applauded me and defended me when my manager came to write me up for telling off a customer. I found out the next week that the woman had to be arrested after she made similar racist and untrue claims about a Japanese exchange student that was working in the deli, and threatened violence on him.)

    Our Great DiscrimiNation, Part 2
    Our Great DiscrimiNation

    Listening Skills Don’t Carry Much Weight

    | WV, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Transportation

    (I am a cashier at a grocery store. Our management does not allow customers to take shopping carts outside. Instead, if a customer has a large order of groceries, we load them into a trolley and an employee follows the customer to their vehicles with the groceries. We always have employees on-hand to do these carry outs. An elderly customer comes to my register with several two-liters of soda and a box containing a 12-pack of soda, among other things. Thinking that this must be heavy, I offer to call a carry out for her.)

    Me: “Hello, ma’am, would you like a carry out today?”

    Customer: “What?”

    Me: “Would you like help out?”

    Customer: “What?”

    Me: “Would you like help out to your car?”

    Customer: “What?”

    Me: *very slowly and deliberately* “Would you like someone to help carry your bags to your car?”

    Customer: “Oh, no, dear. I don’t need that.”

    Me: “Are you sure? It would be no trouble at all.”

    Customer: “I’m sure!”

    (I shrug and ring up her order. I bag her groceries, she pays, and I hand her a receipt.)

    Me: “Thanks a lot. Have a great day!”

    Customer: *stares at her bags of groceries* “Well, how am I supposed to carry all of this by myself?!”

    A Mixed Bag

    | USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Language & Words

    Coworker: “Paper or plastic?”

    Customer: I don’t care. I’m bi. I like it both ways.”

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