October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

The Engendered Confusion, Part 2

| St. Paul, MN, USA | Bigotry, Family & Kids, Wild & Unruly

(I’m in my hometown, babysitting my three-month-old nephew while my brother gets some much-needed sleep. I live on campus nearby, but because I look much younger than I am people tend to assume I’m still in high school. I’m picking up some groceries with my nephew when an older woman grabs my arm.)

Older Woman: “You ought be be ashamed of yourself! How dare you!”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Older Woman: “Parading your little b*****d around like it’s no big deal to get pregnant and drop out!”

Me: “Ma’am, I didn’t drop out. I—”

Older Woman: “Don’t you lie to me, you stupid b****! I’ll have you thrown out of the store!”

(My nephew begins to cry.)

Older Woman: “See, look at what an incompetent mother you are! You’re just letting him cry without—”

Me: “Listen, lady: I don’t know what your problem is, but making my nephew cry because you’re screaming at me is not okay. Even if he was my kid, do you really think it’s okay to yell at a stranger because they may or may not have made a choice you disagree with?”

(As I say this, I can see the store manager, a close family friend, approach to see what the fuss is about.)

Older Woman: “I can’t believe you! I’m going to get the manager and he’s going to teach you about respecting your elders, and maybe he’ll teach you to keep your legs closed!”

Manager: “Don’t bother. You…” *points at her* “…get out of my store, NOW.”

Older Woman: “I am a paying customer! You cannot—”

Manager: “I can and I will, and unless you want the police to get involved, you’ll leave now.”

Older Woman: “This little b****—”

Manager: “—first of all, is a GUY, and second of all, is on the honor roll at [University], and third, is my son’s best friend and grandson’s babysitter.”

(At this, the older woman turns red and leaves without buying anything. My nephew stops crying almost immediately.)

Me: “Thanks, Mr. [Name].”

Manager: “No problem, kiddo.” *grins* “It was kinda fun getting to yell at her. I’ve just got one question.”

Me: “Yeah?”

Manager: “Did she seriously think you were a teenage mother?”

Me: *shrugs* “Some people…”

The Engendered Confusion

A Man Needs His Nectar

| Finland | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Food & Drink, Health & Body, Top

(I go to my local store after a game of soccer, still wearing my full goalkeeper kit. The cashier and I have met several times but don’t actually know each other at all. I am buying beer.)

Cashier: “[My Name], you can’t buy beer!”

Me: “Why not?”

Cashier: “You come here looking so sporty and I thought you’d buy something healthy or nice, and you buy beer!”

Me: “Okay, I’ll buy something nice.”

(I turn around, grab a bunch of flowers, pay for them, and give them to her.)

Me: “There you go!”

Cashier: “What? For me?”

Me: “Yes.”

Cashier: “But… but why? No one has ever bought me flowers before.”

Me: “Well, you told me to buy something nice, and as you looked tired and a bit down I thought that it would be nice to buy you flowers.”

Cashier: “Thank you! This was so nice of you!”

Me: “May I now drink beer tonight?”

Cashier: “With both hands, if you like!”

The Register Light Is On But Nobody’s Home

| ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Top, Wild & Unruly

(I live in a small town with only two grocery stores. I’m constantly complimented on my friendliness and professionalism. When it’s slow, we assist customers. Today a customer has asked me to return a cart, during which we’re told to put our closed sign up on our lane, but keep the light on. After assisting three more customers, I wander back to my till that has the closed sign up to find a woman unloading her cart at my till.)

Me: “Oh! Hello, ma’am. Just for future reference, even if the light is on, but the closed sign is up, the till is not open. That way you won’t have to wait next time.”


Me: “Ma’am, I do apologize, but the sign was clearly up. I’m just letting you know for next time so you won’t be delayed! I truly apolo—”


Me: “Ma’am, I truly am sorry about that—”

(At this point, the customer has finished slamming her purchases onto the counter and leans over the lane to be about two inches from my face. It should be noted I’m in my mid-twenties.)


Me: “Ma’am, I apologize. I wasn’t trying to lecture you—”


(At this point I stay quiet throughout the rest of the transaction, process her card, and hand her the receipt to sign. I say nothing.)

Customer: “Thank you!”

Me: “…”

Customer: “I SAID THANK YOU!”

(As she leaves, she pulls over my supervisor.)

Customer: “I need to give a formal complaint about the horrible and disrespectful service this employee gave!”

(The next customer going through the till behind me walks over.)

Next Customer: “And I have to comment on how polite that employee was, despite you being so rude!”

(Both customers got into a verbal altercation. Thank you to the random customer who stood up for me!)

Buy Him A Hot Slice Of Karma

| MI, USA | Food & Drink, Health & Body, Liars & Scammers, Theme Of The Month

(I have just gotten off my shift as a cashier, and am filling up my gas tank at a gas station right near my store before I head home. My jacket is covering up my uniform. A man approaches me in his car, telling me basically his whole life story about being in the military, just getting out of the hospital, not having eaten all day, and needing food to take his diabetic medication.)

Man: “Would you be able to give me some food?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t.”

Man: “Well, why the f*** not?!”

Me: “Because, not even an hour ago, I saw you at my work, buying a full cart of groceries, and munching on a donut from our bakery. Unless you’ve eaten through all that food in so little time, I’m sure you’d be able to eat something with which to take your medication.”

Man: “F*** YOU!”

(As I go inside to buy myself something to drink, I see another poor generous soul buying him food, as well as filling his gas tank. I hope one day he gets what’s coming to him.)

Some Like It Not Hot

| Orlando, FL, USA | Food & Drink, Liars & Scammers, Theme Of The Month

(I work in the deli section of my store. Recently we’ve been having a problem with a customer who always shows up between 10 and 11 am, before we have our hot case fully stocked for the day.)

Coworker #1: “Hey, it’s that guy again.”

(I look over and see the customer diligently scanning what we have in our hot case.)

Me: “Can I help you, sir?”

Customer: “Yeah, do y’all have any barbecue ribs?”

Me: “They’re in the oven right now. It’ll be about 40 minutes before they’re ready.”

Customer: “Thank you.”

(He walks away without another word. Five minutes later, he returns with one of the managers.)

Manager: “Hey, you don’t have any barbecue ribs?”

Me: “Uh, not yet. It’ll be about 35 minutes.”

Manager: “Why not?!”

Me: “The ribs just weren’t in our first load in the oven.”

(The manager looks at me like I am a diseased rat and immediately starts apologizing to the bad customer.)

Manager: *to the customer* “I’m terribly sorry about the inconvenience, sir. There will be no charge for your meal.”

(The manager turns back to me with an evil eye.)

Manager: *to me* “Give him whatever he wants. Don’t print a price tag.”

(I end up having to give the customer a $6.99 full meal at no charge. The manager stands there and watches to make sure I don’t charge the customer anything. Three days later, the same customer shows up again, at the same time of day.)

Customer: “Excuse me, do y’all have any buffalo wings?”

Coworker #2: “We’ve got some wings in the fryer right now. They’ll be ready in about 10 minutes, and we could make buffalo then.”

Customer: “Thanks.”

(Once again, he walks away and comes back with the same manager from before.)

Manager: “Do one of you want to tell me why you don’t have any buffalo wings?!”

Coworker #2: “We just haven’t got around to making that kind yet. We do have seven other kinds already made.”

Manager: “But no buffalo.”

Coworker #2: “Er… no.”

Manager: *muttering* “F****** useless…” *out loud* “Don’t charge this customer for whatever he asks for. Get him his order. NOW.”

(Once again, the man walks away with a free meal which would normally cost $6.99. Four days later, he comes back.)

Me: “Isn’t that the guy who keeps asking for things we don’t have and going to complain?”

Coworker #1: “Yeah, that’s him. I wonder what he wants this time?”

Coworker #3: “Yes, sir?”

Customer: “You got some fried catfish?”

Coworker #3: “Sorry, we don’t have any today.”

Customer: “Thanks.”

(Predictably, he comes back with the same manager in tow yet again.)

Manager: “You don’t have any fish?! Why am I always hearing these complaints?! Why can’t you get this d*** case filled up on time?!”

Coworker #3: “Uh… [Store Manager] said we had to have it filled by 11.”

Manager: “It’s 10:15. That’s almost 11! No charge for this—”

(The manager is interrupted by the store manager clapping him on the shoulder.)

Store Manager: “Excuse me, [Manager], but do you want to explain why I keep seeing you’ve signed off on no-charge purchases on the deli production sheets?”

Manager: “Uh… well… they never have what the customers want!”

Store Manager: “They never have what this customer conveniently wants.”

(The store manager then turns to the customer, and points at him.)

Store Manager: *to the customer* “Get out.”

Customer: “What?”

Store Manager: “Get out of my store. You are banned from shopping here.”

Customer: “Ain’t my fault these b****es don’t got what I want!”

Store Manager: “Yes it is. I’ve seen you on our security cameras, always looking for things they don’t have in the case. You always find an excuse to complain and ask for free food. Well, you’re not getting any more free food. Get out.”

(The customer gives the store manager a nasty look, but leaves without saying anything. The store manager then turns to the other manager.)

Store Manager: “And I want to see you in my office.”

(The other manager got suspended for a week without pay!)

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