November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

Pregnant With Potential

| Sarasota, FL, USA | Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers, Family & Kids, Health & Body, Money, Top

(I’m stocking shelves. A customer has been browsing the same aisle for quite some time. She is visibly pregnant, and looks as though she has been crying. She’s flipping through an envelope full of coupons and scrutinizing items before putting them back on the shelf. Another customer comes down the aisle and seems to pay her close attention for a moment. The second customer leaves the aisle but then comes back a few minutes later and hesitantly walks up to the pregnant customer.)

Nice Customer: “Excuse me. I may be way out of line, and please feel free to tell me to mind my own business if I am, but… are you afraid you’re going to have trouble paying for your groceries?”

Pregnant Customer: “Actually, yes I am. How did you know?”

Nice Customer: “A few years ago, I had a really difficult pregnancy. I was too sick to work and lost my job. It was a real struggle to make ends meet. I used to spend hours at the grocery store with every coupon I could find trying to save every penny I could. Looking at you was like looking in the mirror. Listen, I just went and checked out, and I came in a little under my weekly grocery budget. I know it’s not much, but I’d really like to give this to you.”

(She hands the pregnant woman a $20 bill. The woman promptly bursts into tears.)

Pregnant Customer: “You have no idea how much this means to me. My husband just left me for another woman. I have no idea how I’m going to support myself and my kid. My mother and brother died this year, and I have no one to lean on.”

Nice Customer: “After the hard times I went through, things got a lot better for me. It may sound like a cliché, but I believe you’ll get through this and be stronger than ever. Just hang in there, okay?”

Pregnant Customer: “Do you think maybe I could give you a hug?”

Nice Customer: “Of course.”

(The two women embrace for a long time. When they pull apart, they both wipe away tears. They don’t see, but so do I.)

Relationships, Like Hair, Can Be Parted

| Glen Rock, NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(A woman, her husband, and her sister are checking out on my line.)

Customer: “Your hair is FABULOUS!”

Me: “Thanks!”

Customer: “Can I touch it?”

Me: “Uh… sure.”

Customer: “How old are you?”

Me: “21.”

Customer: “Are you married?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “We have sons.”

Me: “Oh, that’s nice, but I have a boyfriend.”

Customer’s Sister: “…and they have girlfriends.”

Customer: “I don’t care! Think about the babies they would have! Good hair genes!”

Me: “Here’s your receipt. Have a good day!”

Customer: “GOOD HAIR GENES!”

Acting Like A Has-Bean

| Yonkers, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Money

Customer: “Excuse me, how much is one coffee bean?”

Me: “One bean?”

Customer: “Yes, just one.”

Me: “Can I ask why you want a single bean?”

Customer: “Just tell me the price!”

Me: “Uh… well, they’re [price] per pound, so you could try to weigh one bean and work it out from there.”

Customer: “Perfect!”

(She weighs one bean. The scale comes up ‘0lb, 0oz’.)

Me: “Well, I guess if you just want one bean you can take it, although you won’t get much coffee from it.”

Customer: “That won’t be a problem.”

(She grabs the entire stack of bulk bags, and begins placing a single bean in each one, weighing it, and then printing out a price tag.)

Me: “Wha… hey! You can’t—”

(My manager suddenly appears.)

Manager: “Shush, let her finish.”

(It takes the customer nearly half an hour to load up as much coffee as she wants. She proceeds to an automatic checkout, but after scanning her second free bean, the machine stops.)

Automatic Checkout: “If you have combined two of the same item, please combine them.”

Customer: “D*** it!”

Manager: “Oh, I’m sorry. These machines can be kind of picky. I’ll get that for you.”

(He stacks the entire mound of bagged coffee beans onto a scale, weighs it, and then presents her with the now massively inflated price.)

Customer: “I… hey! I’m not paying that much! Put them back.”

Manager: “I’m sorry, I’m not permitted to return food to the shelves once it’s been handled.”

(They argue, and finally the shopper gives up and pays for the beans—and the bags. After the customer leaves, my manager returns.)

Me: “She paid!? We were all expecting her to throw them on the ground and run out!”

(I was actually correct! When I left the store, I noticed dozens of bulk bags strewn around the parking lot!)

The Biggest Abuser

| St. Paul, MN, USA | Health & Body, Top, Wild & Unruly

(I’m a manager at a fairly large grocery store. We have a regular customer who is paralyzed from the waist down. He’s roughly 20 years old. He is scooting around on one of the store’s electric scooters, when an obese customer walks up to him.)

Customer: “How dare you go around the store in one of those! You’re taking them away from people like me who do need them!”

Regular: “Well, ma’am, I’ve been paralyzed ever since I was 14. While you can walk around and get your groceries, I certainly can’t, so I’d say I need this more that you.”

Customer: “You make me sick; pretending to be a cripple!”

(The customer then PULLS the regular out of the chair and drops him. I run over to try to help him.)

Customer: “You! Get this sick piece of trash out of here! He’s pretending to be a cripple and—”

Me: “I’m going to cut you off right there. [Regular] is most assuredly disabled, and you just picked him up and slammed him into the ground. Get out of my store, now, before I call the cops.”

Customer: “This is an injustice! I’ll sue you!” *knocks things off shelves and leaves*

(I get a call from corporate around a week later, because the customer has filed a complaint. I explain what really happened, and get the regular to confirm my story. The complaint is dropped, and the rowdy customer never returns.)

The Race(ist) For The Last Chicken

| Preston, England, UK | Bigotry, Food & Drink

(I work late shifts, and mark down items to their final reduction.)

Customer: “Have you not got any more cheap chicken?”

Me: “No, sir, the lady just over there took our last pack, unfortunately.”

(I gesture towards a small, lovely, Indian lady, who had come by and picked up some chicken breasts I just marked down.)

Customer: “I’m not racist, but f****** p**** are always turning up and taking all the good stuff early! You can never stay one step ahead of them d*** foreigners!”

Me: “Well, we have a first come, first served policy. Regardless of who she is, she was here first.”

Customer: “Yeah, but you know what I mean! They come over here, and take everything for granted. They do what they f****** like, and take our cheap food! You follow me, don’t ya’?”

Me: “Well, no, I don’t. Like I said, we have a first come, first served policy. We also have a policy against incendiary language, and I’m going to have to ask you to leave. Here’s a little hint for you; when you say “I’m not racist, but—”, it usually means you’re about to be racist. The exit’s third on the left.”