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    No Good Day To You

    , | TX, USA | Bad Behavior

    (I hand out samples of sushi in a grocery store. Sometimes I recognize certain people as the ones that always say no, so I do not even try to ask. Instead, I ask them how they’re doing and try to simply be friendly as they pass by. This is a very common response.)

    Me: “Hi! How are you today?”

    Customer: “No, thank you.”

    Me: “Well, have a good day.”

    Customer: “I said no.”

    Sweet Holiday Bonus

    , | Singapore | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (I’ve just finished junior college, and a couple of friends and I get temp jobs as sales staff manning a small patisserie’s stall at a Christmas food fair. Everything they sell is made by hand by the co-owner’s mother and absolutely delicious. I’m rushing about the stall as usual, on my own. A customer gives me the usual ‘just looking’ brush-off and so I step back to leave them to it when two hands grab me about the arms. I jump and turn; behind me there is a tall, positively Amazonian lady. She’s in yoga pants and a tank top and flip flops, but she is unmistakably well-groomed.)

    Me: “I’m so sorry, ma’am.”

    Customer: “I’d just gotten my nails done and it would have spoiled my pedicure.”

    (I thought I was in for a world of pain; but we both look down and admire her nails for a bit and the conversation turns to the wares. I offer her samples and give my spiel, and we chat while her husband, an older long-haired man just as casually dressed, stands around staring into space, occasionally munching the samples when offered. In the end she leaves with four massive shopping bags filled to the brim with cookies, gift boxes, and various other seasonal confectioneries. It is the largest sale I’ve ever made (not that I get a commission, but I am awed just keying that amount of money into my till as it was more money than I’ve ever seen in one place. They leave as my boss approaches, and they greet each other, chat for a bit, and move off. He comes to me.)

    Boss: “Do you know who they are?”

    Me: “Um… no?”

    Boss: “He owns [Large Business] and she’s the lady boss of [Car Dealership that is the exclusive distributor of a particular luxury car brand]. They’re very impressed with your service. She told me to pay you more.”

    (I’m stunned and it takes a while before it sinks in. On the last day of the fair our boss comes with our paychecks and pulls me aside to give me mine.)

    Boss: “Don’t show the others your pay-slip. You got more than them.”

    Me: “They know I put in more hours and overtime.”

    Boss: “No, your bonus is a higher percentage than theirs and it’s reflected there. [Customer] and [Husband] made sure to remind me, and [Hidden Partner] posed as a customer yesterday and he was really impressed with you, too.”

    (This was seven years ago, but as an awkward and really quite off-kilter seventeen year old, being told that my hard work paid was an insane boost to my self esteem. I still look for the stall every year at that food fair and make sure to say hi and buy something.)

    The Currency Of Understanding

    , | Germany | Bizarre, Money, Tourists/Travel

    (The year is 2010. The euro has been introduced as a common currency throughout Europe in 2002. An elderly lady approaches me, picks some items, and wants to pay.)

    Me: “That is 28.50.”

    Elderly Lady: “Oh, so little? Are you sure?”

    (I notice her picking out some old Austrian schillings from her purse.)

    Me: “I’m sorry. ma’am. You can’t pay with those here; this is outdated currency.”

    Elderly Lady: “No, no! I have always paid with them!” *picks out some more* “Look, I have money!”

    Me: “Lady, I’m sure you have enough, but… I simply cannot accept Austrian schillings. We have the EURO.”

    Elderly Lady: “Yes, yes, I understand. You want deutschmarks? I don’t have any deutschmarks. Schillings, you take?”

    Me: *suddenly understanding* “Yes, ma’am. That would be… 280 schillings, please.”

    (I pack her things, she hands me 250 old Austrian schillings, but I go with it. She seems to have disappeared with her travel group, when a younger lady, also speaking Austrian dialect, turns up.)

    Younger Lady: “Hey, there. Did my grandmother bother you?”

    Me: “What grandmother? Do you mean…”

    Younger Lady: “Yeah, my granny. Did she try to pay with schillings?”

    Me: “In fact, she did. And I sold her something.”

    Younger Lady: “Well, you shouldn’t have sold her anything. What’s her bill?”

    Me: “28.50; but as I said, she already paid. I took her schillings. Maybe I can exchange them for something.”

    Younger Lady: “No! Give them back to me. She’ll be mad about not having them! How much did you say?”

    Me: “€28.50.”

    Younger Lady: *hands me over two 20 Euro bills* “Keep it, for goodness’ sake!”

    Me: “No way, ma’am. That’s far too much.”

    Younger Lady: “Well, then give me 10 back.”

    Me: “Fair enough; thank you.”

    (The rest of the day, I wondered why my supply of ‘free’ coffee and food worked so fine. Later on, I realized that the young lady had left some money at every booth near mine because I was so friendly to her grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, which I didn’t realize immediately. Thank you, ladies, you were amazing!)

    Stupid Out Of The Starting Gate

    , | Brisbane, QLD, Australia | Extra Stupid, Theme Of The Month

    (I work in a kiosk candy shop located in a popular shopping mall. Because of the location in the middle of the floor, some people don’t realise that we’re closed. I am cashing up after a long day. The gates that close off the kiosk have been closed and padlocked. The entire shopping centre has been closed for a good 15 minutes.)

    Customer: “Are you still open? I know exactly what I want so I’ll be quick.”

    Me: *thinking this guy is messing with me, I play along* “Yeah, sure, but only if you can manage to get over the gate.”

    Customer: *to his friend* “Yo, they’re still open! Give me a hand getting over this gate!”

    Me: “Ah, sorry, I was just kidding around with you. We actually closed over 20 minutes ago. I’m just running late.”

    Customer: “But… I can still get lollies, right?”

    (Whenever we have customers that don’t see past their own nose, I always have a bit of a joke with them and they laugh along. This was the first customer that actually thought I was serious.)

    The Collapse Of Human Decency

    , | MI, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Top

    (I work in the fuel kiosk at a popular chain grocery store. There is only one person in the kiosk at a time, unless cash office people are counting the safe money. I have not been feeling well, but come into work anyways.)

    Cash Office Worker: “Could you shut the safe for me?”

    Me: “Sure.” *notice a customer at the window and stand* “Hi, how can I—”

    (Suddenly I get very dizzy and pass out, hitting my head on the concrete floor. When I come to, my coworker is standing over me.)

    Cash Office Worker: “The manager is on his way, and an ambulance. Don’t try to sit up yet. Are you cold? Do you hurt anywhere?”

    Customer: “ISN’T ANYONE GOING TO F****** HELP ME?!”

    Cash Office Worker: “He’s been yelling for about two minutes now, even though he saw you pass out.”

    (The manager comes running into the kiosk.)

    Manager: “Is she okay? The ambulance is almost here. I heard the sirens.”

    Me: “I’m okay but I think my head is bleeding.”

    Customer: “ARE YOU THE MANAGER? GET YOUR LAZY-A** EMPLOYEES TO DO THEIR F****** JOBS!”

    Manager: “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

    (The customer not only stood there and yelled the entire time, but later filed a complaint against me!)

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