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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    No Shame In The Blame Game

    | Boston, MA, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Liars & Scammers, Wild & Unruly

    (We sell candles and during sales usually make a mountain out of our left over stock on a display table. A young girl around age 10 has picked up one of the candles from the group, sniffed it and put it back down and began to walk away. Suddenly a loud crash sounds and several candles on the other side of the table fall to the floor. A woman had just picked up a candle and is standing in front of the fallen candles.)

    Woman: “I didn’t do it! It was that kid’s fault!”

    Kid: “What? The candles fell on your side of the table.”

    Woman: “Shut up you little brat! I saw you knock over those candles! You should be ashamed of yourself! This is why kids should not be allowed in public. Where is your mother!?”

    (Having witnessed the ordeal, I walk over and chime in.)

    Me: “Ma’am, she wasn’t touching the candles when they fell, and you are holding the same scent of candle that is on the floor.”

    Woman: “This is what is wrong with kids today! They are so sheltered! They have no idea how to take responsibility for their actions! How will they function in the real world?” *looks to the little girl* “You are in for a nasty shock when mommy and daddy are no longer around, brat!”

    (The whole store is watching in silence. My manager walks over.)

    Manager: “Ma’am I am going to have to ask you to pay for the items you smashed or leave the store.”

    Woman: *dumbfounded* “I am a loyal, paying customer. You can’t treat me this way! You are only making me pay because this brat doesn’t have any money. I will never shop here again!”

    Manager: “Good. Now leave. We’re a family-friendly establishment.”

    Woman: “Children are ruining society!” *storms out*

    (The little girl seemed a little upset but was not crying and said she was okay. Another customer bought her a nice perfume and body lotion set and our manager gave her one of our rubber ducks!)

    Getting Inside The Meat Of The Matter

    | WI, USA | Bizarre, Food & Drink

    (I work the night shift at a popular big box store and have answered a phone call at around 3 am.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling [store]. How can I help you?”

    Customer: “What is your return policy on food if I don’t have a receipt?”

    Me: “Without a receipt, you can exchange food items for other food items, sir.”

    Customer: “Well, I bought meat and it leaked blood all over my fridge!”

    Me: “I’m really sorry about that. If you bring in the meat, we can exchange it and make sure the new package is wrapped up so it won’t leak.”

    Customer: “Well, how about I take it to the hospital and have it x-rayed to see if you tampered with it, hmm!?”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “I’m going to take this meat to the ER, right now, and have them x-ray it because you tampered with it!”

    Me: “Well, sir, if you want to take meat to the hospital at 3 am and have it x-rayed, you’re certainly welcome to do so.”

    Customer: “That’s right! I am!” *slams phone down*

    Coworker: “Did you just say someone was x-raying some meat?”

    Me: “I’m going on break.”

    Konnichi-woah

    | Whitehorse, YT, Canada | Food & Drink, Top, Tourists/Travel

    (I work in a tourist souvenir shop. On this day, we receive much-needed maple products, including maple candy, syrup and the like. I am busy labelling the new stock as my coworker receives the stock.)

    Me: “Well, I know there will be Japanese tourists in today.”

    Coworker: “…Huh?”

    Me: “Last time we got our maple shipment in, we sold half of it before it was all completely in the system. They just seem to know when we have it. The Japanese tourists just have a sense for it. We’ll be busy tonight.”

    Coworker: “Oh, really?”

    Me: “Yep, just you wait…”

    (An hour later, two Japanese tourists come into the store and take a look around as we are busy working. When they are finished, both come up to the counter with baskets of maple syrup bottles. Once I’m finished helping both of them, I turn to my coworker.)

    Me: “Well what have you got to say to that?”

    Coworker: *not believing me* “No comment.”

    (About twenty minutes later, I hear the door open, but it doesn’t shut immediately. Curious, I look up in the direction of the door.)

    Me: “Oh, look, they brought friends!”

    Coworker: *looks up and at the front* “Holy crap!”

    (A group of about nine Japanese tourists walk in, all immediately heading for our ‘maple’ section of the store. Due to the small size of the store, it is a lot of people to have in at once. We help them as best we can. Despite there being a huge language barrier, I recognize some words and we are able to help each one of them as they patiently wait their turn in line. Once they are all finished and things are once again quiet, I turn once again to my coworker.)

    Me: “So, you believe me now?”

    Always Jump At The Chance For Fun

    | CT, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Bizarre, Top

    (A customer in her forties comes through my line, and we exchange pleasantries as I ring her out. It’s a perfectly normal interaction.)

    Me: “Do you have your [store] rewards card?”

    Customer: “No, I don’t believe I have one.”

    Me: “Well, would you like to sign up?”

    (The customer agrees and I walk her through the process. Everything goes smoothly and at the end, I scan her new card and hand it to her.)

    Me: “There you go!”

    Customer: “Yay!”

    (Suddenly, the customer starts jumping up and down in joy, waving her hands and looking for all the world like an ecstatic six year old. This goes on for a while and, not knowing what else to do, I wind up jumping with her. Just as suddenly as she started, she calms down and stops jumping.)

    Woman: “There, wasn’t that exciting? Now you’ll be cheery for the whole rest of the day!”

    (I certainly was!)

    Setting Back But Moving Forward

    | Sacramento, CA, USA | Awesome Customers, Money, Theme Of The Month

    (I work in a watch repair shop and one of the services we perform is re-setting a customer’s watch when the time changes, which we do for free. Some digital watches are difficult to set the time on. An older man with an Irish accent comes up to my counter.)

    Customer: “Pardon me, could you set my watch for me? I can’t figure out how to set it back an hour.”

    Me: *smiling* “No problem. These things can be pretty tricky to set.”

    (I proceed to set his digital watch to the correct time in about a minute and hand it back to him.)

    Me: “Here you go, sir.”

    Customer: “You did that fast! What do I owe you?”

    Me: “Oh, there’s no charge for that.”

    Customer: “Really? No, I can’t go away without giving you something.”

    (He proceeds to pull a $5 bill out of his wallet and hand it to me.)

    Me: “Really, sir, you don’t have to do that, and there’s no charge. It was my pleasure.”

    Customer: “Well, you’ve been so nice and did that so fast, stop by the pub on your way home and have yourself a drink! You deserve it!”

    (He waves as he walks away. And yes, I did have that drink!)

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