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    Knot Possible

    | Oshawa, ON, Canada | Crazy Requests, Home Improvement

    (I work in the lumber department of my store. I spot an older customer, studying our 2×4 lumber. She looks very sour.)

    Me: “Hi there, ma’am. Can I help you with anything?”

    Customer: “Yes, I need a 2×4, but I don’t want one with knots.”

    Me: “Well, that’s going to be tricky with these. Just about every one that I’ve ever seen has a least a few knots here and there.”

    Customer: “No, I need one with no knots. I’m working on a project and if there are knots, the wood will break.”

    Me: “Well, I have some pieces of pine select; no knots in them at all!”

    Customer: “Oh, I looked at those. They’re too expensive; I’m on a pension you know. What about that one up there? It looks clean.”

    (The customer points to a fresh lift of lumber, and it indeed looks clean, but the home is full.)

    Me: “Well, ma’am, I’m willing to bet that they’ll have just as many knots as this lift.”

    Customer: “Show me!”

    (I begin the process of getting a driver, and pulling down the lift. Due to the fact that I have to close down the main lumber aisle to due so, two assistant managers are watching me. As they watch, I open the lift and start sorting through the pieces, showing the older lady that they all have knots in them.)

    Customer: “This is ridiculous!”

    (After she leaves, one of the managers walks over to me.)

    Manager: “What was wrong with the wood?”

    Me: “She didn’t want any knots in her 2×4.”

    Manager: “Yeah, find a tree without branches and we’ll give her a 2×4 without knots.”

    A Colorful Comeback

    | Marietta, GA, USA | Bigotry, Theme Of The Month, Top

    (I am getting ready to check out a customer. The only other customers present are a large African American family. My customer is a middle aged Caucasian woman. She leans forward, and motions to me as if she wants to tell me a secret.)

    Customer: “There are black people behind you.”

    Me: “Uh… yes, ma’am?”

    Customer: “You have to watch out for them, you know.”

    (I step back and stare, not knowing exactly how to respond to this. My quick thinking coworker walks by.)

    Coworker: “Their money is the exact same color as your money.”

    Customer: “What!… Well… I…”

    (She leaves her merchandise on the counter and exits the store in a huff.)

    Cannot Speak The Language Of Respect

    | USA | Bigotry, Geography, Language & Words, Theme Of The Month, Top

    (I am out to eat with a friend, and we are waiting for our table. There is an older Spanish-speaking couple nearby also waiting, and two boys of about high-school age. I don’t speak Spanish, but I picked up a handful of words from an old job.)

    Spanish-Speaking Woman: *asks me a question in Spanish*

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. I only know a few words in Spanish. What was that?”

    Spanish-Speaking Woman: *smiles, and repeats herself*

    (I realize she needs to know where the bathroom is.)

    Me: “Oh! See the stairs? Go to the hallway next to the stairs; it’s right there.”

    (She thanks me, and hurries off to the bathroom. The high school boys make faces at me, and chime in.)

    Boy #1: “Damn, b****, why are you helping them? You should’ve made them ask in English first!”

    Me: “I’m not going to dignify that with a response.”

    Boy #2: “Hey! You show me and my friend some respect, old lady! Do you know who we are?”

    Me: “I don’t care who you are, my dear child. Why don’t you go bother somebody else?”

    Boy #1: “Oh, hell naw! You ain’t talkin’ to me like that! You show me some respect, right now!”

    (He stamps his foot. My friend and I burst out laughing.)

    Me: “Oh, this is going to be an entertaining evening.”

    Boy #1: “You ain’t allowed to laugh at me; I’m a man!”

    Me: “No, dear. What you are is a minor child throwing a temper tantrum because you happen to be a racist. Now, shoo, adults are talking.”

    Boy #2: “Naw! All you gotta do is show them d*** immigrants who’s boss! They gotta speak our language if they want to be here! I went to Mexico and none of them f****** spoke English! Ain’t got no respect!”

    Me: “You do realize that Mexico is a different country, don’t you?”

    Boy #2: “Duh!”

    Me: “And their official language is Spanish.”

    Boy #2: “So?”

    Me: “So… you think that people who move here should have to speak English because most people here do, in some form or another. But when you visit other countries, where official language is not English, they should have to learn to make your life easier?”

    Boy #2: “Yes!”

    Me: “I… have a headache.”

    (The older Spanish-speaking couple are seated a few tables away from us. The teens are there to apply for jobs, but because they’d put on their little display in full view of the hostess, they were not-so-kindly shown the door.)

    Respect The Bottom Line

    | Bismarck, ND, USA | Awesome Workers, School

    (I supervise over the electronics area. I like to get to know the people that are working for me. It is the first day on the sales floor for a coworker just out of high school. I have just gotten the initiative to sign up for classes to get certified in Windows and perhaps improve my work situation. I am telling him about it.)

    Me: “How about you? Any plans to go to college or work in a trade?”

    Coworker: “I respect hard work to move up, more than what college fails to follow through on. I’d rather start at the bottom and work my way—”

    Customer: “WHERE THE F*** IS THE G** D*** BATHROOM?”

    (My coworker points roughly ten feet to the customer’s left, waits a second, and turns to me.)

    Coworker: “Is this what I can expect without college?”

    Me: “Higher education helps, but it isn’t a guarantee. You have to show the work and initiative to get into a position in a place where things like that don’t happen. If there is one person that no one respects, it’s the guy working at the bottom.”

    (He finished his shift, but only returned again for his paycheck. On the way out, he stopped to thank me and inform me he’s applying for scholarships.)

    Making A Spectacle Of Himself

    | ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Liars & Scammers

    (I am a manager at a small sunglasses store in a mall. I am not currently in the store.)

    Customer: “Yo, clean these for me.”

    (He throws the glasses at the clerk.)

    Clerk: “Oh, okay. Here let me get a cloth and the cleaning spray.”

    (The glasses land on the ground because they were thrown.)

    Clerk: “Let me get those, and get them clean for y—”

    Customer: “B****, you wrecked my glasses! The icon’s missing; you owe me a brand new pair!”

    (Icons fit on the side of the glasses to jazz them up.)

    Clerk: “Sir, you threw your glasses at me. I didn’t even see if you had the icons. Let’s look and see if there’s one on the floor here.”

    (The clerk very patiently starts searching, even going so far as to get a broom and try and sweep under displays, just in case.)

    Customer: “You wrecked my glasses; give me a new pair now!”

    Clerk: “Sir, I can’t do that. Your glasses are right here; they’re fine. You know what? I’ll find you another pair of icons, on me, for the trouble.”

    (Icons cost $15 a pair. My staff know that we’d authorize them to take a loss on such a small item to make a customer’s day.)

    Customer: “B****, these were special order. I’m not leaving until you give me two pairs of these sunglasses to make up for you f****** up.”

    Clerk: “I’m not giving you any sunglasses. I offered you a free pair of icons. Don’t swear at me again, or I will call security and have you escorted out.”

    Customer: “Get your manager now, b****!”

    (I live across the street from the mall. My staff knows I’ll come over for any reason. My clerk calls me, and I can hear she’s almost crying. I tell her I’ll be there in 10 minutes. The clerk hangs up with me and tells the customer.)

    Customer: “I ain’t got 10 minutes to wait for some other b**** to get here. Give me two pairs of glasses to make up for this s***, NOW!”

    Clerk: “Look, I’m not giving you anything. I’ll tell you now, my manager’s not going to give you anything either. If you can’t wait for her, leave me your name and number, and I’ll have her call you.”

    Customer: “Alright, you tell that b**** to call me, and I’ll get my free glasses.”

    Clerk: “Alright, can I have your name and number?”

    Customer: “No, you can’t have my personal info. Who the f*** do you think you are?”

    Clerk: “I need your name and number if you want the manager to call you.”

    Customer: “Alright, you tell that b**** my name is Mutha-f**** Jones.”

    (The customer stomps out. I arrive a couple minutes later to an empty store, save for a shaken clerk.)

    Me: “Where’s the guy who’s freaking out?”

    Clerk: “He said he couldn’t wait, but you can call him to discuss it. Here’s his info.”

    (She hands me a card with his name on it.)

    Me: “Seriously?”

    Clerk: “Yep. Maybe you can call 411 and get them to look up Mr Jones for you.”

    Me: “I’ll get right on that.”

    (I look at the security footage, and am pretty sure he doesn’t have the icons to begin with. The crazy dude actually comes back. I call security and give him h*** for trying to scam my clerk.)