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  • Extreme Foreign Interests

    | England, UK | At The Checkout, Geography, Language & Words

    (I suffered from a speech disorder as a child, and while I speak perfectly now, I have a slight twang in my voice. I’m on the checkout when a smartly-dressed customer approaches the till.)

    Me: “Hello! How are you today?”

    Customer: “…where are you from?”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “Where. Are. You. From?”

    Me: “Um, I’m local, if that’s what you mean.”

    Customer: “No, where were you born?”

    Me: “In [local hospital].”

    Customer: *sighs* “Where are your parents from?”

    Me: “They’re from [local town] and [local city].”

    Customer: *getting irate* “I just want you to tell me where you’re from! Explain your accent!”

    Me: “Oh! My accent! Yes, there’s an explanation for that; see when I was a kid—”

    Customer: “I don’t want to hear your life story! Why are you ashamed of your heritage? You are probably bringing shame to your family by denying them! I get that there are racists here, but you don’t need to deny who you are! I won’t judge you!”

    Me: “Sir, I don’t know what you want me to say.”

    Customer: “Tell me your parents were born in a different country!”

    Me: “Um… they were born in [other country]?”

    Customer: “Yes! See how easy that is? Why couldn’t you have just said that in the first place?!”

    (He grabs his bags and marches off. I turn to the next customer.)

    Me: “Afternoon!”

    Customer #2: “That was a lie, right?”

    Me: “Yep. How can I help you today?”

    Doing A Number On The Wrong Number

    | UK | Crazy Requests, Family & Kids

    (Our home phone number is only one digit different from a local supermarket. We get about one call a month intended for them. I’m about 14 years old.)

    Me: “Hello?”

    Caller: “I have a complaint.”

    Me: “Uh… this isn’t—”

    Caller: “You are all incompetent! Why is my delivery so late?”

    Me: “Look this is a private number—”

    Caller: “I have friends coming over! I’m hosting a dinner party, and I have no food because you are all useless!”

    Me: “I’m sorry but—”

    Caller: “I want to speak to your manager! I want—”

    (I give up and hang up. The phone rings almost immediately.)

    Caller: “HOW DARE YOU RANG UP ON ME, YOU B****!”

    (I hang up again. The phone rings again.)


    Me: “Oh, you want to speak to Mum or Dad?”

    Caller: “…what?”

    Me: “Like I tried to tell you: this isn’t [shop]; this is a home number.”

    Caller: *very small voice* “…What?”

    Me: “This isn’t [supermarket].”

    Caller: “But… but… I called them! WHY ARE YOU ANSWERING THEIR PHONE!?”

    (I hang up again, and tell my dad he is answering if she calls back. She does. It is a very short conversation.)

    Makes You Want To Dye A Little, Part 5

    | UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

    (I am a female and have worked in the same supermarket for the past five years. I used to be blond, but I decide to dye my hair red. Most people have commented about how they like the new color, and how it suits me, and how they don’t recognize me.)

    Customer: “Oh, I see you have dyed your hair. I almost didn’t recognize you.”

    Me: “Yeah, I was fed up with the original color, so I went for a change.”

    Customer: “Well, I don’t like it. I want you to change it right now.”

    Me: “You want me to leave work and pay to have my hair dyed a different color because you don’t like it?”

    Customer: “Yes, why is that a problem?”

    (The customer then stands there for another five minutes waiting for me to leave the till to go re-dye my hair.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I cannot leave my till until I finish work.”

    Customer: “Well that is just rude. I expect your hair color to be different when I next come in.”

    (The customer walks off. I look at my coworker, who looks just as confused as me.)

    Coworker: “Did that really just happen?”

    Makes You Want To Dye A Little, Part 4
    Makes You Want To Dye A Little, Part 3
    Makes You Want To Dye A Little, Part 2
    Makes You Want To Dye A Little

    Saving Money And Wasting Time

    | Brighton, England, UK | At The Checkout, Money

    (I work for a supermarket that has launched a ‘price promise.’ If you spend more in the supermarket than you might have spent in a competitors, the till system automatically prints a coupon for the difference. If you saved money over shopping with competitors, it prints a little ‘for information’ slip to tell you how much money you saved over going elsewhere.)

    Me: “That’s £14.87 please, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Oh! I have this coupon! I can save 50p!”

    (The customer hands me a ‘for information’ slip that is not actually a coupon.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m afraid that’s an advice slip. You already saved your 50p on your last shop.”

    Customer: “Exactly. So I get 50p off now, right?”

    Me: “No, ma’am. This piece of paper says ‘You saved 50p’ and is for information only. If it was a coupon, it would have the writing ‘Save 50p off your next shop!’ instead.”

    Customer: “So it’s a coupon?”

    Me: “No, ma’am. It’s for information. If it was a coupon it would have the text as I described, and also a barcode beneath for me to scan to apply that discount. As there is no barcode, regrettably it is not a coupon, and unfortunately I cannot credit you with this 50p.”

    Customer: “So why did they give me a coupon to save me money if I can’t actually save any money?”

    Customer’s Husband: “FOR LORD’S SAKE, WOMAN! The lady has very nicely tried to explain several times that THIS IS NOT A COUPON. You ALREADY saved your money, so you can’t save it twice. Can we PLEASE just pay and go before people start questioning why I’ve not divorced you yet?”

    Customer: “Oh. Sorry, dear.” *to me* “Sorry to you too, dear! I don’t understand why they gave me a coupon I can’t spend, though.”

    Customer’s Husband & Me: “It’s not a coupon.”

    If They Were Good At Math They Wouldn’t Gamble

    | ME, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Math & Science, Money

    (I work as a cashier for the only supermarket in town. A couple comes in and buys cigarettes, alcohol, sandwiches and lottery tickets.)

    Man: “I would like to cash this lottery ticket in.”

    Me: “Okay, no problem.”

    (I bring the ticket to the scanner, and it rings in as a $50.00 winner.)

    Me: “Would you like me to deduct the winnings from your purchase, or have the cash?”

    Woman: “Just deduct it from the purchase.”

    (I deduct the $50.00, and ring in the rest of the groceries. After the deduction, the order comes up to about $35.00, and they give me a $50.00 bill.)

    Me: “Here’s your change, $15.00. Thank you, have a great day!”

    Woman: “Hey! You didn’t give us all our change back! Where’s our $50.00?!”

    Me: “Your order came up to $35.00, in which I gave you $15.00 in change, because the $50.00 was deducted in the beginning.”

    Man: “But our order didn’t f****** come up to that much!”

    Me: “Well, you have $30.00 worth of scratch tickets, alcohol, groceries, sandwiches, and cigarettes. The whole order would’ve come up to about $85.00 altogether.”

    Man: “But where’s our f****** $50.00?!”

    Me: “Sir, if I had given you the $50.00 cash, and the whole order came up to $85.00, in which you would’ve given me two $50.00 dollar bills, and I would’ve given you $15.00 in change still.”

    Woman: “What the h*** are you talking about? We still didn’t buy that much! You must’ve overcharged us! I demand your manager!”

    Me: “Ma’am, the manager is not present at the moment. I will ring your purchase, and your receipt will show that I have not overcharged you.”

    (I print the receipt, and show them that the $50.00 was deducted in the beginning at their request, and the rest of the groceries were expensive still.)

    Man: “You know what? You don’t know how to do your simple f****** job! No wonder you’re just a cashier and not in college!”

    Me: “Sir, if you’d wish, you can leave your name and number with me, and I will give you a refund if we find my drawer is any money over tomorrow.)

    Woman: “Forget it, you stupid b****!”

    Man: “Just keep it, you greedy a**-hole!”

    (They both storm out with their groceries. I ask the next day and the drawer did not come up over. When they came in next, they were given a lecture on how they spoke to me.)

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