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    Hairy Situations Test Your Mettle

    | Rotterdam, The Netherlands | Crazy Requests, Health & Body

    (I have very long hair, which I wear in a tight bun per regulation, and I am quite obviously female. A customer walks up to me, but my back is turned.)

    Customer: “Sir?”

    (I continue my work, thinking she’s talking to a coworker nearby.)

    Customer: “Sir?”

    (I still don’t pay attention, so the customer taps my shoulder.)

    Customer: “Sir?”

    (I turn around.)

    Me: “How can I help you?”

    (The customer is clearly surprised.)

    Customer: “Sorry! Can you tell me where [item] is?”

    (I point the customer in the right direction. Later on, I’m cleaning one of the registers. The same customer walks up to me.)

    Customer: “Sorry about before. I really thought you were a guy.”

    Me: “That’s okay.”

    Customer: “You should really doing something about that hair. It makes you look too masculine.”

    Me: “What do you mean?”

    Customer: “You look like one of those metal heads.”

    Me: “Since when do metal heads wear their hair in buns?”

    Customer: “Never, but you still look like one!”

    The Machine Runs On Punch-Lines Of Code

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Technology

    (I am working the self-scans, bagging a customer’s groceries. The customer puts two small plastic containers filled with olives on the belt. The self-scan is programmed not only to mention the price of an item, but also to weigh some items, and let people know if their item should be placed on the belt or not.)

    Self-Scan Machine: “Please take your item to the bagging area.”

    (The customer puts both containers on the belt instead of taking it to the bagging area, and watches as the belt doesn’t move.)

    Self-Scan Machine: “Please take your item to the bagging area.”

    (The customer puts her hand on both containers and instead of picking them up and giving them to me, she pushes them down the belt causing the self-scan to freeze.)

    Self-Scan Machine: “Please stand by. Help is on the way.”

    (The customer turns to me.)

    Customer: “Why do you need to help me?”

    Me: “Because you pushed your olives down the belt. You never have to put these on the belt. Just bring them to me so I can bag them.”

    Customer: “Oh! When the machine told me to bring these items straight down, I actually had to do it? I didn’t have to put them on the belt at all?”

    Me: “No, ma’am.”

    Customer: “I thought this machine was just joking with me.”

    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 7

    | Auckland, New Zealand | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

    (I am a customer at a supermarket. I am pushing a trolley with my baby in the child seat. My top is a similar colour to the staff uniform, but a very different style.)

    Customer: “Excuse me, where are the vitamin waters?”

    Me: “I don’t know. Did you look down the soft drink aisle?”

    Customer: “You aren’t going to show me?”

    Me: “No, why would I do that?”

    Customer: “It’s your job! I’m going to talk to the manager about you!”

    Me: “I don’t work here; I’m just shopping.”

    Customer: “Don’t you lie to me! I saw you put that milk back; you’re re-stocking shelves and you just don’t want to help me!”

    (A manager walks past. The customer grabs him and drags him over.)

    Customer: “This woman refuses to help me!”

    Manager: “She doesn’t work here, so she doesn’t have to. Can I help you?”

    Customer: “Of course she works here; she’s wearing your uniform! How dare you cover for her laziness! I’m reporting you to head office!”

    Manager: “Ma’am, look at her trolley; we don’t sell babies. She’s shopping; she does not work here. Can I help you?”

    Customer: “Oh! Um… sorry. I was looking for the vitamin waters… sorry…”

    Related:
    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 6
    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 5

    A Wee Bit Foreign

    | Brisbane, QLD, Australia | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Theme Of The Month, Top

    (I am Scottish. After serving a Vietnamese family, another customer approaches and leans over the counter to whisper.)

    Customer: “It’s like trying to play a game of ‘Spot the Australian’ in here at the moment. There are so many foreigners around; know what I mean?”

    (Not missing a beat, I lean back over towards the customer and speak in my strongest Scottish accent.)

    Me: “Oh, I know ma’am! The bloody foreigners are everywhere! Jeez, sometimes you can never tell when you’re going to bump into one, hey?”

    Customer: “Oh… oh my… I am so sorry, I didn’t mean…”

    (The customer is very quiet for the remainder of the transaction, before apologising once more and leaving the store in a hurry.)

    Coworker: “You’re a very bad man sometimes dude. I love it.”

    Self-Service And Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

    | UK | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money, Top

    (I am buying lunch at a local supermarket. I approach the self-service machine, which is clearly labelled ‘CASH ONLY’. An employee quickly comes up to me.)

    Employee: “Sir, are you aware this is a cash only self-service machine?”

    Me: “Yes, thank you.”

    Employee: “And you’re paying in cash?”

    Me: “Yes, of course!”

    (I am insulted that the employee would see me as such an idiot. But then remembering all of the stories I’ve read and heard, I calmly breathe and look at her.)

    Me: “Sorry, I work in retail, too. I know that the general intelligence of the average customer is why those questions are necessary. Don’t worry; I’m one of the good guys.”

    (I smile at the employee and she smiles back with a sad look of self pity for industry in which we work.)

    Me: “We’ll escape it one day.”

    (I am walking away and realise I forgot to buy something. I head back just in time to here a customer screaming.)

    Customer: “HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO KNOW IT WAS CASH ONLY!? I HATE THIS PLACE!”

    (I smile that same sad smile back at the woman, knowing it is going to be a long day for her. Good luck to all of the workers out there, and keep smiling.)

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