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  • Unintentional Prejudice Is Still A Kick In The Teeth

    | Tennessee, USA | Bigotry, Language & Words

    (I’m a British exchange student working at a Tennessee supermarket. I have a very obvious accent. I’m stocking the shelves when I need to place an item out of my reach.)

    Me: “Hey, [coworker], can you give me a hand?”

    Customer: “Oh, my! Your accent is amazing! Are you English?”

    (I nod.)

    Customer: “Oooh, ooh… can you say…” *in a very bad Cockney accent* “Can I please get some help setting up this fish and chips so I can retire for tea time?”

    Me: “Erm? Sorry, I won’t.”

    Customer: “Well, why not?! I thought all you British people liked tea and fish and chips.”

    Coworker: “If I were to ask you why you aren’t wearing blue jean overalls or ending every sentence with “Y’all”, would you be offended?”

    Customer: “Well, of course I would!”

    (Both my coworker and I raise our eyebrows at her. We watch as her face turns red with realization.)

    Customer: “O-oh… I’m sorry.”

    (The customer quickly walks to the next aisle, face still red as a beet.)

    Coworker: “Sorry about that. We get a lot of people like that around here.”

    Me: “Well, at least she didn’t make a comment about my teeth.”

    PINheaded, Part 3

    | Brisbane, Australia | At The Checkout, Money, Technology

    (In Australia when you pay by card, you can either use a pin number or sign for your purchase if you pay by card. Regardless, you need to have your card on you.)

    Me: “Okay, so the total is $17.”

    Customer: *comes up $2 short* “Oh, I don’t have enough. I’ll just run to my car to get the $2.”

    Me: “Oh, here, I’ll save the transaction and keep your bags back here for you.”

    Customer: “Oh, I’ll just pay with my bank card!”

    Me: “Okay, go ahead.”

    Customer: “I have… a pin.”

    Me: “Alrighty, then. Did you have your card?”

    Customer: “Yes.” *stares at me*

    Me: “Ma’am, you have to put your card in the machine.”

    Customer: “I HAVE A PIN! I DON’T SIGN!”

    Me: “Ma’am, you have to put your card in the machine for it to take the payment.”

    (The customer mutters something about getting the $2 and walks off. I save the order and continue serving other customers. Returning with her money, the woman proceeds to cut the line and slams the correct money on the counter. I process the payment and think she’s about to leave when she starts yelling again.)

    Customer: “So, you’re telling me I have to keep my card with me all the time to pay, even though I have a pin?!”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am. The computer can’t process the payment unless the card is in the machine. It doesn’t matter if you have a pin or sign for it.”

    Customer: “BUT I HAVE A PIN!” *storms off*

    Related:
    Pinheaded, Part 2
    PINheaded

    Park On Someone Your Own Size

    | Glendale, CA, USA | Top, Transportation

    (I’m taking a load of grocery carts in the parking lot. The lot is pretty full, and I notice a large pickup truck and a shiny blue SUV flanking an empty space labeled ‘Compact.’ A female driver in a compact car carefully edges her car into the empty space, then gets out. The male driver of the blue SUV, who has been sitting inside, gets out a moment later.)

    Male Driver: “Hey! Hey, lady, you need to be more careful!”

    Female Driver: “Why?

    Male Driver: “You could have scratched my paint!”

    Female Driver: “What? I didn’t touch your car.”

    Male Driver: “But you could have scratched my paint! You shouldn’t try to park in spaces that are this small if you can’t be more careful.”

    (I should note that the small car is well within the lines of her parking space, whereas the SUV is halfway over his.)

    Female Driver: “I didn’t scratch your car.” *starts to walk away*

    Male Driver: *grabs her shoulder* “Who’s your insurance? I want to talk to your insurance!”

    Female Driver: “I didn’t touch your car, so I’m not giving you any of my information!”

    Male Driver: “But you could have scratched it! I might scratch my car on yours when I back up, and you’ll have to pay for it!”

    (She’s clearly trying to get away from him, so at this point I walk over and intervene.)

    Me: “Sir, if you hit this lady’s car when you’re backing out, you’d be the one at fault, so you’d be the one paying for it.”

    Male Driver: *turns to me* “This is YOUR fault! Your parking lot is too small. Your spaces are too small! My paint might get scratched!”

    Female Driver: “Look, mister, if you think the spaces are too small, maybe you shouldn’t have parked your freaking SUV in a COMPACT space!”

    Male Driver: *turns red and goes quickly back to his car*

    Your Eating Habits Give Us Paws

    | KY, USA | Food & Drink

    (I’m working at a supermarket giving out free samples of food. I’ve just prepared a frozen meal of chicken, ravioli and garlic sauce into small sample servings. I sit the samples onto a tray next to some sporks for customers to take and enjoy.)

    Me: *to a customer* ”Hello! Would you like a sample of chicken, ravioli and garlic sauce from [brand]?”

    (The customer looks at product for a moment, and then suddenly grabs the meat and sauce with her bare hands and shovels it into her mouth.)

    Me: “You know, I do have eating utensils for your convenience.”

    Customer: “Nah, that’s okay. I can use my paws!” *wipes garlic sauce-covered fingers all over her clothing and leaves*

    Driving Miss Crazy, Part 3

    | Askim, Norway | At The Checkout, Bizarre

    (I work in a supermarket. This particular day, an old lady who is a regular customer comes in. She’s just paid for her groceries.)

    Customer: “Oh, I can’t get home. You have to help me.”

    Me: “Sure, we can call you a taxi. That’s no problem.”

    Customer: “NO! Don’t call a taxi! It’s too expensive! I live on welfare!”

    Me: “Who else should we call?”

    Customer: “I live on welfare. I can’t afford a taxi! It’s too expensive!”

    Me: “Okay, is there anyone else we can call?”

    Customer: *ignores me* “Oh, how am I supposed to get home now?”

    (It’s only fifteen minutes before we close, so I talk to my colleagues about this, and we agree that the quickest and simplest solution is for me to drive her home in my own car. We get to the nursing home where she lives, and I help her bring the groceries to her room.)

    Me: “Okay, there we are. Take care now.”

    Customer: “Oh, thank you very much for your help! That was very kind.”

    (This is the first time I’ve ever heard her say anything nice.)

    Me: *closing door*

    Customer: “YOU DRIVE LIKE A PIG!”

    Related:
    Driving Miss Crazy, Part 2
    Driving Miss Crazy

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