• A Pain In The Nugget
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    Having A Whine About The Wine

    | Glasgow, Scotland, UK | Food & Drink, Time

    (I work at the fish counter in a well-known supermarket chain. This exchange takes place just before nine am on a Saturday, one hour after opening. A well-dressed woman walks up.)

    Me: *smiling* “Hi, there, what can I get you?”

    Customer: “I’d like four of the salmon fillets in two oven bags with lemon butter.”

    Me: “No problem.” *printing the barcode labels to stick to the bags* “I don’t mean to be rude or anything, but how much longer will you be in the store for?”

    Customer: “What do you mean?”

    Me: “It’s just that I notice you have milk, meats, and various chilled items, as well as your fish.”

    Customer: *looking suspicious* “Does that matter?”

    Me: “You also have several bottles of wine in your trolley.”

    Customer: “I don’t see the problem here.”

    Me: “Alcohol can only be sold during licensing hours, which here is 10 ’til 10. You’d have to be in-store for at least another hour before you can buy any.”

    (By this point I have bagged the salmon, heat-sealed it and am now sticking on the labels.)

    Customer: “But I need this wine today! I’m having friends round for dinner; that’s why I need the salmon!”

    Me: “It’s no problem. You could leave the wines here at the counter. The aisle’s just there and we’re not busy yet, so I can put them back, or I can hold them here at the counter for you until you come to get them after 10.”

    Customer: “I don’t have time for that! I’m having friends round and I need to cook!”

    Me: “Well, nobody can sell alcohol before 10, so that’s really your only option, unless come back later and redo your whole shop, but that’s just inconvenient for everyone.”

    (I hand her the bags of salmon, which she throws in the trolley.)

    Customer: “Never mind, then.”

    (She then flounced off, leaving the trolley parked in front of the counter, full of shopping. I called after her; she ignored me and left the store. I had to call colleagues from various other departments to take the trolley back, root through it, and take the items from their departments back to the shelves and fridges/freezers. I just cut open the salmon bags and put the fillets back on display.  The kicker, though? I came back from my hour lunch break a little after one, and she was having a go at the colleague covering me for “not keeping all her shopping aside for her, ‘like that stupid little kid promised.’” I took a great deal of pleasure informing her she’d have to redo the lot.)

    Thank You For Coming In But Not Really

    | GA, USA | At The Checkout, Holidays

    (Our store, unlike our competitors, is open every day but Christmas. It is Thanksgiving. I’m the bagger.)

    Customer: “What are you doing open on Thanksgiving?”

    Me: “Well, this store stays open for normal hours every day but Christmas.”

    Customer: “That’s not good; you should be with your family.”

    (We have been keeping track of how many people say this, something that frustrates us as we would LOVE to be home.)

    Me: “Well, as long as it is profitable to be open today, the store is open.”

    Customer: “That’s too bad; its a shame they make you work today.”

    Me: *to the cashier, after customer leaves* “I think my comment about the profitable was too subtle. Don’t these people realize we are only open because they come to buy things?”

    (That day we counted around 200 people saying it was a shame we were working on Thanksgiving.)

    God Loves Little Boys Who Stand Up For Others

    | Bath, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Family & Kids, Top

    (I and my seven-year-old son are shopping for a birthday present for a girl in his class. She’s asked for dressing up clothes or accessories so we get a wand, tiara, and jewellery. I also have our regular shopping in the trolley. We get to the tills and there’s at least a three person queue at each till. We join a queue and have waited a couple of minutes when my son puts the tiara on and waves the wand.)

    Son: *in a “posh” voice* “I’m the Queen and I say this line should move faster!”

    (I and a few others smile at his playfulness when a man in line at the next till yells at me.)

    Man: “You can’t let your son do that. If he turns into a f****t it’ll be your fault.”

    (Everyone stops and stares at him in horror whilst the cashiers call for a manager.)

    Son: “What’s a f****t?”

    Me: “It’s a nasty word that only nasty people use so you mustn’t say it.”

    Man: “It means gay, kid.”

    Son: “What’s gay?”

    Man: “It means you’re bad and going to Hell for being evil.”

    Me: “It’s when a man loves a man and a lady loves a lady.”

    Son: “Oh, like Uncle James and Uncle Ian?”

    Me: “Yep, just like Uncle James and Uncle Ian. They’re not bad, are they?”

    (My brother is a paediatric oncologist and his partner is a paediatric nurse. We’ve tried to explain what cancer is and how my brother and his partner make children feel better when they’re poorly.)

    Son: “My uncles make children better when they have poorly blood and poorly bones. If you make them go to Hell that means you want the children to be poorly.”

    (The manager and a security guard turn up but my son looks this man in the eye and holds his stare.)

    Son: “Do you want the children to be poorly? Do you want them to be sick and have to go to Heaven?”

    (Everyone is now staring at my son. The man has gone red and is looking around.)

    Manager: “Sir, I believe you’ve just been outwitted by a child. You should leave now and keep your disgusting views to yourself and out of my shop.”

    (The manager offered to pay for our shopping but I declined. He did, however, offer my son a toy. He chose a dress for his friend’s present.)

    God Loves Little Girls Who Stand Up For Others

    Needs Baaaaaaacon…

    | USA | April Fool's Day, Zombies

    (The zombie apocalypse has just begun. The supermarket I work at is being looted by the survivors and I decide to join in. As I’m filling up my bag with canned goods a customer approaches me.)

    Customer: “I need bacon.”

    Me: “Seriously?”

    Customer: “Yes, seriously! I demand to eat bacon! I will NOT start the zombie apocalypse on common canned goods.”

    Me: “Well, then, try the meat section. Now if you don’t mind, I–”

    Customer: “I already tried the meat section, stupid! It’s empty! I need you to go into the back and get me some!”

    (I am so shocked by this customer’s attitude that I have no response. Then I realize the back does contain more canned goods that I can use, so I decide to play along and go look for his bacon. I get to the back and I see the door has just burst open with some ravenous zombies. Luckily they don’t see me and I sneak back out on to the shop floor, only to be confronted by the customer.)

    Customer: Well?! Where is my d*** bacon!”

    Me: “You know what, sir? There’s so much bacon back here I couldn’t carry it all. But it’s all free so why don’t you go back there and help yourself?”

    Customer: *eyes light up* “Really?”

    Me: “Sure! Knock yourself out.”

    Don’t Believe In The BRAAAINZ

    | S-Mart | April Fool's Day, Zombies

    (I’ve had a long shift at a busy register and I can’t wait to get home.  The boss starts closing down the store, while telling everyone that zombies are running amuck outside.  My bagger and I look at each other.  The boss has been known for his silly humor, so we just roll our eyes and shrug it off.)

    Me: *on automatic*  “How are you today? Do you have your [Store] savings card?”

    Customer: “BRAAAIIINZ.”

    Me: *scanning things from his cart* “Yeah, the boss is such a joker.  Who’d really believe there are zombies?”

    Customer:  “BRAAAIIINZZ!”

    Me: “Ok, sure.  So, do you want the milk bagged or just put in your cart with a sticker?”

    Customer: “BRAAAAAAAAAAIIIINZZZZ!”  *he reaches a hand towards my head*

    Me: *moving to avoid the hand* “Very funny, sir.  Your total is [total].”

    (The customer slides his debit card and punches in the PIN.  I hand him his receipt.)

    Me: “Have a good night, sir, and watch out for the ‘zombies’!”

    Customer: “BRAAAAINZ!”

    (That customer was one of the last ones out.  Shortly after, I left, although my boss tried to stop me while still going on about zombies.  I ignored him and was promptly bitten.  BRAAAINZ!)

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