A Block Of Highland(er) Cheese

| Canberra, ACT, Australia | Food & Drink, One-Liners

(I’m on the register late at night when a coworker I vaguely know from another department comes through with his shopping. I scan his items and all is well until I try to scan a block of cut cheese from our deli. The register brings up a warning that it can’t be sold because it is past its use-by date.)

Me: “Sorry; it’s out of date.”

Coworker: “I don’t care.” *he holds his hand out*

(I know that its just going to be thrown out if I waste it and so does he. He is the store butcher, so I look around to check no one is around and just hand him the cheese. I feel I have to be sure though.)

Me: “You’re sure?”

Coworker: “Yep.” *he hides his cheese* “Cheese is always good. Cheese is just milk’s attempt at being immortal.”

No Point Gagging Over Spoiled Milk

| CT, USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Health & Body, Theme Of The Month

(I’m working behind the customer service desk when an elderly woman approaches with a plastic bag.)

Customer: “I’d like to return this milk and get my $3.69 back.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, ma’am. If you give me your receipt, I’ll be happy to help.”

Customer: “I don’t have the receipt. I threw it away somewhere. I don’t know. Just give me the refund. I smelled this milk, and it went very bad!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. I’m not allowed to issue refunds on opened dairy products without a receipt, but I can do an exchange if you’d like to go pick up a new one.”

Customer: “I don’t want a new one. I bought this milk this morning and it went very bad, so I’m sure all your milk is bad. I haven’t even had a chance to put it in my fridge yet and it’s already bad!”

Me: *thinking of the record heat wave we were having* “…Ma’am, it’s almost four pm. Are you saying you’ve had the milk in your car all day today?”

Customer: “Yes! Where else would I keep it while I visit my friends?! And it is very bad!”

(She then proceeds to take the plastic jug of milk out of the bag and puts it on the counter. The plastic is transparent and the sun has done a serious number on it; it’s bulging so much that the bottom isn’t flat and the jug is barely standing up straight.)

Me: “Oh , dear lord… Ma’am, you can’t willingly let your milk spoil and then come ask for a refund. Or even an exchange! I’ll have to ask you to take that away.”

Customer: “If you don’t believe me, then smell it!”

Me: “I believe you and I’m not getting near that thing!”

Customer: “No! You smell it right now!” *grabs the jug of milk and waves it at me*

(I start backing away and give a little knock on the door behind me to summon the manager. As he comes out, he sees the bulging container in her hands and gasps.)

Me: “She left it in her car all day. It’s 104°F out there. She wants a refund and she wants me to smell it.”

Manager: *still standing in the doorway behind me* “Ma’am, we can’t possibly give you a refund for being negligent with your items. You’re welcome to grab a new milk if you want.”

Customer: “I don’t want a new one. They’re all bad! See? Smell this!”

(She starts twisting open the cap and everything goes into slow motion as my manager leaps backwards into his office trying to close his door and I reach out to stop her, yelling ‘nooooo!’ Everyone within earshot is watching while she takes the cap off and something comes belching out of the jug: chunky white liquid splashing out onto the counter and the floor. The customer has conveniently opened it facing away from herself and remains clean and upwind.)

Customer: “See? It’s bad. Smell it!”

Me: *retching and on the verge of tears* “Oh, god, I can’t NOT smell it!”

Manager: *cracking open his door with his mouth and nose covered* “Give her the money! Get her out of here!”

(I smother myself with my own arm as I open the register and throw a five dollar bill onto the counter.)

Me: “Here is your refund, ma’am, plus whatever. Please just go!”

(She put the opened milk back on the counter, calmly opened her purse, counted out the $1.31 difference, took the $5, thanked us, and left with a satisfied smile on her face. As I called for the cleaning crew, I grabbed her plastic bag off the counter and felt something inside. She had the receipt the whole time.)

Have A Heart (Failure)

| Staines, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Health & Body

(I am a customer in a supermarket. Unfortunately I am standing by the dairy aisle watching a paramedics team trying to save a man on the floor who’s probably had a heart attack. Both ends of the aisle are crudely boxed off and a member of staff is standing there preventing anyone entering the aisle. At the far end of the aisle there’s a middle-aged woman arguing with the staff member to be quickly let in to just get a tub of spread. She is quietly being told no. The woman must have run down the next aisle because she suddenly appears next to me and starts arguing again with another staff member.)

Customer: “Can you just reach over and pass me a tub of that [Spread]?”

Staff Member: “Ma’am, please, have a bit of sensitivity…”

Customer: “Oh, right! As if he cares one way or another!”

(The rest of us customers stared at each other in disbelief!)

Pig-Headed Over Halal

| Australia | Bigotry, Food & Drink, Pets & Animals, Religion

(I’m re-stocking shelves in the pet food aisle in, when a lady angrily shoves a pig’s ear (a type of dog treat) at me.)

Customer: “Where is this made?”

Me: “I’m not sure, but it usually says so on the packaging.”

Customer: “I bet it’s not Australian-made.”

Me: “Well, ma’am, if it is it usually states it on the packaging itself. Australian-made is a pretty big deal to local companies, so they like to put it on there if it is.”

(I take the pig’s ear and sure enough it is made locally in the state we are in, by a local company.)

Me: “Made right here in South Australia. Right there.”

Customer: “I bet it has that disgusting Halal certification crap all over it too! You know your company supports terrorism by allowing this Muslim garbage all over our food. And us customers have to pay for it!”

Me: “You are aware that Muslims are forbidden to eat pork, right? And that this is a pork dog treat? For animals, right?”

Customer: “It doesn’t matter. Your company supports terrorism by allowing Halal on it’s products.”

Me: “Be sure to inform your dog of his choice then, ma’am. Have a nice day.”

(She angrily shoved the locally-made, obviously not-Halal certified, pork dog treat back on the shelf and stormed off.)

Not-So-Smartphone, Part 13

| MO, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Technology

(I work in the electronics department of a supermarket, where we sell prepaid phone cards.)

Customer #1: “When I tried to add this card to my daughter’s phone, it keeps telling me it’s invalid.”

Me: “Let’s see what we can figure out. We’ll try to add the card for you and see what happens.”

(The customer hands me the phone card and receipt, and recites the phone number to me. I attempt to add it using our computer and receive the message that the plan is not compatible with the model of phone. This carrier has a policy that their smartphones can only take the unlimited plans and won’t allow the fixed-minutes cards to be loaded on smartphones.)

Me: “It looks like the issue is that your daughter’s phone is probably a smartphone. Unfortunately, this particular plan is not compatible with smartphones, and you’d have to buy the [slightly more expensive card]. Our customer service desk would be happy to exchange it for you if you’ll pay the difference, though!”

(The woman calls her daughter and learns that it is, in fact, a smartphone. I return her card and receipt along with providing her the correct card, and she walks off. About ten minutes later, a man walks up to me.)

Customer #2: “We can’t get this card to load on our phone.”

Me: “That happens sometimes! Believe it or not, we actually have had someone come in with the same problem just a while ago. Let’s see if we can’t get it to go through our computer.”

(He hands me the phone card and a phone number written on a piece of paper, with no receipt. I enter the information and receive the same error message from before.)

Me: “Okay, it looks like the phone is a smartphone, which isn’t able to take this particular—”

(The woman from before walks up to join him, and I realize it’s the exact same card and phone number.)

Customer #1: Why the h*** can’t it just take that? It’s ridiculous to pay so much for cell phone service!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, that’s just [Carrier]’s policy. You might be able to take it up with them if you call their customer service number but we’re not able to do anything about it ourselves.”

Customer #1: *irate* “Whatever!”

(They take their card and the phone number, and walk away. Shortly after, the woman returns again.)

Customer #1: “You didn’t give me my receipt back!”

Me: “Ma’am, we gave you your receipt with the card when you brought it over here the first time.”

Customer #1: “But then you didn’t give it back the second time! Give it back!”

(I check all around the area for the receipt despite the fact I know I wasn’t given it the second time, and am not able to find it. I tell her politely that it was never given to me and she storms away angrily, complaining about the phone plan the whole time. Later that evening, one of my coworkers answers the phone and is talking with a customer. From the look on his face, the customer is obviously upset about something. Eventually he turns to me to ask a question.)

Coworker: “Um, the smartphones for [Carrier] can only take the unlimited cards, right?”

(Turned out, it was the same customer from before, hoping a different employee at the same store would be able to give her a different answer. When he wasn’t able to change anything either, she demanded the number to one of our other stores in the area – whose electronics area was currently understaffed and who hadn’t been able to answer the phone all day. We didn’t hear back from her after that, but I like to think she got stuck on hold for a good while.)

Related:
Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 12
Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 11
Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 10

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