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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    In The Firing Line

    | England, UK | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (I work in a small supermarket in my small town. It’s near Christmas and we are fully staffed. I’m on my break after four hours of constant checkout work. I am in the queue with some food with a very impatient customer who is a frequent annoyance in our store. I already handed my notice of leaving in and am starting a new job after Christmas.)

    Customer: *looks at me* “I’ve been waiting for 20 minutes!” *it has actually been more like four minutes*

    Me: “Yeah, it’s very busy this time of year. Everybody does last minute shopping. I’m only going to have five minutes to each my lunch.” *attempt at defusing with a laugh*

    Customer: “Why are you not working? Can you not jump on a till?”

    Me: “Sorry, I am on my break. I’ve been here since six am.”

    Customer: “I thought you people were meant to help customers whenever they need? The poster says so.”

    Me: “I am sorry, but all the tills are being used.” *gestures to all tills* “And the poster says ‘ask a member of staff and we will try to help you.'”

    Customer: “I know you have a spare till in the back that you only use for staff. Can you not bring it out? *giving the b***iest look I’ve ever seen*

    Me: *with a sarcastic shocked look* “How do you know about our secret till?! I am only used as a decoy here in the customer queue so nobody can catch on to our super secret discount staff till in the back because I love to wait in a queue instead of eating my lunch!”

    (The customer then scoffs and gets served and turns around to me.)

    Customer: “I would wish you a Merry Christmas but you’re obviously not as educated as me to comprehend such words.”

    Me: “And a very Merry Christmas to you too, Mrs [Customer]. I can’t wait to serve you and your excessive amount of booze on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings whilst everyone judges you in the queue!” *smiles*

    A Healthy Uptake In Coupons

    | London, UK | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Money

    (Customer hands over £12 worth of healthy living vouchers which can only be used on milk and fruit & vegetables when she has only purchased crisps and other ‘junk’ food.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, but we’re unable to accept these coupons as you haven’t bought any of the products listed.”

    Customer: “But I need to feed my child.”

    Me: “Yes, but you’ve not bought £12 worth of fruit and veg or milk.”

    Customer: “But my child doesn’t eat fruit and vegetables. He prefers to eat crisps.”

    Me: “Yes, but the coupons are specifically provided by the government to promote healthy eating.”

    Customer: “Well, how am I supposed to use the coupons, then? My child is a toddler now and doesn’t eat fruit or vegetables any more. I want to speak to a manager!”

    (The manager basically reiterated what I had said and she threatened to contact Head Office. We never heard anything from Head Office.)

    Other Customers Might Need Hazard Pay

    | Newry, Northern Ireland, UK | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

    (I’m looking for a cheap pair of runners for bike riding in a well known, high street supermarket. I’m wearing a hoodie that looks similar to the fleece jackets worn by staff. A man, large and burly, comes up to me.)

    Man: “Hey, you! How much are these jeans?”

    (I realise he thinks I work here.)

    Me: “Sorry, friend, I don’t work here. Wouldn’t know.”

    (I expect that to be the end of it.)

    Man: “That’s not what I f***** asked, pal.”

    (I left quite quickly.)

    Annoyingly Consistent

    | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Money

    (I am sitting on the registers as the main cashier for the day when an older woman marches up to my counter.)

    Me: “Good morning. How are you today?”

    Customer #1: “I don’t have time for this chit chat. I just want to pay for this jar of coffee and go as I am in a hurry.”

    (I scan the item and tell the customer the price of the item.)

    Me: “That’ll be [total price].”

    Customer #1: “Excuse me? How much?”

    Me: “Um, the total for the jar of coffee is [total price].”

    Customer #1: “That is far too much money; I’ll go choose another one.”

    (The customer storms off leaving the original jar of coffee with me. I put it to the side of my register and serve several other customers during the customer’s absence. Another customer unpacks her groceries onto my till and I greet her.)

    Me: “Hello. How are you?”

    Customer #2: “I am good, thank you. How are you?”

    Me: “I am very good, thanks.”

    (Before I could start to scan Customer #2’s items, Customer #1 returns and slams a jar of coffee onto my register completely cutting in front of Customer #2. I notice the jar of coffee she has now selected is identical to her previous one.)

    Customer #1: “I am next! Not this lady! Now, I want this coffee.”

    Customer #2: “I don’t mind. Let her go first.”

    (Customer #1 looks at Customer #2. Her eyes go wide for a moment. I interject.)

    Me: “This is the same brand and size as the coffee you wanted before.”

    Customer #1: “No, it is not. This one is cheaper than the previous one.”

    (I scan the coffee and sure enough it is the same price as the one earlier.)

    Me: “That’ll be [total price].”

    Customer #1: “See? Much better.”

    (After Customer #1 walks out of the shop Customer #2 begins laughing hysterically.)

    Customer #2: “Sorry. I shouldn’t laugh, but she used to be my mother-in-law before my divorce and I am so glad she is annoying to everyone!”

    Happy Hypocritical Holidays!

    | Brisbane, QLD, Australia | Crazy Requests, Holidays

    (I’m waiting for a supermarket to open. It’s a public holiday and so the opening hours are a bit different to normal.)

    Lady: “Why is it taking so long to open?”

    Me: “It’s a public holiday. They open later than normal.”

    Lady: “But it’s a Monday! They should be opening at regular time. I’ve been here almost an hour!”

    Me: “So you’re going to work today?”

    Lady: “Pfft, no, it’s a holiday. No one works on holidays.”

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