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  • The War On Terrorizing Customers

    | East Sussex, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bizarre, History

    (I, like many other Brits, like to wear a remembrance poppy through October and November. I work in an in-store bakery, inside a larger supermarket, where adornments are not usually permitted in case they fall off into our raw products. I have bought a remembrance poppy from the British Legion. I laminate the paper part to make it wipe-clean, and glue the stem to a safety pin, so it’s not likely to fall off my uniform. My manager gives me the go-ahead to wear it, and I am chuffed. Most customers who see it compliment me on work-proofing my poppy and being so keen to support the charity, however…)

    Customer: “Excuse me. What is THAT?!”

    Me: “What, sir?”

    Customer: That… that atrocity next to your name badge!”

    Me: “Sir, it’s a Remembrance Poppy, a charity symbol. To honour our war-dead and injured veterans.”

    Customer: “I know what it is, you blithering idiot! What have you done to it?”

    Me: “Sir, I customised it a little bit so it would be safe for me to wear in my work environment. Nobody else seems to mind. In fact, the poppy seller at the front of the store was telling me he wishes they’d make laminated or plastic poppies anyway.”

    Customer: “You’re defiling a religious symbol! You should be sued!”

    Me: “It has nothing to do with religion! It’s the emblem of a charity and a national symbol of remembrance. Plenty of people from all religions and countries lose their lives in the tragedy of warfare. I lost a friend in Afghanistan several years ago. Furthermore, once I have bought and paid for the poppy, it is my property to do with as I wish. Laminating it was not intended to be disrespectful, but rather the opposite.”

    Customer: “But—”          

    Me: “Can I ask you, sir, would you have reprimanded me for NOT wearing a poppy at all? I am quite young, after all. You might blame me and my generation for not caring about our veterans.”

    Customer: “Well, you young people can be quite disrespectful. I don’t approve of the means, but I guess I understand the motive.”

    Me: “So, can I actually help you, today, sir?”

    Customer: “Just think before you defile a religious symbol next time!” *walks away*