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“A Waste Of Oxygen” Is Our New Phrase

, , , | Right | March 28, 2020

(I am walking by the registers when I decide to cut through a closed register instead of continuing down the row. A woman in line must think I am opening a register because she follows me. When I keep walking, she drops her canned goods on the belt and clears her throat loudly. I turn, surprised.)

Me: “Hello.”

Customer: “Well?”

Me: “Uh…?”

Customer: “Are you going to check me out or just stand there?”

Me: *looking around* “I was just walking through.”

Customer: “Lazy! Ring me up right now!” *slaps the belt* “Now! Now!”

Me: “Okay!”

Customer: “I don’t want my receipt printed or emailed or anything. Waste of paper! Who returns food?”

Me: “Okay.”

(While I’m scanning her groceries, another customer approaches.)

Customer #2: “Uh, are you open? Your light isn’t on.”

Me: “No, sorry, I—”

Customer: “Yes, she is! She’s just lazy!”

(The other customer looks at me, I shake my head, and he goes to a register where the light is on.)

Customer: “Asking if you’re open. He’s gotta check out. Of course, you’re open!”

Me: *ignoring her ranting* “Okay, your total is—”

Customer: “You don’t have to treat me like a [ableist slur]!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. Cash or card?”

Customer: “Card!”

(The transaction finishes and my register resets. Before the woman can say anything else, I walk away. The other customer who came up earlier stops me. Still, the woman calls after me.)

Customer: “Hey! Where’s my receipt? How am I gonna get out the door without a receipt? If they stop me, I’m telling on you!”

Customer #2: *to me* “What an incredible waste of oxygen that woman is.”