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Accepting Help Doesn’t Make You Helpless

| Friendly | March 30, 2015

(I’ve stopped at a grocery store to get a few things that were on sale, pick up some of our WIC stuff (a government program that provides nutritious food to low-income children), and ended up buying an Oprah magazine. At the checkout:)

Guy Behind Me: “Nice to see my tax dollars are paying for your milk so you have money to buy stuff from Oprah.”


Guy Behind Me: *stares*

Me: “I totally forgot that accepting help to make sure my child gets nutritious food means you get to sign off on my personal decisions.”

Guy Behind Me: *stares*

Me: “I haven’t asked you yet today – what do you think of this outfit? Is it okay? And my hair? I was going to call you when I was doing it to make sure it was okay with you, but I didn’t want to interrupt you since you were probably busy.”

Guy Behind Me: *stares*

Me: “Did you want to come home with me now and make sure my clothes for tomorrow are okay? Or choose what I have for dinner? I was thinking rice and beans. Is that all right, or is that not impoverished enough?”

Guy Behind Me: *puts down his basket and leaves the store*

Throwing A Fit

| Right | March 11, 2013

(At our sub shop, when the customer orders a sub, it reaches the person who is wrapping it up. They wrap it up and then throw it back to the cashier or the customer. Usually, this is met with ‘ooh’s’ and ‘aww’s’.)

Me: “Hello, and welcome to [subshop]. What can we get for you today?”

Customer: “Yeah… can I get a one, a five, and a ten?”

Me: “Sure. Will there be anything else today? Chips? Drinks?”

Customer: “Nope.”

(The first sub is made. The wrapper catches the attention of the customer, and asks if he’s willing to catch. The customer nods and catches the sub. At this point, I have him rung up.)

Me: “That’ll be $13.05.”

(The customer hands me his credit card. The second sub is done, and the wrapper throws it. The customer catches it and nods his thanks.)

Me: “Okay. You’re all set! The last sub will be with you in a sec.”

Wrapper: “Ready?”

Customer: “Throw the sub at me again, and I’ll shove it up your a**.”

(Shocked, we say nothing and pass the sub up the line to him. He takes it and leaves with his other subs without another word.)

Not The Usual Third Wheel

, , , | Right | September 25, 2011

(I am the only girl on a team of five working in a computer repair store. There are always a few “regulars” that come in to seek help from me.)

Me: “How can I help you today, sir?”

Customer: “Yes.” *pause* “It’s my computer…”

Me: “Okay, what’s wrong?”

Customer: “Um, actually I was wondering if you would like to go get dinner or coffee or something sometime?”

Me: “Sir, I am married. Now, what is wrong with your computer?”

Customer: “So?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “What does being married have to do with going out?”

Me: “Um…”

Customer: “Oh, okay, fine! He can come too!”

Go From Feeling Low To Feeling J-Lo

| Right | October 17, 2014

(I am checking out a customer and her young son.)

Me: “Did you find everything all right?”

Customer: “Yes, thank you.”

(Meanwhile her little boy is staring at me open mouthed. I figure it’s because I’m a little shorter, not as skinny as his mom, and have thick poofy hair that looks like it belongs to a witch. But I smile at him.)

Me: “Hi!”

Little Boy: *in awe* “Mommy! She’s pretty like Jennifer Lopez!”

Me: *stares back in shock as my heart melts* “Aww! Compliment lying already! You’re going to make your girlfriend very happy when you get older!”

Refunder Blunder, Part 4

| Working | January 31, 2014

(On a whim I buy a DVD box set from a bookstore I frequent, both for work and personal items. I only have it for about 24 hours and I haven’t opened it. As luck would have it I find it online for less than half of what I paid for it. Seeing as it isn’t opened, and I have the receipt, I opt to return it to the store. The store has two entrances, I use the one closest to the parking garage as opposed to the one closest to the street. It’s closer to the registers and I’m only returning an item. I have to walk through security sensors near the registers to even get in the store.)

Me: “Hi. I’d like to return this. I have my receipt right here.”

(The cashier doesn’t even acknowledge me or give any indication she heard me. She swipes the box set back across the demagnetizer and scans it.)

Me: “Ma’am, I don’t think you heard me. I’m actually returning that item. I have my receipt right here.”

Cashier: “Oh, okay. Sorry about that. Let me just scan it again.”

(She does, and of course it comes up as magnetized.)

Cashier: “Um, this is coming up magnetized. Are you sure you’re returning this?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. I have the receipt right here.”

Cashier: “Well, it’s coming up magnetized, so I don’t believe you.”

Me: “I’m holding the receipt. I just walked through that door, some five feet away, and I didn’t set off the scanners when I walked in, so…”

Cashier: ‘We’ll just try it through the door now.”

(She takes the DVD set and walks up to the doors. Sure enough, the alarm goes off.)

Cashier: “See? The sensor went off. Are you sure you didn’t just walk back there, pick it up, and are using an old receipt?”

Me: “With all due respect, I just walked in with the item, and it didn’t set off the door when I came in. You quickly grabbed it out of my hand and you re-magnetized it when you tried to scan it the first time.”

Cashier: “I don’t believe you. People do that all the time. They buy something and then pretend to return a copy from the store later on.”

Me: “I came through this door here, nowhere near the DVDs. The receipt is only a day old. Why would I steal from a store I frequent? I’m in here at least twice a week. I should be somewhat recognizable. This is a brand new boxed set that was released this week. Your store is keeping it under the cabinet and I would have had to ask for it. So if you can find the person who supposedly did that for me today, then go ahead.”

Cashier: “What are you returning it for, anyway? You probably copied all the files to your computer and are trying to scam us!”

Me: “It’s still shrink wrapped. I have not opened it. Not that it should matter why I’m returning it, seeing as I have an unopened package and a receipt, but I found it much cheaper online and decided to save a few bucks.”

Cashier: “So, you’re telling me you bought this online and are trying to return it here?”

Me: “No. That’s not what I said at all.”

Cashier: “If you ordered it online I cannot let you return this here. Although if you got this here today, like I think you did, I can’t let you return it anyway. So you can just leave now.”

Me: “With this box set?”

Cashier: “Yes. I can’t let you return something you didn’t buy here. If you didn’t want it you can just give it to someone as a gift or something.”

Me: “Wait. First you accuse of me of stealing this item, which you say you cannot return because you’ve decided I’ve picked it up here today. Then you accuse me of buying this item online for cheaper, and trying to return it here for more money, even though I have a receipt proving I bought this item here, and you won’t return it either. Now, after all that, you’re just going to let me walk out of here with an item you think is stolen, because I can’t return it?”

Cashier: “That’s right. You can’t return it. Take it and leave!”

Me: “You do realize that if I had actually stolen the item you’d be letting me walk out the door with almost $100 worth of merchandise? Which I cannot return because you didn’t do your job correctly in the first place?”

Cashier: “Oh! You’re right. I can’t let you take that at all. That would be stealing! I’m calling security.”

Me: “I’ve got nowhere to be. You do that. In fact, why don’t you ask them to pull up the security tapes from the door as well. Why don’t you call up someone from the DVD department to ask it they served me today. And while we’re at it, ask security to pull up the tapes from yesterday, because you’ll see me right here paying for this item.”

Cashier: “I’m not going to do all that, and I’m not going to let you return this item.”

Me: “Well, then. I’d like to speak to your manager.”

Cashier: “Ugh. Fine.”

(The manager comes up a few minutes later.)

Manager: “Hi. What’s going on?”

(I hand over my receipt and the unopened package, and tell the manager the story.)

Manager: “[Cashier], why won’t you let her return this?”

Cashier: “She told me she bought it online. I can’t let her return something you she didn’t buy here!”

Me: “No. First you accused me of stealing the item and trying to return something I didn’t pay for.”

Cashier: “What about the magnet strip?”

Manager: “Did you run it across the scanner before you talked to her?”

Cashier: “Well, yes, because she was buying it!”

Me: “I was never buying it today. I was returning it. I didn’t set off the doors when I walked in.”

Cashier: “She could have come in the front doors, picked it up, and came up here!”

Manager: *scans my rewards card for the store* “You’re in here all the time aren’t you? Looks like you’ve made a lot of purchases here.”

Me: “Yup. I pick up books and DVDs for work, a TV show I work for. We spend a lot of money in this store and I’m sure you can look up how often I don’t return stuff.”

Manager: “That’s probably true. Would you mind if I had tapes pulled? I know it’s probably inconvenient for you to wait.”

Me: “Sure, go ahead. I’ve got nothing to hide.”

Manager: “You know what? I believe you. If you were lying, which I suspect you’re not because you’re in here all the time, you’d probably have put up more of a fight.”

Me: “Thank you. I appreciate that. Now, can I please return this item?”

Manager: “Sure. [Cashier], will you take care of this for me?”

Cashier: “But she told me she bought it online! I’m not going to return it. I don’t need that on my record! You do it!”

(Despite the cashier’s protests, I eventually make the return, and take both copies of my receipt just in case!)