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Category: Holidays

Even during the holidays, customers don’t seem to take a break. With that many extra light-bulbs around you’d think a few extra would appear above their heads?

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Thankful To Be Rid Of You

| Long Island, NY, USA | Holidays

(I’m working box office at a movie theater on Thanksgiving Day. My shift starts right around noon, and goes until around eleven at night, meaning I miss most of the holiday. I’m sad about this, as I’m a huge holiday person, but I’m trying to put on a cheery face for the customers. Two older women come up to my register, both smiling and still well-dressed from Thanksgiving dinner.)

Me: “Good afternoon! What can I do for you both today?”

Customer: “We’re just so excited to be here; we just had the best Thanksgiving dinner!”

Me: “That’s great!”

Customer: “Are you all excited to have dinner with your family?”

Me: *trying my best to keep my tone happy and light* “Well, unfortunately, I won’t be able to, but I’m looking forward to the leftovers; those are the best parts anyway!”

(Suddenly, both women lose their friendly manner and stare at me with heavy frowns, eyeing me as if I’ve just spit on an American flag.)

Customer: “You mean you aren’t having Thanksgiving dinner?”

Me: “Well, not at the same time as my family.”

Customer: “Well, why not? Don’t you like Thanksgiving?”

Me: “I love Thanksgiving, but my family always has dinner at two, and I’ve been at work since noon.”

Customer: “Don’t you have a Thanksgiving dinner to go later today?”

Me: *still trying to smile and ignore their frowns and angry tones* “Well, my boyfriend’s family does eat around six, but I’m working here until eleven, so I’m afraid I’ll miss that, too.”

Customer: “That’s unbelievable! You must not like Thanksgiving at all! How awful!”

Me: “I promise you, I do not dislike Thanksgiving. I simply have to work.”

Customer: “You just must hate Thanksgiving! I cannot imagine hating Thanksgiving!”

Me: “Again, I do not dislike Thanksgiving. We all have to work holidays here, that’s all.”

Customer: “But… why?”

Me: “…because people come to see–” *I don’t answer her for a moment, but it’s clear she sincerely doesn’t understand why, so I try to speak with the least accusing tone possible* “–movies on holidays, and someone has to sell them their tickets?”

Customer: *huffing and shaking her head* “I just cannot believe that someone could dislike Thanksgiving. Imagine, not eating with your family. We’ll take two tickets to [Movie], by the way.”

(I swipe her card and print their tickets, now trying not to cry; I was truly heartbroken to be working on one of my favorite days, but I had no choice.)

Me: “Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your movie.”

Customer: *shaking her head at her friend as they walk away* “Can you imagine, hating Thanksgiving that much?”

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Going Nuts For Candy

| Wilmington, MA, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Holidays

(It is the first of November, during a huge clearance sale on leftover Halloween candy. I finish ringing up a customer’s items and ask if she has any coupons that she’d like to use. Much to my surprise, she presents two: one for candy… one for nuts.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I can’t use this coupon. You haven’t bought any nuts.”

(She looks blankly at me for a moment.)

Customer: “There are nuts in the candy.”

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The Nightmare Before Halloween

| Canada | Holidays, Non-Dialogue

My manager asks me to go “deal with the pumpkins.” When I ask what is up with them, she tells me that a customer (a grown woman) had climbed into the bin and stood on the pumpkins while looking for the perfect one.

After tossing the survivors into the neighbouring bin and cutting larger holes into it so people could reach in more easily, I take the bin of smashed pumpkins to the warehouse.

Eleven pumpkins died today so that someone could find one perfect jack-o-lantern prospect.

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Ghosts Of Halloween’s Past

| IL, USA | Holidays

(I work at a seasonal store that specializes in Halloween merchandise, such as costumes and decorations. As a result, we are always busiest at the end of October and have signs posted all over the store, and especially at the registers, stating that we do not accept returns or issue refunds after October 31st. It is now the first week of November, so we are already very busy with discount and clearance sales when this call comes in.)

Me: “[Store]. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, yes. I came into your store earlier today to return the costume I bought for my daughter, but your people wouldn’t give me my money back.”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry, ma’am, but since it is after Halloween, all sales are final. We aren’t offering returns at this time.”

Customer: “But we don’t need it anymore! I don’t want to have this costume, so I want to return it and get my money back.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but that’s not possible. Was there anything wrong with the costume?”

Customer: “No, but it’s after Halloween. We don’t need it anymore! Can I talk to a manager?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I’m the manager on duty today. We can’t accept a return on a seasonal item when there’s nothing wrong with it. You could always save the costume for next year and use it again.”

Customer: “I don’t want this costume for next year! I want to return it and get my money back!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but—”

Customer: “And stop saying you’re sorry! You keep saying you’re sorry but you aren’t helping me! If you say that you’re sorry one more time then I’m going to come down there and kick your ass! Now, are you going to tell me you’re sorry again?”

Me: “No, ma’am. I’m not.”

Customer: “…”

Me: “…”

Customer: “Well, are you going to help me?”

Me: “No, ma’am. I’m not.” *click*

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Pumpkin Impossible

| NY, USA | Holidays

(I am the customer in this story. Some friends and I are visiting to attend a book signing by our favorite author, known for writing a wildly popular children’s fantasy series. Our waitress, who is waiting tables at this singing restaurant until she gets a break on Broadway, notices that we’re wearing memorabilia from that series.)

Waitress: “Oh! You’re fans of [Series]! Me, too! In fact, my roommate and I just carved our Halloween pumpkins and did designs from the series. Would you like to see a picture?”

Us: “Absolutely!”

Waitress: “Okay, I’ll get in trouble if my manager sees me with my phone out on the floor, so we have to be very covert about this.”

(At this point, she started humming the theme tune from a popular spy movie and carefully tipped her phone out of her pocket onto the table so we could look. We showed one of the pictures to the author later that evening at the signing, who also thought she was very talented! I think about that waitress all the time and hope she’s doing well in her career.)

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