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Necklaces, Festivals, And Humming, Oh My

, , , , , | Right | August 25, 2021

Our store sells out-of-season and overstock products. It’s fifteen minutes past close and I am waiting for the last two customers, a couple, to purchase their items and leave so that I can close down my last drawer.

The couple approaches my register to check out and the husband starts off with a question about some items they have. He has such a strong southern accent that it is very hard for me to understand what he is saying.

The wife holds up two different necklaces packaged in their respective boxes.

Husband: “We wanna know if we can switch this to this.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Wife: *Rudely interjects* “I want to know if I can switch this part of this necklace to this one.”

Me: “Well, if you take tweezers to the clasps holding that part of the necklace, it would be quite easy to switch those pieces, so yes, you could do that.”

Husband: *To his wife* “She is clearly not understanding what you are saying.”

Me: “I am so sorry. Did I misinterpret something?”

Wife: “Well, I like this piece on [Necklace #1], but I like this piece on [Necklace #2], and I want to know if I can take one piece off and put it onto the other necklace.”

I begin to reiterate my point of being able to do that with tweezers. The couple grows more frustrated. I then realize that the wife wants me to take apart the necklaces, right now, put the piece she wants onto the other necklace, and then sell them to her that way.

Me: “I cannot do that. The necklaces come that way and are priced that way, so they must stay that way.”

This infuriates the couple and they grow increasingly frustrated. The wife slams the jewelry down on the counter.

Wife: “Whatever. I don’t even want them anymore.”

Husband: “I told you we should have gone to [Sister Store]. They would have let us switch them.”

Me: “Unfortunately, sir, [Sister Store] does not sell jewelry, so they actually would not have been able to do that.”

They go silent for a minute while I continue to ring up their other items. I am wearing a wristband for a popular music festival I attended.

Husband: “Is that a [Popular Music Festival] wristband?”

Me: “Yes, sir, it is. I go every year.”

Husband: “I can’t believe you attend that stupid festival! We live in [Town the festival is in] and it causes so many problems for us!”

Me: “Well, sir, I know it may be inconvenient for the four days it is happening, but [Popular Music Festival] actually brings in a lot of money for your town.”


Does he really think that is how it works? Has he not seen the brand-new [Popular Retail Chain] and recently renovated high school in his town?

Husband: *Unintelligible*

Me: “I am sorry, sir. I could not understand what you said.”

Husband: *Unintelligible again*

Me: “I am really sorry, sir. I do not understand.”


After this comment, I go silent and try to ring up their items as quickly as possible. I still do not know what he said.

Me: “Would you like your receipt emailed to you?”

Husband: “Yes, I would.”

Me: “Okay, please input your email into the PIN pad.”

The wife goes to put her email in. This tends to be a lengthy process, so while she is doing this, I zone out and start humming and tapping my nails to the beat of the music. I often tap my fingers or shake my leg when unoccupied due to ADHD.

Wife: “Honey, you are never going to get anywhere with that patience. I work as a middle school teacher and I know exactly what tapping your fingers means.”

Me: “Actually, ma’am, it means that I have ADHD and I need to be moving at all times.”

This shuts her right up and she storms away. I give the husband his receipt and they finally leave. While I am closing down my drawer, I see them talking to my manager. They are both pointing their fingers at me, and I can tell they are yelling at him.

My manager walks up to me after they leave to tell me what they said.

Manager: “They just told me that you were so rude and that I should fire you.”

Dumbfounded silence falls.

Manager: *Laughs* “Don’t worry. I could hear everything, and they were a problem from the start. You are not in trouble.”

A couple of weeks later, I see the couple back in the store and I make a point of walking up to them.

Me: “Hi! How are you guys doing today?!”

They both stared in silence, clearly upset that I did not get fired. I walked away with a huge smile on my face.

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