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He Partook WAY Too Much

, , , , , | Right | July 31, 2021

I am working in the “suits and men’s accessories” department. On an initially unremarkable Monday morning, I am approached at around 11:00 am by a man who smells strongly of alcohol and is looking for pyjama pants.

Customer: “I’m on vacation here from Nevada. Do you know the area?”

Me: “I’m pretty familiar. What are you looking for?”

Customer: “Know where I can score some weed?”

I freeze, partly because I’m still in Customer Service mode and legitimately don’t know, and partly because the question is so unexpected.

Customer: *Laughs* “I guess you don’t indulge? That’s okay.”

He then sweeps me up into a hug and, caught off guard, I stay frozen until he lets me go. Laughing, he walks off. I mention it to my manager, jokingly self-reporting myself for letting a customer leave with an unanswered question, and then get back to my regular duties.

About twenty minutes later, the young lady working in the next department over comes to me in a panic and asks for my help.

Coworker: “There’s a naked guy in my fitting room hallway. He tried to hug me.”

Me: *With a sinking feeling* “Was he about this tall, southern accent?”

Sure enough, it is the same guy. I tell her to call security and head over to see what I can accomplish. He’s standing there with a pile of clothes in his hands (and nowhere else) and he smiles when he sees me.

Customer: “Hey, I’d like to buy these. Can you ring me up?”

I take his shoulder and guide him to a fitting booth:

Me: “I’ll be happy to, just as soon as you’re dressed.”

I closed the door in his face and exited to find my coworker, who informed me that security was busy with a shoplifter and couldn’t be bothered with our situation. My department was empty, so I lingered a few minutes to make sure this ended well, only for the hugger to exit the dressing room and make a beeline for the exit between our departments. We just let him go; there was a pile of clothes in the booth he’d used, but we couldn’t be sure if it was all of what he’d had or not. We never found out if he was related to the other shoplifting situation or if he was a bizarre coincidence.

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Are You Shore?

, , , , , , | Related | July 31, 2021

This happened back in the 1970s. I was nearly five and my little sister would have been about three. After growing up in London, we had just moved to a small town.

Mum was taking my sister and me on our first trip to the shops in this new town. My sister was in her buggy and I was walking by the side. As we walked over the crest of a hill, something flat and grey-blue came into view, although neither my sister nor I paid any attention to it until Mum asked us about it.

Mum: “Do you see that blue thing in the distance?”

Sister & Me: “Yes, Mummy?”

Mum: “Do you know what it is?”

Our guesses included a stream, a river, a pond, and a lake until, eventually…

Me: “Mummy, is it the sea?”

Mum: “Yes!”

Sister & Me: “Wow!”

When we were growing up in London, Mum and Dad didn’t have a car, so going to the beach was a very rare event — maybe once a year — so Sis and I were quite taken with this knowledge that we were near the coast.

That night, when Sis and I were in our rooms, Mum came to check that we were asleep and was quite surprised to see me awake. I was really worried.

Mum: “Are you all right?”

Me: “You know the sea, Mummy?”

Mum: “Yes, dear?”

Me: “Will it still be there tomorrow?”

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Bigots Can Be Such A Drag

, , , , , , | Friendly | July 31, 2021

My family and I are visiting the USA for a family holiday. Before this trip, my sister and I have never been to North America before in our lives. We live in the UAE, which is located in the middle east. My family is biracial; my dad is German/Brazilian and my mum is Indian. I’m bisexual, and the rest of my family is straight.

We are in the streets of New York, our final destination. This trip has simultaneously been the best and worst we have ever been on. It’s about 12:00 pm and some drag queens avidly speaking in Spanish walk by us, and a nearby man turns to speak to my father.

Man: “Can you believe those f****** [gay slur] [Mexican slur]s? This is why we need the walls — to keep the immigrants out of here.”

Dad: *Smiling* “That’s exactly my thought; the indigenous people need to finally take a stance. I mean, after what your ancestors did to them, it’s only common courtesy for you to go back to Europe.”

Man: “How f****** dare you?! My family built this country! Take your [Mexican slur] wife and kids and get out of here.”

Mum: “I’m from India.”

Man: *Pissed* “Whatever. You’re probably both [gay slur]s.”

I finally speak up.

Me: “No, that’s me.”

Surprisingly, he did not want to talk to us any longer, but the drag queens, who had heard everything, came up to us after and thanked us for standing up to him. They even bought my sister and me a hotdog!

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Why Would Anyone Help Anyone Ever?!

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: HyperMushrambo | July 31, 2021

I work at a popular fast food chain. I am visiting a retail chain straight out of work. I am still in uniform and my hair is a mess, so I still have my [Fast Food Chain] hat on.

I swing by electronics to check out the games, and while I am looking at them, there is a pretty young kid and his mother talking to an employee about what game he wants to get. I overhear their whole conversation. He wants a Pokémon game but doesn’t know which one to get. His mom clearly has no idea and the employee, a very pleasant older gentleman who doesn’t know BEANS about something like Pokémon, is trying to help puzzle out the difference between two games.

I love the kid’s enthusiasm and totally understand his anxiety about wanting to get the right one, and since I can see his mother and the employee struggling, I go ahead and politely interject. I explain the general difference between the games and answer the kid’s questions about them. He eventually makes a decision and the (very relieved) adults head off to the register to check out.

I am about to leave when an older woman and her husband get my attention.

Woman: “I need help with the TVs.”

Me: “Sorry, I don’t really know anything about TVs.”

Woman: *Huffily* “Why not? Aren’t you expected to?”

I realized that, in spite of my uniform, she thinks I am an employee. I laugh.

Me: “Sorry, I don’t work here; I work for [Fast Food Chain].”

Woman: *Huffing again* “Well, you were helping those people just a minute ago.”

Me: “Yes, because I knew the answer and was able to help.”

Woman: *Snorting* “Why would you do that if you don’t work here?”

I am genuinely baffled by the question.

Me: “To… be nice?”

Woman: “I don’t know why you would do something like that.”

I just stare at her. How do you even respond to that? After a moment of silence:

Woman: “So, can you help me with the TVs or not?”

Me: “No.”

And I walked away. I don’t quite understand what about basic human kindness is so confusing, but there it sits. But the little boy got his game, and at the end of the day, that’s what really matters.

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Yes! Flex That Beautiful Authority!

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Hysterical_Realist | July 30, 2021

In my day job, I’ve been working from home for the entire health crisis period. We are in the planning stages to finally move back into the office soon. To that end, I was tasked — along with a couple of management-type people — to head over to our local grocery store to price out supplies for a “welcome back” social event at the office — cleaning supplies plus food-type things that we could put together in a grab-and-go-style conference room function.

The dress code for workers at this store incorporated a white dress shirt, black khaki pants, and a black nametag on the chest. Those who were still masked wore black masks with the store logo prominently displayed on the cheek. None of us office workers were dressed in any way remotely resembling this.

But we were all carrying clipboards to take notes for later when we were ready to come back and buy the stuff. Hence the confusion, I suppose. A customer approached us, and, without even a greeting, started up with her demands.

Customer: “You guys are out of [product]. I need you to go get some from the back.”

Me: “Oh, sorry, I know I’m carrying a clipboard, but I don’t actually work here. You can tell any employee from how they’re dressed; I’m sure they’ll be happy to help you.”

Customer: “I do not find this acceptable. You either help me this instant or go get your manager who will fire you and then help me.”

I flagged over one of my bosses.

Me: “You want to talk to my manager? Here she is.”

And I stepped aside. The customer laid into my boss.

Customer: “You really need to train your employees better. This man—” *jabs a finger to my chest* “—is refusing to help me! You need to review his employment status, and then GET ME WHAT I NEED!”

My boss half-ignored the customer.

Boss #1: “Hey, [My Name], did you get a second job at the store without telling me?”

Me: “Nope. I still work for you, not for them!”

Boss #1: “Okay then, carry on. I’m sure this lady can find a store worker to help her.”

One unfortunate aspect of the culture we live in is that a woman in authority is not always taken as seriously as she should be. It’s doubly true for [Boss #1], who, in addition to her gregarious personality, is also on the smaller size physically. Additionally, although she’s in her mid-thirties, she happens to look legitimately twelve years old.

The customer, on the other hand, had reached red hot status and had now found herself a second target.

Customer: “*UN. F******. BELIEVABLE. I CAN’T BELIEVE THE DISRESPECTFUL LITTLE CHILDREN THEY LET INTO THIS STORE! YOU ARE GOING TO HELP ME NOW OR I WILL REPORT YOU DIRECTLY TO THE OWNER, WHO GOES TO MY CHURCH!”

That’s when [Boss #2] rounded the corner, witnessed the situation, and immediately figured out what was going on. [Boss #2] is pretty much the opposite of [Boss #1]. She’s six feet tall. She’s very solidly built physically; she doesn’t walk so much as she lumbers. She’s ex-military and is fully trained to take charge in a wartime situation. Short version, this woman KNOWS how to effectively take up the ample space she’s been given. Bonus points: she’s British and her accent gives her an extra weight of authority when she wants to flex it.

She wanted to flex her authority. She walked up behind the customer and asked in her best command voice:

Boss #2: “Is there a problem here?”

The customer took on a smug facial expression as if to say, “Finally, I found somebody competent.” Then, she turned around and took a look at [Boss #2] in her mountainous position directly behind her. I saw her face lose its smugness, and the only sound she could manage was a half-surprised, half-terrified squeak.

Boss #2: “THESE PEOPLE HAVE TOLD YOU ALREADY THEY DON’T WORK HERE. I SUGGEST YOU WALK AWAY RIGHT NOW, PERHAPS LEAVE THE STORE, BEFORE THINGS GET A LITTLE MORE UNCOMFORTABLE FOR YOU. ARE WE IN AGREEMENT HERE?”

The customer started moving away rapidly in a manner I can only describe as “scampering.” I suspect she actually did leave the store, because her face suggested she was unable to co-exist in the same space as her abject embarrassment. And the three of us office-types were able to finish our party planning and make it out of the store without further incident.

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