One Person’s Joke Is Another Person’s Trauma

, , , , , | Right | July 16, 2020

I’m cashiering at a busy restaurant on a Saturday night. A man marches up to the counter to pick up a to-go order. Having dealt with many surly customers tonight, I’ve found the best way to avoid getting yelled at is to smile brightly and ignorantly while saying as little as possible.

Me: *Smiling widely* “Hello! It looks like your food is ready; I’ve got it right here for you! Your total is [amount over $40].”

Customer: *Grumbling* “I’ve only got seven.”

He pulls out his wallet and takes a single bill out.

Customer: “No, I’ve only got $5.”

He places the $5 bill on the counter between us, steps back, and gives me a hard stare. I don’t move to touch the money. Still smiling, but feeling a bit uncomfortable under his glare, I respond the only way I can think of.

Me: “We’re still $38 short.”

The man continues to glare at me, hard. I can feel my smile fading, turning into a deer in the headlights look. Just as I’m about to turn to grab a manager, he grabs the money off the counter, pulls his wallet back out, and hands me a card. I quietly swipe it and hand him the receipt to sign.

Customer: *Shrugging harshly* “This is ridiculous.”

Now just trying to get him out, I shrug back and avert my eyes. Suddenly, the man’s face turns into a grin.

Customer: “You know I’m just messing with you, right? Just thought I’d lighten up your day a bit!”

Relieved, but still on edge, I smiled back. In one fluid motion, the man signed the receipt, handed me the $5 bill as a tip, grabbed his food, and left, chuckling on his way out.

1 Thumbs
302