Admitting Defeat Was An Easy Thing Touché

| Boston, MA, USA | Awesome Workers, Criminal & Illegal, Top, Wild & Unruly

(The owner of the bookstore where I work is very old and walks with a cane. Despite this, he always wanders the shelves and helps out patrons. Behind the counter, in a glass case, he keeps an assortment of trophies and medals he won in his youth. One night, someone decides to try to steal them.)

Owner: “I’m sorry, but you can’t be behind the counter.”

Robber: *smashing the glass* “F*** you, old man! Just stay away and don’t do anything stupid!”

(The robber sweeps the medals into his backpack and then tries to open the till.)

Owner: “Stop that, young man! You’re making a terrible mistake!”

Robber: *waves a large knife* “Yeah, well so are you! Back off! How do you open this f***ing thing?””

Owner: “Take a look at all those medals.”

Robber: “What? Just open the f***ing cash register!”

Owner: *very calmly* “Just take a look.”

Robber: *confused* “Uh, okay. Yeah, they’re gold. That’s why I took them, you a**hole. Gold fencing, gold fencing, silver fencing…”

(The owner gracefully draws the sword from his sword-cane.)

Robber: “Oh, please! Try that stuff in a real fight and you’ll just get kill—”

(With a flick of his weapon, the owner removes the robber’s glasses.)

Robber: *drops the knife* “Don’t hurt me!” *drops to his knees*

(I had called the police as soon as the knife came out. They arrive and identify the robber as a serial burglar who had stabbed a previous victim. Years later, at the owner’s retirement party, he recounts the story.)

Owner: “You know, hearing that story makes me think of two things. One, I wish a fencing judge had been there so I could have gotten the gold for that bout, and two, I missed the only time in my life when I could have asked someone if they called that a knife.”

There’s No Reason We Can’t Be Civil

| Detroit, MI, USA | Awesome Customers, History, Top

(I am a Civil War re-enactor. I am returning home from an event, still in my full Union uniform, and I make a quick stop at a major computer store. On this day people are being distracted by an angry customer who is throwing a loud fit. He is complaining that the store doesn’t carry a transmitter for his 40-year-old receiver.)

Customer: “I’ve been shuffled from one store after another to find this part! I can’t believe you don’t carry it! You’re all just a bunch of f***ing nerds caught up in your modern computers! You’re just trying to talk me into buying a computer, but I’m not having anything to do with that!”

Employee: “Sir, I promise you that I’m not trying to get you to buy a computer. But if you’re looking for an outdated part, we can try and find it for you online.”

Customer: “That’s bulls***. You’ll look stuff up online, steal my credit card information and make me buy a computer! I’m on to you a**holes and the way you use your nerd skills to rip people off and spy on them! I’m not having anything to do with your modern bulls*** technology!”

(I finally step up next to the customer and loudly speak to the employee.)

Me: *to the employee* “I’m sorry, does this mean you can’t help me fix my telegraph?”

(The angry customer turns and gives me a sharp look. His face flushes between surprise and confusion as he sees me in my Civil War uniform, but as he opens his mouth to continue, most everyone surrounding us starts laughing. He turns red and storms out of the store.)

Employee: *to me* “God bless the Army of the Potomac!”

Small Print For Small Minds

| MA, USA | Money

(The gift store where I work is going out of business. There are signs hanging up that state which items are excluded. Although the 50% off is written larger, the restrictions are still written in a fairly large font. A husband and wife are in the store.)

Me: “That will be $xx.xx.”

Husband: “Oh, why is it so expensive?”

Me: *pointing to the signs* “Well, due to vendor restrictions, the Willow Tree pieces are not part of the 50% off sale.”

Husband: “Oh, okay.”

(He pays for his purchase and starts to head toward the door, just as the wife is coming back in. The husband explains to the wife that the figures were full price.)

Wife: *to me* “Those were supposed to be half price! There’s a sign!” *points at the sign*

Me: “Actually, due to vendor restrictions, we’re not allowed to sell them at half price.”

Wife: “But the sign says 50% off!”

Me: “The sign says 50% off excluding Willow Tree and the jewelry over there.”

Wife: “Well, I didn’t read the bottom of the sign. I just read the part that says 50% off. That sign is misleading!”

Needs A Stern Conversation With Her Son

| Medford, MA, USA | Family & Kids, Rude & Risque

(It is 1993. I am working the register when an elderly woman comes up to the counter.)

Customer: “Do you have that book, Body Parts?”

Me: “Hmm, I don’t know that one by name, but let’s see if we can find it. Who’s the author?”

Customer: “I don’t know. It’s that new story, Body PartsBody Parts.”

Me: “Hmm, okay, just give me one second to look it up so we can find it on the shelves. All our fiction is alphabetical by author.”

(I look it up in our primitive computer, and find an old book.)

Me: “Well, I don’t have that book here, but I can order it for you. It would take one to two weeks.”

Customer: “Why don’t you have it? My son says it’s a bestseller! You should have a lot of them! He saw it here and I want to get it for him for his birthday!”

Me: “Actually, it’s a few years old and we haven’t had it in the store for some time now. When’s his birthday? Maybe I can get it in time.”

Customer: “No, he saw it here yesterday! Body Parts! It’s a bestseller.”

Me: *flash of recognition* “Wait, a bestseller, right? Are you looking for Private Parts by Howard Stern?”

Customer: “That’s what I said! Private Parts! Private Parts!”

(The woman is now yelling the correct name of the book. Other customers turn to look and giggle.)

Me: “Of course, Private Parts. Sorry, I must have heard you wrong. Right this way.”

(I bring her to the best sellers rack and hand her a copy of the book. The cover has a photo of the disk jockey Howard Stern, naked, but holding a cloth over his private parts.)

Me: “Is this the book?”

Customer: *squints through her glasses at the book* “Oh! This is disgusting! Ugh! My no-good son’s gonna get it!”

(She drops the book on the floor and walks out in a huff.)

Drunk But Orderly

| IL, USA | Awesome Customers

(I work as a bouncer at a bar in a small Illinois college town. On the busier weekend nights there are cops stationed in the bar district. Sometimes, they just sit and talk with the various bouncers, asking how their nights are going and watching for drunks. As I’m out at the exit door talking with one, he is telling me that it has been a slow night for the police with no real problems. Just then, a patron stumbles out of my door with a beer bottle in his hand.)

Me: “Sir, you can’t bring your beer outside of the bar. Could you please go back inside with it?”

Customer: “Why don’t you f*** off! You can’t do s*** to me!”

(Before I can say anything, the cop, who is next to me but out of view of the customer, steps out and addresses him in a non-threatening but very deep tone.)

Cop: “I advise you do what this man says. He may not be able to harm you, but I can. And I would love for you to give me an excuse to arrest you.”

(The customer looks as for a moment he is going to take a swing at the cop, but reconsiders his actions.)

Customer: “Perhaps I should go back inside.” *hurries back inside*

Cop: *turns to me* “I was really hoping he would make a move. Then I’d finally get to do something fun tonight!”

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