Their Purchasing Power Has Gone Up In Smoke

| Emporia, KS, USA | Top, Underaged

(I work in a convenience store across the street from a university. A car load of four kids pull up to the store.)

Customer #1: “I want a pack of cigarettes.”

Me: “Can I see your ID, please?”

Customer #1: *angry* “I’m 18, I don’t need to show you my f***ing ID.”

Me: “Sir, if you don’t obviously look old enough, I have to ask.”

Customer #1: “I don’t have my ID!”

Customer #2: “It’s okay, dude. I’ll buy them for you.”

Me: “No, you won’t, sir. Since I know you are buying for him, and he doesn’t have ID, I can’t sell to you.”

Customer #2: “Bulls***! Give me the f***ing smokes!”

Me: “Sorry, no.”

Customer #3: “Fine, I have my ID. I’ll buy for everyone.”

Me: “Now I can’t sell to you, sir.”

(An argument ensues at which point, I keep telling them that if I know that I am selling to someone who is buying for a person who doesn’t have his ID, I cannot by law sell them cigarettes. Finally all four leave, get into their car and move their car to the parking place on the side of the building. The fourth customer gets out, comes up to the counter and asks for four packs of cigarettes. Now, I know he is buying for his friends, but if he doesn’t admit this, I can sell him the smokes without any problems.)

Me: “Are you buying for the customers that were just in here?”

Customer #4: “Yes.”

Me: “I can’t sell to you either. Have a good night.”

(About an hour later, the police show up at the store. They inform me that they received an anonymous call claiming I was handing out baggies of white powder.)

About To Be Publicly Humiliated

| Portland, OR, USA | Transportation

(Several teenagers are sitting in the back of a city bus, playing a boombox radio very loudly and clearly annoying the other riders.)

Driver: “Sir, please turn your radio down so other passengers can ride in peace.”

Passenger: *loudly* “Public transportation means PUBLIC!”

Driver: “Please, sir… for the comfort of all our passengers, please turn down the volume on your radio.”

Passenger: *even more loudly* “PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION MEANS PUBLIC!”

(At this point, the driver slowly stands up from his seat, pausing in the aisle. He is huge, at least 6’5″ tall and 220 pounds. He doesn’t say a word. Instead, he just smiles serenely, takes off his watch, and takes one step toward the back of the bus.)

Passenger: *turns off radio rapidly*

All You Can Eat, Not You Can Eat All

| MI, USA | Food & Drink, Money

(I work in a buffet restaurant, mostly serving pizza. The customers pay at the register when they come in.)

Customer: “Can I get a to-go box for my leftovers?”

Me: “Well, you have to pay extra for anything you want to take with you.”

Customer: “Why? I already paid at the door when I came in so this is my pizza on the table. Why do I have to pay more for it?”

Me: “Because the buffet price is only for what you eat here. We can’t afford for people to eat here and take food home with them for another meal.”

Customer: “I’m not stealing if that’s what you’re trying to say!”

Me: “Ma’am, are you full? Are you finished eating?”

Customer: “Yes!”

Me: “Then you have had all you can eat. That’s all you paid for.”

Not The Sharpest Bigot

| AZ, USA | Bigotry, Top, Wild & Unruly

(I’m walking around the store seeing if any shoppers need help.)

Me: “Excuse me, sir, are you finding everything all right today?”

Customer: *turning* “Oh, what the f*** is this?”

Me: “Um… what is what?”

Customer: “I haven’t been helped by a single American since I got here. Are you people even hiring whites?”

(Our town has a regrettably accurate reputation for being somewhat racist. Customers often ignore non-white employees or refuse their aid. I’m of Indian descent, but was born and raised a few miles away in Phoenix.)

Me: “Sir, all our employees are American citizens. If you don’t need help, though, I’ll just go.”

Customer: “Hang on, where’s your manager’s office?”

(I point.)

Customer: “Good!”

(Without warning, he grabs my arm and drags me forcefully to the office. He pushes it open without knocking.)

Customer: “You need to arrest this man! He’s an illegal!”

(My manager turns in her chair. She’s got light brown skin, and is often mistaken for Hispanic.)

Manager: “Sir, I know for a fact [my name] is a citizen. And you need to take your hands off him right now.”

Customer: *not letting go* “Oh my God! They’ve got a Mexican in charge. No wonder you don’t hire whites!”

Manager: “Sir, more than half of my employees are white. Now let [my name] go or I will call the police.”

Customer: “Are you threatening me? I’m a real American, you can’t threaten me!”

(At this he pulls out a Swiss Army knife and points it at her.)

Manager: “No, I’m not. Would you like me to?”

(Without warning, she draws a knife of her own from nowhere and slams it point-first into the desk.)

Manager: “That’s one. I’m carrying nine. Let him go.”

(The customer goes pale and releases both my arm and the knife.)

Manager: “Thank you.”

(Instead of letting him go, my manager locked him in the office and called the police, who came and arrested him for assault and threatening with a weapon. As they were leading him out, my manager stopped him for a moment.)

Manager: “And by the way, I’m not Hispanic, I’m Romani. If you’re going to be a racist, at least learn the difference.”

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A Storm Of Protest

| Seattle, WA, USA | Uncategorized

(I work at a call center for a large online distributor of high-end lighting.)

Me: “Thanks for calling [company], this is [name]. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “Hi, I was wondering where my shipment was.”

Me: “Okay, if you give me your order number, I can check on that for you.”

Customer: “I don’t have my d*** order number! Can’t you just look it up by my name?”

Me: “Unfortunately, since we have customers all over the country, I can’t look you up by just your name. I can try your email address, however.”

Customer: “Oh, okay! It’s [email].”

Me: “Okay, give me just a moment to pull that up.”

Customer: “Thanks. I’m really frustrated because this d*** thing was supposed to arrive yesterday and it’s still not here yet.”

(I pull up her order. The tracking information for her shipment says that it is being delayed because of the hurricane. I check her information: she is located in New York, a few miles outside of New York City.)

Me: “I’m sorry for the delay in shipment, but it seems that delivery to your area is on hold because of the hurricane.”

Customer: “What? The hurricane was last night. Is my furniture coming today?”

Me: “Unfortunately, the shipping company is going to have a hard time getting to your area because of the hurricane.”

Customer: “What the f***?! How is that my problem? I paid for the d*** furniture, and I want it to be delivered on time!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but have you seen the news for your area?”

Customer: “Well, duh! Everyone’s talking about the d*** hurricane!”

Me: “Well, ma’am, would you want to be out driving right now?”

Customer: “Of course not! It’s awful out there!”

Me: “But you expect the delivery company to be able to get to you?”

Customer: *silence*

Me: “They will be out for delivery as soon as everything is cleaned up.”

Customer: *click*

Editor’s note: Although this story tells the lighter side of things, the devastation caused by Sandy is very serious. Click here to visit FEMA’s dedicated Sandy page and learn how you can donate and volunteer.

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