Selective Comprehension

| Boston, MA, USA | At The Checkout, Money

(I work for a large, upscale retailer. One night, I’m assisting a lady with several items.)

Me: “Alright, ma’am, your total is [price].”

Customer: “I believe those are all supposed to be 40% off.”

Me: “No, ma’am, these are all regular price.”

Customer: “No, I believe everything is 40% off.”

Me: “No, ma’am, there may be a sale like that upstairs in the Ladies’ area, but we don’t have any discounts like that here in Men’s.”

Customer: “Well, there’s a sign in your front windows that says everything’s 40% off!”

Me: “Well, perhaps I’m mistaken. Would you mind showing me where you saw that?”

(She leads me out the front door of our store and points to a large sign in the window.)

Customer: “See? 40% off!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, but it says 40% off ‘Selected Items.'”

Customer: “Right! And these are the items I’ve selected!”

To Bacon, Or Not To Bacon, That Is The Digestion

| Los Angeles, CA, USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Top

(I am taking a table’s order.)

Me: “Okay, sir. What can I get for you to eat?”

Customer: “I’ll have a bacon cheeseburger, but if they add bacon to it, I don’t want bacon.”

Me: “So, do you want a regular cheeseburger?”

Customer: “No. I want my burger to have bacon on it. But if it comes with bacon, then I don’t want bacon.”

(I have absolutely no idea what he is asking for, and all his friends seem to be as confused as I am.)

Me: “Okay, just to make sure I am understanding you correctly, I am going to repeat what you are asking for.”

Customer: “Okay.”

Me: “You want a bacon cheeseburger, and if there is bacon on it, you don’t want the bacon.”

Customer: “Right.”

Me: “But you definitely want the bacon on the burger.”

Customer: “Right.”

(Now all his friends are laughing, and I have no idea what to say. Suddenly, the customer realizes what he’s been saying.)

Customer: “PICKLES! Oh my God, I don’t want PICKLES on the burger!”

Me: “Oh, thank God! I was starting to think I went crazy!”

Perceiving Percival

| Minneapolis, MN, USA | Geeks Rule, Top

Me: “Was there any particular style of glasses you where looking for today?”

Customer: “I’m looking for some horn rimmed, half-moon spectacles.”

(As an avid Harry Potter fan, I recognize this as the word-for-word description of a certain character’s glasses.)

Me: “I’m sorry, Professor Dumbledore, but I believe we sold our last pair this morning.”

Customer: *surprised* “Oh, wow! I really wasn’t expecting anyone to catch that!”

Please Don’t Single Me Out

| Albuquerque, NM, USA | Crazy Requests, Love/Romance, Wild & Unruly

(I’m a Caucasian male with very curly hair in my early 20s on a register. A Native American female in her mid to late 40’s comes up behind me.)

Customer: “Oh, I love curly hair!”

(She runs her fingers through my hair with a huge smile on her face.)

Me: *feeling uncomfortable* “Uh…”

Customer: “When do you get off?”

Me: “Um, well I—”

Customer: “I just love curly hair. It’s so cute! I just love it. My ex-boyfriend only had straight hair, but yours is so much better.”

Me: “Ma’am, I really don’t think this is appro—”

Customer: “Are you single?”

(I press a code on my register for manager assistance.)

Me: “I’m flattered and all, but I’m sorry, I’m just not that interested. Sorry. I hope you have a wonderful evening, though.”

(Her smile changes to a scowl and she starts poking me in the shoulder angrily.)

Customer: *pokes me repeatedly* “What!? Why not!? Is it because of my skin color!? What do you have against native chicks, huh!?”

Me: “Not at all, ma’am, really! My first girlfriend was a native woman. I don’t understand why you’re doing this, and I don’t appreciate being treated this way.”

Customer: “Oh, that’s bulls***! You are all alike! You’re just a white, racist, piece of s***! I’m going to get you fired, a**hole! You’ve insulted me and you took my joy away!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’ve called for a manager.”

(She continues this profanity-laden tirade while the manager walks up.)

Manager: “What’s the problem, ma’am?”

Customer: “Your cashier insulted me!”

Manager: “Alright, ma’am, what did he say to you?”

(I’m a bit nervous, to be honest. I’ve never received a customer complaint before.)

Customer: “He won’t go out with me! You’re the manager! Tell him to go out with me, or he’s fired! Can’t you understand?!”

Manager: “If you come in here and hit on our employees or customers one more time, you will be banned from the store. Get out, now, or I will call the police!”

Customer: *glares at me as she storms off*

Manager: *to me, jokingly* “So, how do you like your new girlfriend?”

(Apparently, this woman had come in several times and would aggressively flirt with white male customers and employees. So much so, that the manager staff were notified to be on the lookout for her!)

Man Up And Let A Woman Fix It

| Naples, FL, USA | Bigotry, Technology, Top

(One of the new girls is trying to take care of an older gentleman who is having a problem with his phone. I actually discovered a temporary fix for the issue and have taught it to the new girl while we wait for a permanent one from corporate. I’m at the station right next to hers, and she’s done a good job at determining the issue, but she’s just having a hard time remembering the instructions for the fix. Note that I am also female.)

Customer: “You have no idea what you’re doing do you? Get me a tech guy now!”

New Girl: “Sir, we don’t have techs here, but I know exactly what the problem is and I can fix it. Give me a minute to—”

Customer: “I SAID get me a tech guy! Geez, women can’t do anything right!”

(Frustrated, the new girl turns to me.)

New Girl: “Hey, that fix you showed me…how—”

Customer: “Did you not hear me?! I said tech GUY! As in, get me a MAN!”

New Girl: “Sir, I can assure you, she’s the closest thing to a tech that we have here at the store.”

Customer: “Ugh! She’s not going to know anything either!”

Me: “Actually, sir, your problem is an easy fix. I know exactly—”

Customer: “This is outrageous! I want to speak to your manager now!”

Me: “Sure thing.”

(I go to the back room and proceed to get both our assistant manager and our district manager, whose office is in our building. Neither one of them has a clue on how to fix the memory issue, so they both ask me why the customer doesn’t just let me fix it. They agree to speak to the customer.)

Customer: “Oh, thank God! Men!”

Assistant Manager: *takes phone and looks at it* “So, it’s the memory, huh?”

New Girl: “Yep.”

District Manager: *to assistant manager* “Okay, then…you know what to do.”

Assistant Manager: “Yes, sir!” *hands phone to me* “Fix this thing since you’re the only one here who knows how to!”

Me: “Sure!” *takes phone*

Customer: *shocked* “I don’t want her touching it! She’s a woman! How the h***—”

District Manager: “Yes, she is, and a great one at that. If it wasn’t for this young lady figuring out this issue, our company would be losing tens of thousands of dollars in replacement phones right now.”

Customer: “But women can’t—”

Assistant Manager: “I’m VERY happy to have her here in my store and I will do anything to protect all of my employees. If I hear one more biased comment out of your mouth, I will have her hand you back the phone RIGHT NOW and you can leave here with your phone still messed up.”

Customer: *face turns beet red and shuts up*

(I proceed to go though the phone, showing the new girl step-by-step how to fix the issue in the future. When we’re done, I hand her the phone to give back to the customer.)

New Girl: “So, there you go, it’s fixed! Was there anything else we could help you with today?”

Customer: *silently walks out the door with his phone, defeated*

Me: *to the new girl* “Good job. Don’t worry, it happens a lot.” *to my managers* “Thanks for the support, guys. I appreciate it.”

District Manager: “Oh, don’t worry, we know better. And you’ll be rewarded, trust me!”

(I was rewarded. I won MVP of our store for that quarter and got a bonus!)

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