Bound(ary) To Serve

| Canberra, ACT, Australia | Bizarre, Health & Body, Theme Of The Month

(We have a regular that comes in every Wednesday or Thursday night. This time, I’m on the register when he comes in. I am female, wearing a knee-length tunic over linen pants as it’s high summer and very warm.)

Customer: *without saying hello* “Are you pregnant?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “I was wondering if you were pregnant. Are you?”

Me: “I don’t see how it’s any of your business, but no.”

Customer: “It’s just that I had a haircut today, and my hairdresser was wearing a similar outfit to you. She was four months pregnant and got angry at me because I didn’t notice or say anything. So now I’m wondering, do all women wear what you wear when they’re pregnant?”

Me: “I’m not sure why your hairdresser had such a strong reaction, but I’m pretty sure most women are wearing what I’m wearing right now because its 45 degrees celsius outside and not because it’s a secret code that we’re reproducing.”

Customer: “Oh, good point. Sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude by asking personal questions.”

(The very next week, he returns and again walks right up to the register.)

Customer: “Do you have a boyfriend?”

Me: *sigh* “Yes.”

Customer: “Are you going to marry him?”

Me: “Okay, sir, I think we need to have a quiet chat about boundaries…”

Diolch yn fawr Very Much, Part Dau

| Deiniolen, Wales, UK | At The Checkout, Language & Words

(I am on about my third shift as a new employee at a petrol station. I am currently the only day-staff member who speaks Welsh, and many customers, it seems, have never met the store’s Welsh-speaking night staff. As I live and work in a very Welsh-speaking area, my ability to use the language seems to be something of a novelty for the regular customers).

Customer: *in Welsh* “So nice to have a true Welsh-speaking Welshwoman on the staff here, even if you’re not local.”

Me: *in Welsh* “Well, thank you for the compliment. There are actually two ‘true Welsh-speaking Welsh’ staff members, but I’m afraid I’m not one of them!”

Customer: *in Welsh* “Sure you are. I mean it’s obvious you’ve come up from, like, [Mid Wales Town] or somewhere to study at [Nearby University], as your manner of speaking is a bit more polite than us lot. We do like to yell at each other, you know.”

Me: *in Welsh* “Well, you’re right about me studying at [Nearby University], but I’m actually from [Southern England town]. I’m polite because I am working in a shop and I’ve been trained to always treat customers with care and respect.”

Customer: *in English* “No f****** way! You can’t be English. Your Welsh is too good!”

Me: *in Welsh* “I assure you, I am English. I’ve had 3.5 years of Welsh lessons, and plenty of friends who’ve encouraged me to practice the language so that I’m comfortable using it in a work situation. I am flattered that you felt my Welsh was good enough to count me amongst born-and-bred Welsh speakers, though.”

Customer: *in English* “So you could understand everything I was saying to you just now?”

Me: *in Welsh* “Well, weren’t you of the impression I was from [Mid-Wales Town]? We sustained a conversation in Welsh.”

Customer: *in English* “I just can’t get my head around being able to talk in Welsh to an English person. I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to talk to you in English. I can’t deal with talking to you in Welsh. It’s too much.”

Me: *in Welsh* “Whatever makes you more comfortable. Would you prefer it if I also switched to English?”

Customer: *in English* “Oh God, no! It’s about time you lot learned our bloody language!”

Related:
Diolch yn fawr Very Much

Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 6

| Brighton, England, UK | Awesome Workers, Criminal & Illegal, Food & Drink, Wild & Unruly

(I’m a waitress at a café. We have a really moody customer who just keeps complaining about everything. He asks for the manager but our owner, who is usually really sweet, kind, and caring, goes out to him. The customer and his daughter are sitting at our pavement area. I follow to clear some tables.)

Owner: “Sir, I’ve been told there’s a problem. How can I help?”

Customer: “It’s ridiculous! I wanted a can of drink and you only have bottles; my sandwich was so over-filled half of it fell out when I bit it; and my daughter’s milkshake is so cold she can’t drink it! We asked for…”

(Just then we hear shouting coming from another restaurant about 10 doors down.)

Other Café: “Stop him! Stop the kid on the bike! He stole my bag!”

(My boss suddenly flings her arm out and smacks the kid on the bike in the face with the tray she’s holding, sending him flying off his bike, with the stolen bags around his wrist. Everyone just stops what they’re doing and stares, silently. The other café customers come running and we soon hear police sirens. My boss then turns to the grumpy customer.)

Owner: “You were saying, sir?”

Customer: “Er… you know what? It’s a bit crazy now. I think we’ll just go…”

Related:
Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 5
Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 4
Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 3
Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 2
Getting Owned By The Owner

Moved On And Far Away

| Canberra, ACT, Australia | Bizarre, Theme Of The Month

(A colleague of mine has just gotten a job as an editor and left us, but she and I keep in touch as we are good friends. I am working in the shop when this happens but we both live in the area. Please note: she is very tall and good-looking. A customer comes in, does a few laps, and then comes up to me.)

Customer: “Where is [Colleague]?”

Me: “I’m afraid she’s moved on, sir. She doesn’t work here anymore. Can I help you?”

Customer: *completely losing it* “WHAT DO YOU MEAN SHE DOESN’T WORK HERE ANYMORE?! WHERE IS SHE? WHHEREEEE ISSS SSHHHHEE!?”

(Before I can answer, he storms out, enraged. I call my colleague on her mobile.)

Me: “Did you say you were having dinner out tonight?”

Customer: “Yeah, I’m just two doors down from you actually. Why?”

Me: “When you’re done, don’t walk to the parking lot by yourself.”

Likes To Party Hard

, | Mexico | At The Checkout, Rude & Risque, Theme Of The Month

(I am the cashier at a convenience store that also has a pharmacy on the back. It is a slow day and my pharmacy coworker asks me to watch his station for a minute. A mustached, gallon-hat wearing cowboy (boots and all) comes up to me and asks in a very deep voice:)

Cowboy: “Do you carry generic Viagra?”

Me: *stunned* “I’m sorry. If you could just wait for a minute?”

(Thankfully my coworker heard him and took over. I went back to my station and then the same customer appeared. His purchases? Generic Viagra, a tequila bottle, and a 25-pack of lollipops…)

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