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Born Under Hire, Boss Should Be Fired

| Working | September 27, 2012

(I am shopping late at night in a 24-hour grocery store. My cashier is a young woman, in her early 20s who looks to be about 8 months pregnant. She is also looking increasingly pale throughout the transaction.)

Me: “Are you okay? You aren’t looking very good.”

Cashier: “Hmm? I’m sorry. I’m not feeling very well tonight, and I’m getting very dizzy at random.”

(Though I’m not a doctor or medically trained, these types of symptoms don’t strike me as mild, especially in the case of a pregnant woman.)

Me: “Would you like me to go get your manager for you? You look like you should be sitting down.”

Cashier: *grips the counter to steady herself* “Yes… please…”

(I go to find the manager, a woman of about 60, who comes to the register with me.)

Manager: *to the cashier* “What the h*** is going on here?”

Cashier: “It’s happening again, what I told you about earlier. I can barely stand, I feel like I’m going to pass out, and I can’t breathe too well.”

Manager: “Oh, for crying out loud! You’re just faking it so I’ll let you go home early to your idiot husband.”

Me: “Excuse me, ma’am? She really looks sick, and since she is pregnant don’t you think you should err on the side of caution and send her home, or even to the hospital?”

Manager: “Bulls**t!  I’ve had 6 kids myself, and this DOESN’T happen to pregnant women. I never got dizzy and light-headed when I was pregnant, and I see no reason why she would!”

Me: “Again, ma’am, she doesn’t look good. Call her an ambulance, or at least call her husband so he can come get her!”

Manager: “No! She’s just being lazy. Besides, it’s none of your business!”

(At this time, I see a city police officer enter the store. He’s presumably off his shift since he is still in full uniform, but grabs a cart. I rush over to him.)

Me: “Officer, I’m sorry to bother you, but the cashier over here looks like she is going to pass out. She is pregnant, and looks to be due at any time now. I notified her manager, who refuses to do anything about it. Can you please help her?”

(The police officer heads over to the cashier in question, and helps her to a bench near the Customer Service desk. I wait around as the officer calls in an emergency on his radio, getting an ambulance sent for the cashier. The manager is trying the whole time to tell first me, then the cop, then the EMTs when they arrive that the cashier is just being lazy. The cashier is taken off to the hospital. Weeks later, I return to the store and ask a different manager about the cashier.)

Another Manager: “She’s doing alright. She ended up delivering a healthy baby boy about twelve hours later. Are you the customer that helped her?”

Me: “Yes, I am.”

Another Manager: “Well, as thanks, I’d like to give you a $500 gift card to the store. I also have a personal letter from the cashier…”

(I won’t go into details about the letter, but suffice to say it was addressed to “The Man Who Helped Me”!)

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Allergic Overreaction

| Right | October 27, 2014

(I work at a large chemist’s shop in North Yorkshire. I am about halfway through my shift when a woman comes running into the shop and up to the register. She is scratching herself really fast and making weird faces.)

Me: “Good morning, ma’am. How can I help you?”

Customer: “ALLERGIC REACTION!”

Me: “I’m sorry…?”

Customer: “ALLERGIC REACTION!”

Me: “Okay… what about it?”

Customer: “ARE YOU STUPID OR WHAT? I NEED MEDICINE! ALLERGIC REACTION!”

(I was quite alarmed by this point and other customers in the shop were starting to stare.)

Me: “Right, what caused your reaction? Is it animal related, or—”

Customer: *scratching like mad* “I DON’T KNOW! ALLERGIC REACTION!”

Me: “Yes, but to give you the correct medication we need to know what caused your reaction. What—”

Customer: “I DON’T F****** KNOW WHAT CAUSED IT! ALLERGIC REACTION! GIVE ME SOMETHING TO MAKE IT STOP ITCHING!”

Me: “But, ma’am…”

(The customer was now running around the store pulling items from the shelves before throwing them to the ground.)

Customer: “WHERE IS THE F****** ALLERGIC REACTION MEDICINE? I NEED IT NOW!”

(The manager, hearing the commotion, runs out from the back room.)

Manager: “What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “I NEED MEDICATION FOR AN ALLERGIC REACTION AND THIS F****** S*** WON’T GIVE ME IT!”

Manager: “What caused your reaction, ma’am?”

Customer: “I. DON’T. F******. KNOW!”

Manager: “In that case we can’t help you. Have a nice day, ma’am.”

Customer: “F*** YOU! WHEN I DIE I’M GONNA COME GET YOU FIRED!”

(The customer runs out of the store screaming ‘ALLERGIC REACTION!’)

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A Bunch-O-Words It Be, Indeed

, , | Right | July 20, 2008

Me: “Thanks for calling [Company] support. How can I help you?”

Caller: “I just bought sump’n down to the [Department Store].”

Me: “And how can I help you with that?”

Caller: “Yup!”

(There is a long pause.)

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: “Hey!”

Me: “What is it I can help you with today?”

Caller: “Got me one a them orga, orgaz, origaniz, oregonize…”

Me: “Organizer?”

Caller: “Yup!”

Me: “And what can I do for you in regards to the organizer?”

Caller: “Well, it don’t do nuthin’!”

Me: “Sounds like you may need technical assistance on the device, and unfortunately you’ve reached the sales line. I would be happy to give you the accurate number.”

Caller: “It free?”

Me: “I’m sorry, no, the support line is not toll-free.”

Caller: “That’ll cost more ‘n my origun, orgizen, org…”

Me: “Organizer?”

Caller: “Yup!”

Me: “You may want to first consult the manual for information.”

Caller: “That ol’ book don’t say nuthin’ but a bunch-o-words!”

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Just Plain Queue-pid

| Right | June 29, 2009

(It’s a busy day, and we already have several customers lined up for the registers. A customer at the back of the line is trying to get a coworker’s attention.)

Customer: “Hey! Excuse me! I want to buy this!”

Coworker: “Yes, ma’am, but there are people in front of you. You’ll have to wait until they’re finished first.”

Customer: “What?! Why do they get to go first?”

Coworker: “Because they were here first?”

Customer: “Nuh-uh! You don’t know that!”

Coworker: “Yes, I do…”

(They go back and forth for a few minutes before my coworker gives up.)

Coworker: “Ma’am, they get to go first because they got dibs on the registers. ”

Customer: “Oh. Well, can I get dibs after them?”

Coworker: “Well, okay.”

Customer: “Thanks!”

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Taking Poetic License (Plate) With The Truth

| Working | August 20, 2013

(My family and I are going on vacation, driving several hours through three states. From our many road trips I have developed a hobby of trying to see all 50 states’ license plates, with a little booklet to mark off each state. At a gas station we’ve stopped at for a break, I see an incredibly rare Hawaii plate, and stop in front of it to check it off in my booklet. I think nothing of it, but when I catch up to my family in the store, I notice the cashier giving me the evil eye while she speaks to someone on the phone.)

Cashier: “Don’t move.”

Me: *extremely startled* “What? Why? Is there a bee on me again?!”

Cashier: “No, I’m waiting for the cops to get here.”

Me: “The cops? But… why?”

Cashier: “You’re gonna steal that car there.”

Me: “Car? What car?”

(My mom notices the conversation and the hostile tone, and comes up to me.)

Mom: “Is everything all right? I gave you enough money for this, didn’t I?”

Me: “Yeah, but—”

Cashier: “Your little thief of a daughter here is going to steal that car there.”

Mom: “Steal a car?! What car?!”

Cashier: “The car she stopped and checked out over there. She wrote down the license plate so she can hotwire it and steal it! I called the cops!”

Me: “But I just—”

Cashier: “Just wanted to steal a nice fancy car for yourself, huh? Entitled little b***** teenagers, thinking everything’s theirs and they don’t have to face consequences! Well guess what, sweetie, you just ruined the whole day for everyone; you’re going to jail! You’ll make your mommy and daddy very mad and the cops will lock you away forever!”

Mom: “That is no way to treat a customer!”

Cashier: “I don’t have to be polite to little s*** car-thieves!”

Mom: “And how dare you accuse my daughter of trying to steal a car! No, worse, you just think she’ll try to steal a car with no evidence!”

Cashier: “Oh, I have evidence alright. Look in that little black book of hers; she wrote the license plate down to steal it!”

(The cashier reaches over and rips my state booklet out of my hands.)

Me: “Give that back! It’s mine!”

Cashier: “Just like that car is yours? Ha!”

(The cashier flips it open and sees the page for license plates.)

Cashier: “Aha! I knew it! See here, the license plate!”

(The cashier shoves the booklet in my mom’s face, pointing to the little space for Hawaii. In it I had written the date in the form YYYY.MM.DD.)

Cashier: “And look at all the other plates! She’s stolen all those too! The cops are going to be here very soon, and your daughter is going to jail!”

Me: “That’s not a license plate! It’s the date!”

Cashier: “Yeah, right.”

(In the distance, we hear police sirens. Seconds later, several cops come rushing into the gas station.)

Cashier: “About time! This little w**** was going to steal that car! She wrote the plate down! And she stole all these other cars, all listed here!” *waves my booklet around*

Officer: “A car thief? Did you see her attempt to steal it?”

Cashier: “No, but she was obviously going to after she left! She wrote the plate down!”

Officer: “Can I see that book?”

Cashier: “Of course! And then you can arrest her for stealing all these cars, all the plates are right there!”

Officer: “These don’t look like no license plate numbers. Wait—” *turns to me* “Are these dates?”

Me: “Y-yes. I track all the state license plates I’ve seen, and I write the date I first saw it. The car out there had a Hawaii plate; that’s why it’s got today’s date. See?”

Officer: “You’re right.” *turns back to cashier* “What made you think she was going to steal a car?”

Cashier: “Well, she… she wrote the plate down! She was going to steal it so she wrote the plate down!”

Officer: “These are dates, not license plate numbers.”

Cashier: “Then she writes down the date she steals them! She’s a thief! A no-good rotten teenage s*** stealing everything!”

(The cashier continues to hurl insults as the police handle it. After a while, my family are finally able to get back on the road. I never do get my soda or candy bar, and we specifically make sure to never stop there again.)

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