Read This And Try Not To Scream

, , , , , | Right | January 14, 2020

(My coworkers and I joke that I’m the ghost of the supermarket, because for some weird reason my voice just doesn’t register with customers. I’m not quiet; my coworkers can hear me fine, but with customers, I’ll usually have to repeat myself three or four times, talk in a much louder and higher-pitched voice that normal, or rely on a coworker to “translate.” In this story, though, I’m recovering from a cold and can’t modulate my voice like usual, and I don’t have a bagger to help. The customer has piled her groceries on the belt in heaps and when the belt starts moving, a head of cauliflower falls off onto the floor.)

Me: “Oh, I think one of your veggies fell. Do you want to grab it?”

Customer #1: “What? Did you say something?”

Me: “Your cabbage– wait, no, it’s a cauliflower. It fell off the belt; it’s on the floor right there. You should probably grab it.”

(The customer stares straight through me and goes back to bagging.)

Me: “Ma’am, one of your groceries fell. Do you want your cauliflower?”

Customer #1: “I have enough bags, thanks.”

Me: “Okay, but do you want to pick up your cauliflower? It fell off the belt.”

(The customer doesn’t seem to hear me. Meanwhile, at the lane across from me, [Customer #2] comes up, finds the cauliflower on the ground, and looks at it, confused.)

Me: *to the second customer* “Oh, that belongs to this customer; if you don’t mind handing it to me…”

([Customer #2] ignores me and picks up the cauliflower, looking at it, perplexed. My coworker, who didn’t see this happen, opens up the lane for her.)

Coworker: “Okay, your total is $15.12. Did you want to get the cauliflower also?”

Customer #2: “It actually isn’t mine. I found it on the floor.”

Me: “It belongs to this customer! They dropped it!”

(The store is started to get busier, and it’s noisy. My coworker can’t hear me because their lane is too far away, and neither customer can hear me because of my strange curse, even though I’m speaking as loud as I physically can, and neither customer is more than four feet away from me.)

Coworker: “Oh, I can put that back for you.”

Customer #2: “Actually, maybe I should buy it. I always forget to get cauliflower.”

Coworker: “Hey, it’s fate.”

Me: *to the first customer* “Ma’am, they are buying your cauliflower right now. Do you want to get a new one?”

Customer #1: “I’m using credit.”

([Customer #2] leaves, happy as a clam with her new cauliflower. I sigh.)

Me: “Do you want your receipt today?”

(No response. Of course. The customer turns to leave.)

Customer #1: “Why haven’t you given me the receipt yet?”

(Cue internal screaming… although I might as well try external, since no one would notice, anyway. When I relayed this story to my boss, he told me to log the cauliflower as “left in the basket” in the forgotten items log, since no one would believe “a customer dropped it and another customer bought it off the floor while I repeatedly told both of them what was happening and they ignored me.”)

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