Your Weirdness Is Killing Me

, , , | Right | July 3, 2020

I’ve been a librarian for almost fifteen years and have had some very strange conversations, but this one is high up on the list.

Me: *Answering the phone* “Reference desk, this is [My Name]; how may I help you?”

Caller: “Yeah, hi, did you hear about the murders in [My Town] last night?”

Me: “Yes, I did.”

Caller: “Was it close by? Near the library?”

Me: “Um, not too far away, but not super close. About three miles away.”

Caller: “Well, see, the reason I ask is that I live in [State on the other side of the country] and I was vacationing in [My Town] about ten years ago.”

Me: “Okay?”

Caller: “And I was out driving around and I saw this guy running, like, in a really weird way, you know? He was like all hunched over, almost double, and just running really crazy.”

Me: “Okay?”

Caller: “I think he’s one of the murder victims! Can you find out?”

Me: *Absolutely incredulous* “You want me to find out if some random person you saw running ten years ago was one of the people who was murdered last night?”

Caller: “Yeah!”

I reply as deadpan as I can muster.

Me: “Did you by chance get the man’s name? The man you saw running?”

Caller: “What? No, of course not! I just saw him; I didn’t talk to him.”

Me: “Well, okay, then. The coroner hasn’t released the murder victims’ names yet, anyway, pending notification of next of kin. Without knowing his name—”

Caller: “Oh, but do you think there’ll be pictures?”

Me: “I beg your pardon?”

Caller: “Pictures! When they release the victims’ names, do you think they’ll send out pictures to the media of what they looked like?”

I am seriously creeped out now.

Me: “Maybe? Why don’t you check back in a couple of days?”

Caller: *Very cheerfully* “I sure will! Thanks!”

He hung up, and so did I. My colleague on the desk heard my half of the call and wanted to know the whole story, so I told him.

Coworker: “Wait, what? Why would he think some guy he saw ten years ago is a murder victim?”

Me: “I don’t know, and honestly, I don’t want to know. I’m taking a break.”

So. Weird.

Very Aggressive Charity

, , , , | Right | July 3, 2020

The supermarket where I work rents space to a popular coffee chain. The rental agreement makes it so the chain has to use supermarket employees and the supermarket’s register system. Because of this, we are unable to redeem gift cards for the coffee chain. We have an 8.5-by-11-inch sign indicating this on top of the register.

I am working alone and had a few people in line, a mother with her kids, a woman, and a guy. I have just finished making the mother’s order and am ringing her out.

Me: “It’s going to be [total].”

Mother: *Holds out a gift card* “I’m not sure how much is on this.”

Me: “Sorry, but we are unable to redeem [Chain]’s gift cards.”

I point to the sign.

Mother: “Oh, sorry. Give me a minute.”

Woman: “Let me get that for you.”

Mother: *To the woman* “That’s all right, but thank you.” *To me* “Is it all right if I use change?”

Me: “Yeah, sure.”

Woman: *To me* “I got her order.” *To the mother* “Go ahead and take your coffee, dear.”

Mother: “No, no. It’s all right.”

The woman then moved over to our card reader and got ready to slide her card.

Mother: “Really, I’m all set.” *Hands me the money*

I ring her out and give her the change.

Me: “Have a nice day.” *To the woman* “What can I get you?”

Woman: “First, you can give me that woman’s money so I can give it back to her.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I cannot just give you money from my register, and since she declined your charity, I must respect that.”

Woman: “You’re a f****** a**hole, you know that?”

Me: *Surprised* “I’m sorry you feel that way. Is there anything you want to order?”

Woman: “Gimme a [drink] and put that woman’s order on mine so I can give her the money.”

Me: *Starts her coffee* “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I can’t do that.”

Woman: “F*** you! She was embarrassed! That’s why she didn’t want the charity.”

Me: *Finishing her order* “I’m sorry, ma’am, but she refused to let you pay for her and gave me her money. I cannot just give you her money as it needs to be refunded in the system and I can’t do that from here.”

Woman: “You’re an a**hole! She was embarrassed!”

Me: *Rings in order* “That’ll be [total for just her drink].”

The guy in line behind her has now walked away.

Woman: “Put her coffee on there and give me her money so I can give it back!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I cannot.”

I glance over to the employee out on the sales floor for help.

Me: “Can you please pay for your order?”

She slides her card through the reader.

Woman: “You’re a f****** a**hole! She was embarrassed! I’m going to have you fired!”

Thankfully, her card goes through with no problem.

Me: *Holds out her receipt* “Thank you. Have a nice day.”

Woman: *Walks off* “F*** you!”

She then stormed off, and about fifteen minutes later a manager came by and told me she tried to complain about me, but the guy that was behind her and left was nearby and defended me. The manager gave me one of the supermarket’s employee reward gift cards. It’s been a few years since this happened, and the woman still comes in regularly, and every time the person in front of her has some issue, she offers to pay. Thankfully, there haven’t been any more incidents like this one.

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Their Complaints Are As Fake As Plastic

, , , , | Right | July 3, 2020

Some time ago, the UK switched its £5 and £10 notes from paper to plastic. Most people are indifferent to the change, but some are very vocal about how much they hate the new plastic notes. I get at least three customers a day complaining about them, but this one stands out.

Customer: “I f****** hate these new plastic notes.”

The note in question was a £20 note. Still paper.

Her Cognitive Thought Is On Break

, , , , | Right | July 3, 2020

I am a customer in this story. The cashier is going on break after helping me and has turned her light off. She is almost done with my order when another customer puts their five items down. There are self-service registers designed for smaller orders and several are open. The cashier notices the second customer.

Cashier: “Oh, I’m sorry. My lane is closed.”

Second Customer: “What?”

Cashier: “I’m going on break.”

Second Customer: *Staring blankly* “What?”

Cashier: “My lane is closed and I’m going on break.”

Second Customer: *Looks at me* “But you’re helping her.”

Cashier: “Right, because my lane was open when she joined, but now I am closed.”

The customer looks at me and then at the cashier, clearly expecting something.

Second Customer: “But you are helping her.”

I can tell the cashier internally throws up her hands.

Cashier: “Okay, it’s fine. I can help you.”

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A Few Shades Happier

, , , , | Right | July 3, 2020

Thanks to some fun genetics, I start finding gray hairs around age sixteen. It really picks up as I enter my mid-to-late twenties, and before age thirty, my temples are mostly gray, with streaks of white throughout the rest of my head.

Since I’m a brunette, it stands out quite a bit, and while I try not to let it bother me too much and I’m too stubborn to dye it, I’m a little insecure about it.

I’m at a conference with some work colleagues in another city, and we stop at a small restaurant near our hotel for dinner. I’m picking up my food at the counter when the cashier, a young man, says, unprompted, “Your hair is really pretty!” Nothing else; he just complimented me, smiled, and handed over my change.

My colleagues asked me what I was suddenly so happy about when I walked back to the table, and I didn’t stop smiling for the rest of the evening. Sometimes, little kind gestures can really make all the difference.

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