She Was Eating A Whole Different Kind Of Lunch  

, , , , , | Working | November 15, 2019

(It’s my very first day working for a small gift shop in my tiny town, and I am manning the register. My store owner, the only other person on shift, lets me know she will be gone for a ten-minute lunch break. She says if I need her, I can call her.)

Me: “Sure, I got this!”

(Ten minutes turns into an hour. Then two. Before I know it, three hours have passed, but I am doing well. I’m not making any mistakes, and I figure she got held up with her kids or something. A customer purchases an item for $10.99 and pays by card. As I tap in the amount onto the machine, I realise in horror that I have just charged this poor woman $109.99 and need to do a refund. I am upset and explain to the customer that I will need to call the store owner to do it, as it is my very first day. She is good-natured and understanding. I call my boss on her mobile. No answer. I call again. No answer. I try yet again. This time she picks up, and she sounds very irritated.)

Store Owner: “What!?”

Me: “Hi, it’s [My Name]. I’ve just made a mistake and need to make a refund on a credit card, but I need you to show me how and to approve it.”

Store Owner: “Just get it out of the till. I’ll fix it later.”

Me: “Um, it’s over $100; I don’t have that much in the till.”

Store Owner: “F***, all right. Give me five minutes.”

(My boss hangs up, and I explain to the customer the wait. She is cool, as she understands I have no real power. Cool lady. Fifteen minutes pass, no sign of the boss. I try to call, and her phone is off. I am starting to freak out and cry. The customer is still cool and talks calmly to me. It turns out she knows my mum; this is a small town. She owns the new bakery and has gotten to know everyone. She starts joking around, and I finally begin relaxing with her. Nearly an hour later, my boss rocks up stinking of… intimate times with someone. Even in my innocence, I can see she was a mess. Her shirt’s on backward, makeup smudged, hair mussed. My boss rolls her eyes at the customer.)

Store Owner: “Can’t get good workers these days. Sorry about the idiot.”

(I feel like I’ve been slapped. The customer glares at my stinky boss, and then looks at me.)

Customer: “You can start work in my shop at 9:00 am. Want a ride home?”

(I left with her, and I worked at her shop until I graduated and moved away.)

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