Just Sell Them The Bloody Things!

, , , , , | Right | May 14, 2021

I’m in charge of the cashiers. I call a lady forward and she’s a little quiet, but otherwise fine, until I pick up a pair of white pants.

Customer: “Those had… something on them. But I still want them.”

Me: “Oh? Okay, where is the stain? I may even be able to discount them!”

It’s one of the few powers I have, and I don’t mind helping out where I can. But this is where things take a turn. There is blood on the crotch of the pants, and a little down one of the legs. Horrified, I am stunned into silence for several moments.

Me: “I… I don’t think I can sell these. It’s a hazard to health.”

She stays silent and stares at me.

Me: “Is that… is that okay?”

At this point, I am completely at a loss.

Customer: “Yes, that’s fine.”

After she left, it took very little digging to realize she had been the one to bleed on them. I was horrified and revolted that she had let me touch the pants with my bare hands, and I wrapped them in two bags before washing my hands for five minutes straight.


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If You Want The Energy Drink Have The Energy To Cooperate

, , , , , , | Right | May 14, 2021

Supermarkets in the UK aren’t allowed to sell energy drinks to under-sixteens. For sake of ease, the one I work for puts it under the challenge-twenty-five policy; if you look younger than twenty-five, you have to show ID. We can be fired if we don’t ask. I’m by the checkouts when there’s a loud commotion at self-serve, so I head on over just in case.

A boy who looks about sixteen is loudly swearing at my colleague on self-serve, gesturing wildly, whilst the girl he’s with, who looks eighteen or nineteen, is trying to calm him down. My colleague tells him to leave, and he does, but not before throwing what he was going to purchase on the floor and pushing over our social distancing signs, barriers, a tower of baskets, and some stock. The girl apologises profusely to my colleague and follows him out, looking mortified. I head in and help my colleague pick up stuff.

Me: “You okay? I can cover you if you need to have a break?”

Colleague: “I’m fine. I finish in a couple of minutes anyway.”

Me: “What an end to your shift. What even was his problem?”

Colleague: “Wanted to buy an energy drink. He looked young, so I asked for ID. He didn’t have any; he left his license at home. I told him I couldn’t sell him that, but I could hold onto his stuff whilst he picked a different drink to go with his meal deal. ‘I’m 21!! Raaarraarraar,’ effing this, effing that. Honestly.”

Me: “He was twenty-one?!”

Colleague: “I know, he looked like he was thirteen! And having the hormonal rage of a pubescent teenager isn’t going to make me think that you’re old enough to buy it!”

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How To Raise The Tone

, , , | Right | May 13, 2021

A woman comes into my thrift store with her young teen son with a whole bunch of stuff to buy.

Customer: “Hello, I’d like to buy these.”

She plops some items on the counter in front of me. I’m internally bracing myself because she sort of has an aggressive tone of voice. You know the kind: the one where a customer is TELLING you how they think things are going to BE, not how things are going to go according to reality. I’m a little surprised but I hope I can diffuse any anger involved.

Me: “Sure thing. Oh, hey, it looks like you got the color of the month! Any item with a yellow tag is 50% off!”

Customer: *Still very direct* “Oh, good. Let’s see what else we have.”

We find that most of the items she has selected are discounted.

Customer: “Ring these up, please, and tell me how much it will cost with all the discounts applied.”

I start to get the feeling that something is odd here. Her tone is still very abrupt, but she just said “please.”

I total her up and we find out that the unexpected discount means that she can afford a lot more than she thought.

She turns to her son and in the exact same direct tone of voice, tells him to run back and grab the comforter, a pair of pants, and a jacket that they had put back. He responds equally directly, flashes me a friendly smile, and goes sprinting off.

It’s at this moment that it clicks for me; she’s not an angry customer, she just doesn’t really “get” tone-of-voice or subtle suggestion. It’s all completely direct and to the point.

I relax internally, all at once. I help her sort through the stuff she’s buying, then begin to ring. 

Me: “[Item #1], this one is discounted. [Item #2], not discounted. [Item #3], discount. Okay, we’re up to [amount] now. Are we still within budget so far?”

Customer: *Still directly* “Yes. Can you tell me out loud what the cost of each item is as you ring, please? I’d like to keep track as we go.”

Me: “Sure. Is there a limit we want to try to keep under?”

Customer: “Thank you. I’d like to keep under [higher amount].”

We went item by item, checking in with the total after each item to make sure we didn’t go over her budget. She got a small number of very nice blankets and one thick comforter, and she was able to afford the jacket and pants for her kid. Then, she was happily surprised to find that she could just afford to buy a jacket for herself. 

She only missed out on one or two small, non-essential things, and I was complimented on how nice I was and got thanked several times for being so helpful.

I’m just glad that I was on-the-ball enough to catch on and realize that nobody was going to be angry or try to get someone fired out of spite, and that it was just the way she communicated.

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Very Poor Behavior

, , , , , | Right | May 13, 2021

I am at a chain pharmacy picking up prescriptions. I have a personal policy that I don’t grab a basket or a cart so I don’t pick up too many extra items, but unfortunately, I’m also creative. I’m there with my fiancée and we have our arms full of stuffed animals. We go to check out, and there are a few people ahead of us. The person first in line keeps having her purchases rung up, bagged, and then unbagged and rung up again. There’s a manager on standby to run his ID to cancel out the transaction again and again.

Cashier: “I’m sorry, it did it again. I don’t know what’s wrong with our system today.”

Customer: “I’d like to go home today!”

Cashier: “I’m sorry, but you’re not the first person that this has happened to today.”

Finally, the teller moves her to a different register so the rest of the line can check out.

Customer: “You need to fix this! My card works elsewhere!”

Cashier: “I have no ability to fix this; it’s a tech issue we’ve been having.”

We can hear her continue to yell as she’s about three feet away. I get my excessive purchases rung up and hand them to my fiancée. This customer clearly wants to go home, right? She doesn’t have a lot of items and I don’t mind paying so she can go home.

Me: “Excuse me, miss, but I’d like to pay for your purchases so you can go home. I just—”


She is looking around at the entire store to be sure she’s heard.

Me: “Miss, I didn’t accuse you of being poor. I know this is an issue with their system and my card did work, so I was trying to make it so you could go home.”

Customer: “I’M NOT POOR! I’M NOT POOR!”

Cashier: “It’s just a problem with our system.”

Me: “No, I understand. I just know that my card works.”

The cashier gives me a very tired look as the customer just keeps yelling, “I’m not poor!” at the top of her lungs.

Me: “Well, miss, I hope you get to go home soon. Have a nice night.”

Customer: “I’M. NOT. POOR!”

I shrug and walk out of the store. I can hear her screaming even after the doors have closed behind me. My fiancée has been waiting in the car for me.

Fiancée: “What took so long?”

Me: “I tried to be nice. Didn’t go great.”

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Some People Have Never Been Told “No” And It Shows, Part 2

, , , , | Right | May 12, 2021

My store has a clearance table where we place items that will soon expire or items we are taking out of inventory. Most are priced at 50-75% off for quick sale. There is a sign at the table stating, “CLEARANCE ITEMS ARE INDIVIDUALLY PRICED,” meaning each item has its own price sticker with the word “CLEARANCE” at the top.

I am running the register one day when a woman comes up with an expensive item. I scan the item and the lady huffs and rolls her eyes before fixing me with a “mom stare.”

Customer: “That’s wrong. It’s on clearance.”

Me: “Let me call for a price check.”

I reach for the phone but she sticks her hand out to stop me.

Customer: “Can’t you just fix it? It’s on clearance” *Points at the table*

Me: “I don’t see a clearance sticker. Someone probably put it there instead of returning it to the shelf.”

Customer: “So just make it 75% off like the sign says.”

Me: “I can’t do that, ma’am, but I can call for a price check and get this squared away.”

I reach for the phone again and dodge her hand as she tries to block me from calling. A manager — a no-nonsense woman with decades of retail management under her belt — comes over to check the item.

Manager: “Oh, I see. Yeah, I’m sorry about this. Sometimes when people don’t want items anymore, they just put them wherever. This isn’t on clearance.”

Customer: “You’re the manager?”

Manager: “Yes, I am.”

Customer: “Then give me 75% off.”

Manager: *Shakes her head* “I can’t do that. There’s no defect, and it’s not discontinued or expiring.”

Customer: *Enunciating each word* “It. Was. On. Clearance.”

Manager: *Enunciating back* “It. Was. Not.”

Customer: “YES!”

Manager: “I’m not going to go through this with you again. You can have it at full price or I can put it back. The choice is yours.”

Customer: “Just give me the f****** discount!”

My manager shrugs and walks away with the item. The woman looks at me, mouth open, as if she expects me to do something about it.

Customer: “She took it!”

Me: *Trying not to smile* “Will there be anything else today?”

Customer: “F*** you!” *Stomps out*

Some People Have Never Been Told “No” And It Shows

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