The Grid Truth

, , , , , | | Right | June 18, 2019

(I am working the checkout when a young boy, about five years old, comes up with me to buy a few “Tron Legacy” toys. I’m also a fan of the “Tron” movies, so I start to talk to him about it.)

Me: “I guess you like Tron, then?”

Boy: “Yeah! I love it! They are gonna make a second one!”

Me: “Well, technically, Tron Legacy is the second one. The first one is about as old as I am.”

(The boy just looks at me with shock.)

Boy: “But you’re ANCIENT!”

(I look at his mother, who is in shock that her little boy has called me ancient, as I am not that old. She also begins to turn red out of embarrassment until I burst out laughing. The little boy buys his toys and leaves with his mother, and I turn to my manager while still laughing.)

Manager: “If you’re ancient, what does that make me, then?”

(That little boy made me forget about all the abuse I get at work, and still makes me laugh now.)

Doesn’t Need To Give You His Two Cents About Two Dollars

, , , , , | | Right | June 18, 2019

(I work in a popular retail store that allows customers to buy any item on sale if they find a sale sign for said item that hasn’t been taken off the floor yet. As a cashier, I have to make sure that the sale sign is for the correct item because most of the time, the sale price is for a similar, but different item. This happens after an elderly gentleman shows up at my till and I ring him up.)

Me: “Okay, that comes to $15.”

Old Man: “I thought it was $13.”

(I get ready to phone one of the girls on the floor to double-check, a process that can easily turn a thirty-second transaction into fifteen minutes.)

Old Man: “But if you say $15, then $15 it is.”

(The old man shrugged and paid, and I stood there amazed. No matter how small the difference is between prices, I have never seen someone who was okay with the larger price!)

Because All White People Come From New Zealand

, , , , | | Right | June 18, 2019

(I work in a store that is predominantly staffed by foreigners, but I am Caucasian. A customer approaches my till.)

Customer: “Hi, there.”

Me: “Good evening.”

(I start scanning the woman’s sizable cartload of groceries.)

Customer: “I’m so glad to see a white person behind the till for once!”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “Well, I am so sick of dealing with all these foreigners every time I want to buy some groceries! I’ll be sure to come back here when you are working in future!”

Me: “Uh, ma’am? You may leave now. I will not serve someone as incredibly rude and racist as you.”

Customer: “What do you mean, you won’t serve me?!”

Me: “Exactly what I said. Leave now. You will not receive service here, from me or anyone else.”

Customer: “How dare you?! I demand to speak to your manager at once!”

Me: “Certainly, ma’am. Let me call him over for you.”

(I call the manager on duty over to my register. The manager in question is a Chinese immigrant.)

Manager: *in a thick Chinese accent* “What’s the problem?”

(The customer’s face turned paper white, and she virtually ran from the store, leaving all her groceries behind. My manager turned to look at me, but it took ten minutes for him to get an explanation because I was laughing so hard.)


Getting To The Meat Of The Problem

, , , , , | | Right | June 16, 2019

Some years ago I worked as a bookkeeper and accountant in a supermarket. We had the usual amount of “shrinkage” of our inventory, occasionally catching someone in the act but otherwise accepting the 1-2% loss.

In January 2005, we upgraded our inventory system, adding in self-checkout lanes. Things went along without a hitch for the first few months but then our shrinkage rate jumped. In terms of a gross percentage it was still low, but we operated on such a small margin that it pushed us closer to the red than we’d like. My boss asked me to figure it out.

Because of the new system, I could do data pulls any way I wanted. It took me a day to find that the principal loss came from the butcher shop. Prime cuts of meat were entered into the system with UPC barcodes on them but never showed up as being purchased or discarded. These were $20 to $40 (or more) items mysteriously vanishing.

At first, management suspected the butcher staff, but increased security and stern warnings did not slow the pilferage and it was clear that they were not the problem. We upgraded security near the checkouts, but no one was walking out with meat under their shirts.

Although it wasn’t my job, I put some time in on the problem. When I did more comparisons of inventory in and out I discovered that dried pinto beans were selling at a rate greater than we bought them. I thought about it and realized the problem was likely the self-checkout. I went to my boss and we added security camera and real-time monitoring of the system.

It turned out to be a family that ran a small BBQ place in town. Their trick was to use the pay station furthest from the observing cashier and cover the barcode, entering the item as weighed produce using the code for beans. They’d bag the meat and a few other small items and walk out with a valid receipt paid in cash.

We confronted them and ended up with a settlement to avoid court. Now that they had to buy their product at normal wholesale prices, they couldn’t make a go of it and went out of business a few months later. And I got a nice bonus.

Tearing Up The Economy

, , , , | | Right | June 10, 2019

(I’m a “key carrier” — low-level manager — at a farm store. I’m putting away stock and I receive a page to the registers. Our cashier has a customer who is trying to pay with a five-dollar bill that has been torn in half.)

Cashier: *to me* “Can we take this as payment?”

Me: *to customer* “I’m sorry, sir, but unfortunately, I can’t accept this as payment.”

Customer: “Why not? It’s American currency!”

Me: “Yes, but half of the bill is missing. I wouldn’t be able to use it as change for another customer. If you take this bill to your bank, however, they may be able to swap you for a new five-dollar note.”

Customer: “Well, that sounds like your problem! If it’s so easy, you should go do it yourself! I’m sure you guys make deposits every day; take care of it, then!”

Me: “Sir, I’m not sure what else to tell you, but I can’t accept half of a bill for the full value.”

Customer: “So, you won’t accept American currency! I’d like to speak to your manager!”

Me: “You are, sir. This has zero to do with its country of origin. It’s half of a bill. I’m sorry but there’s nothing else I can do for you.”

Customer: “There’s no reason I should have to take the hit for this. You can override this; I know you can. You just don’t want to. Just give me the number to your corporate office. I’ll explain to them why you just lost a customer over five dollars, and you’ll be out on your a**.”

Me: *irritated beyond the ability to keep my mouth shut* “Okay, tell you what. Give me that bill plus $2.50 and we’ll call it even.”

Customer: “…”

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