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Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda Vaas Can Relate

, , , , , , | Right | December 1, 2023

My name has been changed for this story, but it’s similar to what I have written. I am at the checkout and a customer is scrutinizing my name tag.

Customer: “Your name is WGD?”

Me: “Oh, that’s what I like everyone to call me. It’s easier, plus it fits on the name tag!”

Customer: “It’s unprofessional to go by a nickname in the workplace. I wouldn’t hire you if you went by some silly, hip nickname.”

As I have pen and paper, I start writing.

Customer: “What are you doing? I have groceries to scan!”

I show her my full written name.

Me: “Show me a name tag that can legibly fit Wijeesundara Goonatilake Dharmagunawardhana, and I’ll show you a cashier who will have back pain by the end of the day.”

The customer is silent for a moment, and I continue scanning. After she’s paid and is walking away:

Customer: “Your parents should have just called you John or something!”

A Different Kind Of Clerical Error

, , , , , , | Working | December 1, 2023

Like most retail employees, I start wishing customers happy holidays come December first. Near the Christmastime rush, I check a gentleman out.

Me: “And you’re all set! Happy… birthday. Oh. Well, I guess that’s for Jesus, isn’t it?”

The man gave me a wry smile and turned to leave without another word. And that was when I noticed his clerical collar.

You Won’t Find THAT In Retail

, , , , , | Right | November 30, 2023

I work in the front checkouts of a grocery store. We’re required to ask all the customers who come to the checkouts if they’ve found everything they need. Many people take the opportunity to joke about how they couldn’t find, for example, a winning lottery ticket or a bag of cash, but this is one exchange that still stands out in my mind.

Me: “Did you find everything okay?”

Customer: “I couldn’t find inner peace.”

I actually had to pause for a moment because I was not expecting such a philosophical conversation at a cash register.

Too Lazy To See Thyself

, , | Right | November 29, 2023

I am serving an older customer who seems to be irritated.

Customer: “Ugh, kids these days expect everything to be done for them!”

Me: “Your total is [amount].”

He then hands me a blank check. 

Customer: “Fill this out for the amount.”

Accept My Big Bag Of “No”

, , | Right | November 29, 2023

I always have this ridiculous idea that, when I go to a store, it truly is just to get a few things. I refuse to get a cart and use only my reusable shopping bag to put my things in. 

As usual, I fill up my bag, and I have three or four items in my arms, including one heavy item. I get in a short line to check out. The woman in front of me has put her items on the conveyor belt, and the person in front of her is still working through their order. The woman turns to look at me and then offers to let me go in front of her. I’m not in a hurry at all, so I decline.

Customer: “No, really! Get in front of me. I don’t mind. You only have a few things.”

Me: “No, really, it’s fine.”

Customer: “No, I insist!”

Me: “I don’t think I can fit in front. It’s fine, it’s not a long line.”

Customer: “No, really!”

She pushes her items back a bit on the conveyor belt to leave a small space clear for me.

At this point, it’s easier just to go along with her kind intentions. The problem is that I have a full bag plus the few items in my arms, and the little space she’s cleared is nowhere near enough for my stuff. I awkwardly try to squeeze in front of her and then even more awkwardly try to stack up my fifteen or so items in the eight-inch gap she’s left me.

Customer: “Oh… I didn’t realize you had all that.”

Me: “That’s why I kept saying no.”

I shrugged and carried on. No sense in trying to squeeze back behind her now! I ended up handing the cashier items directly from my bag since there was not enough space on the belt.

I was so glad to get out of there! I know she was trying to be kind, but just accept the “No, thank you”!