Handy That You Have Teeth

, , , , , | Right | April 15, 2021

A family — mom, dad, and three very adult children — with a HEAPING cart of stuff rolls through the line. They start to load things onto the counter and I start scanning as fast as I can, smiling, asking how their day is, what projects they were planning on making, just being a polite retail cashier.

Then, I look up for a second and one of the sons says, in a heavy accent and very broken English:

Son: “No English, just have things. What is price?”

I assume he’s asking for the price of the last item and point at the card reader while reading off the item and its price. All of a sudden, he just turns around and runs back into the shopping area with his mom and sister, leaving me with the dad and another son, neither of whom speaks English. I smile sheepishly and start scanning again. 

They keep asking for the price over and over. Eventually, I just turn my computer screen so they can watch it there. Then, I notice the dad is staring at me. Like… weirdly staring. The whole time. I smile again, being polite, but it’s starting to fall into that “I’m creeped out” smile; you know the one.

The dad then TOUCHES MY HAND WITH HIS and smiles really wide and says something in a language I don’t know. I pull back and look at the son.

Son: “Father like smile, pretty white teeth, good mouth.”

Me: *Awkward chuckle* “Yeah… Thanks.”

I look over at the other register but he’s too busy trying to keep the line down since we’re short-staffed. The dad touches my hand a couple more times while we wait for his family to come back. 

When they do come back, they finally explain that they have a gift card and aren’t usually in the states, so they need to use all of it in one go. It takes forever but I get them rung up. 

They want help taking stuff out. I notice my backup, a really nice guy with the heart of an angel who has saved my awkward butt more than a few times, has finally noticed I’m really uncomfortable. He steps up and starts grabbing bags and walks them outside and I finally go back to normal customers. The next customer has been waiting for a while.

Me: “I’m so sorry for that wait.”

Customer: “Oh, it’s really no problem. In fact, I heard what that man said to you about your teeth. Is there any way I can give you some sort of recognition for dealing with that?”

Me: “Oh! Well, we have these cards…”

Customer: “Gimme, I’ll fill out like ten. You did so great.”

Me: “Thanks! Thank you so much!”

I helped her find some good coupons on her phone to thank her for my thank-you card.

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Sickly Smiles

, , , , , , | Right | April 14, 2021

I’ve just returned to work from having the flu. I’m still feeling pretty terrible but was told that I’d be written up if I called out again. One of our regulars, an exceptionally creepy old man, walks in and comes directly to my window.

Me: “I’ll be with you in just a minute!”

Customer: “How are you today?”

Me: “I’m all right, and you?”

Customer: “You don’t look all right. C’mon, [My Name], how about a smile?”

He leans in my window, just a few inches from my face, and grins creepily.

Me: “[Customer], I have the flu. Would you smile if you had the flu?”

He immediately backed up and ran out of the building. I got lectured for that one. Worth it!

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Heavy Accusations

, , , , , | Right | April 13, 2021

I’m working part-time as a cashier for some extra cash in my second and third trimester of pregnancy. I work nights and happen to be the self-check “cashier” on this night. We are supposed to watch customers and our computer to make sure things are being rung out correctly, all items are scanned, etc.

We have handheld devices to scan heavier stuff so the customers don’t have to lift them out of their carts, just as a courtesy.

[Customer #1] has a twenty-four-pack of bottled water on the bottom of the cart.

Me: “Ma’am, would you like me to scan your water for you so you don’t have to lift it?”

Customer #1: “Sure! Thank you!”

I scan it for her and go about my normal duties. [Customer #2] has walked up to a machine at the machine directly next to [Customer #1]. I say hello to [Customer #2] and walk back to my station and turn to watch the machines.

I notice that [Customer #2] has a bunch of packs of soda on the bottom of her cart.

Me: “Oh! Ma’am, I’m sorry, would you like me to scan those for you so you don’t have to lift them?”

Customer #2: *Curtly* “No. I already did it. Go ahead and check.”

Me: “Okay, ma’am. I was just trying to help a little.”

I go back to my station and all is well, until…

[Customer #2] pays and starts to leave. I smile and tell her to have a nice night, and she shoves an extra basket with stuff she didn’t want at me.

Customer #2: “There. Now you can put all that back since you thought I was stealing.”

Me: “Excuse me? Ma’am…”

Customer #2:B****, you heard me! I wish that had hit your stomach, you racist b****!”

Me: *Trying to stay calm* “That wasn’t my intent. I was trying to help.”

Customer #2: “What the f*** ever. You were staring at us the whole time!” *Storms out*

My jaw drops and I start tearing up. [Customer #1] pops back up.

Customer #1: “Don’t worry, honey; you did nothing wrong. Here, take this cold water I got for the ride, and I’ll be calling management in the morning and explaining the whole thing. I’m sorry I didn’t say anything. I was too stunned and it happened too fast.”

Thank you, kind lady.

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When You’re Feeling Down, They Bring You Flours

, , , , | Right | April 13, 2021

Just as I get to the building, my stomach gets upset, so I clock on five minutes late. I go to my register, but the line is so long that I have to get on the backup register, which I hate because it’s so closed in that I feel a little claustrophobic.

I have rude customer after rude customer, so my mood is quickly deflating within the fifteen minutes of me being there.

I have a couple come through that’s buying a bag of flour. I grab the bag, which apparently has a tiny hole in the top… and I get covered head to toe in flour as it shoots out of the hole when I grab it. I stand there in silence for a moment, just blinking as the customer starts apologizing profusely.

Finally, I start laughing and look at them.

Me: “With the way my shift has been going, it’s either laugh or cry at this point. I’m going with laugh.”

Besides, they were nice, and it wasn’t like they planned for it. It took a while to get it off, though, since my uniform was all black!

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Something Smells Sour In This Perfume Shop

, , , , , , | Working | April 13, 2021

I’m fifteen. It’s around Christmastime, and I am at the mall with some friends. We go into a popular store known for selling a wide variety of perfumes, lotions, and candles. They are having a sale where, if you buy three perfumes, you get three perfumes for free. Excited to get them for my friends as their Christmas gifts, I take my time picking out ones I think each one would like. The cashier rings up the items. 

Cashier: “That will be [total].”

I think it’s odd because it’s twice the price that I had added up in my head. 

Me: “Is that with the promotion?”

Cashier: “That doesn’t apply to you.”

Me: “What do you mean? Did I accidentally grab one that wasn’t part of the deal? I can go grab a different one.”

Cashier: “No, it just doesn’t apply to you.”

I stare at her blankly, not really sure what’s going on. 

Me: “Oh. Well then, I’m not interested.”

The cashier made a sour face as I walked away from her, leaving all of the perfumes on the counter. I ended up going to a different location and picking out the same exact ones I had before with no problems.

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