Yesterday, All My Salads Seemed So Far Away

, , , , | Right | March 31, 2019

(I’m a customer in this story, shopping at a grocery store that has a separate food stand at the entrance with fresh and healthy food. In front of me in the line is a middle-aged woman, already looking displeased with something.)

Customer: *to cashier* “Is this salad fresh?”

Cashier: “Yes, it was prepared this morning.”

(It is about 7:30 am.)

Customer: “Are you sure?”

Cashier: “Certainly.”

Customer: “So, you prepared the food yourself?”

Cashier: “No, I didn’t. I only sell it.”

Customer: “But how can you be sure, then?”

Cashier: “It’s how it’s always done; every food item here is prepared freshly in the morning.”

Customer: “I don’t believe you. You’re lying to me!”

(The cashier is already visibly upset because she can’t think of anything more to say to convince the customer. Already late to work because the customer delayed everything, I decide to step in.)

Me: *to customer* “Excuse me, but what exactly do you want to hear from her if you accuse her of lying?”

Customer: “Well, the truth of course — that the salad is from yesterday.”

Me: “Would you buy it if it was from yesterday?”

Customer: “Well, of course not!”

Me: “So, you mean to tell me that if the cashier tells you the salad is fresh, you don’t believe it. If she told you otherwise, though, you wouldn’t buy it. Apparently, there is no outcome that would lead you to purchase anything here, so you might as well get lost and make way for customers who actually intend to buy something.”

Customer: *stares, completely baffled* “SOME PEOPLE… HOW DARE YOU!” *storms off angrily*

Cashier: *who has been watching my speech silently* “THANK YOU! I didn’t know what to tell her without getting rude and risking my job.”

Me: “I know. I’ve worked in retail, as well. That’s why I had to say something!”

Through An Immature Lens

, , , , , , , | Learning | March 11, 2019

(I am attending a course about glasses and how to order them according to the customers’ needs. Our teacher is talking about common mistakes done while ordering them and comes to the section about the distances seen by wrongfully-ordered glasses —  what you “can” see and you “won’t” see clearly.)

Teacher: *mentioning this and that mistake* “…which leads to the person missing out on about five inches of distance, where he won’t see things clearly.”

(For a moment, one of my female colleagues looks at him in confusion.)

Female Colleague: “Do you even feel five inches?”

(The world turned white as I threw my head back and let out a childish, uncontrollable, howling laughter, which led to tears in my eyes. My colleagues looked at me in confusion, and one after another slowly realised what she had just said.)

Informative About The Current State Of Humanity

, , , , | Romantic | January 2, 2019

(I am on a bus when I overhear these bits and pieces of a conversation between a man and his girlfriend. Apparently the man has bought a children’s ticket — don’t know what for — for himself and is now angry that he’ll have to pay a fine. Apparently it’s really unclear that a man in his 30s probably doesn’t qualify for a children’s ticket. And then he says this gem:)

Man: “It’s not my fault I don’t inform myself!”

Losing A Coat, Temper, And Any Chance Of Credibility

, , , , | Right | November 20, 2018

(I work at a big theatre, and since most of the people visiting are rich, they tend to assume all the ushers are stupid. I am working the guest cloakroom this evening, and it is the end-of-the-performance rush to give back all the coats.)

Guest: *with a heavy Italian accent* “These numbers, please.”

(I go to the back, get the coats for those numbers, hand them to him, and start serving someone else.)

Guest: “Excuse me. Something is missing!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. What is missing?”

Guest: “My wife’s coat! You didn’t give me my wife’s coat!”

(I go back again and check the numbers. The hooks are all empty. I look around the floor; nothing fell down. Sometimes on busy evenings I put stuff on the wrong number, so I go to the front and ask him.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. What does your wife’s coat look like?”

Guest: “I don’t know! But it’s not here!”

Me: “If you could describe it for me, then I could check again to see if I find it.”

Guest: “I don’t know what it looks like! Now give me my wife’s coat!”

Me: “If you can’t describe it, then please wait for two or three minutes; the cloakroom will be emptier and maybe you can identify it then.”

Guest: “NO! I want my wife’s coat now!

(I have been having this conversation while serving other people, as well, the whole time, because getting the cloakroom empty is literally the quickest way to find a missing coat. Now he is starting a noisy rant about how they put me there and I don’t know how to do my job.)

Me: “Please, sir, could you get your wife so that she could describe her coat for me?”

(He comes back with his wife, who smiles at me and describes her coat. While I go check again and her husband continues ranting, she looks at the coats and starts speaking to him in their language. I don’t speak a word of Italian, but her tone is very clear, so I come back to the front just in time to see the guy’s face lose all color. Turns out, the coat has been in his hand the whole time.)

Me: “Did you find it, ma’am?”

Guest: *pauses, turning slightly green* “I am so sorry.”

(He left, giving me a 5€ tip.)

Should Have Retired That Argument When You Did

, , , , | Right | November 20, 2018

(I am working the cloakroom at a huge theatre where one of Wagner’s operas is playing. Since Wagner was Hitler’s favourite musician and was kind of antisemitic himself, these performances tend to bring out a lot of racists. I am working the cloakroom with the second-in-command supervisor, who is very obviously not Caucasian and speaks German quite well, though with an accent. It is summer, so there aren’t many coats, and my supervisor has gone dealing with a customer elsewhere when a 75-year-old lady in a fur coat arrives and checks it in with me. A few minutes later she comes back while I am serving another customer and wants to check her vest, as well.)

Me: *to my colleague* “It’s [number]; just put it with the fur coat.”

Colleague: “Could I please just check the number to make sure?”

Customer: *handing her the number* “Well, you can trust your colleague. Even though our country is getting more stupid every day due to immigration.”

(She leaves. We look at each other in a “What’s her problem?” manner and shrug it off. At the end of the performance, the woman is one of the last ones to pick up her coat, so I am already clearing the area, when I see her arguing with my colleague.)

Customer: “You should really be more friendly to Austrian people!”

Colleague: “I’m sorry, what?”

Customer: “You get to stay and eat here, while we each pay hundreds of Euros in taxes every month for you to get everything here for free!

Colleague: “I pay taxes here, too.”

Customer: *continues her rant* “…and all you people just come here and take everything, and there is nothing left for us!”

(I step in, because even though my colleague speaks German very well, she just can’t defend herself against a rant in a deep Viennese dialect.)

Me: “Madam, she works over two hundred hours a month, and she pays taxes. Please don’t assume—”

Customer: “Now you just shut up! You have no idea what I’m talking about! These foreigners just keep coming here, and they live off of our taxes while we have to work and pay for everything!”

(I’m fuming by now, and I’m not holding back, because the first-in-command is my colleague’s best friend, so I’m not really worried about consequences.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but you are clearly retired, so if anything, you are living off of her taxes. Now, please leave, and if you have a problem with me now, you can take it up with my Albanian supervisor, the Columbian theatre supervisor, or the French Head of the House!”

(She left grumbling. Over the next two weeks she came to three more Wagner performances. At the next one, I saw her look at me and walk over to the other cloakroom just to come back and check her coat with me ,anyway; the other cloakroom was worked by two Egyptians. As the person who almost yelled at her for being racist, I still was the most desirable option as the most Aryan-looking of all of the cloakroom people. By the third performance, she just left her coat at home.)

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