They Undertook The Precept To Refrain From Incorrect Speech

, , , , , | Hopeless | July 28, 2018

(I work in an alternative book store at the end of a long strip mall. There’s actually another book store five doors down, but they are a Christian bookstore so we don’t have much to compete over. Occasionally we get customers from the other store walking in because they were not paying attention and get confused — or offended — by our products. The store is heavily decorated with draped fabric making it kind of dark inside. One day I see a car pull up front and drop off a cute little old lady, complete with short, curly, white hair and a pink pantsuit. The car immediately drives off as soon as she closes the door, and she wanders into our store while looking through her purse.)

Lady: *still looking in her purse* “Hello, dearie, can you help me return this book? It doesn’t have the right plants. My, it is dark in here! You should tell your manager to fix those lights; it’s not good for your eyes to be in the dark all the time!”

(She pulls out a book about “gardening with the Lord” and sets the book, with a receipt, on the counter. I can also see a gold cross on her necklace.)

Me: “I am sorry, ma’am, but I believe you are actually looking for [Christian Store] a few doors down.”

Lady: “Oh? Am I in the wrong store again?”

(She takes a moment to pull a pair of glasses out of her purse and puts them on before looking around.)

Lady: “Oh! You’re right; this isn’t [Christian Store]! No wonder it’s so dark in here; what an interesting place! What is this store?”

Me: “This is [Alternative Bookstore], ma’am. We specialize in books, supplies, and some knick-knacks, for a variety of religions and spiritualists.”

Lady: “Do you sell books on witchcraft?!”

(As she says this, she looks shocked and holds her hand up to her little gold cross. I brace for the usual shouting as I reply:)

Me: “Yes, ma’am. We do sell books about Wicca, along with books on a wide variety of religions, such as Buddhism and Asatru.”

(For a moment she just stares at me like I slapped her, and very slowly turns around again to look at the store. She is quiet for so long that I begin to worry about her health. Then she turns back to me, all smiles, as if nothing is wrong.)

Lady: “I’ve always wondered what people meant by those words. What is ‘Wicca’? Or that ‘bood-ish’ thing you said? Oh, can you show me any books on gardening?!”

(She was perfectly cheerful, and wandered all over the store asking a thousand questions about everything she could. Since we were slow, I was happy to talk with her and even helped her find a book on planting healing herbs. She kept looking at everything with an expression of amazement I usually only see on children. I checked her out once she decided she had had enough looking around, and we chatted for a few minutes. Apparently the car that had dropped her off belonged to her granddaughter, who dropped her off at the mall once a week, as she couldn’t drive herself, so that she could spend time in the Christian bookstore down the way. And, as her family was all very religious, she had no idea there were so many different beliefs out in the world. She left, happy, and has become my favorite regular, visiting the store every other week, and is still perfectly happy with her beliefs, but loves to talk with me about absolutely everything.)

I Scanned You As A Regular

, , , , | Right | July 27, 2018

(I am the customer in this story. I’m at a location of a self-serve, self-assembled furniture store. I’m purchasing some bookshelves and a lamp, and I’ve noticed signs all through the store asking customers to place their items on their trolley with the barcodes facing forward, so I do so. I get up to the cashier.)

Cashier: *jumps up, quickly scans everything I have* “Wow, you must shop here a lot!”

Me: *puzzled, handing over my card* “No, not really; this is only my second time here.”

Cashier: *processing my payment* “Well, you have everything arranged with the barcodes in front, so it’s easy to scan. Usually only the frequent shoppers do that.”

Me: “Well, I saw the signs all over the store, and it seemed like a sensible thing to do, so I did it.”

Cashier: *handing me my receipt with a huge smile* “THE POWER OF READING!”

(We high-fived as I trundled off, grinning myself.)

Got Milk And Homophobia

, , , , , , | Friendly | July 26, 2018

(I work as a clerk at a grocery store and I am currently serving a short boy — around 5’2” — with a turtleneck and longish hair; he looks rather girlish.)

Man: *behind him* “C’mon, girly. I’ve got places to be.”

Boy: *looking like he’s had to say this a thousand times* “I’m a boy.”

(He continues unloading his full cart rather quickly. After about a minute, the guy decides to speak up again.)

Man: “Come on, you f****** [homophobic slur]; you’re going way too slow!”

(I’m rather surprised by this, but the boy almost grins. There’s a large man who I’d seen him send back a moment ago coming back. He’s a good 6’2” and covered in tattoos.)

Larger Man: “I got the milk!”

(He says this like he’s nine, and it’s kind of adorable. The smaller one looks at him and mutters something.)

Larger Man: *looking down at the rude man, kind demeanor suddenly completely gone*  “I will beat the everloving s*** out of you if you say one more word to my boyfriend.”

(The look on the guy’s face as they finished checking out almost killed me. And don’t worry; I had to card both of them for their beer, and the small guy was 23.)

Twilight Torture

, , , , | Right | July 25, 2018

(I work in a library. A teenage regular comes up to the counter to check out “Twilight.” Normally I don’t care that anyone’s checking out “Twilight,” even though I don’t care for the book myself, but I find it weird that she’d be reading “Twilight” since it’s so different from the horror, adventure, and classic science fiction books she usually favors.)

Me: “Huh. So, what made you want to read Twilight?”

Regular: “My sister.”

Me: “Is she a fan of the books?”

Regular: “No, she hates everything that has to do with Twilight. We like real vampires in our family, like Dracula and Nosferatu, not sparkling fairies.”

Me: “But she recommended it, anyway?”

Regular: “Nope. She was making me angry, so I threatened to torture her by reading it to her, and I always carry my threats through!”

(She walked away smiling once I’d checked the book out for her. I would give anything just to be a fly on the wall during that torture session.)

Not Too Chicken To Stand Up To Them

, , , , , , | Right | July 24, 2018

(I am working the hot meat counter at a supermarket. When it comes near to closing time, we reduce the hot meat down if we have a lot of it left to get rid of. A woman walks up to me about half an hour from closing time. There are three whole hot chickens left.)

Customer: “Why aren’t these chickens reduced?”

Me: “We only reduce them down if we have a lot left, or if it’s bang on closing time. We only have three left, so these may still go as there is still half an hour of trading time left.”

Customer: “But you always reduce them down; I want these chickens reduced!”

Me: “Well, today we do not have enough left to warrant a reduction.”

Customer: “But you are obliged to reduce them down. You reduce them down now so I can take one. Everywhere else does it; you’re out of order.”

Me: “I am not obliged to reduce them down. Obviously, ideally we want to sell them at full price.”

(The woman continues to rant, getting progressively ruder, about how out of order it is to sell these chickens at full price at this time of day. While she is doing this, a girl doing her shopping overhears and looks a bit annoyed at this woman, but then walks off.)

Me: *sigh* “If there are any left bang on closing time, I will then reduce them.”

Customer: “Fine, I will wait.”

(The woman proceeds to wait there for half an hour, giving me nasty looks as I clean the department. At closing time, the chickens are still there, so I make up the reduction stickers, bag up the chickens, and put them on top of the counter. The girl from earlier has reappeared.)

Girl: *to the woman* “You know, you really shouldn’t be so rude to people.”

(The girl proceeds to grab all three reduced chickens, and then runs off with her trolley to the checkout. The woman stares after her in shock.)

Me: *calling after girl* “Thank you for shopping at [Supermarket]!”


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