An In-Line Way To Deal With Them

, , , , , | Right | July 25, 2018

(I am on my meal break. I get in line to buy my few lunch items behind an awesome coworker. Unfortunately, the lines are long. Soon, a customer begins to edge their way between my coworker and me.)

Customer: “I was already in line. I just left to look at something. The line hasn’t even moved.”

(I feel this is a breach of line etiquette, but, wearing my work uniform, I step aside to avoid seeming rude.)

Awesome Coworker: *to me* “Are you on your lunch?”

Me: “Yes.”

Awesome Coworker: “You can trade spots with me.”

(My awesome coworker then explains to the customer what every hourly worker knows: break time is limited and precious.)

Customer: *belatedly seeming embarrassed* “But wait. Are you on break, too? You can go ahead of me.”

Awesome Coworker: *passive-aggressively, though outwardly perfectly polite* “No, no, it’s fine.”

Customer: *muttering* “I wish someone had told me.”

Awesome Coworker: *a few minutes later in the break room, to me* “Ugh, that customer was terrible!”

Me: “Thank you so much! I didn’t realize you were on break, too. I assumed you traded with me because you were off!”

Awesome Coworker: “Nah, I just wanted to teach that customer good manners.”

Me: “You’re awesome.”


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Kindness: Making A Meal Out Of It

, , , , , | Hopeless | July 25, 2018

(My roommate and I hit a run of bad luck financially, but I finally managed to get my tax refund after nearly two months of waiting. After catching up on bills, loans, and paying back friends and family, we decide to use the last of the money to stock up our food supplies at H-E-B with more than just cheap TV dinners and canned meals. However, as we are looking at a few of the coupons that are in the store to see what we want and can afford, one of the employees approaches us.)

Employee: “Hey, you two seem to be pretty down on your luck, so I thought you might like this.”

(She hands my roommate a nearly $10 value package of skinless chicken breasts that has a sticker on it reading, “TRY ON US!” Then, she proceeds to explain that the sticker means we will get the entire package — at least five very nice-sized pieces — for free.)

Roommate: “Wait. You mean you are giving us this… for free?”

Employee: “Yes, I can tell by the way you are shopping around and—” *she points at me with my phone that I was using a calculator for the amount remaining in our budget* “—that you are seriously keeping track of how much you are spending. Did something happen?”

(I begin to explain about the various bills, and the fact that we lost power for a few days in the last month due to being late, despite the fact that we were going to pay them quite literally the day after they cut the power. However, they had nearly doubled the total bill in fees for the disconnect, reconnect, deposit, and the like, meaning we had to beg for help to get it back on. In addition, we had a few legal issues, had to get our car repaired, and various other things; the only saving grace was the tax refund.)

Employee: “That sounds pretty bad, but I’m glad to see that you are starting to get back on solid ground. I do hope that this helps you out a little bit, and if you need any help with anything here, we’ll do our best to accommodate you if it’s possible.”

(At this point, my roommate and I start to break down, but we try to keep it contained.)

Me: *voice breaking* “Thank you. We will definitely keep you in mind the next time we come here.” *without realizing it, I find myself hugging the employee* “You have no idea how much this means to us. This store is always so friendly, but we never expected this.”

(As I let the employee go, I begin to feel the tears rolling from my eyes and they blur my vision.)

Roommate: *also in full tears* “Thank you. God bless you. But I think we need to keep shopping around.”

(The employee nods as she starts to head off.)

Employee: “I’m sure good things will be coming to you pretty soon; just make sure you keep looking ahead.”

(After she left, we remained standing and crying from the gift and kindness of the employee. While we are still not in the best situation, we are a lot better than we were then. If you happen to be reading this, H-E-B employee, please know that the gift was made into one of the best dinners we had had in a long time, and may you keep bringing good fortune to others who are in the shoes we were in.)

A Dress The Color Of An Ally

, , , , , | Hopeless | July 19, 2018

(Most of you will be too young to remember the days when someone could go to jail if they had a birth certificate that said, “Male,” and they were caught wearing female clothing. Consequently, Hallowe’en is a HUGE party day for the gay community, which, of course, is very underground at this time. But many people want a special dress for the ball that is held annually, and if you can’t afford a dressmaker, what are you to do? I have some gay friends, so I am familiar with the lifestyle and trials of the times. I also work in the young women’s department. This happens on the weekend before Hallowe’en.)

Me: “Hello, sir, can I help you with something?”

Male Customer: “My sister is going to a semi-formal event, and I wanted to buy her dress for her as a surprise. She’s the same size as I am, pretty much.”

Me: “Let me show you what we have in stock.”

(After showing several dresses, which he looks at in great detail, trying to glimpse himself in the mirror with the dress held in front of him…)

Male Customer: “I think this one is nice. Maybe I’ll take it. What do you think?”

Me: “I’d vote against it, sir. The colour doesn’t suit your complexion at all.”

(The customer kind of ducks his head and blushes when he realises that I know what the story is.)

Me: “What I’d suggest for your sister is either this one or one of these two.”

(He decided to take one of the dresses I’d recommended and came back later to tell me he’d had a great time and loved the dress. I was so pleased to be able to make even just one night easier for someone who basically had to live a life of serious pretense in order to stay out of jail or not be beaten up. It isn’t perfect yet, but we have come along way.)

It’s Soda(mn) Cheap

, , , , | Working | July 17, 2018

(It’s early morning and I am shopping. The store has been open for maybe half an hour and there are almost no customers. The cashier has just made small talk with the customer in front of me. I can easily tell she’s unhappy since her work hours have been cut short lately. I am buying three items. She scans a bottle of oil, then attempts to scan a soda; the way the sticker is on, however, the register refuses to take it. She types it in by hand.)

Cashier: “1.74€… That’s wrong. Give me a second.”

(I watch as she voids the soda again, then presses the button for price reduction, types the 1.04€ in and tries to scan the soda. When it refuses she just huffs and sets it aside, saying she’ll do that once my third item is through. That item scans, automatically reduced to 1.04€ because she forgot to take the reduction out.)

Me: “Oh, now it rang that up as the other price.”

Cashier: “Hmm, let me see.”

(She finishes the transaction like that, I pay via card, fully aware of what has happened, and still perfectly okay that I will have to pay full price. She takes the receipt, looks it over, and sighs, hands it to me, and nudges my items over.)

Cashier: “You know what? I didn’t see a thing. I’m so done. I don’t care anymore, and the manager always grumbles about how we need to cash people faster, so I will just adhere to that. You really got an awesome deal.”

(I thanked her profusely, told her I could fully understand, since I heard her previous chat, and that she was doing a good job. You’re awesome, lady! And I hope you didn’t get in trouble for that.)

Zero Tolerance Is Enforced On Zeroes

, , , , , , | Right | July 17, 2018

(I overhear the following:)

Cashier: “Good afternoon!”

Customer: *grunts*

Cashier: “Do you have a loyalty card?”

Customer: *grunts*

Cashier: *again* “Do you have a loyalty card, sir?”

Customer: *aggressively* “I don’t talk to losers like you.”

Cashier: “Oh, well, you can f*** off, then. SECURITY!”

Customer: *to nearby assistant manager* “Did you hear that?”

Assistant Manager: “Yes, didn’t you? F*** off, now.”

Customer: “I demand to speak to the top manager!”

(The top manager pops up from nowhere.)

Manager: “Didn’t you hear my staff? F*** off; you’re banned from here.”

(A few days later, I saw the same manager and asked whether they’d had any comeback from the incident. Apparently, the a**hole customer complained to corporate, who told him that no, he wasn’t banned from the store; he was banned from every [Store] in the country. They also entered his details into the aggressive-customer database shared by all the major chains, so he’s now banned from all supermarkets in the local area.)


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