Padding Up Your Knowledge

, , , , , | Working | December 19, 2019

(I’m a twenty-five-year-old trans woman. I work as a cashier, and I pass really well, apparently. On this day, I’m behind the customer service counter telling my supervisor a funny work story before beginning my shift as the online shopper — people order online and I shop in the store for them to pick up. An older woman approaches the desk. My supervisor and a coworker with us are both men.)

Customer: “Young lady! Excuse me, young lady!”

(Upon realising she’s talking to me, I turn around to face her.)

Me: “Yes, how can I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, I need some assistance in finding pads for my granddaughter who, erm, you know. What would you suggest?”

Me: *internally* “Oh, God…” *externally, upon taking her to that section* “Well, these are very good. I haven’t had any complaints. This brand is also very fine, as well.”

(Long story short, I upsell the brand I see some of my female-born coworkers use the most often, since we only sell three brands. The entire time I’m saying things like “excellent absorbency,” and the like, and she’s nodding and soaking it all in — pun intended. She hasn’t the slightest idea I know nothing of what I am saying.)

Customer: “Oh, thank you, thank you, young lady! I think this is perfect!”

(I later tell my female supervisor, who laughs very hard.)

Supervisor: “Girl, that’s amazing. And you weren’t wrong, those are pretty good. Seriously, you should be in marketing.”

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Where Santa’s Work REALLY Happens

, , , , , | Right | December 16, 2019

(It’s about a week and a half before Christmas and I go to the post office to mail a package that I really should have mailed earlier. When I get there, the line is out the door. Since I won’t have another opportunity to get there before Christmas — and it’s bound to be that busy all the way up until the holiday, anyway — I go ahead and get in line. There are two young ladies in front of me in line that are complaining about the wait time. They look at me to elicit my opinion on the wait time; I just shrug and tell them that it’s my own fault for not coming sooner. By the exit door is a little stand with a smiley face, a neutral face, and an angry face on it, as well as buttons you can press to rate your experience at the post office. Almost everyone in line reaches over and slams down the angry face as they pass it, even though they haven’t actually been helped yet. When I get to the front of the line, only about twenty minutes have passed as they have five employees working very rapidly behind the counter. I get called up to the station where one of the more brusque and loud employees is working.)

Employee: “Hi there. How are you doing? What are we doing for you today?”

Me: “I’m doing fine. You?” *sets my box on the counter* “Just this.”

Employee: *starts the process of weighing and processing* “Oh, I’m fantastic. You picked a good day. But every day here is a good day. Not if you ask most people, though.”

Me: “It’s almost Christmas. It always boggles my mind that people would complain. They should know better. Plus, this line didn’t take that long, really.”

Employee: *reaches into his drawer and pulls out a candy dish with, I kid you not, homemade cookies on it* “Do you like cookies? Have a cookie!”

Me: “Oh! Thank you!” *picks a small cookie and he runs me through the mailing options*

Employee: “Do you like chocolate?”

Me: “Yeah, I do.”

Employee: *pulls out ANOTHER candy dish filled with fun-sized chocolate bars* “Help yourself!”

(I take one but he insists I take at least three of them.)

Employee: “All right, that’ll be [price]. Would you like to pay with cash, card, or firstborn child?”

Me: *chuckling* “Card. I think I’ll keep my son a bit longer.”

Employee: *as payment is processing, pulls out a foil-wrapped package from his drawer and hands it to me* “You can take these ones home and share them with your boy.”

Me: “You sure?”

(The foil contains MORE cookies.)

Employee: “Yup, I don’t need any more.” *pats his belly* “You have a great day!”

Me: “You, too!”

(On my way out the door, I slammed down the green smiley face button, cookie in mouth. By far that was the weirdest and best post office experience I’ve ever had.)


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Dampening His Scheme

, , , , | Legal | December 14, 2019

(One evening in the bookstore, I turn a corner amidst the shelves and see a man drop a paperback book down his shirt. I watch him pick up another book and do the same. When he picks up a third book, I speak up.)

Me: “Sir!”

Book Thief: *jumps*

Me: “Sir, I am going to need you to take that book out of your shirt and hand it to me.”

Book Thief: “I don’t know what you mean.”

Me: “Sir, I watched you put a book down your shirt. Take it out and give it to me.”

(The man sheepishly does so.)

Me: “And the second book, please.”

Book Thief: “The second book?”

(The books he is attempting to steal are upwards of 400 pages each. There is a visible square outline right over his stomach. I stare pointedly at it until he looks down, as well, and then I meet his eyes and repeat myself.)

Me: “The second book, please.”

(He hands it to me, even more sheepishly. Both books are slightly… damp.)

Me: “Thank you. And now I have to ask you to leave.”

Book Thief: “But I was going to buy–”

Me: “I can also call my manager, explain the situation, and have him ask you to leave.”

(The man literally ran to the exit. I had to damage out the two books that were down his shirt. My manager put “deputy” by my name on the schedule for the next week.)

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The Cheese Has Melted And So Have Our Hearts

, , , , , , | Right | December 11, 2019

(My husband and I are at a restaurant we go to every month or so. We almost always get the same thing, so we order without looking at the menu, including an appetizer that’s a sort of breadstick bite, which is supposed to come with two types of sauce to dip.)

Server: “Oh, I’m sorry, they just discontinued those.”

Me: “Oh, no! Well, bad luck for us. We can just get regular breadsticks then.”

Server: “Well, if you like, I can see if they’ll still make them for you? They might still have everything we need.”

Husband: “We really don’t want to be a pain.”

Server: “I promise you aren’t! Just let me check with the kitchen first.”

(She returns shortly after and says the kitchen can make the appetizer easily, but it will only have the marinara sauce to dip, not the cheese sauce, which we are fine with since we only ever eat the marinara anyway. We thank her profusely, and a little while later we get our appetizer. All is well, and then a woman comes running out of the kitchen with a small plate.)

Employee: “Here you go! We tried to make you the cheese sauce anyway with what we had.”

Husband: “Oh, you didn’t have to do that!”

Employee: “No, no, we wanted to! It, um, might not be very good though, but we thought we’d try.”

(She dropped the plate and hurried off. When we looked we had to laugh. The sauce is supposed to be a kind of garlicky beer cheese sauce for dipping. What they brought us was what looked like quite literally just a block of melted cheddar cheese with a handful of garlic on top, quickly congealing back into a grease-covered lump. To be polite, we did TRY to eat it since they went through the trouble for us, but it really was terrible. The whole thing was hysterical, though, and we were touched that they went through the effort to first accommodate us with the appetizer, and then TRIED to make the sauce even if the result was mostly inedible. We tipped generously and sent an email in to the company website telling them how great their staff at this location was. They may not be able to improvise a cheese sauce on the spot, but at least they cared enough to try!)

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Avid Readers Don’t Always Read Everything

, , , , , , | Right | December 6, 2019

(This happens when I am about fifteen and pretty naive. I am on a school trip to Manchester and my family has given me a LOT of money to spend on books, as I am an avid and passionate reader. When I go to the book shop, I see a display with a “buy one, get one half-price” deal, with every book marked with a sticker. I do not read the fine print. I just take one book with a sticker that interests me and then I wander around the shop searching for other treasures. When I am finally done, in a state of bliss, I have about five or six books with me. The cashier is working on the other side of the room and hurries over.)

Me: “Don’t worry; I’ve got time!” *puts my books on the counter* “And lots of books! My parents gave me a massive allowance just for this trip!”

Cashier: *laughing* “That’s like letting a child loose in a candy shop!”

Me: “Yeah! And I saw you guys have that half-price deal! Of course, I took advantage of that!”

(The cashier looks through the books, and after a brief pause, murmurs:)

Cashier: “Let’s pretend this one has a sticker, too.”

(I didn’t get what she meant; I just smiled happily. It took me THREE YEARS and another trip to England to realise what she meant: only the books from the display were part of the deal, while I had taken it to mean one book from the display and any random book from the shop. Thank you, kind cashier, for putting up with my youthful naïveté!)

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