The Root Word Is Root Beer

, , , , | Learning | December 28, 2018

(I work with students with special needs. As most are nonverbal, we speak with a mixture of simplified English and simplified ASL, and have the students use TalkTablets, which we refer to as “Voice.” A student just got his Voice and is having too much fun with it.)

Student: *pressing TALK button* “What what what what button blue green yellow red what what what…”

Me: *speaking and signing* “[Student], no! Voice is speaking, not playing!”

Student: *quickly presses more buttons, then presses TALK* “I want beer! I want beer! I want beer!”

Me: “No, [Student], no… What?!”

(I took the tablet away and sure enough, there was a subsection under FOOD/DRINK for alcohol! We checked the other students’ tablets, and they had it, as well. Because the school provides them with the tablets to keep, and the students are expected to use them for life, the speech therapists ordered the adult version, instead of the kid version. Luckily, they were able to block the grown-up sections. As for my student, he is still learning how to properly use his Voice.)

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Your Patience Is Unbreakable

, , , , , | Right | December 27, 2018

(I have recently been hired at the same bookstore my mom has been working at for years because of a heavy hit holiday season. The store specializes in Christian supplies, with some Catholic supplies. The store is understaffed and the manager is desperate for help. It’s about my third or fourth shift and I’m on register. I’m young and new, so I tend to get the more demanding customers. It’s very busy, and despite our best efforts with our two registers, we still manage to get a massive line for our small store. The next customer has just come to me. She looks to be in her early forties, but she’s acting like she’s sassy sixteen, twirling her hair in one hand while the other is on her hip.)

Me: “Hi there! Did you find everything alright today?”

Customer: “Yeah, sure.”

Me: *smiling sweetly* “Great! Do you have a rewards card with us?”

Customer: “What? Do you, like, want my phone number?”

Me: “Sure.” *pulls up customer search and types in her number as she says it to me; no matches come up* “Nothing’s coming up in the system. Is there another number we could try?”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t have one.” *in a slightly stricter tone* “Never assume that.”

Me: “All right, then would you like to sign up for one?”

Customer: “Do I get a discount with it?”

(Already used to this question with new rewards members, I happily explain that it doesn’t give one now, but it’s a free signup and we can send coupons monthly by both mail and by email, as well as $5 vouchers she can earn by spending money in the store.)

Customer: *wrinkles nose in slight disgust* “Nah. I don’t shop here enough for that.”

(The line is being held up, and I’m giving apologetic glances to the other customers.)

Me: “That’s all right.” *finishes ringing her up* “Okay, your total will be [over $100].”

(She thrusts the card at me and I take it.)

Me: “May I see some ID, please?”

Customer: *rolls eyes and digs in her purse for her wallet* “That’s a debit card. You know, debit? You shouldn’t need my ID.”

Me: “I’m sorry for the confusion, but our system runs credit and debit together.”

(She scoffs and holds out her ID to me with her head back as though her own wallet is some disgusting thing. I thank her and swipe the card before handing it back.)

Me: “Now, if you could just sign this for me, please.”

(I hand her the transaction slip and a pen for her to sign it as I start getting packing paper to wrap her fragile purchases.)

Customer: *watches me wrap her items and in a very condescending tone* “You make sure you wrap those up the right way. I don’t need my things breaking on the way home. You start there on the bottom and work the paper around.”

(I’m clenching my jaw hard and biting my tongue. I’ve always despised being treated like I’m five, and my usual response is to reply in a very annoyed and smarta** way. Knowing I can’t, I just smile and nod.)

Customer: “Make sure the bags are all the way open.” *as though she’s talking to a toddler with an alphabet puzzle* “Now, you just carefully pick up wrapped items and stick them gently inside the bags. Breakables go in the same bag.”

(I handed her her items, and as sweetly and naturally as I could, I wished her a Merry Christmas, and she left. I found out later through my mom that the woman was actually the new hire she told me about that only worked two shifts before storming in one day and throwing her apron down in front of the manager, and then storming back out without a word.)

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The Holiday Spirit Is Closed

, , , , , , | Right | December 27, 2018

(I work at a dollar store that works with a military charity during certain times of the year. This time it is for a Christmas collection.)

Me: *after ringing last item* “Would you like to purchase a toy to help military families, through [Charity]?”

Customer: “No! If those women couldn’t afford to have kids, they should have kept their legs closed!”

Me: “…”

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You Can’t Return Entitlement

, , , , , | Right | December 27, 2018

(It’s a couple days after Christmas; the lines for returns are longer than the lines for Black Friday were. I am in said line for a slightly different reason than most, it seems; two out of three people end up shouting about credit cards and gift receipts. I don’t like making a scene, so I usually don’t intervene, but as time goes on I start getting more and more frustrated, until I’m finally next in line.)

Customer: *in front of me* “It’s about d*** time! Do you know how long I’ve been standing here waiting while you were dilly-dallying with all those other people?”

Worker: “I’m so sorry, sir, we’ve just been really busy, but we always try—“

Customer: “No! No excuses; don’t you start with that! I’m so pissed off right now! I’ve wasted over half an hour waiting here, just for you to start wasting more time when I get up!”

Worker: “Sir, I’m sorry, but I can take care of you right now and—“

Customer: “Oh, I see! Everyone else can take all the time they want, but I have to rush my way through it! I don’t think so! I’m pissed off, and you’re going to hear about it! I just—“

Me: “HEY!”

Customer: “WHAT?!”

Me: “You’re just making things take longer for everyone else behind you! It’s because of idiots like you, feeling like entitled twits that the whole world has to stop and take care of, that THIS—“ *gesturing to the whole line* “—happens! So shut up, handle the return, and move on!”

Customer: “I’m not even trying to return something; they screwed up a price!”

Me: “Then hand her the d*** receipt!”

(The customer’s attitude never improved, but at least they got on with it. When the other customer service clerk called me up, she whispered, “Thank you for that,” to me. Having worked retail — and really only needing to exchange a bottle of sauce with a busted seal that had gone funky — I was more than happy to try to get everyone out of there a little faster.)

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You Can Now Rent Christmas

, , , | Right | December 27, 2018

(It’s a couple days after Christmas, and a coworker and I are at the registers processing a lot of returns. A woman comes in with a massive stack of plates to return. She is very friendly and chatty as my coworker begins to process her return.)

Coworker: *inspecting one of the plates* “Was there a problem with them?”

Customer: “No, I just didn’t need them anymore.”

(Her statement was a bit odd, but my coworker finishes the return and refunds the customer’s money.)

Coworker: “That’s all I need from you! Sorry that the plates didn’t work out.”

Customer: “Oh, no, they looked fabulous at dinner. I just brought them back because I didn’t need them anymore!”

(Her receipt in hand, she goes about her business, leaving both of us speechless.)

Coworker: *after a pause* “When did we become a rental store?”

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