When Your Story Needs Some Padding

, , , , , | Friendly | September 15, 2017

(It’s a rather dull day, and a well-built, muscular-looking man with an incredibly thick, long beard is checking out at the register in front of me. I quickly, but covertly check him out. As I begin perusing the magazines, a large projectile flies into the middle of my carefully arranged order, knocking over a soda and nearly hitting me.)

Me: “Hey! What?” *looks down, and sees a package of pads* “What the f***?”

Customer: “Oh, geez, yeah, that’s mine… girlfriend’s!” *grabs pads and puts them back in his order* “Sorry.”

Me: “Uhm…? What?”

Cashier: “Your pads were in his order! Men don’t need pads!” *scans the man’s remaining items*

Customer: “WELL, I DO! For my… for my girlfriend!”

(I notice that the man is angry, yet nearly in tears at this point. I think, “wow, he must really love his girlfriend!”)

Cashier: *takes the pads, and throws them directly at me this time*

Me: *bats pads away, angry now* “These are NOT mine, and it’s not your business what he’s buying, or who for, as long as it’s legal in this state and sold by this store. If you insist on not ringing up his order completely and accurately, we will need a manager.”

Customer: “Thank you.” *to the cashier* “See? She gets it!”

(At this point, he lifts his arm in a motion towards me, and I see a familiar strip of cloth under his exercise shirt that looks like an undershirt, with a tag from a popular brand. He notices me see it, puts his arm back by his side, and tenses up.)

Me: *I nod* “Sir, I’d like to buy these supplies for you. May I?”

Customer: “I, uh… yeah! That’s incredibly kind. Thank you!”

Me: *removes the divider between our orders, and turns to the cashier* “Ring this up too, please.”

Cashier: *scoffs* “Buying stuff for a dude? Really? Gotta be THAT feminist today, huh?”

Me: *unperturbed* “Yes. Why wouldn’t I?”

Customer: “Thank you! I… you really are… thank you.”

Me: *smiles at him* “You’re welcome.”

Cashier: *scowls and makes random misogynistic and angry comments, barely loud enough to be heard, while furiously ringing up our order*

(As we’re leaving, the man holds the door open for me. We get to talking while walking to our cars, and I admit that I bought his groceries just so I could talk to him for a bit longer.)

Customer: *leaning against his car, and crossing his arms* “So, how do you know? It may be that I’m paranoid, but I swear I heard you say ‘sir’ a little more emphatically back there.”

Me: *laughs* “Oh, yeah, I might have. Sorry. My brother wears the same brand of binder.”

(We had a long conversation that ranged from LGBT rights to the pain of Mother Nature’s monthly endurance tests, during which I find out that he’s new in town. Even though I’m cis, I knew of and recommended a network of doctors, including a gynecologist who mainly sees male patients, and a group he could join. I also texted my brother to see if I could give him his number, and my brother agreed. They ended up becoming really good friends!)

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This Smell Does Not Compute

, , , | Right | September 14, 2017

Customer: “Hey, can you guys help me out? My computer has stopped working and I need you to fix it.”

Tech #1: “We can certainly give it a try. What exactly is wrong with it?”

Customer: “It won’t turn on anymore, and when I try it starts smelling like smoke. I might have spilled some wine on it.”

Tech #1: “All right, we will get right to work on it. Come back later today. If it isn’t done by then, we will give you a time to pick it up later.”

(By this time, the lady leaves and [Tech #1] tells me to bring the computer into the back room. I offer to take a look at it, since I have nothing else to do. I open the case and get hit with a strong smell.)

Me: “Wow, she certainly spilled something. It’s definitely something I have smelled before.”

Tech #2: “You weren’t kidding. That smells really bad.”

Me: “And I get to work in it!”

Tech #1: “Tell us if you figure anything out.”

(After about two hours of working inside the computer, I need to leave for the day. The next day I come back, and the techs are laughing.)

Me: “What’s going on? What’s so funny?”

Tech #2: “You know that computer from yesterday that you were working inside?”

Me: “Yeah?”

Tech #2: “Well, the owner of it came back, and after we told her all of the issues we found inside, she told us that her dog actually peed inside of the case.”

Me: *realization* “And my hands were in there removing ram and stuff for a good chunk of the day!”

Tech #1: *starts laughing again* “Yep!”

Me: “If you guys will excuse me, I am going to go wash my hands for a good 20 to 30 minutes.”

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You Wanna Get Hazelnuts? Then Let’s Get Hazel-Nuts!

, , , , , | Friendly | September 14, 2017

(I’ve had a horribly rough day at work and want one of my favorite drinks, a butterbeer blended ice drink, similar to a frappuccino, from my regular coffee shop. It’s a rarely-purchased item, because it takes a lot of extra syrup shots and costs close to $8, but I figure the day I’ve had is worth the cost.)

Me: *to barista* “Can I get a butterbeer frappe, please?”

Customer: *behind me* “Oooh, what’s that?”

Me: “It’s five shots of hazelnut, four of vanilla, and two of caramel; then you top it with whip cream and caramel sauce. You can do the coffee blend or the vanilla blend; it tastes good either way. But it’s expensive!”

Customer: “Is it on their secret list?”

Me: “No, but a friend of mine who works here made the drink up, and we’ve always come here when we need one.”

(I sit down to wait for my drink, which comes out at the same time as the one for the other customer I’d been talking to earlier. However, when I grab for my drink, I realize it doesn’t have my name on it and start to look around for the other cup.)

Me: “Hey, [Barista], I thought you said mine was ready?”

Barista: “It is… wait, d*** it. I made a point to set that other girl’s drink to the side for her, because she was eyeing yours. She grabbed your cup, didn’t she? D*** it. I’ll make yours up again, sorry.” *glares at the other customer, who is looking smug*

Me: *approaching the customer’s table* “You have my drink.”

Customer: *smiles as she puts her straw in the drink and sips from it* “I don’t think so. I think I got the right one, and yours is on the counter still.” *when she sets it down, I notice my name on it and all the markings which clearly indicates she grabbed the wrong one*

Me: “Your name is [My Name]?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Then you got the wrong drink. Maybe you should give it back and get the drink you actually ordered, instead of stealing other people’s drinks.”

Customer: “Oh my God, get over yourself. Just buy yourself another drink.”

(When she raises her drink again, I make a point to smack it so drops out of her hand and falls on the floor.)

Me: “Oops. Seems like you don’t get that drink, either. Yours might still be on the counter, though.”

(She screamed at me for knocking the drink out of her hand, but I was already in such a rage that I walked out without grabbing my drink. My friend called me later about the incident and said that the customer had been kicked out when she threw both her drink and my replacement drink at the barista. I got a card for five free butterbeer frappes from the owner of the place when I called her to apologize for my actions. She said she’d have done the same thing. I did get stuck with mopping the floors as a way of making up for my actions, though.)

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Four A Few Dollars More

, , , , , | Right | September 14, 2017

(I am an assistant manager. We are located in a suburb, and our clientele tends to be on the affluent side. It is not common for us to have clients from the city branches come out to our area. A customer approaches the counter and asks to withdraw money. I am standing nearby and overhear the conversation, though I am waiting on the phone and cannot interject.)

Customer: “I want to withdraw money, but I have nothing in the account.”

Teller: “Let me look it up… You are correct. We cannot do a withdrawal, because the balance is currently at zero.”

Customer: “It’s just $4! You can withdraw $4!”

Teller: “I am sorry, ma’am, I cannot do a withdrawal if it will take the account negative.”

Customer: “You don’t understand! I drove all around the city looking for these lamps and [Small Chain Store] has them! I’ve already spent $20 in gas going back and forth from the city! They’ll only hold them for one day! I can’t drive back out! It’s just $4!”

(The customer continues to ramble on over how she thought she enough money, but only needs $4 to get the set, and she really needs both lamps.)

Customer: “Well, ask someone else! Get your supervisor! My social security check comes in every month to this bank, you’ll have the money tonight!”

(I have returned to my desk to resume my phone call, but I am directly in front of the teller line. The teller approaches the closest supervisor, and he confirms that they cannot do the transaction, and returns to the customer he is helping.)

Customer: “This is why I hate this bank! You’re awful, horrible people! You have no customer service!”

(The customer has interrupted the supervisor and his customer, making the second customer step away from the window and cover her information and money.)

Supervisor: “Ma’am, we can’t take an account negative. If the money isn’t in the account, there is nothing we can give you.”

Customer: “I see the money there in your drawer! You have it! You just won’t give it to me!”

Supervisor: “So, what you’re saying is you want me to either steal from the bank or give you the money from my own wallet.”

Customer: “Yes! It’s just $4! You can take it from my social security deposit. It comes tonight!”

Supervisor: “We can’t help you until it is in your account. Come back tomorrow.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! I want to see the manager!”

(I have finished up my phone call at this point, and I know it will inevitably fall upon me to handle the customer, as the branch manager had his own customer. The customer storms into my office and reiterates her lamp story. I look up the account.)

Me: “Well, ma’am, unless you would like to apply for a loan or get a credit card…”

Customer: “Fine! Give me a loan for f******* $4!”

Me: “Unfortunately, neither the loan nor the Visa would be approved today. Additionally, for loans originating in the branch, it’s a $99 fee, so you’ll probably want to reconsider coming back tomorrow.”


(Customer #2, the one who was interrupted earlier, runs up, slams down a $5 bill, then runs to her car.)

Customer: *looking surprised, tries to catch the other woman before running back and jabbing her finger in my face* “You see THAT?! That’s a good person! Not like YOU!

(The customer leaves and I am left in utter shock at the entire situation. My coworker walks over to me.)

Coworker: “You know, you’re going to turn on the TV next week and find yourself on that show ‘What Would You Do’ or whatever it is.”

Me: “Yeah, maybe…”

Supervisor: “It’s Friday. Her social security won’t be in until Sunday night, at the earliest.”

(And that was when I knew I needed to get out of retail banking.)

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Cannot Accommodate Your Personality

, , , , , | Friendly | September 14, 2017

(A friend posts on social media about needing accommodation while she attends a seminar. I know the post is aimed at me, as I am the only person she knows that lives in the area, five hours from her home. I feel obligated to “invite” her, but also hopeful that we can rekindle our friendship that has started to drift apart. I soon notice small things that make it obvious that it’s not the case for her. She expects me to pay for her meals, when usually we go dutch, or the person visiting pays for the other’s meal. Conversations are short and curt. She demands that the television be turned off when she goes to bed at 8:30, because any sound disturbs her. My husband decides to try starting a conversation with her.)

Husband: “It’s nice to see you. I know [My Name] is happy to spend time with you after so long. It’s good that you are able to stay here”.

Friend: “Well, where else was I going to get free accommodation?”

(My husband just did a double-take, wondering if she was joking. He then gave me a look before leaving the room, when he realised she wasn’t. When she was leaving, she informed me that, seeing as I had invited her this time, it meant that it was an open invitation to come whenever she had another seminar in our area. Thankfully, she soon gave up on the course she had spent thousands of dollars on, so I no longer had to worry. I also cut down our communications on social media.)

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