This Regular Is Highly Irregular

, , , , , , | Right | May 3, 2021

I’m a new cashier in a supermarket. When we are not busy, I will help stock shelves. Half an hour before close, I am cleaning my register; luckily, we have no customers. My manager is restocking the cigarettes when a guy high as a kite walks in wearing nothing but a white sock on his left foot.

Me: “Ah, [Manager].”

My manager looks up in time to see him walk down an aisle. She’s momentarily stunned.

Manager: “Oh, umm… [My Name], can you please go and stock and keep an eye out for customers?”

Me: *Trying my hardest not to laugh* “Sure thing.”

I stand and tidy the end display between the aisle he went down and the next while my manager calls the cops. I watch him grab a soft drink and start drinking it while dancing around to the next aisle. He grabs a multipack of chocolates and dances on the spot while singing gibberish.

The cops arrive within five minutes. One is carrying a blanket and wraps it around him.

Officer #1: “[High Guy], you need to come with us. We’ll take you home.”

High Guy: *More gibberish*

Officer #2: “Come on, they’re closing now. Time to go.”

They lead him out of the store; he goes without a fight.

Me: *To the manager* “What the h***?”

Manager: “He comes in occasionally high, but that’s a first.”

A couple of months later, he came back and apologized for what had happened. The cops took him to the hospital that night. He then checked into rehab and got himself clean, and five years later he’s still a regular customer and is doing really well.

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It Sounds Like The Cat Escaped

, , , , , , , | Right | May 3, 2021

I am on my way back to my register from my break when I see a woman coming straight toward me pushing a walker. She makes eye contact with me, parks her walker in the middle of the walkway, and steps to one side to look at something. I now have a small little opening to try and squeeze through to get past her, making social distancing difficult.

Me: “Excuse me, please.”

I carefully scoot past her.

Customer: “Sorry, but not really.”

I don’t say anything and return to my register. An hour later, the woman comes around the corner, her mask down beneath her chin. She looks at some items and picks up a small packet, covers her mouth with it, and coughs loudly on it. She then comes to my register and tries to hand it to me.

Me: “Sorry, I can’t touch that.”

Customer: “Why?”

Me: “Because your mask is off and you coughed all over it.”

Customer: “Tch, it’s a smoker’s cough!”

Me: “It doesn’t matter. Your mask is off and I can’t touch that after you’ve coughed all over it.”

She sighs, pulls her mask back up, and puts the item in her purse. She grabs another one and has me scan it instead. As she’s paying, she pulls her mask off again.

Customer: “I’ve been smoking a lot more because I’m stressed about my cat. I let a bunch of strangers stay in my house, and I knew I shouldn’t, and they left the door open and my cat ran away.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. Please pull your mask back up. Cats are smart; it might come back.”

Customer: “No. My daughter is a white witch and she told me the cat is already dead.”

Me: “Um… I’m… sorry.”

I just stood there blinking as she finally left.

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That’s A Whole Lot Of Awkwardness For Just One Purchase

, , , , | Right | May 1, 2021

Our store has recently started charging customers five cents for plastic bags to encourage use of reusable cloth bags. It’s a slow evening and I’m working express. A man approaches my register with a sleeping bag, which he slams down on the counter. I’m taken aback but still greet him cheerfully.

Me: “Hello.”

No response. I scan his item and ask, as I am required to do by management:

Me: “Would you like to support the [Local Children’s Hospital] today and buy a pen for $2.00?”

No answer. I tell him his total and notice that he already has his card ready.

Me: “You can insert your card, chip on the bottom.”

The man finally deigns to speak to me, saying very pointedly:

Customer: “This is a Visa, okay?”

Me: “Okay. You can insert your card, chip on the bottom.”

He does not insert his card. Instead, he seemingly stares into space behind me. I’m starting to wonder if he is on drugs of some sort and I’m becoming uncomfortable. I glance behind me and there’s a woman walking towards the exit with her cart full of purchases. As she passes, she waves at the man I’m serving and yells:

Woman: “How are you, buddy?”

When she’s gone, the man gives me a bemused look.

Customer: “Who was that?”

Me: “I don’t know. Please insert your card, chip at the bottom.”

He finally pays for his item. As he does so, it begins to dawn on me that he must have been staring at that woman, making her uncomfortable, and she responded by sarcastically greeting him. This guy is so socially inept he took her seriously.

Finally, his sleeping bag is paid for and I think this bizarre encounter is finally over with. No such luck. The man asks for a bag for his purchase.

Me: “Well, the bags cost five cents now and this won’t really fit even a large bag.”

Customer: “I just spent fifty dollars; put that in a f****** bag!”

Clearly, this is not an argument worth having, so I pull a large bag from the rack behind me and stuff his sleeping bag inside. The sleeping bag pokes over the top, pushing the handles far apart. Basically, there is absolutely no point in having this item in a bag.

Customer: “Is that one of those bags?”

He points to the rack behind me. You know, the rack that I have just taken the bag from, right in front of his eyes.

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “By the way, you didn’t tell me when you were ringing me in that the bags cost five cents.”

Me: “No, sir, because I have never had a customer request a bag for that item before.”

I refrained from adding, “And you were also super rude while I was ringing you in and ignored everything I said, so why would I go out of my way to inform you of a bag charge that shouldn’t have even applied to you?”

The man thanked me sarcastically and finally left. To this day, he remains the most mind-boggling customer I ever had.

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Bugging You About That Refund

, , , , | Right | May 1, 2021

I am having the morning shift alone. A woman comes in with a bag of rice of a brand we sell that has been opened and is missing about a quarter of its contents.

Customer: “Hi! I bought this rice from you and there are tiny little bugs in it! I’d like to exchange it for a new bag, but I do not have a receipt.”

I am a little floored because the brand she has is very high quality and I never would have thought to hear about bugs inside rice. She is also extremely calm and friendly about it, which strikes me as odd since I am grossed out just thinking about it, especially since there’s so much of the rice missing already and it makes it seem like she ate it.

She has no receipt, which is an issue, and in the six months I’ve worked there I’ve never had to do a return or exchange so I don’t know how to do one.

I check the rice first and, truthfully, there are a few black, small bugs in it. Still alive!

Customer: “I come here very often, you know! I know your boss, too!”

Since we are a small store, we have a lot of regulars so this might actually be true. I’ve never seen her before, but I just nod along.

Customer: “I hoped the younger one would be here; she knows me!”

I am not sure what to do at this point, so I text my boss’s daughter; she’ll be taking over my shift in fifteen minutes anyway.

Me: “Should I just give the customer a new bag of rice? The customer insists you know each other.”

I send her a picture of the bugs. All through that, the woman keeps on talking, overly friendly. I am slightly suspicious but usually, scammers don’t agree with me when I offer to contact one of the bosses because they know it will not help them.

Customer: “Oh, if you want to, you can even take a picture of me and send it to her; she knows me! I shop here so often!”

My texts are answered, with lots of exclamation marks, telling me to NOT give that woman a new bag, that she does NOT know her, and that we cannot do anything without a receipt. The way she’s typing is very unusual, so I figure the woman is a scammer.

Me: *Smiling* “I will need a receipt, but if you wait for fifteen minutes, my colleague will be here and will be able to help you. I am just a part-timer and don’t have that much authority.”

She seemed disappointed but claimed she was in a rush and bought a new bag anyway, opening it and checking if there were bugs inside this one; there weren’t. She left the old bag with me and I made sure to give her the receipt, just in case. I taped the bug bag closed with way too much tape just as the boss’s daughter came in. I then left, thinking not much of it. 

The boss’s daughter told me on my next shift that the woman had come into the store the day before, claiming that her mother had bought that rice and they had found bugs in it. Since nothing could be done without a receipt, she left again. The boss even made sure to open every single bag of rice from that batch we got delivered; all were bug-free. The boss had not been working in the store for two months due to health reasons, and I asked the other part-timer about it, but she also did not sell that to the woman.

Either the boss sold the rice months ago and the bugs appeared because the woman didn’t store it right, or she bought it somewhere else in the first place. Since she changed tactics and adapted her story to be more believable on her second try with me, I wonder if she may have planted the bugs in there on purpose. 

Either way, I am baffled by her attempt to scam us, not because she was the first to try, but because she seemed so confident and insistent enough to try it twice — only to end up buying a new bag without fuss anyway.

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Someone Probably DID Scream For That Ice Cream…

, , , | Right | April 29, 2021

I am working at the front desk of a museum featuring an exhibit about Leonardo DaVinci which has a room dedicated to studies of the Mona Lisa. An older lady comes up to my ticketing counter.

Lady: “Good morning! Can I have one senior for the museum and the DaVinci exhibit?”

Me: “Of course.”

Lady: “Have you seen it yet?”

Me: “I have, a few times, in fact.”

Lady: “It’s just so wonderful! I was here yesterday but I couldn’t get enough! I just love the Mona Lisa! But can you believe someone threw a rock at it?! A rock! You know what they used to do to people who did that? Cut their heads off! Cut off their heads! That’s what I would do! Just cut their heads off! It’s so terrible. Cut their heads off is what they deserve!”

Me: *Pauses* “All right. Well, here’s your ticket and your change.”

Lady: “Oh, keep it, dear. Buy yourself an ice cream.”

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