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If Only All Our Customers Reacted So Well

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: KingGoofyfoot | December 24, 2021

I apparently have some kind of death wish, because I start working in a large store the last week of October. It is a frenzy, and I am put in charge of the Toys and Electronics sections, the two busiest sections for this time of year.

By the time Christmas Eve comes around, I am pretty comfortable in my role and closing the store. I am working with a training manager who is about my age but pretty out of touch with anything not dealing with hunting or sports.

We are getting ready to close the store and I hear wailing — not screaming, but it sounds like someone’s world is ending.

I round the corner and there is a woman losing her mind and my poor training manager just looks helpless. I get the mental “HELP ME” scream.

Me: “Is there something I can assist with today?”


Me: “Oh, no! Can you try to describe it to me?”

Woman: “It’s the one with the pictures.”

Me: “That doesn’t really narrow it down much. Can you remember anything else?”

Woman: “It says the pictures!”

While I am in my thirties, I don’t have children, but I can vaguely form a picture of what she is talking about. I can’t quite name it yet, but I definitely recall it from my days of being a youth assistant in my youth church growing up.

Training Manager: “I can walk you over to our infant section and we can look there and see.”

Woman: *Cutting him off* “I already looked there; I didn’t see it. They are going to ban me from being Grandma if I don’t get this toy!”

I highly doubt this, but [Training Manager] asks her to humor him, and they walk back over to the infant section. I have a hunch out of nowhere and walk to our tucked-away “Retro Toys” section, and there it is, staring me in the face: the “See-And-Say” in all its glory. I can barely hide my smile as I put the toy behind my back and track them down in the infant department.

Woman: “It isn’t here, it isn’t here.”

She just keeps repeating this over and over.

Me: “Ma’am, is this the toy you were looking for?”

She sees it and instinctively leaps at me giving me a surprisingly powerful hug.

Woman: “That’s it! That’s the toy! Oh, thank you, thank you, both of you! Thank you so much!”

Tears of joy are streaming down her face as she continues to hug both of us. After a few more seconds of gratitude, she puts the toy in her cart and says, in the coolest cool-granny way possible:

Woman: “Granny of the year, thanks to you boys!”

I never knew a ten-dollar toy could bring someone that much joy. Huh, neat.

A Thief With A Heart Of Gold

, , , , , , | Working | December 24, 2021

I am the office food thief. I honestly consider it fair wages because I’m also the only one who cleans the refrigerator and the desks. I look for food that’s about to expire and I eat it. I also watch people’s lunches, write their names and the date on it if they forget, and make sure that if a lunch is in the fridge longer than a week and a half, it gets thrown away.

The new manager decides to do something about all this food theft. It is all me. I keep track of all the food in the office. My desk is closest to the fridge for a reason. She says it’s completely unacceptable and that if she catches someone stealing food she’s going to fire them.

So, I stop… and I also stop cleaning out the office fridge. Within about six months, the office fridge is so full of expired food and freezer-burned TV diners as to be unusable. The fridge itself stinks. Worse, certain coworkers have filled their desks with candy and snacks, bags with five chips, quarter-filled Cheetos bags, melted chocolates, etc. Those have attracted mice and insects.

I approach the manager and make an offer: I’ll take on the responsibility of keeping the fridge and desks clear of expired or old food, and in exchange, I can eat what I want.

The manager gives me a weird look like she thinks it’s weird that I like eating almost expired food, or maybe like she realized what was happening… but she accepts.

I take a few evenings after work is over and clean out the fridge with soap and water, check all the foods, throw out the old sack lunches, clean out the desk drawers with soap and water, install new mouse and insect traps, put a new de-stinkifier in the fridge, and go back to being the office food thief… with official sponsorship!

Wasn’t Eggspecting That

, , , | Right | December 24, 2021

Our shop sells large appliances. I am showing a fridge freezer to an elderly lady, going through all the shelves and compartments. She spies the egg holder on one of the shelves.

Customer: “What’s that?”

Me: “That’s for your eggs.”

She looks at me as if I’d just admitted to mass genocide.

Customer:Eggs? In the fridge?

Me: “Yes, eggs can go in the fridge. I keep mine in the fridge.”

Customer: *Glares at me* “Oh, no. No, no, no. Young man, you never put eggs in the fridge.”

Then, she walked away without buying anything. That’s how I lost a sale because I told someone I keep eggs in the fridge.

A Russian Christmas Saga

, , , , , | Right | December 23, 2021

I do a little shopping the day before Christmas Eve. I’ve recently learned that my little brother wants a specific toy and my mom needs me to pick up some wrapping paper. She has given me her card.

I find a small child playing with said toy. He’s standing beside an empty cart, so I assume his parents just left him there while they shop. I look around, wondering where they could be. I go looking for another toy and find one which my little brother would love.

The kid has noticed this and I point at it, trying to make small talk, but he ignores me, talking some gibberish. I keep looking around for his parents but don’t see them.

Me: “Hey, where’re your parents?”

No response of any kind. Not even a glance.

Me: “This is a nice toy, isn’t it? It’s for my little brother.”

He’s still not listening. This is a really little kid, and given I come from a very large family, I’m not exactly surprised by his behaviour, but I really want to find this kid’s parents. Eventually, I decide to just go, still thinking that the kid’s been left here by his — irresponsible — parents. I am sure they’ll get him from the toy section and fully intend to just let them have it.

I’m walking through the aisles looking for wrapping paper when the kid just runs right in front of me. Does this kid think I’m his babysitter now? Has he been following me or something? I begin following him, even more worried by this point.

The kid and I reach a display area next to the cash registers, and he’s pretty much stopped by now. He’s busy looking at the various toy cars on it. I start asking him questions now. I ask him where his parents are, and he doesn’t respond. He just stares and touches the toy I’ve picked out. He’s trying to take it from my hands and I’m still trying to explain that this is for my little brother. I wonder if he might be autistic because he’s absolutely not engaging with me, just trying to play with the toy. He’s holding his hands out politely, like a good little boy. I give it to him, thinking this will help somehow.

As I am listening to his gibberish, it starts to dawn on me that this isn’t gibberish; it’s some Eastern European language — I’m guessing Russian. I ask him his age. He understands that and holds out three fingers, saying, “Three,” with a noticeable accent.

I’m the only adult in this store who seems concerned about this unattended, three-year-old Russian kid who doesn’t speak English. I’m finding this kid’s parents and that’s it.

I think I can just leave the kid by the display area, since I have no way to make him follow me without grabbing his hand, and, well, that’s way too risky for me. Turns out, I don’t have to worry. The kid begins following me, holding out his hand for the toy. I hold it out a little and am now leading this kid along using a toy.

I run into a mother and her kids who I’ve already seen. I know what they are probably thinking and decide that enough is enough.

Me: “He’s not mine.”

Mother: “What?”

Me: “He’s not mine. I just found him in the toy section and have been trying to find his parents.”

Mother: “Oh, Lord, [Daughter], take this baby up to the front.”

Her kids do what she told them, taking the little kid up to the front where they hand them off to the employees. When I get to the register, I get in line, ready to pay up. I see the kid is still there, and nobody can find his parents. Fully believing the kid has been left behind, I decide to try and find someone who might have seen this kid, because I want to know how long he’s been left here for. I see an older man marching toward the front. I decide to ask him.

Me: “Excuse me, sir, how long have you been here for?”

Older Man: *In a heavy Russian accent* “About an hour.”

Me: “Are you missing your grandson?”

Older Man: “Yes, have you seen him?”

Me: *Pointing to the register* “He’s up there.”

He thanks me and I accompany him. There are only two people in a small store with Russian accents, in America, so I assume they’re related.

One of the store employees — not unreasonably — doesn’t see it that way. She immediately demands for this man to prove he’s related to the kid, whose hand he’s already taken. The employee is going to take him back, as are some others. I realize I might have messed up, with everyone shouting at each other now, when the older man protectively wraps an arm around the kid, glaring at the employees.

Older Man: “He run from me. I was going to get him from the toys.”

That’s it. That’s literally his excuse. His grandson just ran from him, and he couldn’t keep up, so he decided to just get his stuff and then pick him up from the toy section an hour later. I’m standing off to the side, watching this, when things get a little more heated again.

Employee: “Sir, you cannot leave until you’ve proved you’re related to this boy.”

Older Man: “I don’t have to prove anything to you.”

I went back to my place in line, just watching what was happening because I kind of wanted to see how this ended. Another employee walked by and informed [Older Man] that the police had been called.

I got in the back of the line, and it was moving somewhat smoothly. When I reached the till, I forgot the PIN for my mother’s credit card. She was outside now, so I went to ask her. As I headed off to do that, I passed the Russian grandfather and grandson. The grandfather was trying to exit the store, but the employee wouldn’t let him.

I asked my mom for the PIN, and then I went back into the store and the police arrived. I decided to see if I should give a statement because I was the guy who kind of sounded the alarm here.

The police officer was talking with the grandfather. During this, he asked the kid’s name. I mentally slapped myself for not having thought of that. But I also realized that the grandfather had never given us the kid’s name, either, or even called him by a name. It occurred to me that this man had made no effort to even try to keep his grandson by his side.

Well, it turned out, I didn’t need to give a statement and I could leave.

I don’t know what became of the two after that, but looking back, it was obvious the grandfather, while caring about his grandson, was just a little too lazy in taking care of him.

The Mystery Of The Jumping T

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: loerosve | December 21, 2021

Several years back, a user complained to me that they had a “jumping T” on their new overpriced $5,000 notebook. As they described it, when they were typing, whenever they would type a T, it would appear at a random point in the document each time.

After not being able to get to the bottom of the issue over the phone, I went over to their office to observe them replicating the issue.

They were typing and all appeared normal, and then, when they went to type T, they violently twisted and slammed their left hand down, also clicking on the trackpad. There was nothing wrong with the T; they were simply clicking the trackpad and the T was then being inserted wherever the cursor was.

The user did not accept that explanation and was very insistent that I replace the internal keyboard. I politely refused but offered them an external keyboard that was identical to the internal one. They declined. The user also used an external mouse, so I offered to simply disable the trackpad and showed them how to toggle it on and off. They also declined that.

Every time that user saw me for the next few months, they would ask me if I was going to fix their T and I would explain to them that we had already identified the cause and would again offer them an external keyboard, which they would refuse.