Handy That You Have Teeth

, , , , , | Right | April 15, 2021

A family — mom, dad, and three very adult children — with a HEAPING cart of stuff rolls through the line. They start to load things onto the counter and I start scanning as fast as I can, smiling, asking how their day is, what projects they were planning on making, just being a polite retail cashier.

Then, I look up for a second and one of the sons says, in a heavy accent and very broken English:

Son: “No English, just have things. What is price?”

I assume he’s asking for the price of the last item and point at the card reader while reading off the item and its price. All of a sudden, he just turns around and runs back into the shopping area with his mom and sister, leaving me with the dad and another son, neither of whom speaks English. I smile sheepishly and start scanning again. 

They keep asking for the price over and over. Eventually, I just turn my computer screen so they can watch it there. Then, I notice the dad is staring at me. Like… weirdly staring. The whole time. I smile again, being polite, but it’s starting to fall into that “I’m creeped out” smile; you know the one.

The dad then TOUCHES MY HAND WITH HIS and smiles really wide and says something in a language I don’t know. I pull back and look at the son.

Son: “Father like smile, pretty white teeth, good mouth.”

Me: *Awkward chuckle* “Yeah… Thanks.”

I look over at the other register but he’s too busy trying to keep the line down since we’re short-staffed. The dad touches my hand a couple more times while we wait for his family to come back. 

When they do come back, they finally explain that they have a gift card and aren’t usually in the states, so they need to use all of it in one go. It takes forever but I get them rung up. 

They want help taking stuff out. I notice my backup, a really nice guy with the heart of an angel who has saved my awkward butt more than a few times, has finally noticed I’m really uncomfortable. He steps up and starts grabbing bags and walks them outside and I finally go back to normal customers. The next customer has been waiting for a while.

Me: “I’m so sorry for that wait.”

Customer: “Oh, it’s really no problem. In fact, I heard what that man said to you about your teeth. Is there any way I can give you some sort of recognition for dealing with that?”

Me: “Oh! Well, we have these cards…”

Customer: “Gimme, I’ll fill out like ten. You did so great.”

Me: “Thanks! Thank you so much!”

I helped her find some good coupons on her phone to thank her for my thank-you card.

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What The Check?!

, , | Right | April 15, 2021

I work in a call center for a bank. It’s Friday, so almost every call is people checking if their paycheck came in yet and how much it is.

Customer: “I’m calling to see if my check deposited?”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, let me take a look at that for you.”

I check the account.

Me: “It looks like at this time we have not received your check yet.”

Customer: “And why would that be?”

Me: “It could be due to a number of things, like whether your employer has deposited it yet or if they have a hold on it preventing us from crediting the account. The good news is, there appear to be no holds on your account, so it’s likely that your check will deposit by tomorrow morning.”

We process seven days a week.

Customer: “So it’s not there?”

Me: “No, ma’am, but I can say with certainty that it will be in your account sometime tomorrow morning.”

Customer: “If that money is not in my account by 3:00 pm—” *thirty minutes from now* “—I am calling the President of the United States and the attorney general and telling them to arrest you for stealing my money!” *Click*

Neither the president nor the attorney general ever arrested me, so I’m guessing she got her money.

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These Prices Are Flammable

, , | Right | April 10, 2021

I work for a convenience store. We have a state of emergency for our area. An oil refinery that services our area has been taken out by storms, so we are facing a fuel shortage. People go insane trying to fuel up. Every gas station in the city raises their prices in response, and we’re unable to keep up with the demand, running out of fuel.

My station is in a neighboring town, and our prices lowered shortly before the emergency was declared. When people realize this, they respond by flocking to us. It’s to the point that we have security outside, directing traffic to gas pumps to keep accidents from happening. Around 90% of all transactions we do are purely for gas, and the store is packed full for nearly my entire shift.

At one point, I have a customer call and frantically ask:

Caller: “Are you out of gas?! I’ve heard the police are out there because people are getting into fistfights at the pumps!”

Me: “No, ma’am. As we’re talking right now, I’m watching our fuel truck top our tanks off. We’ve still got fuel, and we’ll probably not run out for quite some time at this rate.”

In the end, not only did we make the most money in the area on gas sales, but according to the news, every station in the neighboring city ended up being heavily fined for price gouging. For every customer they gouged, it was a $1,000 fine.

They might as well have closed their doors for the entire thing, because I’m pretty sure they lost more than they made in sales for that.

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A Customer By Any Other Name Would Be As Frustrating

, , , | Right | CREDIT: kuduloka | April 10, 2021

I am working in the photo department of my store. For the past few weeks, we’ve been scrambling to keep up with the myriad of photo and Christmas card orders. Today was probably the most unusual customer pickup I’ve dealt with.

Most of the time, I get their name and order type and send them on their way.

Me: “Hi. Can I have your name?”

Customer: *Immediately* “I don’t know.”

Recognizing that this is not off to a great start, I am a bit flabbergasted at his following response.

Customer: “It could be under any of five aliases.”

Not names, aliases. To further my confusion, he gave me just given names for some, surnames for others. It finally took us taking down his order number, entering that into the computer, and finding what the prints looked liked to match them with a printed order. And it wasn’t under any of the names he’d given us.

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Literally Scream For Ice Cream, Part 7

, , , , | Right | April 9, 2021

It is in the middle of summer when leaving your car for even just ten minutes can leave the inside feeling like an oven. A lady walks in carrying a grocery bag bearing our logo, with an ice cream carton inside. I’m working at the customer service desk when she approaches.

Customer: “Hello, um, I’m really embarrassed, but I bought this ice cream earlier, and I forgot it in my car, and now it’s all melted.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.”

Customer: “Yes. I was wondering, would it be possible for me to exchange it?”

Me: “Um, I’m not sure. I don’t think I can do that, but—”

I was going to say that I would check with my manager and see if he would allow it, but the woman cuts me off, her entire attitude flipping from apologetic to outraged.


She was screaming at the top of her lungs, and spittle was actually flying into my face even as I leaned back in shock. My manager hurried out of the back room at the sound of the commotion, but before he could speak up, the woman hurled the bag across the counter toward us. It missed me and the carton splattered open, spilling melted ice cream everywhere, while the lady kept screaming at us.

My manager ended up escorting her out, telling her not to come back, though I don’t think he officially processed anything to ban her, and I got to work cleaning up the melted ice cream.

Literally Scream For Ice Cream, Part 6
Literally Scream For Ice Cream, Part 5
Literally Scream For Ice Cream, Part 4
Literally Scream For Ice Cream, Part 3
Literally Scream For Ice Cream, Part 2

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