Diversity Is For Life, But Not For Christmas

, , , , , , | Right | December 22, 2017

(It is the holiday season, and we are selling Elf On The Shelf, a book and toy combo. They come with different skin tones so families can pick which they like best.)

Customer: “Excuse me! I was here the other day and you had these elves.”

Me: “Elf On The Shelf? Yes, they’re right over here.”

(As it is close to Christmas and these are extremely popular, we have sold down on the Elves with white skin. The only ones still on the display have dark skin.)

Customer: *looking distressed* “Um, do you have any… different… ones? Ones that, you know, look different?”

Me: “I’ll check and see.”

(It turns out, we do have some white ones left. I bring one to her.)

Customer: *looking extremely relieved* “Oh, thank you so much! I don’t know how I would’ve explained those other ones to my children!”

An Ugly Thing To Say

, , , | Right | December 19, 2017

(It is the holiday season and the staff are having an ugly sweater day. I’m wearing my sweater over a regular outfit, one I love. My sweater is hideous and several customers say they love it until one man, whom I spent over ten minutes assisting finding books.)

Customer: “I have to say, your sweater!”

Me: *chuckling* “Oh, yeah, it’s our ugly sweat—”

Customer: “I mean, it’s hideous! And the whole outfit! Ugh! The socks and shoes, too!”

Me: “…”

Willing To Pay Taupe Dollar

, , , , , , | Working | November 30, 2017

(I am checking out at a bookstore which offers throw blankets at a reduced price if you spend enough on other purchases. The blankets, all of which are shades of brown or grey, are on three shelves behind the cashier. Neither of us is stupid in this story; it’s just a miscommunication.)

Cashier: “Would you like to buy one of our throw blankets today? It would only be $29.”

Me: “Yes, I would, actually.” *pointing* “I’ll take one of the top ones.”

Cashier: *looking confused* “Top? Is that how you pronounce it?”

Me: *looking equally confused* “Yes?”

Cashier: *reaching for a blanket from the top shelf* “We’ve been saying ‘taupe.’”

Taking A Big Bite Out Of Your Parenting

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 18, 2017

(I am kneeling in a bookstore looking for a particular book, and there is a mother with a toddler nearby. The mother is absorbed in her book. Suddenly her toddler runs up to me, then grabs and BITES DOWN ON MY BOOB — and I feel teeth!)

Me: *yelps* “What the f***?!”

Mother: *whips her head around like Linda Blair, glaring at me* “Excuse me! Don’t swear in front of my kid!”

Me: “Your kid just bit me!” *I stand up and gesture where he bit me*

Mother: “Oh, he must’ve been hungry.”

Me: “What? That’s not okay!”

Employee: *investigating the commotion* “What’s going on? Is everything okay?”

Me: “I—”

Mother: “It’s nothing really; she’s overreacting. Some people just can’t handle children.”

(With that, she picks up her kid and walks off like it was nothing. I explain to the employee what happened.)

Employee: “Oh… uh… Do you need—” *he gestures, clearly flustered* “—I mean, are you—”

Me: “It’s fine. Just… I’ll be going.”

(I never ran into that woman or her kid again, but since then I’ve been very wary of toddlers that aren’t being watched closely — once bitten, twice shy, I guess!)

Repeating The Same Old Baggage

, , , , | Right | November 17, 2017

(Most major retailers in our city have just recently signed an agreement to reduce the number of plastic bags. All stores that signed the agreement have since started charging for plastic bags or switched to paper bags, which also come at a small fee.)

Customer: “Just this.”

Me: “That will be €9.99. Do you need to buy a bag?”

Customer: “How will I get this home?”

Me: “I can offer you a small plastic bag for 10 Cents, a large plastic bag for 20 Cents. or a canvas bag for 1 Euro.”

Customer: “How will I get this home?”

Me: “A small plastic bag should be sufficient. It’s just a small book; it will fit.”

Customer: “How will I get this home?”

Me: “If you don’t like plastic bags, I can also sell you a canvas bag for 1 Euro. Or we sell those pretty foldable fabric shoppers. They run €4.95, though.”

Customer: “But how will I get this home?”

Me: “…”

Customer: “I bet you also charge for gift wrapping.”

Me: “No. That’s actually a complementary service we offer.”

Customer: “Then gift-wrap this.”

Me: “Okay, no problem. €9.99.”

(The customer pays. I wrap her book and hand it to her.)

Customer: “How will I get this home?”

Me: “I could still sell you a plastic bag or a reusable canvas bag if you don’t like plastic.”

(The customer huffs loudly, picks up her book and walks off.)

Coworker: *looks at me and says* “Well, you could have offered to walk her to her car and carry it for her, couldn’t you?”

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