No One Benefits From The Benefits Card

| San Diego, California, USA | Right | April 13, 2013

(I’m ringing up a customer at the register. The customer hands me a credit card I don’t recognize.)

Me: “I’m sorry; but I don’t think we accept this kind of card.”

Customer: “Of course you do; I’ve used it here before!”

(I try to run it through, and the register won’t accept the card.)

Me: “Are you sure you’ve used this one here? The register isn’t taking it.”

Customer: “Get me the manager!”

(As I’m calling for a manager, something seems to dawn on the customer as she looks at the card.)

Customer: “Oh, my God! This is my EBT card!”

(The customer had tried to use her ‘electronic benefit transfer’ card, which is basically the equivalent of food stamps.)

Customer: “And I can’t believe you actually tried to use it!”

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Blind To My Needs

| Portland, OR, USA | Working | April 6, 2013

(I’m legally blind, and it’s obvious that I am. I’m still an avid reader, and frequent this particular bookstore quite often. An obviously new clerk is working.)

Me: “Could you show me Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? I need a present for my niece.”

Clerk: “I don’t think we have the large print addition in stock, but we can order it for you.”

Me: “Well, I don’t need the large print edition. I’m buying this for my niece.”

Clerk: “But you’re bli—visually impaired, right? Don’t you need large print?”

Me: “Yes, but this isn’t for me; it’s for my niece. She isn’t blind. I am.”

Clerk: “Oh. But you do need large print, right?”

Me: “Yeah. But I need a book for my niece today.”

(The clerk grabs my hand—something that you never do with a blind person, they take yours.)

Clerk: “We have all sorts of other large print books! I’m sure we can find something you’ll like…”

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Building A Case Against Her

| BC, Canada | Right | April 1, 2013

(I work in the toy department of a fairly large bookstore. For the past few weeks, we’ve been finding empty boxes of large Lego kits tucked away in the shelves. I notice a woman crouched down behind a display in the back corner, a large backpack at her feet, and a Lego box in her hands that she’s trying to open.)

Me: “Hi there! Are you finding everything all right today?”

Woman: “Oh, uh, yeah.”

(The woman shuffles to her feet, and I start ‘tidying up’ a nearby display. She puts the box of Lego down and grabs her backpack. She wanders off to the teen section, and I keep a discreet eye on her as she grabs a book and sits down to read. I find my manager and tell him what happened. He approaches the customer, who is still reading.)

Manager: “Hey there, I hear you like Lego.”

Woman: “Uh…?”

Manager: “My kid really likes Lego too. But he’s really disappointed when he opens the box and the pieces are all missing.”

Woman: “Um…”

Manager: “So, here’s what we’re going to do. You’re going to leave my store and not come back. If you do, I’ll have to call the police.”

(The woman leaves the store, still flustered. We never saw her again. Mysteriously, the Lego stopped disappearing, too.)

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They Are Gonna Go Far, Kid

| GA, USA | Romantic | April 1, 2013

(I work in a bookstore. I notice a woman listening to her iPod and mouthing the words, as she looks through the teen fiction section. I read her lips, go over, and tap her on the shoulder. She turns around, pausing the song.)

Woman: “Oh, I’m sorry; do you want me to turn it down?”

Me: “No, I just… are you listening to You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid?”

Woman: “… yes?”

Me: “I love that song.”

(She immediately beams, and unzips her jacket to reveal an Offspring shirt.)

Woman: “Me, too!”

Me: “That’s…”

(She holds out the book in her hands; a fairly popular horror novel.)

Woman: “I don’t suppose you like Kendare Blake?”

Me: “… so, I get off in half an hour. I don’t suppose you would want to go get coffee?

Woman: “As long as I can pay.”

(That was a year ago. I proposed to her last week.)

Hold My Hand 101

, | OR, USA | Learning | March 27, 2013

Me: “Hi, what can I help you find today?”

Student: “I need a book for my class.”

Me: “Okay, do you know the course number?”

Student: “No.”

Me: “Do you know who your professor is?”

Student: “No.”

Me: “Do you know what department the class is in?”

Student: “No.”

Me: “Do you know the name of the book? Or the author?”

Student: “No.”

Me: “Okay… do you know anything at all about what you’re looking for? Do you know what the book looks like?”

Student: “No.”

Me: “Well, I don’t think there’s anything else I can do to help you.”

Student: *heavy sigh* “FINE.” *eye roll* “I guess I’ll go find my syllabus and come back.”

(Believe it or not, this kind of interaction happens ALL the time!)

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