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Memory Loves Company

, , , , , | Right | June 30, 2022

A woman comes up to my desk with a stack of books and tells me that she needs to run out to her car to get her purse. She gets as far as the door, laughs, and comes back to the desk.

Customer: “I had my purse on my arm the whole time.”

After she pays for her books, all the while making little shame-faced jokes about her bad memory, I say:

Me: “Can I tell you a little story that might make you feel better?”

Customer: “Sure.”

Me: “This morning, my husband and I took the dog for a walk, and then he was going to drive me to work. I needed to stop at the corner store on the way to get a drink. After I got my drink, I walked out of the store and proceeded to walk to work. I got about half a block before I remembered that my husband was still waiting in the parking lot around the corner of the building, so he didn’t see me leave. Fortunately, he has a sense of humour.”

The customer told me I had indeed made her feel less embarrassed. I wish someone could do the same for me.

You Show Me Yours And I’ll Show You Mine

, , , , , , | Friendly | June 25, 2022

I once borrowed a copy of the Satanic Bible from a friend. I was on my way home on the bus when an older woman sat next to me and started chatting. For the first five minutes or so, it was all small talk. She then opened her bag and pulled out a big, very well-loved Bible.

Woman: “Have you found Jesus? Would you like to read my Bible?”

I opened my purse, pulled out the Satanic Bible, and said:

Me: “No, thank you. Would you like to read mine?”

She moved seats.

Can’t Mask These Lies

, , , , , , , | Right | June 23, 2022

Our liquor store is run by the provincial government. As employees of a Crown corporation and members of a union, we tend to have a little more leeway than your average retail worker to tell an unreasonable customer to get wrecked.

We have a few customers who don’t want to or can’t wear a mask, and they follow our accommodations. They come in, go to the customer service desk, and request what they want. An employee gets it for them while they wait in a low-traffic area, and they’re rung up quickly.

However, there is one customer who regularly waits until no employees are watching the door, comes in sans mask, and tries to come through the line as normal. If he’s called on it, he argues about how masks are “just recommended” until the person ringing him up gives in, banking on the fact that we’d all rather get him out of there as quickly as possible than have a fight with some a**hole.

One evening, however, I’ve had enough of his stupid, smug face. I’m the only person on till, and the only other person on the floor is my manager, over at customer service. I look up, see the customer’s bare face, and say:

Me: “Sir, you know our policy perfectly well. If you’re not wearing a mask, you may be denied service.”

Customer: “I’m exempt.”

Me: “We have accommodations for people who are exempt. Please wait by customer service and you will be helped. Next customer, please.”

Customer: “Yeah, well, I’m here now, so why don’t you just ring me up?”

Me: “No. Next customer, please!”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “If you wait by customer service, you will be helped. I will not ring you up here.”

Customer: “This isn’t a big deal.”

Me: “Oh, good. I’m glad you agree. Next, please!”

Customer: “No! You have to serve me!”

Me: “Yes, we must provide service to you. It’s available at the desk to your right. Please wait there to be helped. Next customer! Sir, please move out of this person’s way so I can help them.”

Customer: “I don’t understand why you aren’t just helping me here.”

Me: “Perhaps my manager can explain it to you?”

Customer: “Yes! I want to speak to your manager.”

Me: “Great. She’s at customer service.”

This Will End Just Peachy

, , , , , , , | Right | March 10, 2022

My dad witnessed this incident in the late 1960s. He had gone to see a neighbour (rural area, so about a mile away) to get some peaches for my mum to can. Ben, the neighbour, was an old guy who had a small peach orchard and grew the best peaches ever. It was a bit of a hobby, and like many small orchardists (for my parents it was cherries and pears) he sold the fruit at the roadside. Dad had loaded up the peaches and was just talking with Ben when a car pulled up. Big city folks.

The car was a white Caddy convertible with Washington, US plates. This took place in Canada, so they were obviously not from around here. The couple, in their fifties, were a stereotype. The woman had blonde beehive hair, snazzy sunglasses, tight capri pants, and a tiny poodle. The man had socks and sandals, plaid shorts, a patterned shirt, a weird hat, and some attitude. He told Ben he wanted a box of peaches and demanded to know the price.

Ben was an old guy who knew a thing or two — about peaches and about people. Though a funny man to his friends, he had the ability to be stone-faced when needed (think Buster Keaton). He told the man that each thirty-pound box was (some price I don’t know, but it was probably a couple of bucks or so back then). The box was handed over and money changed hands. If that was it, then there would be no story, but…

Mr. Big City suddenly accused Ben of selling him less than the agreed-upon thirty pounds. Ben, who knew d***ed well what a thirty-pound box felt like, quietly disagreed. Big City insisted, so Ben hauled out a scale, zeroed it with an empty box, and transferred all the peaches into it to get an accurate weight. It was more than thirty pounds.

Dad said it was magical as Ben looked the tourist in the eye, and with a laconic, deadpan delivery, held his hand out, palm up, and said, “You owe me fifteen cents.” And the hand remained out until the guy fished for change and paid before quietly slinking back to his car.

Not All Customers Are Jerks

, , , | Working | March 1, 2022

I’m picking up the prescription that I ordered online. The tech calls a consult over her shoulder to a pharmacist. It seems odd to me as I’ve been taking the same medication for five years and gave no indication that I had questions.

The pharmacist puts down what he is doing and comes over, looking at me expectantly, but I shrug and look at the tech who is typing into a computer, looking from the keyboard to the screen but nowhere else for the rest of my visit.

He leans over and whispers. In fact, the whole conversation between them is whispered.

Pharmacist: “What does she need?”

Tech: “The number.”

The pharmacist looks between me and the little sheet he’s holding, and I glance at the upside-down sheet, seeing $0, as my insurance covers the cost. I shrug again, as perplexed as he is.

Pharmacist: “I’m not seeing—”

Tech: “The amount.”

Pharmacist: “It’s free; it’s covered. I don’t see the problem.”

Tech: “The amount she wants.”

The pharmacist looks back down.

Pharmacist: “Oh. I see here.” *To me* “You ordered sixty tablets but your doctor only allows thirty at a time.”

Me: “Oh, not a problem. I didn’t know there was a maximum. I’ll take whatever I’m allowed.”

There are odd looks all around and the pharmacist goes back to whispering.

Pharmacist: “Why did you call me over?”

Tech: “I thought she’d be mad.”

The pharmacist and I shared a look as he went back to what he was doing. The tech never looked away from her computer, so I grabbed the few boxes and walked away. I get that I’m a middle-aged woman, but jeez, we’re not all unreasonable!