Working Hard: $100; Holiday Spirit: Priceless

, , , , | Right | December 3, 2012

(I am working in the jewelry department of a big retailer. It is December 23, and my coworker has called in sick, so I am working an 8-hour shift by myself. About 5 hours in, I am ridiculously busy and have yet to take a break. Customers are lined up and getting irate.)

Customer #1: “Oh, this is lovely. Do you think my son will like it? He’s about your age.”

Me: “I definitely like it. And since it’s the holiday season, I can print out a gift receipt. He has until January 15 to exchange it if he doesn’t like it.”

Customer #1: “Lovely. I’ll take this, please.”

(I ring her up as quickly as I can. I’m starving, thirsty, and really have to use the bathroom. Unfortunately the line is not letting up and customers are starting to yell at me. I call upstairs and request some help from anyone. 10 or 15 minutes go by and no one shows up. By this point I’m desperate.)

Customer #2: “About time! Hurry up and get me that pair of earrings for my wife!”

Me: “No problem, sir. I’m so sorry for the wait, my coworker called in sick and it’s just me today. Now just so you know the earrings are non refundable for hygienic reasons.”

Customer #2: “Fine, fine, just hurry up.”

Customer #3: “Hey! Hurry up!”

Me: “I’ll be right there, sir. Just a moment!”

(I call up again for some help and again no one comes. I’m in serious pain by this point and feel very light headed. I help a few more customers when this little old lady asks for help.)

Little Old Lady: “Hello, dear. It’s quite busy in here today, isn’t it?”

Me: “Yes, it is! But, then again, that’s the holidays for you!”

(I help this customer, who is quite pleasant and doesn’t seem to mind when customers yell across the counter at me. She even lets me go cash out the simple ones while continuing to help her. This alleviates the line quite a bit. I finish helping this customer and just as she’s about to leave a man comes to my counter visibly upset and slams his fist down on the glass counter angrily.)

Customer #4: “YOU! HELP ME NOW!”

(I am shaken by him slamming his hand on the desk.)

Little Old Lady: “Hey! Leave her alone. She’s all by herself and trying her best! Have some holiday spirit!”

Customer #4: “Well, I’ve been waiting a while and she’s not trying hard enough! She’s wasting time talking to people instead of helping them!”

Me: *tearing up* “I’m really sorry, sir. I’m trying my best but I’m all alone today and I’ve yet to have a break. I keep calling for help but no one comes. I’ll be happy to help you now, though.”

Little Old Lady: “I’ll be right back, dear.”

Me: *confused* “Okay, ma’am.”

(I help the angry customer, and he leaves a little less angry than when he got in. I’ve moved on to other customers and have forgotten about the sweet old lady. Suddenly, she comes back with the store manager!)

Little Old Lady: *to the store manager* “There! Look at her! Look how hard she’s working all by herself! She’s called for help but no one shows up! Now, I think you should take over while this young lady gets a break for all her hard work!”

Manager: “Yes, ma’am, of course. I had no idea this was happening.” *to me* “Go take an hour to have your lunch. By the time you come back, I’ll have two other people with you.”

Me: *starts to cry out of relief* “I can’t. I’m the only one who knows where everything is. And you have other things to do.”

Little Old Lady: “Sweetheart, don’t worry. Go take your break!”

Manager: “Go, I’ll be fine. We can manage an hour without you.”

Me: “Okay.”

Little Old Lady: *gives me a big hug as I’m leaving* “You have a good rest of your shift!”

Me: “Thank you!”

(I have my hour and come back feeling much better. The store manager is still there with two other workers, one from electronics and another from the general cash.)

Manager: “Ah, you’re back! How was your break?”

Me: “Great!”

Manager: “Come to my office at the end of your shift.”

Me: “Okay.”

(At the end of my shift, I go up to his office and he tells me what I great job I did today. He says he was sorry that I had to go through what I did but he rewards me with a 100$ store gift card. The little old lady came back a few weeks later to give me a thank you card for the great job I did that day. Goes to show that not all holiday shoppers are mean during the holiday season!)


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Every Cloud Has A Powdered Lining

, , , , | Working | November 30, 2012

(One day, two of my coworkers arrive late.)

Boss: “I am getting really sick of you two being late. This isn’t even the first time that this has happened!”

Coworkers: “We’re sorry.”

Boss: “Not good enough. I really need to punish you two this time.” *ponders* “Okay. Bring a dozen and a half donuts for tomorrow morning’s staff meeting!”

(The next day, [Coworker #1] arrives early with a dozen and a half donuts.)

Boss: “Good job [Coworker #1], nice to see you’ve smartened up. But where the h*** is [Coworker #2]!?”

([Coworker #2] eventually arrives, but 20 minutes late.)

Boss: “And just what do you think you’re doing, young man!?”

Coworker #2: “Sorry, sir. I was on my way to work, but then I forgot about the donuts.”

([Coworker #2] is holding a box of donuts. They’re not from the same shop as Coworker #1’s donuts.)

Boss: “Oh, for the love of– I told you guys to bring a dozen and a half donuts! I never told you to bring a dozen and a half each! We have three dozen donuts now! If you listened to me, we wouldn’t have so many donuts, and you wouldn’t be late!”

Coworker #2: “Um, can I redeem these donuts for some job security?”

Boss: *sighs* “All right, fine.”

(Unfortunately, [Coworker #2] didn’t learn his lesson. Surprisingly, he hasn’t been fired yet. Almost every week is a donut party now!)

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Currently Cannot See Currency

, , , | Right | November 10, 2012

(A customer comes to my till to pay for a fax.)

Customer: “I hate this country!”

Me: “Oh?”

Customer: “How much for my fax?”

Me: “It comes to $1.68.”

Customer: “Oh, no! I don’t have enough Canadian money left to pay for it. All I have is my American money.”

Me: “That’s okay, we accept American bills.”

Customer: “Oh, okay.”

(He hands me an American five dollar bill, and I give him his change is Canadian coins.)

Customer: “What’s this?!”

Me: “Your change.”

Customer: “But it’s Canadian!”

Me: “Yes, we are in Canada, sir.”

Customer: “But I gave you American money!”

Me: “Yes, but I have to give you Canadian money back.”

Customer: “But if I pay you in American, you have to give me American back!”

Me: “No, we don’t have American money.”

Customer: “Why not?!”

Me: “Because we’re in Canada.”

Customer: “How do I know you’re not screwing me for the exchange?”

Me: “The till calculates it for me.”

Customer: “Well, what am I supposed to do with this stupid Canadian money?”

Me: “You could buy things with it, or you could exchange it at the bank.”

Customer: “I hate this stupid country! Why would you give me Canadian change?!”

Me: “Like I said — because we’re in Canada.”

Customer: “But I paid with American money! How can you accept it but not give it back?!”

Me: “We accept it for the convenience of customers. If that’s all they have, then they can still pay for their items. But we don’t stock American money in our tills to give back to them.”

Customer: “Why not?!”

Me: *pause* “Because… we’re in Canada.”

Customer: “Oh, I can’t wait to get out of this stupid country!”

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Pray They Weren’t Watching Christine

, , , | Related | November 7, 2012

(We gather to watch a horror movie on Halloween. My five-year-old cousin wants to watch.)

Uncle: “All right, you can watch some. But when it gets too scary you’ll have to leave, okay?”

Cousin: “Okay.”

(One minute in, it’s only been showing a spooky-looking house. Suddenly, a car horn blares outside in real life.)

Cousin: *emits a bloodcurdling scream and hides among pillows*

Uncle: “Okay, I don’t think you’re watching this anymore.”


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This “Real Man” Requires A Substitute

, , , , , , | Right | November 1, 2012

(I’ve just started a new job after having a baby a few months back. I’m a single mother. I am processing my first refund-to-gift-card transaction. I’m having a little bit of trouble with it, so I ask if they would mind if I called my manager.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. This is my first time doing this. Would you mind if I phoned my manager to ask him how it’s done?”

Customer: “Go figure! That’s what happens when we start hiring women! They can’t do anything right, can they? You ought to be barefoot pregnant in the kitchen, not taking jobs from hardworking men.”

Me: “I’m very sorry, sir. I actually just started this job after having a baby.”

Customer: “So, you’re leaving a real man at home to look after your child while you take money for yourself?”

Me: *appalled* “If you’ll excuse me, sir, I’m just going to call my manager to ask him how the refund is done.”

Customer: “Go home to your b*****d baby! Leave the jobs to real men!”

(At this point, a tall, metal-ead-looking man with long hair, piercings, and ripped jeans approaches the counter behind the man. I recognize him as a teacher who substituted for some classes when I was in school. He speaks up.)

Substitute Teacher: “If all the jobs are for hardworking men, what the h*** are you doing here at two in the afternoon instead of working?”

(The customer turned white at the sight of him, gathered up his items, and ran off without getting his refund. I thanked the substitute with my first ever gift card transaction, and he took me out to dinner. He, my baby, and I have been a family ever since!)


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