Can’t Claw That Back

, , , | Working | July 31, 2018

(Two elderly ladies are browsing the assorted jewellery in a display cabinet on the counter.)

Me: “If there’s anything you want to look at, just ask.”

Customer #1: “Yes, can we see that pink brooch at the back?”

Me: “Certainly.”

(I get the brooch out and hand it over; it’s an enamelled brooch in the shape of a crab.)

Me: “There you go.”

Customer #2: “It’s a crab.”

Me: “Well, we are a seaside town.”

Customer #1: “Ah, it must be for the star-sign Cancer.”

Me: “That works, too.”

Customer #2: “You could get it for [Relative]; she’s a Cancer.”

Me: “So’s my wife.”

Customer #1: “Oh?”

Me: “And, come to think of it, so were three previous girlfriends.”

Customer #2: “Really?”

Me: “Yes. How come I always get the crabs?”


Me: “Ahem, perhaps I could have phrased that better.”

Customer #1: “Yes, perhaps you could have!”

(Fortunately, they both then burst out laughing. At least they bought the brooch.)

What A Space Oddity

, , , , | Right | July 10, 2018

(In this charity shop, we have a CD player, but a fairly limited collection of decent CDs — those get sold, usually. One thing we have is a promotional David Bowie CD which was given away with a paper at some point. As a fan of David Bowie, I tend to put this on fairly regularly when I am in.)

Customer: *seemingly jokingly* “Why do you have this music on?”

Me: “It’s David Bowie!”

Customer: *still apparently jokingly* “Well, it’s going to drive customers away!”

Me: “Actually, I usually get people saying how they like that we chose to play this CD.”

Customer: “Well, it’s awful!”

(I chuckle and jokingly point at the door.)

Customer: *tone of voice suddenly very serious* “Well, if you’re going to be that rude, then I will leave.”

(Cue me and another volunteer frantically trying to explain we were joking as she left. Apparently, she wasn’t joking.)

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Change-ing Perceptions

, , , , | | Right | May 31, 2018

(I’m the customer, paying for a £1.49 pack of greetings cards. I hand my coins, £1 + 50p + 5p + 2p + 1p + 1p, to the cashier.)

Me: “Here’s £1.59.”

Another Customer: *in a tone that says, “You moron!”* “He said £1.49. Why are you giving him £1.59?”

Me: *answering factually, as if it were a genuine question* “He’ll give me 10p change. I’ll have fewer coins in my pocket, and he’ll have some change for other customers.”

Cashier: *handing me 10p* “I wish more customers were like you.”

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A Childlike Understanding Of Manga

, , | Right | May 29, 2018

(My girlfriend and I are looking at some books in a well-known charity shop. We look in the children’s section for any graphic novels when we find some manga for a couple of popular adult series. We decide to let them know and take these to the cashier, as she is the only volunteer available at the time.)

Me: “Excuse me, but these books aren’t meant for children.”

Cashier: “Oh, it’s okay; they’re just comics.”

Girlfriend: “Madam.” *holding up first book* “This book has themes of graphic violence, including murder.” *holding second one up* “This one has themes of violence, not to mention incest.”

Cashier: *clearly confused* “But they’re comics?”

(My girlfriend opens up a page showing a man being literally ripped in two in much detail, followed by the age restriction on the back of each book. By this time her colleague has joined her and been quickly brought up to speed on what we were saying, and looks horrified at the shelves where children were looking. While heading over to check if there are any more, we can still hear the cashier.)

Cashier: “But… they’re comics?”

A Very Personal Emergency

, , , | Right | May 13, 2018

(I work in a tiny, independent, local charity shop in a small market town. Nearly all our customers live in the town and are regulars. Our manager also lives locally and has small children. On this day, she is at a school event for the afternoon and has left us volunteers in charge.)

Customer: “Who is your manager?”

Me: “[Manager].”

Customer: “I want to speak to her.”

Me: “I’m sorry; she’s not in this afternoon. She’ll be here tomorrow. Can I help with anything?”

Customer: “No, I want to speak to a manager.”

Me: “Okay, I can take your number and she can ring you, or you can pop in any day later this week.”

Customer: “I want to speak to her now. Where is she?”

Me: “Er, she’s not here. All I can do is get her to call you, but it won’t be today.”

Customer: “Well, give me her phone number.”

Me: “I can give you the shop number, but she’s not here to answer it today. I’d be the one answering it.”

Customer: “Give me her number. She’s got a phone, hasn’t she?”

Me: “I can’t do that. I can only give out the shop number.”

Customer: *getting angry* “Why not?”

Me: *pause* “Because it’s her personal number for personal calls; anything shop-related comes through the shop. I can give you the shop number, or get her to call you tomorrow.”

Customer: “That’s not good enough! I want to speak to her now. You ring her! Ring her and tell her I want to speak to her!”

Me: “Sorry, I can’t. She’s not available this afternoon.”

Customer: *shouting* “WHAT IF THERE’S AN EMERGENCY?”

Me: “Um. Is this an emergency?”


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