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Always Sending Them Back From The Back

, , , , , , | Right | May 31, 2020

Some of the customers at our store have the misconception that they can exit or enter through the back door, which leads directly into our parking lot. Since the back of the store contains our work area, the manager’s office and safe, and hundreds of dollars of merchandise waiting to be stocked, and is sometimes cluttered with boxes of donations, we have a strict policy about not letting customers walk through there unless they are making a donation or transporting heavy furniture, in which case we would clear the pathway.

An elderly couple who have been in declining health for the last year have made repeated attempts to use that door, despite our persistent reminders not to do so. 

The husband knocks on the back door, while the wife makes a quick trip to the grocery store next door.

Me: “Hi, sir, the entrance is at the front door. We can’t let customers through here for insurance and safety reasons.”

He happily obliges and uses the front entrance. About ten minutes later, the wife walks in and they spend the next half hour shopping. After making their purchase, they get ready to leave.

The wife tells her husband:

Wife: “Let’s use the back door.”

The husband, who has difficulty speaking due to radiation for throat cancer, lightly tugs his wife’s shirt towards the front door. He strains to reply to his wife.

Husband: “We have to use the front.”

After having a brief, indistinct argument with her husband, the wife begins walking toward the back of the store. At this point, I step in.

Me: “I’m sorry, but we had an incident last week and we cannot allow customers to use the back door. Please use the front door to exit.”

We really did have an incident last week, which prompted me to print a sign near the back of the sales floor noting, “This is not an exit! Please use the front door.” On top of that, we have a lot of boxes in the back. Given their fragile health, letting them use the back would be a bigger risk than usual.

Wife: “You don’t understand; this is a man who belongs in the hospital. Now let us through the back!”

Me: “Ma’am, I understand your situation, but this has been our store’s policy for eighteen years. I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but you will need to use the front door.”

At this point, she flipped the middle finger with about half the store watching and, as fast as she could, walked out of the store with her seemingly unphased husband in tow. We have not seen them in the store since.

Dial M For “Moron”

, , , , | Right | May 18, 2020

Me: “Good afternoon, [Charity]; how can I help you?”

Client: “I just wanted to check if you were on the same phone number that you used to be on.”

Me: “Well, we haven’t changed our phone number, and the number is the one you dialed.”

Client: “Oh, well, that’s fine, then.” *Click*

I was left there scratching my head.

The Kind Of Person You Read About In Math Textbooks

, , , , | Friendly | April 30, 2020

My mother helps manage a small food distribution ministry, and she takes care of the shopping.  It requires her to buy food for the packages in bulk.  She is in the local grocery loading 51 gallons of milk into her carts.

Two elderly women are looking on.

Elderly Woman #1: *To the other woman* “Are you going to ask?  Because if you’re not going to ask, I’m going to ask.”

Elderly Woman #2: “Oh, no, I’m not going to ask!”

Elderly Woman #1: “Okay, then, I’ll ask!” *To my mom* “Why are you buying so much milk?”

Mom: “I’m… very thirsty?”

Charitably Litigious

, , , , | Right | April 27, 2020

As part of child awareness week, we are all given shifts doing collections outside of the store for a well-known children’s charity. As someone who knows how invasive some charity workers can be, I stick to just asking people if they want to donate. I am about an hour into my shift when I have an older couple approach the store.

Me: “Hey there! Would you like to make a donation to the [Charity] today?”

The couple blanks me and walks past me a couple of metres. The woman comes straight back to me and taps me on the shoulder.

Woman: “Excuse me! You do realise that what you just said to me is illegal!?”

Me: *surprised* “Pardon me?”

Woman: “What you just said. It is illegal to ask someone to donate to a charity and I could sue you!”

I am a little taken aback that this woman is threatening legal action, so I just respond honestly.

Me: “I’m sorry, but I am working for a charity. I wasn’t invasive or aggressive in asking.”

Woman: “Oh, I know, but I could sue you for it!”

The woman then wandered off into the store, trailing by her husband, happily gloating that she could sue me. Slightly panicked, I checked with my manager, who cleared up that as long as I did not shake the collection tin or be aggressive, I was completely fine. About ten minutes later, the woman came back out alone and threw a handful of change at me and stormed off. I can only guess her husband told her off and she went off in a huff!

The Sign Only Provides Food For Thought

, , , | Right | March 4, 2020

(I work in a nonprofit agency that shares a building with a few other nonprofits. Our agency doesn’t give out food vouchers and never has. Despite this, we frequently get people asking us for them because we happen to be closest to the door. Directly next to our door is a sign that reads, “Food vouchers for the [Local Food Cupboard] are available at [Other Nonprofit #1] and [Other Nonprofit #2]. [OUR NONPROFIT] CANNOT GIVE REFERRALS.”)

Man: *looks in our doorway*

Me: “Can I help you?”

Man: “Yeah, I need an emergency food voucher.”

Me: “We don’t give those out here, but they can help you at [Other Nonprofit #1] across the lobby there.”

(I point.)

Man: *disbelieving* “I thought I got one here before.”

Me: “[Our Nonprofit] doesn’t actually help people directly; we only fund other agencies.”

Man: “Hmph.”

(He begins to walk away but catches sight of the sign next to our door.)

Man: *triumphantly* “‘Food vouchers…’ Ah, see, this is what I was talking about!”

(He finishes reading the sign.)

Man: *walking towards other nonprofit* “Well, you used to give food vouchers!”