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Not Thinking Outside The Box Office

, , , | Right | December 30, 2020

I work in a movie theater as a greeter that tears tickets or scans them based on how they are purchased. I do not sell them. A couple walks in. I shout after them.

Me: “Hey there, guys! Do you have your tickets?”

Couple: “Yes, we do.”

Me: “All righty, I’ll check those for you.”

They walk up and stand in silence for a minute. I’m waiting for them to hand me their tickets.

Couple: “Yeah, so two for It: Chapter Two.”

Me: “Sir, the box office is behind you; I check the tickets.”

Couple: “This is unbelievable!”

This happens about five times a day.

Snobbery Amongst Gamers Starts Early

, , , , , | Friendly | December 27, 2020

This is my first time flying alone, and I have a five-hour layover in Chicago. I’ve been traveling since 6:00 am and it’s now 2:00 pm and I am craving human interaction. By hour three, I am bored out of my mind, and I pull out my [handheld gaming system] to pass the time while I wait by my gate.

I see a boy my age across the aisle with the same gaming system. I gesture to our gaming systems.

Me: “Twinsies!”

Gamer: *Sounding annoyed* “What are you playing?”

I’m playing a game that’s known for being easy and only popular with younger kids.

Me: “[Game]. You?”

Gamer: *Genuinely disgusted* “Wow.”

He goes back to gaming. Well, okay, I guess this guy won’t be my airport buddy. I’ll find a new airport buddy. About half an hour later, a stressed-looking mom sits in my row with her screaming baby and four- or five-year-old girl who’s begging for attention. As soon as the mom sits down, she gets a phone call, and she walks a few feet away to answer it, leaving the girl alone. She’s obviously very hyper and instantly runs down the aisle and stops at me.

She points at my chips and screams something in Spanish.

I kind of know Spanish; I know “Dora The Explorer” Spanish and I’ve memorized my quesadilla order in Spanish for when I go to food trucks. That’s about it.

Me: “Hi! Hello! No chip for you, no, ma’am!”

My gamer friend from earlier sighs and is acting as dramatic as possible about this small child acting like a small child. There’s more excited Spanish and giggling from the girl, and then she runs back to her seat and comes back with a stuffed pony from an infamous children’s series.

Me: “Oh, wow… Es eso [Blue Horse #1]?” Is that [Blue Horse #1]?

Girl: “NOOO! Eso es [Blue Horse #2]!” No! That’s [Blue Horse #2]!

Me: “Oh, wow! [Blue Horse #2]! Bonita!” Pretty! “I remember her. I used to watch [Show], too—”

Gamer: *Loudly* “Ew.”

I side-eye him but keep talking to the girl.

Me: “Where’s her hat?”

I point to the pony’s head.

Gamer: “I can’t believe you watch that. You’re a grown-a** adult.”

Me: “I’m nineteen.”

Gamer: “See? Grown-a** adult.”

Me: “I’m nineteen. The show came out when I was nine. I watched it when I was nine.”

Gamer: “You’re a f****** [term for people in the fandom], so—”

Me: “Ay! Don’t say the F word in front of a little kid, maybe?!”

The little girl’s mother suddenly whipped around, gasped, ran over and scooped up the girl, and moved to the other side of the terminal.

Way to go, man. You defended the world from a video game and a children’s series that I did, indeed, watch as a child.

We all sat relatively close to each other on the plane, so it was an awkward fly back.

The Couponator 22: Coupons Of Mass Consumption

, , , , , | Right | December 20, 2020

A common thing pet food companies do at times is attach certain coupons to every other product, such as a “buy one get one free” offer for a little package of cat food, and people can redeem them with their next purchase.

A customer walks up to my register with her cart absolutely chock full of this one type of cat food, which is unfortunately common. As her husband begins placing the cat food on the register:

Customer: “Hello, I have a couple of coupons to use!”

We usually accept several different coupons on a purchase if the parameters are met, so I’m not surprised and happily agree to take them.

She then takes out several fistfuls of coupons from her purse and piles them ALL on the counter as I’m ringing up her order. I’m talking along the lines of a small mountain of coupons on my register for her cartload of cat food.

Realizing this is going to take a while, and seeing three people queuing up behind her, I call another cashier to help everyone else while I sort through this lady’s coupons and purchase.

The coupons are all the same “BOGO” manufacturer coupons that sometimes come attached to products — she must have bought an unholy amount of cat food to have gotten this many — but I dutifully begin ringing her up and putting in the coupons.

After the first one, the register won’t scan in any of the other coupons, and upon closer inspection, it clearly says on the coupon that it is “limit one per customer per purchase,” i.e., that she could only use one of these coupons when she clearly planned on getting HALF of all of her cat food for free.

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but it appears that these coupons limit one per purchase, so you can only use one.”

Customer: *Unfazed* “Oh, I was worried about that, too, so when I was in here last week I asked one of the workers and they said it was okay to use several!”

Me: “I’m sorry. If it was just one of our salespeople they may simply have been misinformed, as it clearly states that it’s a limit of one per purchase here. Only a manager would be authorized to tell you that.”

Customer: “Oh, you know what? Now that I think of it, it was a manager!”

Our store isn’t that big, and we have three managers, one of whom is a woman and two of whom are men of very different statures and appearances. All of them always wear name tags with their names on them, so I ask her if she remembers which manager it was.

Customer: “Oh, I don’t remember their name!”

Me: “Was it a man or a woman?”

Customer: “I’m not sure, sorry, but they did say I could use several coupons at once, so please ring them up!”

By now I’m suspicious since she can’t even remember who she spoke to, and since the computer requires a manager’s code to override instructions for coupon parameters that are already met, I call over my manager. I explain what’s going on, and the manager says the same thing to the customer, who keeps insisting she was told she could use these fifty-plus coupons.

The manager then goes to the office and calls the store manager, who isn’t working that night, to ask him if he’s allowed to authorize this sale.

Manager: *Returning* “The store manager says you aren’t allowed to use more than one, but just this once he said we could use five. But please know that, after this, you can only use one per purchase.”

The customer complies, and, after deciding not to buy about 70% of the cat food that she brought up, leaves, after an ordeal that took at least half an hour.

Later that night, my manager approaches me.

Manager: “You know that lady with the coupons?”

Me: “Yes?”

Manager: “Last week is when we last got a shipment of that cat food with those coupons, and I stuck them on myself in the morning. Later that day, all the coupons on the cat food packages were ripped off every package on the shelf. I guess that lady came in, took them all without buying the product, and decided to use them all a week later. Guess it didn’t work out for her!”

The Couponator 21: The FINAL Sale
The Couponator 20: Coupons Of Mass Consumption
The Couponator 19: Fast Food & Furious
The Couponator 18: The Digital Revolution
The Couponator 17: Attack Of The “Programmer”

Members Of The British Tomato Jerk Association

, , , , , | Right | December 10, 2020

I’m working at a chain sandwich shop which is popular in the US but does not exist in Britain. The past week or so, we have had a large group of British tourists come in several days during breakfast. Normally, cashiers are required to ask if the customer has a membership card with us before finishing every transaction, but this group of tourists has told me multiple times that they don’t have cards and don’t want to get them, since they’re going back home in a week and won’t be able to use them.

One morning later in the week, an older couple who I do not recognize comes in to order breakfast. I notice two things about them; first, they both have British accents, and second, the wife’s phone has a case covered in pink rhinestones. Because of their accents, I stupidly assume that they are with the group of tourists who have been coming in lately and I just forgot their faces — plausible since it is a large group — so I don’t ask for their membership card. They both order the same breakfast sandwich, and I finish the transaction. After they are all paid out, the husband speaks up.

Husband: “Why didn’t you ask for our membership card?”

Me: “Oh, do you have one?”

Husband: “Of course, we do.”

At this point, I realize I have made a mistake, but I don’t want to admit that I assumed they were tourists because of their accents, both because I am afraid they will be insulted and because I’m embarrassed at having made such an assumption.

Me: “I’m so sorry, sir. It must have slipped my mind; that is entirely my fault.”

Husband: “So we won’t get credit for this transaction?”

Me: “Unfortunately, there’s no way for me to add a transaction to your account once it has been paid out, but if you log into your account on our website and enter the code at the bottom of the receipt, it will add the transaction for you.”

Husband: “So because you made a mistake, we have to do work? That doesn’t seem fair.”

Me: “I know, and again, I’m sorry, but once the transaction has been paid out, there really is nothing I can do.”

The husband sighs, disgruntled, and he and his wife head to our patio and sit down. A few minutes later, one of our runners brings them their food, and a few minutes after that, the husband comes storming back inside. 

Husband: “There are tomatoes on those sandwiches! I hate tomatoes, and so does my wife! Why didn’t you tell me there were tomatoes?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I didn’t know that you didn’t want tomatoes.”

Husband: “It should say on the menu that there are tomatoes! Nowhere on there does it say there are tomatoes!”

He’s right, and I privately agree that it’s a huge mistake not to list all the ingredients, but I have no more control over this than he does.

Me: “I’m very sorry about that. I can see if it’s possible to get the sandwiches remade.”

Husband: “This is just pathetic.”

Me: “Um, let me get you my manager.”

We are trained to get a manager whenever customer satisfaction is at stake. I get my manager who, like me, is a rather petite young woman. The husband berates her, calling her, me, and the rest of the staff “useless” as she apologizes profusely, refunds his order, and has the sandwiches remade. He and his wife receive their remade sandwiches, eat them, and leave. I think that is the end of it until my coworker in charge of table cleanup comes over.

Coworker: “I found this on the patio. A customer must have forgotten it.”

She hands me — you guessed it — a phone in a pink rhinestone case.

Me: “I know exactly who this belongs to. This should be interesting.”

Sure enough, a few hours later, the man and his wife are back. I can see them from the register frantically searching the patio before giving up and heading back to their car. I leave the register and chase them down with the phone.

Me: “Ma’am! Ma’am!”

The wife turns around as I catch up with them.

Me: “Is this yours? Our staff found it left behind on the patio.”

Wife: “Yes! Oh, my God, thank you so much!”

Me: “Of course, happy I could help.”

The husband stood a few feet back, scowling at a spot to my right, but refusing to make eye contact with me. They left after that and I never saw them again, but being the bigger person has never felt more satisfying.

An Order That’s Not Just Wrong, It’s Passive-Aggressive

, , , , , | Working | November 20, 2020

I like [Local Chicken Franchise] and have been going there for many years, usually either mid-day on a weekend or late in the evening on a weekday. On this occasion, it’s Friday, I have the day off, and I go through the drive-thru at 5:00 pm, which I haven’t done before. I’m worried about a rush, but the parking lot is empty. There’s a giant sign on the drive-thru order board advertising the current special, a buffalo ranch tender combo meal for about $3 less than the standard tender combo.

Employee: “What do you want?”

Me: “I’ll have the five-piece buffalo ranch tender combo.”

Employee: “We don’t sell those here.”

I pause. I really don’t want to be that customer.

Me: “Uh. I was here last week and I got that combo, and I’m staring at a giant sign out here advertising them.”

Employee: “I don’t know what to tell you. We don’t sell those here.”

This is not worth escalating, there’s no way I’m going to win, and I don’t care that much, so I give up. Maybe the employee means they’re out of them and is wording it badly.

Me: “Okay, I’ll have the regular five-piece combo, without the drink.”

Employee: “Okay, pull around.”

Me: “Wait, don’t you need to know whether I want the spicy or mild tenders, and what side I want?”

The employee heaves an incredibly loud, exaggerated, teenager-on-a-sitcom sigh and then pauses.

Employee: “Spicy or mild.”

Me: “Spicy, please.”

Employee: “What’s your drink? What’s your side?”

Me: “Fries for the side, no drink.”

Employee: “The combo comes with a drink.”

Me: “I don’t want the drink. Usually, if I ask for it without the drink, you take a dollar off and don’t give me a drink I don’t want.”

Employee: *Very obviously exasperated* “You want the dinner. The combo comes with a drink. The dinner doesn’t have a drink. They’re different prices.”

There is nothing on the menu board about a “dinner” combo with no drink and no posted price for it. I’ve been going to [Franchise] for twenty years and no one’s ever tried to tell me that my standard combo-without-a-drink order is called something different. It’s still not worth fighting over, but I do hate it when employees use their condescending “We’ve always done it this way, idiot” voices for something they’ve never done that way before.

Me: “Fine, I guess that means I want the five-piece spicy dinner. With fries.”

Employee: “Pull around.”

Me: “I’d also like an order of extra-large fries to go with that.”

Employee:Pull around.

I do. It’s a long wait, but someone eventually comes to the revolving drive-thru window to take my credit card. They say, “Three-piece with fries and an extra fries,” and turn away from me toward the register.

Me: “Excuse me, I wanted a five-piece.”

The employee keeps keying in the order.

Me: “Excuse me, hello?”

Employee *Long-suffering look* “What is it now?”

Me: “I asked for a five-piece.”

The employee just stares at me like I’ve demanded a dead cat. Then, they turn around and walk up to a much older employee who I assume is the shift manager and start talking to them, gesturing back at me in a frustrated way. Finally, they come back to the window, obviously annoyed.

Employee: “Five-piece and fries with an extra order of fries.”

They ring it in. Through the scratched-up drive-thru window, I can see them tossing things into a bag in an agitated way. About fifteen seconds later, they shove a bag into the drive-thru airlock and stalk away. I take the bag and briefly check it, but it more or less looks like what I ordered.

When I got home, I found out I’d gotten four chicken tenders, a small order of fries in a large box, and none of the usual extras — dipping sauce, ketchup, napkins, etc. I still have no idea why that employee was so angry. Also, to leave the parking lot, I had to drive past the giant [Franchise] marquee sign that read, “BUFFALO RANCH TENDER COMBO MEAL: [price $3 less than what I paid].” Guess I know what shift to avoid from now on.