Should Have Checked Before

| Yorba Linda, CA, USA | Right | December 8, 2015

(Working as a cashier at a teen clothing store on a busy night.)

Customer: *hands me a check to pay for her clothes*

Me: *inspecting the check* “I’m sorry, I can’t accept this check.”

Customer: *already becoming angry* “And why not?”

Me: “Your address and the bank address are not on the check.”

Customer: “So?”

Me: “There is no way for me to verify that this check is linked to your account. It’s like a credit card, we need to be able to check your ID to the check to make sure it’s yours.”

Customer: “But is mine. I got it from the bank.”

Me: “I understand that, but there is no way for ME to know. Policy is that I need to check your ID against the name and address on the check, and the bank address needs to be present.”

Customer: *starts yelling* “What do you mean? I’ve got $100 worth of clothes here. I’m a paying customer!”

Me: “I understand. Do you have another form of payment you can use?”

Customer: “Another form of payment? No! I just gave you my form of payment! Get me your manager!”

Me: *using the headset to ask for a manager while she continues yelling at me*

Manager: “I’m sorry, but we can’t accept this check.”

Customer: “Why? It’s mine.”

Manager: “How can I tell?

Customer: “Because I gave it to you.”

Manager: “But how can I tell you aren’t giving me someone else’s check? There is no name anywhere. If you look at this sign right here, you’ll see that this is a form of payment we can’t accept. I’m sorry.”

Customer: “I’m standing here giving it to you. It’s money! Take my money! This is ridiculous!”

Manager: “No, YOU’RE being ridiculous. If you’re going to stand here and yell at me because I won’t take a clearly fraudulent check, you can take your business elsewhere.”

Customer: “FINE.” *takes her fake check and leaves*

Manager: *looks at me, shrugs, laughs, and goes about his business*

Has A Head For Getting What She Wants

| Oxford, England, UK | Related | December 6, 2015

(I am at the back of a clothes shop browsing the women’s nightwear and lingerie section when a mother and her young daughter (about three) come along. Note that in the UK, ‘pants’ means underwear, not trousers.)

Tiny Girl: *picks up some patterned underwear* “Look mummy! Nice pants!”

Mother: “They are nice, aren’t they?”

(After a few minutes the mother goes to leave and notices she still has the


Mother: “We’re going now; put the pants down, please.”

Tiny Girl: *looks at mother*

Tiny Girl: *looks at pants*

Tiny Girl: *looks at mother*

Tiny Girl: *puts pants on head*

Acting Super Fly In Superdry

| London, England, UK | Right | December 3, 2015

(I work in a brand-name British clothing store. The brand is British, but as an artistic choice most of the clothing has Japanese text and the word ‘Japan’ in the logo, so it is common for a lot of customers to think the brand is Japanese. I am Chinese but I was born and raised in the UK.)

Customer #1: *to [Customer #2]:*  “Why are we in this stupid store?”

Customer #2: “Because I like it! And I like supporting British companies.”

Customer #1: “You’re so stupid! This is a Japanese company! All you’re doing is supporting the Japanese!”

Me: “Sorry to interrupt, madam, but I couldn’t help overhearing. [Store] is actually a British company. The Japanese element is just an artistic choice. Not only that, but all our clothes are made in the UK as well.”

Customer #1: “You’re just saying that because you’re Japanese! You just want to send our money back to Japan!”

Me: “I was actually born here, madam, and not that it matters, but my ethnicity is Chinese, not Japanese.”

Customer #1: “Same thing!”

Customer #2: “Oh, my God! You can’t say that!”

Customer #1: “Sure I can.”

Me: “Madam, I couldn’t help but notice that you are carrying some [Other Brand Clothing Store] shopping bags.”

Customer #1: “So?”

Me: “That is an American brand. I am sure the USA appreciates your support.”

Customer #1: “Whatever!”

Customer #2: “Oh, shut up, [Customer #1]! And besides, you’re Polish!”

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I Have A Background In Defunct Websites

| Newark, DE, USA | Related | November 24, 2015

(My sister and I are browsing the kids’ section at a retail store. She spots a bright, multi-colored girls’ winter jacket covered in stars, nebulas, and other cosmic designs.)

Sister: “Wow! That coat looks like somebody’s MySpace background threw up on it.”

Rounding Up Versus Dumbing Down

| Portland, OR, USA | Working | October 13, 2015

(My store is raising money for a charity and competing with other stores in the same franchise. Every cashier is supposed to ask each customer if they want to donate a dollar, but the customers aren’t really biting. Eventually I get an idea.)

Me: “Would you like to round your purchase up to the next dollar to donate to [Charity]?”

Customer: “Oh, sure!”

(It goes like this for a while. Sometimes customers even donate more than a dollar out of generosity. According to the posters in the break rooms, using this strategy our store winds up in the lead. One day my manager pulls me aside.)

Manager: “Are you the one having customers round their purchases up?”

Me: “Yeah.” *expecting him to comment on how clever it was*

Manager: “You need to stop. The numbers aren’t round.”

Me: “…but we’re in the lead. And we’re doing this for charity.”

Manager: “A round dollar amount looks better.”

(Predictably, going back to asking customers if they want to donate a dollar didn’t work. But at least the numbers looked nice!)

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