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Blindly Interrupting

, , , , | Right | December 14, 2020

I work in an answering service. We answer for multiple companies, from medical accounts to employee call-off lines. We get all kinds of rude callers. We have an FAQ account for a program that allows people using a card to earn a dollar toward locally-grown fruits and veggies for every dollar they spend for up to $20.

Caller: “Can you tell me what vendors participate?”

Me: “Well, sir, you can ask the vendor at the farmers’ market or store if they participate, or you can see our list of vendors on our website at—”

Caller: *Interrupts* “I’m visually-impaired; just tell me the list.”

Me: “I’m afraid I don’t have the list, sir, nor do I have access to the website. What I can do—”

Caller: *Interrupts* “I can’t see a computer! I don’t even own one! Don’t you understand how hard it is for a blind person?! How can you be so insensitive?! Are you a government program? Are you affiliated with any blind programs?!”

Me: “I apologize for the inconvenience. What I can do is take a message and have someone return your call about that list.”

Caller: “Why didn’t you say so earlier? We could have been done with this.”

Me: *Trying not to scream* “Let me get your information.”

I get the info.

Caller: “Sorry about this. Just try to understand how hard it is for me. I’m too old for computers and can’t see.”

I look at my fifty-plus-year-old blind coworker at another station taking calls and using a computer.

Me: “Yes, sir, I understand it’s difficult.”

Violence Is Fine But Sex Is Ungodly

, , , , , , | Right | October 30, 2020

This happens the first season I am working at a Haunted House. This one has a Halloween store attached to it with costumes and the like. The haunted house exits right into the store. Our Haunted House is long, roughly an hour or so — depending on how fast you run — and extremely gory and scary.

Tonight, I’ve been pulled out of the haunt to work in the store. Management has decided, in an attempt to sell costumes, they will dress me up in a cheesy “sexy” devil costume. It actually works really well; we sell out of the costume I am wearing.

I have been getting many compliments on the costume, until I run into this customer who has just exited the haunt. She is roughly my age. She starts eyeballing me at the desk.

Customer: “Oh, no. Oh, h*** no.”

Me: “Can I help you with something?”

She gestures to me up and down.

Customer: “What is this? Are you into this?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, into what?”

Customer: “That Devil lifestyle!”

Me: “Um… no. This is just a costume. I’m wearing it to help some of our stock.”

Customer: “Oh! Okay, that’s good, that’s good. Didn’t want to think you were into all that devil worshiping.”

With that, she strutted out of the store. I was completely confused, especially since she had just exited our Haunted House complete with an insane asylum, cannibalistic hillbillies, and murderous clowns. But sure… draw that line at my sexy, sparkly devil costume.

If You’re Entitled To Egg Salad, You’re Entitled To Everything

, , , , , | Right | May 26, 2020

I have recently been transferred to the prepared foods department. The regular featured in this story is one of those self-entitled types who wants what she wants NOW, and woe to the poor soul who crosses her.

My store is located in a fairly affluent area and it’s the day after Memorial Day. I’m pulling the salad bar, glancing at the counter every few seconds to check for customers.

Me: “Well, hi there! How can I help you this evening?”

Regular: *Snooty, condescending tone* “Where is your baked fish?”

She waves at the hot bar, which is void of all food.

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but my coworker just pulled everything. As per company policy and regulations from the health department, we are required to pull the food at night and throw it away to maintain proper food safety. We will have fresh fish out tomorrow, though!”

Regular: *Clearly pissed* “I rushed over here because of that fish! I thought you were open until nine.”

Me: “We close up shop at 9:00 pm so we can thoroughly clean our kitchen and workspaces, but as per policies, rules, and regulations, my coworker and I are required to pull all food at 8:00 every evening and throw the hot food away.”

The regular scoffs, glares at me, then walks away. I think that is the end of it, so I go back to pulling the salad bar. I’m almost done when a buddy from the deli calls over to tell me I have a customer.

I turn around, and lo and behold, it’s the regular. I duck into the back to look for my coworker, but as he is nowhere in sight, I sigh, resign myself to my fate, and head out there.

Me: *Disgustingly fake cheerful* “Yes, ma’am, what can I help you with tonight?”

She makes a face that is full of disgust, as if she is saying, “Ugh, you again?!”

Regular: “I want two pounds of egg salad.”

We have been out of egg salad for a couple of days at this point, so I brace myself for the backlash.

Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am, but we have been out of egg salad for a couple of days now. Like I’ve told my other customers today, I will leave a note with my team leaders and hopefully it will be on our next truck in a few days.”

She smiles, though more from anger and disbelief than from gratuity.

Regular: “This store never has anything. They can’t do anything right around here!”

I put on my best poker face and tuned her out. She finally walked away, talking loudly about how everyone in the store was an idiot, and went round to the front of the stores.

I finished pulling the salad bar and caught her trying to sneak back through produce, watching me the entire time. I guess she thought I was going to pull egg salad out of thin air, or someplace else if she was being that childish!

The Weight Of Expectations For Women

, , , , | Right | March 19, 2020

(A woman comes up to the register with a 45-pound bag of dog food.)

Me: “Is this all for you today, ma’am?”

Customer: “This is everything. Would someone be able to help me out to the car, though? I’m not supposed to lift more than thirty pounds.”

Me: “That’s not a problem at all!”

(I finish ringing her out. She looks expectantly to my manager at the other register, and then looks surprised when I pick up her bag of dog food and hold the door open for her.)

Customer: *as we’re walking through the parking lot* “Well, that’s just rude!”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “You’re a lady! You shouldn’t be lifting heavy things! Your manager should have done it! He’s not doing anything!”

Me: “It’s really no problem for me. I actually enjoy taking customers’ items to their car for them; it gives me a minute or so outside on nice days like this.”

Customer: “It’s still horribly rude! He should have at least offered! I won’t be getting my dog food from this store again if this is how they treat their woman employees!”

(She drove away in a rush and I walked back inside shaking my head. Situations like this happen to me nearly every day.)

The Crutch Of The Matter

, , , , , | Right | October 11, 2019

(I recently injured my ankle. Because I can’t walk, I’m stationed at the front with a chair to help greet customers and direct them to different departments.)

Me: “Hi! Welcome to [Store]. Can I help you find anything?”

Customer: “Yeah, I’m looking for buttons.”

Me: “Okay, they’ll be just past our quilting section down this aisle!”

Customer: “Can you show me?”

Me: “I can’t, but I can get someone here to walk you there!”

Customer: “Ugh, stupid millennials are so lazy.”

(The customer’s husband speaks up.)

Husband: “You know, I’m willing to bet those crutches leaning on the chair are hers.” 

(The customer went red and stormed off. I thanked her husband before he followed her.)

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