Inconvenience Store

| ID, USA | Working | August 5, 2016

(My family and I are coming back from a retreat in the Sawtooths, and we stop at a tiny town for a break. There’s only one store, so I usher the little kids inside to grab drinks. The store is basically a glorified motor home, with a single cooler with beer and sodas, and a counter with Idaho souvenirs. The place smells like the owner has been chain smoking in there all day, which already makes the kids uncomfortable. The store owner, an old guy with a scraggly beard and tobacco-stained teeth, doesn’t say a word to us as we grab our overpriced drinks, and when I go up to the register he sighs as if we’re horribly inconveniencing him.)

Owner: “Will that be all?”

Me: “Is there a bathroom in here that we can use?”

Owner: *condescendingly* “Noooo. We just s*** out in the yard.”

(Once the kids did their business we got out of there as fast as we could.)

Lottery And Petty And Cash, Oh My!

| USA | Working | July 25, 2016

(Our drawers only start with $75 in them. One of my first customers of the day gets a cash return for $63. I borrow the money from the store’s petty cash and put a note to pay it back when I have more bills in my drawer. Not long after that, somebody goes through the money transfer process and receives $100, which I also borrow from petty. About an hour and zero customers later, I’ve finished counting down the morning drawers and swapping out their smaller bills for any twenties, fifties or hundreds. The largest denomination left in my drawer or petty is tens. Almost immediately after, a man in his early 20s comes to my counter.)

Customer: “I’d like to cash this check, please!” *hands me a $362 check*

Me: *inwardly panics as the acting manager walks in. Our check cashing fee is hefty and usually a deterrent* “Um, the fee is two percent of the check. Is that okay?”

Customer: *cheerfully* “Oh, yeah, it’s always like five or seven bucks.”

Manager: *knows what I’ve been through at this point* “Can you borrow again?”

Me: “There’s no big bills left in petty; they’re all in the night deposit.”

Manager: “Hmm… let me check the lottery machine.”

(We have a machine on the floor across from us where people can buy scratch-offs or instant tickets. She empties the machine while I awkwardly stand there with the customer. She counts the smaller-than-hoped amount.)

Manager: “Only $258. You’ll have to borrow $100 from petty and take the difference from your drawer.”

(Eventually I get it straightened out and by the end of the night, everything is even. The next day, a different manager is working, and trying to piece together a weekly lottery audit he isn’t totally familiar with.)

Day Manager: “Hey, do you know by chance just how much money [Manager] pulled out of the lottery machine last night?”

Me: *in the process of helping a customer* “$258.”

Day Manager: “$258…?”

Me: *nods, finishing up with that customer*

Day Manager: *stares for a second and then laughs* “Okay, RAIN MAN.”

Me: “Hey, if you had to pull cash from three different places for ONE transaction, you’d remember, too!”

Scratch That Whole Year Off

| ON, Canada | Working | July 21, 2016

(I am trying to buy a scratch ticket and because I look my age I’m often asked for my ID. Because I got my driver’s license before I turned 19, it says on the license of the year I turned 19.)

Cashier: “So you’re not 19 until April…”

Me: *confused* “No, I’m 20 in…”

Cashier: *confused look*

Me: “I was born in 1996.”

Cashier: “S***, forgot it’s 2016.”

(So not only did she get my birth month wrong, but also the year, and the fact I needed to be only 18 to buy a scratch ticket. Impressive.)

Montessori Prison Service

| Columbus, OH, USA | Friendly | July 15, 2016

(I am waiting in line behind two people who are old friends that ran into each other. They’re catching up.)

Friend: “Well, [Guy] had a baby and went to jail… I mean [Guy], not the baby…”

Set Their Pulse Racing

| Indianapolis, IN, USA | Right | July 6, 2016

(I am the customer here. It’s the weekend of the Indy 500, and I’m driving for Uber. On the night before the race, as I’m driving visitors around the city, I take a quick break to go into a convenience store to get a snack and a drink.)

Cashier: *as she’s bagging my items* “Are you going to see the race tomorrow?”

Me: “No, I’m driving.”

(Cashier stops and looks at me, stunned.)

Me: *realizing what I just said* “For Uber! I’m driving for Uber!”

Cashier: “I was about to grab a pen and paper and ask for an autograph!”

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