No Reprieve On New Year’s Eve

| USA | Working | December 31, 2015

(We have two fairly recent hires who both started as stockers, but were shifted to cashier because of their unreliability and laziness. Both are 18, still in high school, and not easy to work with. They have generally negative attitudes. For instance, Coworker #1 throws change at people when he’s mad. Coworker #2 makes fun of people constantly, but gets totally offended at jokes or sarcasm directed at him. I am on register with both of them on New Year’s Eve, along with a decent-working Coworker #3. It’s so busy the managers want four people on register at all times, so a fifth person is putting their cash drawer in as each cashier goes on break. Coworker #1 takes his break first, and this exchange happens during the last cashier’s break.)

Break Person: “Hey, where’s [Coworker #1]!?”

(It’d been so busy nobody had noticed him put up his ‘closed’ sign, turn off his light, and sneak away. Now there’s only three of us, with me and the break person doing most of the work. Coworker #2’s register isn’t always open, and you often have to yell for customers to come over. Coworker #2 is just sitting behind his register and texting, only ringing up the people who realize he’s open.)

Me: “I don’t know where [Coworker #1] is; I didn’t see him leave.”

(We only get a 15-minute break for a six-hour shift. Coworker #1 had taken his already. The break person calls the manager to figure out where he is, but the manager is running around trying to keep things stocked because it is so busy with people buying last-minute stuff for their New Year’s Eve parties. A solid 20 minutes goes by before Coworker #1 comes back, acting like nothing happened. The break person leaves, fuming. Coworker #1 proceeds to spend the rest of the night with his light off, reading a magazine. He only offers to ring up attractive females, and only begrudgingly rings anyone else who realizes he is open despite the light being off. Other than that, he flips through magazines and plays with his phone.)

Coworker #2: *muttering under his breath about something*

Me: *in a light, joking manner* “What are you complaining about?”

Coworker #2: “WOAH. ATTITUDE.”

Me: *sighs*

(Not 15 minutes later, Coworker #2, despite making no effort to ring up customers, complained to the manager about ‘having no one to ring up’ and demanded to go home, holiday pay or not. The manager said fine and he gleefully left. After that, Coworker #1 put up his closed sign and disappeared twice more before the night was over, all while Coworker #3 and I scrambled to get through the New Year’s Eve crowd. On the plus side, after completing a transaction, a friendly customer threw a $5 bill on my counter and yelled HAPPY NEW YEAR before bolting out the store. I don’t know who you are, but you made a stressful night that much better. Thank you.)

A Totally Bear-able Time Of Year

| NH, USA | Right | December 23, 2015

(I work at a convenience store that sells coffee in different flavors. One of my regulars comes in every day and gets a pot of blueberry coffee, so I nickname her Ms. Blueberry, and make sure to always have that flavor ready when she comes in. We have just gotten a shipment of St. Jude charity plush bears for the holidays.)

Ms. Blueberry: *holding up a bear* “This is cute!”

Me: “Yeah, they’re really soft, and for a good cause. A portion of the proceeds goes to the St. Jude Children’s Fund. I’m considering getting one some time.”

Ms. Blueberry: “That so? Just the coffee today.”

(She puts the bear down, pays for her coffee, and enjoys a bit more banter, then leaves. The next day, she’s back as usual. She brings her coffee to the counter and puts one of the bears up with it.)

Ms. Blueberry: “This, too.”

Me: “All right, your total is [total].”

Ms. Blueberry: *handing me her total* “The bear’s for you. Merry Christmas!”

Me: “Really? Wow, thank you!”

(I didn’t stay at that job much longer, but seeing my regulars, especially her, made the job more bearable [pardon the pun] and even, at times, enjoyable. I named the bear Blueberry, and I still have him!)

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I Decline To Comment

| Yorkshire, England, UK | Right | December 10, 2015

(I’ve just scanned the shopping of a customer and he is paying with his card. However, the transaction doesn’t go through. This usually means that the customer’s card has been declined, although occasionally we have brief connection issues with our system, so we always give it a second try.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. The transaction hasn’t gone through.”

Customer: “Why?”

Me: “Well, sometimes it’s a brief problem with our connection rather than your card. We’ll give it another go and see.”

Customer: “Hmmm… okay.”

(We go through the process again, however it doesn’t go through. My card machine is still functioning normally, and my colleagues are still able to use their card machines, meaning that the system is not down. It is definitely a problem with his card.)

Me: “I’m really sorry, sir, but your card isn’t working. Do you have any other method of payment?”

Customer: “What? What’s wrong with your machines?”

Me: “There doesn’t appear to be any issue with our system, sir. I’m afraid it’s very likely to be a problem with your card.”

Customer: “It can’t be. Try again.”

(We try again, but it doesn’t work. However, he insists the problem is on our end. I move him onto my colleague’s till, but it isn’t accepted again.)

Colleague: “I’m really sorry, sir, but your card has been declined again.”

Customer: “Why is it being declined?”

Me: “It could be any number of reasons, sir. You’d have to contact your bank.”

Customer: “No! I want you to tell me! Why won’t you take my card?!”

Me: “Sorry, sir?”

Customer: “Tell me what it says on your screen! Tell me why you won’t take my card!”

Me: “All it tells me is that your card is declined, sir, I don’t know the reason. You’d have to contact your bank.”

Customer: “That’s crap! I’m not leaving until you tell me why my card is declined! I’m flying out to Afghanistan tomorrow! I’ve had this all day, I don’t need this, and I’m sick of it!”

Me: “Sorry, sir, did you say you’d had this all day?”

Customer: “Yes! Every shop I go into, they won’t take my card and they won’t tell me why! I’m flying to Afghanistan in twelve hours! I don’t need this!”

Me: “…Ok, sir, you really need to contact your bank.”

(He eventually left  to go and talk to his bank, still muttering that we “must know why; it will say on the screens.” We spotted him in store just a couple of days later, so I’m not sure why he insisted he was going to Afghanistan.)

Their Nerdiness Has Hit The Wall

| USA | Working | November 19, 2015

(My boss and I are huge Game of Thrones Fans. A former manager decided what characters we all were and we harass each other as such on a daily basis.)

Manager: *glares at me as I’m walking by* “…Tarth.”

Me: *glares back and keeps walking* “…Baratheon.”

(Later on he finds his way back into my department.)

Manager: “Death to Brienne of Tarth!”

Me: “At least I get things done. That’s more than they can say for House Baratheon.”

Manager: “LISTEN. Stannis Baratheon gets things done, too!”

Me: “Okay, name ONE thing that was all Stannis and not him hiding behind Melisandre. I’ll wait.”

Manager: “…Okay, you have a point.”

(A woman working the customer service desk walks up, who also happens to be a fan of the show.)

Me and the Manager: “HOUSE TULLY!”

(Another coworker who doesn’t watch Game of Thrones hears the exchange)

Coworker: “You guys are nerds…”

Trying To Charge Of Taking A Charge

| Leicestershire, England, UK | Right | November 18, 2015

(Recently, a minimum 5p charge for plastic bags has been rolled out across the country. A rumour that it’s illegal to charge for bags because they have stores’ logos on them (and therefore advertise the store) has been making the rounds.)

Me: “Do you need a bag?”

Customer: “I’m fine, mate. I’ll just carry them.”

(After I ring him up and pile his purchases on the counter in front of him he points to a plastic bag I have ready on the counter.)

Customer: “It has the [Store] logo on it. That means it’s illegal to charge!”

Me: “By that logic, wouldn’t it be illegal for Apple to charge for any of their products?”

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