Reading Between The Coloring Lines

| Canada | Right | July 5, 2016

(Adult colouring books are a huge deal at my store, with two drive-aisles dedicated to the stuff. I am working the floor when a young man in his mid-twenties comes in with a girl who could be his girlfriend, sister, or friend. He kind of has a frat-boy look about him, and the girl is dressed semi-professionally. They come up to me, the girl with an amused expression and the guy really excited.)

Male Customer: “So, you guys sell adult coloring books, right?”

Me: “Yeah, we do, right over here.”

Male Customer: *just slightly lowers his voice, kind of stage whisper style* “So, you have, like, those [East] Indian type colouring books?”

Female Customer: *starts blushing a bit*

Me: “Oh, yeah, we have Mandala and Paisley themed colouring books. Some kind of look like henna designs, as well.”

Male Customer: “No, I mean, like, the sex book. The Kama Sutra, except for colouring in.”

Female Customer: *starts laughing a bit because she knows how ridiculous that sounds*

Me: “Uh, no, sir, we don’t. We have kids’ crafts in here so we don’t have anything more explicit like that. Maybe try [Bookstore that also sells colouring books as well as having a more “adult” section]?”

Male Customer: “Oh, yeah, sure. No problem. I get it!”

Female Customer: *keeps laughing*

(A bit later, I am on backup for cashiering, as it is busy. The couple come up, and the male customer has five books and a giant set of pencil crayons.)

Me: “Yeah, these adult colouring books are quite popular.”

Male Customer: “Yeah, I love them! It’s great for when I’m smoking pot but also wanting to do something with my hands, you know?”

Me: *trying not to laugh* “Yeah, I bet! They’re super relaxing!”

Female Customer: *laughing but is also getting a bit embarrassed*

(Everything went smoothly and the couple left, the guy super stoked for his colouring books, the girl half hiding her face. The lady behind them came up, and we both looked at each other in amusement. We’re in British Columbia, so pot is definitely a thing here, but never so public as that!)

Should Have Read More Into It

| CO, USA | Right | July 4, 2016

(I work at a large, well-known craft store in the framing department. My official title is custom framer, but we occasionally get lost or needy customers at our counter, especially when it’s busy. While I am assisting a few customers at once (pulling frames, fetching ready-made’s from the sales floor, etc), a very aggressive middle-aged woman approaches me.)

Me: *carrying two large frames* “Is there something I can help you with?”

Customer: “Are all of your frames on sale?”

Me: “No, not all of them. The sale sign in front of the frames will say which ones are on sale. Like, for example, this sign—” *points to one of our very bright red sales signs with big bold lettering* “—says that the Memorial collection frames are on sale. The label on the frame—” *points to frame* “—says what collection it belongs to.”

Customer: *snippy tone* “Oh. I see.”

(Believing I had sufficiently helped her, I return to assisting customers back at the frame counter.)

Same Customer: *calling from the aisle* “Excellent customer service by the way!”

Me: *confused* “No problem!”

(Later on, I hear that the same lady went to our store manager and angrily complained that I had made her feel stupid by telling her to read.)

Better Convert To A New Punchline

| Beaverton, OR, USA | Working | March 24, 2016

(I am working at the fabric counter with a couple of other coworkers during a fairly busy part of the day. We’re encouraged to ask people what their project is as we measure their fabric. Beside me, one of my coworkers is talking to a customer.)

Coworker: “So what’s your project today?”

Customer: “I’m using this fabric to convert a piano bench, and this one to convert a chair to a Victorian style.”

Coworker: *laughs* “Sounds like there’s a lot of conversion therapy going on.”

(Conversion therapy is a psychologically damaging “treatment” administered to “convert” gay people to straight. It’s illegal in many places and can lead directly to the recipient’s suicide.)

Me: “Whoa, [Coworker], that was awful!”

(I know my coworker doesn’t usually joke around about things like that, so I pull him aside when things slow down a little.)

Me: “You might want to look up what conversion therapy is. That was basically on the level of telling a Holocaust joke next to a Jewish person.”

Coworker: “Oh, I’m so sorry. I guess I don’t really know what it is! Thanks for telling me.”

(I figure this is the end of it, but the next day he pulls me aside.)

Coworker: “You were absolutely right about that conversion therapy joke. I’m so sorry!”

Me: *surprised* “You looked it up?”

Coworker: “Yes, and that’s some really horrible stuff. I didn’t know what it was, and I’m sorry I joked about it.”

Me: “Well, it’s never affected me personally, but some gay people might be pretty freaked out by hearing it mentioned. Thank you so much for taking the time to look it up. That means a lot.”

(My job isn’t always the most rewarding, but it’s great to know that I have such supportive, good people for coworkers. Thanks again, coworker! Your caring and understanding really made my day!)

The Math Is Mightier Than The Sword

| USA | Related | March 7, 2016

(A man and his son, who is about five, come through my line and purchase toy swords for the son. The swords are five dollars.)

Me: “Your total is [total].”

Customer’s Son: “Dad, what’s five plus five.”

Customer: “Count it yourself.”

Customer’s Son: “I can’t, Dad; my hands are filled with swords.”

They Have You At Check-Mate

| AR, USA | Right | February 3, 2016

(This particular customer has come to our store multiple times and this always happens.)

Cashier: “May I please see an ID?”

Customer: “Sure, sure, but my name isn’t on the check. My husband’s name is on it and we have the same address though.”

(She pulls out her ID and hands it to the cashier.)

Cashier: “I’m sorry but unless your name is on the check, I can’t take this form of payment.”

Customer: “That’s ridiculous. I do this all the time. She let me do it before!”

(The customer points at me.)

Me: “No, ma’am, I did not. Our policy is that we cannot accept personal checks unless they have your name, which matches your ID, printed on it.”

Customer: “Come on, just take my check. I swear you’ve taken it before.”

(At this point she looks behind herself at the next customer.)

Customer: “Can you believe this! How ridiculous is this?”

Customer #2: “Don’t look at me. I’m not going to help you try to get these girls fired.”

(After that the customer was just done. She left her cart full of things on the counter and stormed out all angrily.)

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