A Bad Sample Of Humanity

, , , , , , | Right | March 27, 2020

Corporate has decided to ban all sampling indefinitely in lieu of all the very busy days and panic buying. I was just informed of this a few hours before this incident. I am working the counter while my manager is stocking the shelves in front of the cases. An older man comes up, smelling like alcohol, and I go to assist him. Everything he says is slightly slurred but still understandable.

Me: “Hi, can I help you?”

 A customer is pointing vaguely at the hot case where everything is chicken.

Customer: “How much is this chicken?”

Me: “Which chicken?”

Customer: *louder* “The chicken!”

Me: “The fried chicken, the baked chicken, the chicken tenders?”

Customer: “Just give me a sample of your chicken salad.”

I start to grab a sample cup and spoon, but my manager, who has been watching, tells me no samples.

Me: “I’m sorry, we’re not giving samples right now.”

Customer: *Angrily* “Why not?”

Me: “Due to the viru—”

The customer completely cuts me off.

Customer: “F*** you and your mom!”

Me: *Calmly* “May you be blessed with the same kindness you show everyone else.”

I just moved on to help the next customer and my manager followed the first customer upfront and made sure that he wasn’t allowed to buy his beer.

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Has Been Masking His Chess Skills

, , , , , | Related | March 26, 2020

I am working from home and like the rest of the country, I’ve been practicing social distancing. My seven-year-old son’s school is closed so he’s been playing all day – and I see no harm in him playing in the garden. He runs up to me late in the morning.

Son: “Mum, do we have any masks?”

Me: “You mean the masks to stop getting infected like you saw on TV?”

Son: “Yeah!”

Me: “We have some, but why do you need one?”

Son: “To play in the garden!”

There is no one in the garden, but I am loath to stop my son from being enthusiastic about good health practices! I give him one of the masks I received from my office before we were all sent home and send him off to play.

I get stuck in my work and rely on my son to let me know when he’s hungry so we can stop for lunch. After finishing a rather complicated piece of work, I realise it is almost 3:00 pm and there’s no sign of my son! I head out to the garden, and see this:

Our next-door neighbour, an old woman in her late seventies, is sat by the dividing fence of our respective gardens, wearing a mask, sat in front of a chess set. My son is sat in our garden, keeping a distance of six feet from her, wearing his mask, and shouting out orders.

Son: “I’ll move my horse to where your castle is!”

Neighbor: “Well done! But look what you did for my bishop!”

She took away one of his pieces with the bishop my son had inadvertently cleared a route for. My son groaned jokingly and then laughed.

My son did not know how to play chess that morning. Our neighbor had spent four hours teaching him the rules, coming up with interesting alternative names for some of the pieces (King & Queen were Mum & Dad) and all while respecting social distancing!

They’ve been out there playing for three afternoons in a row now and I have to keep reminding him to come in for lunch!

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28 Relaxed Days Later

, , , , , | Related | March 10, 2020

I am set to go to Thailand in the spring flying on Korean Air. I book the tickets before the virus is a huge international thing and it is mostly contained within China. As the situation evolves, I keep an eye on it to make sure it won’t impact my travel plans. I am planning on staying with some friends who teach English outside of Bangkok.

Less than a month before I fly out, I get a message saying I need to rebook on a different airline or cancel, because the school has issued a travel ban on at-risk countries, including Korea. They forward me the emails, which say that if I come on Korean Air, I will have to have a 14-day self-quarantine and my friends will, as well. I could try and rebook on a Middle Eastern airline, but I decide against it and make the hard decision to postpone the trip until next fall or next spring and hope I can get a refund on my tickets. The day after I get this news, my uncle comes over. I explain my situation to him. He drops this gem.

Uncle: “That’s rough. Although, you could go and get a 28-day vacation out of it.”

Me: “What?”

Uncle: “Yeah. You do the 14-day quarantine in Thailand, then come home and do another 14-day quarantine in the States, and you get a 28-day vacation. Granted, you would be all alone, but you wouldn’t have to go to work.”

I appreciated his effort to cheer me up, but it did not work.

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It’s Scary How Many People Didn’t Wash Their Hands Before This

, , , , | Right | March 4, 2020

Due to current events, people are freaking out and buying hand sanitizer and ear-loop face masks in droves. As far as I can tell, the entire state of Virginia seems to be sold out of the masks and hand sanitizer. My manager has ordered more, but they are on backorder and we don’t know when we’re supposed to get more.

As a personal shopper, I have lost count of the number of people ordering nothing but hand sanitizer and/or the masks in some desperate attempt to get them. Usually, once we explain that we’re out, they understand and look elsewhere. This one customer takes the cake, though. The only thing I can think of in his defense is that English is not his first language, but that’s still a bit of a stretch.

Sunday, he places an order for several bottles of hand sanitizer and nothing else. A coworker calls him and says that we are out and he shouldn’t come to the store. A few hours later, he shows up looking for his order. We tell him again that we are out, we are sorry, and if he really needs some, he should try looking at other stores in the area. Monday, the exact same thing happens. He orders hand sanitizer, we have none, we tell him not to come, and he shows up anyway. Tuesday, yet again, he places an order for hand sanitizer. I draw the short straw this time and call him.

Me: “Hi, Mr. [Customer]. This is [My Name] with [Store] online shopping. I was just calling to let you know that we are still out of hand sanitizer.”

Customer: “You finish shopping?”

Me: “No, because we do not have hand sanitizer.”

Customer: “Okay, I come later to pick it up.”

Me: “No, please don’t come. We do not have your order.”

Customer: “You don’t have it?”

Me: “No. We are sold out of hand sanitizer.”

Customer: “Okay, I come tomorrow.”

Me: “No, don’t come tomorrow. We won’t have any then, either.”

Customer: “How about Thursday?”

Me: “No. We have absolutely no idea when we will get more in, and when we do, it will sell out very quickly.”

Customer: “So don’t come?”

Me: “No.”

(He hangs up on me, but I think he finally understood that we do not have any hand sanitizer. That is, until an hour later when his wife shows up looking for the order. I head outside to talk to her.)

Me: “Hello. So, I don’t know if your husband told you, but we do not have your order. I’m sorry.”

Customer’s Wife: “You don’t have it?”

Me: “No. We are completely sold out of hand sanitizer at the moment.”

Customer’s Wife: “When will you have more in?”

Me: “I don’t know. It’s backordered.”

Customer’s Wife: “I need hand sanitizer!”

Me: “Well, there’s a drug store right across the street. You could look there, but I highly doubt they’ll have any. All I can say is to check every store in the area if you really need some that bad.”

Customer’s Wife: “You don’t have any?”

Me: “No. I told your husband the same thing when I called him earlier.”

Customer’s Wife: “Oh. He said the order was ready.”

Me: “I’m sorry.”

(Seriously, people, soap and hot water are better than hand sanitizer! Wash your hands, cover your cough, and stay home if you’re sick! A message from a former preschool teacher.)

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