Enough To Make You Want To Hit The Bottle

| Concord, CA, USA | Right | August 21, 2016

(I work as a lobby specialist, which is just a nice way of saying I’m a table busser. There’s a woman, about 50-60, with her husband and a few of her kids who are all approximately in their late teens or early 20s. She’s been a hassle all day, yelling and saying rather cruel things to her family, before I can get to her table. At this point, they’re just about done eating and I can see a few plates that need to be taken away. I walk over and pick them up, when I hear one of her kids talking next to me to their mom.)

Kid #1: “Mom, no, that’s not ours!”

Mom: “What does that mean? I bought it!”

Kid #2: “No, yours is in the bag; that belongs to the restaurant!”

Mom: “No! This is mine! I bought it!”

(The object in question is one of the restaurant’s mild BBQ sauce bottles that is on every table in sight. We have a wall of shelves covered in glass bottles of different BBQ sauces that sell for fairly cheap and look vastly different from the plastic squeeze bottles on the table that’s currently heading on this woman’s purse. I had to cut in.)

Me: “Ma’am, that’s the store’s. Please don’t take that.”

Mom: “No, no, I bought this! You’re wrong!”

Me: “Ma’am, we sell glass bottles, not the plastic ones. Those are on every table in here. Please put it back.”

Mom: “Well, then, what the h*** did I buy?!”

Kid #2: “The one already in the bag, Mom.”

Mom: “Well… can I have this one anyway? It’s nicer.”

Me: “Ma’am, no. Please don’t steal our bottles. They belong to the store. Please put it back.”

Mom: “Well, I bought a bottle of this stuff and I want this one!”

Me: “Those are not for sale, ma’am. Now please, give it back.”

Mom: “Where’s your manager? I want this one!”

(The manager, who saw all this, spent another ten minutes trying to stop the woman from stealing our bottle and ended up giving her another bottle, which we saw her oldest kid quietly put back on the shelf.)

Don’t Cheese Off America

| MA, USA | Right | August 15, 2016

(I work as a deli worker at a bit of a pretentious whole food type store. We often only sell specialty and healthy items and don’t have over-processed food. I thought I had seen everything… Nope.)

Me: “Good afternoon, what can I slice for you today?”

Customer: “I want two pounds of American cheese”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, we don’t sell American cheese, but Havarti tastes quite good and is a good substitute.”

(The customer looks at me, enraged. Note that we have a list of our available meats and cheeses behind me.)

Customer: “How dare you not sell it? This is America! Do you hate our country?”

(He is in fact very serious and very angry and storms off and abandons his other groceries.)

Coworker: “Did he really just ask if we hate America?”

Me: “Yup…”

You’ve Been Through Thick And Thin Together

| KS, USA | Working | August 10, 2016

(I find the label of the ham I want at the deli counter, but there is no actual meat on display behind it.)

Deli Worker: *standing behind the meat slicer* “Hello! Do you know what you want?”

Me: “I want this [Brand] Black Forest ham, but I don’t see it in the case. Are you out?”

Deli Worker: *she has not yet approached the counter* “Have you made up your mind?”

Me: “Yes. I want [Brand] Black Forest ham; do you have it in stock?”

Deli Worker: “I don’t know. Do you want some?”

Me: “Yes.”

Deli Worker: *steps to the counter, retrieves some ham from below the display area and takes it to the meat slicer* “Do you want it thin for sandwiches?”

Me: “On the thicker side, please.”

Deli Worker: “Thin?”

Me: “Thick.”

Deli Worker: *slices a very thick slice* “How’s this?”

Me: *not wanting to try and refine the size further, lest the conversation continue another five minutes* “It’s fine.”

Deli Worker: “How much would you like?”

Me: “One-third of a pound, please.”

Deli Worker: “Is that point-seven-five?”

Me: “No… It’s point-three-three.”

Deli Worker: “Ha ha. That’s right. I always have trouble with fractions.”

Me: “…”

Deli Worker: *cuts four slices and sets them on the scale, which reads 0.44. Then she goes and cuts two more slices*

Scale: “0.65”

Deli Worker: “How’s that? It’s a bit over.”

Me: “Um, yeah, can you take some off please?”

Deli Worker: *removes one slice, bringing it to 0.54* “How’s that?”

Me: “Still a bit much.”

Deli Worker: *removes another slice* “Are you sure? It’s under point-five.”

Me: “Yes, but I need point-three-three.”

Deli Worker: “Oh! That’s right!” *removes two more slices*

Scale: “0.33”

Me: “Perfect!”

Deli Worker: “Anything else?”

Me:No, thank you!”

Deli Worker: “Have a great day! There are free samples on the counter; help yourself!”

(The “free samples” consisted of four different deli bags with bar codes ripped off the labels, each containing a 0.5 to 0.75 pounds of meat or cheese. I think I know now what the deli does with the extra slices customers don’t want or need, and I have a clue as to why there were so many that day…)

The Pre-Heimlich Manoeuvre

| Waco, TX, USA | Friendly | July 27, 2016

(I’m eating in a small deli. Behind me, a customer begins to choke. The other customers nearby, some of whom are closer to him than me, simply stop eating to stare. Annoyed that nobody is doing anything to help, I stand, turn, and begin to walk towards him. He notes my irritated expression as I bear down on him and coughs up the food on his own in panic.)

Man: “I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine!”

(I watch him silently for a moment longer to make sure. He slides down in his chair with a frightened expression. An employee notices the commotion and arrives.)

Employee: “Is everything all right, sir?”

Me: “I think so. Apparently nobody’s ever heard of the Heimlich.”

Employee: “The Heimlich…?”

(I shrug and sit back down as the confused employee tries to sort out why the man is staring at me like a deer in the headlights.)

Should Be On Decaf

| Long Island, NY, USA | Right | July 16, 2016

(I work at a deli, and for the past month a woman has been coming in and ordering a coffee every day. She is unfailingly polite and friendly, and I begin to look forward to her arrival. One day, she comes in:)

Woman: “Hi, [My Name]. My usual, please?”

Me: “I’m really sorry, [Woman], but the coffee machine is broken. We’re working on fixing it, and it should be fixed by—”

(The woman goes deathly pale, her eyes go as wide as saucers, and she screams at the top of her lungs.)

Woman: “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!”

Me: “[Woman], are you al—”

(She continued screaming like a banshee and dashed out of the deli, screeching and flailing all the while. I never saw her again.)

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