Off-The-Shelf Remarks

, | Oslo, Norway | Right | July 15, 2016

(In our store, fresh fruit and vegetables are right through the only entrance. The section is quite large and you have to walk several meters through it to reach other parts of the store. My deli counter is at the innermost part of the store itself. A male customer in his thirties comes up to the counter just after opening.)

Me: “Good morning, how may I help you?”

Customer: “Where are your vegetables?”

Me: “Oh, did you mean our frozen vegetables? You can find them in the freezers over in that corner.” *points in the direction of the freezers*

Customer: *suddenly quite irritated* “No, I meant fresh vegetables. Don’t you have any?”

Me: *a bit perplexed* “Uhm, yes we do. They are at the entrance, where you came in.”

Customer: *now angry* “Well, I didn’t see any when I came in! You need to start stocking more vegetables, when people can’t even see where they are!”

Me: *giving up* “Let me just show you…”

(I lead the customer back to the entrance and show him our bulging shelves.)

Me: “Was there anything in particular I could help you find?”

(The customer just stares blankly at me, before hurriedly exiting through the entrance, almost knocking over several entering customers on his way. A bit shocked, I walk back to my counter, where one of my coworkers stands staring towards the entrance.)

Coworker: “Was that guy for real?”

Me: “Yep. It’s going to be one of those days, I guess.”


, | FL, USA | Right | June 8, 2016

(I’m slicing meat for a customer. I notice he’s wearing a shirt with a cartoon leprechaun flipping the middle finger and holding a half-empty glass of beer.)

Me: “Nice shirt.”

Customer: “Oh, this? Yeah, I’m Irish, so…”

Me: “I kinda figured.”

Customer: “What about you?”

Me: “Well, my ancestors were mostly German—”

(Suddenly the customer stomps his feet together, stands at attention, and does the Nazi salute.)


Me: “—Jews. German Jews.”

Customer: “Oh.”

Way Too Chicken For That

, | England, UK | Right | June 4, 2016

(I’m in the process of taking some whole chickens out of the oven.)

Customer: “Don’t do it!”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “Sticking your head in the oven, don’t do it!”

Me: *realising she’s joking around* “You mean this isn’t a tanning salon?”

Customer: “It really isn’t! Don’t do it!”

Me: “Dang, I’m in the wrong place!”

Customer: “You really are!”

(Nothing like a bit of random to liven up the afternoon!)

A Tender Bender

| USA | Right | April 12, 2016

Customer: “Do you have any chicken tenders?”

Me: “I have some cooking right now. They’ll be out in just a couple minutes!”

Customer: “Okay, I’ll wait.”

(Once the tenders are done, I bring them out to see the same customer waiting. I place the tenders in the hot case.)

Customer: “Are those tenders fresh?”

Good Thing You Checked Your Ham Folder

| Boston, MA, USA | Working | April 11, 2016

(When I approach the deli counter, there is a man standing at the case and looking at the items available. He is on the phone with someone and I hear him listing off items. Since I already know what I want, I approach the cashier to order.)

Me: *to cashier* “I’d like half a pound of cheddar, please.”

(The cashier goes over to the case and starts weighing out my cheddar. While she is doing this, the male customer shouts “A pound of ham!” over the counter at her. Once she finishes weighing out my cheese, she gets his ham as well. Then she comes back to the register.)

Cashier: *to me* “That’ll be $[total] please.”

Me: “Are you sure? That sounds too expensive for half a pound of cheddar.”

Cashier: “Yeah, it’s half a pound of cheddar and a pound of ham.”

Me: “I didn’t order a pound of ham. He did.” *points to male customer*

Cashier: “You two are together.”

Me: “No, we’re not. I came into the deli after he did, and ordered separately.”

Cashier: “He asked for the ham while I was getting the cheese, so you ordered together. You’re together.”

Me: “I promise we’re not. I don’t know him. Please just ring me up for the cheddar.”

(She eventually re-did the transaction and rang me up for my cheese, grumbling the whole time about how we should “get our act together before we order.” Strangely, the male customer never corrected the cashier. He just stood there silently.)

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