Laid (Time) Off

| Florida, USA | Working | October 26, 2012

(This takes place on Christmas Eve at a 24 hour store. It’s around ten in the morning. The coworker I’m talking to is rather childish and no one really enjoys working with him. This takes place as we’re stocking some stocking stuffer items.)

Coworker: “Man, this sucks.”

Me: “Eh, it’s not so bad. Tomorrow is probably going to be a nightmare during the evening, but it’s not so bad right now. Aren’t you only working till noon anyhow?”

Coworker: “Yeah, but I shouldn’t be here at all.”

Me: “Some people are working tomorrow. Working a few hours on Christmas Eve isn’t so bad.

Coworker: “Says you! You get to be off for a week after today!”

Me: “Yes, that’s because I didn’t wait until three days ago to put in for time. You’re lucky you got tomorrow off at all.”

Coworker:I shouldn’t be forced to work any holiday!”

Me: “Why not? The first year I worked here I worked every single holiday. It sucked, but you do what’s required of you. I put in for time. That’s why I got it for this year.”

Coworker: “I put in for time! I should get it! What makes you so special that you get time off around the holidays!? You put in for time, same as me, so why did YOU get it and I didn’t?!”

Me: “I put in for it in January.”

Coworker: “Oh…”

(The assistant Manager has overheard our conversation and comes over.)

Assistant Manager: *to me* “I think we got this if you wanna take off early.”

Coworker: ‘But I’m scheduled to leave before her today. You should send me home!”

Assistant Manager: “As much as I would love to send you home, we actually have to have a little talk.” *to me* “Have a great Christmas and I’ll see you when you get back!”

(When I got back my coworker had been fired for not showing up for his shift the two days after Christmas. He claimed it was because he put in for time, so he was going to take it, approved or not!)

Discussing Green Cards Until You’re Red In The Face

| MI, USA | Right | October 17, 2012

(I work in a drug store as a photo tech. Part of my job is taking passport photos. I take the photo then run it through a software program to ensure it meets standards for a passport photo. I have no leeway on the size of the photo. I cannot make it smaller or larger.)

Customer: “I need a Green Card photo.”

Me: “I can’t do Green Card photos.”

Customer: “But I need a Green Card photo.”

(He speaks pretty decent English, and his accompanying wife speaks flawless English.)

Me: “I’m sorry; I’m not even sure where you would go for that. It needs to be taken in a very specific way and I don’t have the software to do a Green Card photo.”

Customer: “Just take the photo!”

Me: “I can take a passport photo for you, but it won’t be the right size.”

Customer: “Take the photo!”

Me: “I’ll take a passport photo for you, but it won’t be what you need.”

(The customer speaks to his wife in their native language.)

Customer’s Wife: “Shut up, she knows what she’s doing.”

Me: “I actually don’t, because we don’t do Green Card photos and I assure you, this is not going to be what you need. This photo will be too large to use.”

Customer’s Wife: “You’ll do fine, dear.”

(I take the photo, explain to them again it will not be what they need. At their insistence, I process the photo and tell them as it develops it will not be what they need. I hand the finished product over.)

Customer: “It’s not the right size!”

Me:” I know. I do not have the capability to do a proper Green Card photo. This is the smallest photo I can make for you.”

Customer: “It’s too big!” *brandishes credit card at me, mistaking it for Green Card* “This size, this size!”

(I decide to make one last attempt at explaining this before I call my manager, who I love but I know is having a bad day.)

Me: “I do not have Green Card specification software. The only identification photos I can take accurately are passport photos. My computer is not capable of making a Green Card photo.”

Customer: *pauses* “Well, why the h*** didn’t you just tell me that?!”

Me: “I did, love. Five separate times. Have a great day, folks!”

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Your Urgency Is Not My Emergency, Part 2

| Kittery, ME, USA | Right | October 12, 2012

(It is approximately five minutes past closing time at our drugstore. While my manager and I are counting the cash drawers, a man begins frantically banging on the doors and yelling at us.)

Customer: “Why are your doors locked?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we’re closed for the evening. We close at 9 and it is now almost 10 minutes past.”

Customer: “But I just need one thing! It’s an emergency!”

(I look over at my manager who sighs and nods. He puts one of the cash drawers back into the register while I unlock the door and let the man in.)

Customer: “You’re lucky you decided to unlock that door! I was about to break it down!”

Me: “What is it that you need? I can help you find—”

(The man pushes past me. After waiting for a few minutes, my manager is fed up.)

Manager: *yells toward the back of the store* “Sir? What is it that you need? Sir?”

(There’s no response from the customer, so my manager starts to head back to find him. They nearly collide at the end of an aisle.)

Customer: “Hey, watch it! I got what I need. Why are you so impatient?”

Manager: “Because we are supposed to be on our way home by now! My children are waiting for me to read them a bedtime story. Please pay for your items and be mindful of the store hours from now on.”

Customer: “Don’t talk to me like that! I’m a paying customer!”

(The man comes up to my register and drops his items on the counter: a bottle of personal lubricant, a bag of chips, and a bottle of wine. The customer pays and leaves. My manager is fuming.)



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Customers Have To Bag To Be Heard

| Houston, TX, USA | Working | October 3, 2012

(My roommate and I have dropped by a store to pick up a few small things. At checkout, the cashier rings up our first item and drops it in a plastic bag.)

Roommate: “Oh, actually, I don’t need a bag.”

(The cashier stares blankly for a second, removes the first item from the bag, places it on the counter, rings up the next item and drops it in the bag.)

Roommate: “I really don’t need a bag.”

(The cashier removes the second item from the bag, rings up our third item and drops it in the bag.)

Roommate: “No bag, please.”

(The cashier adds the other two items to the bag and hands it to my roommate.)

Roommate: “Um, thanks for the bag…”

Rage Before Beauty, Part 2

| Maine, USA | Right | September 24, 2012

(A customer in her late 60s walks up with her granddaughter, who is probably 18-20 in age.)

Customer: “I want to return this crap!”

Me: “Alright, ma’am, do you have your receipt?”

Customer: “No, but you’d better take it back!”

(I page a manager to approve a no-receipt return. It gets approved and we explain it’ll have to go on a store gift card. The customer is still angry, but the granddaughter helps us calm her down.)

Me: “Alright, ma’am, here’s your gift card. There’s $24.83 on it.”

(The customer snatches the card from my hands. Meanwhile, she watches the POS terminal like a hawk to see how things add up.)

Customer: “NO, NO, NO! That was buy one, get one free!”

Me: “Sorry, ma’am let me have someone check…”

(As I page for someone on the floor to price check, I see a line of angry people forming behind her. We’re an insanely busy store in the summer, and it’s been a good ten minutes by this point. My coworker returns from checking the price.)

Coworker: “It has no tag, or none near it. Where did you see buy one, get one free, ma’am?”

Customer: “A couple weeks ago!  It was buy one, get one free!”

Me: “Ma’am, we can’t price modify for a sale a couple weeks old.”

Customer: “You can and you will. Let me speak to your manager!”

(I page the manager again, and they approve the modification while giving me a “Get this crazy customer out of our store” look).

Me: “Alright ma’am, I’ve run your gift card. That leaves $10.21 remaining on your total.”

Customer: “I should get it free for all the hassle you people put me through here!”

(The customer throws a 20 at me. I make change and she storms off, with the total transaction time about 16 minutes. Next up is her granddaughter, who is calm and polite. She puts her nail polish on the counter and I ring her up. Whole transaction time? 20 seconds.)

Me: “Have a nice day!”

Customer’s Granddaughter: “You too!”

Customer: *to her granddaughter* “Danielle, are you FINALLY done?! What took you so long?! I swear, you young people are SO inconsiderate, like that idiot behind the counter!”


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