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Amen, Little Lady. Amen.

, , , , , , , | Right | August 30, 2021

It’s another Saturday in retail and, as usual, my store is crazy busy. I’m about an hour into my shift when a family comes up to my register: parents, toddler daughter in the cart, and older daughter — maybe six or seven — watching me with big eyes behind round glasses. She looks a bit like I did at her age, which amuses me, and the mom and I make pleasant small talk as I ring up their items while the dad keeps the toddler entertained. All in all, they’re nice people.

Me: “Are you interested in applying for a store credit card today?”

Mom: “No, thank you.”

Daughter: “Can I get a credit card?”

Me: “Oh, no, honey. You have to have a job to get a credit card.”

Mom: “That’s right. You have to be at least eighteen.”

Daughter: “Oh.” *Thinks about this for a few seconds* “But I don’t want to get a job, and I don’t want to be eighteen! I like my life!”

The parents and I burst out laughing.

Me: “That’s the best thing I’m going to hear all day. I need that on a T-shirt.”

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He Got Chewed Out Way More Than The Dog-Bed

, , , , , | Right | August 27, 2021

While working the checkout, I spot and recognize a customer we call “Yelling Guy” behind a couple of other customers in line. He has a big pillow-thing in his hands. When I get to him, I gave him my usual cheery greeting.

Me: “Did you find everything okay?” 

His response is to violently throw what turns out to be a dog bed onto the counter. 

Yelling Guy: “I want a refund on this f****** piece of s***!”

I’m a little taken aback, but I nod. He doesn’t have a receipt, but it’s our store’s policy to either allow an exchange of the same item without a receipt or offer store credit. I notice that the inside of the dog bed is completely ripped to shreds.

Me: “What happened?”

Yelling Guy: “It’s supposed to be made out of f****** chew-resistant material, but my dogs still chewed it up! This is bad advertising! How the h*** are you supposed to make people believe that this s*** is tough like the label says?!”

I notice that, while the sides are made of reinforced, canvas-like material, it’s the center of the bed — the soft, pillow-y part that’s supposed to be comfortable — that has been chewed to shreds.

Me: “Well, as you can see, the edges are chew-resistant. The middle part isn’t, though. It isn’t indestructible.”

Yelling Guy: “I don’t care! If it’s advertised as tough, my dogs shouldn’t be able to chew it to s***!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but since there was nothing wrong with the bed before your dogs chewed it up, I can’t refund it.”

He opens his gaping maw and howls about how horrible the customer service in this store is, which is enough to bring my manager running.

Manager: “What seems to be the problem here?”

Me: “He wants a refund on this bed.”

Manager: “What was wrong with it?”

Me: “His dogs chewed it up.”

Yelling Guy: “It’s supposed to be chew-resistant! Does this look chew-resistant to you?!”

Manager: “Sir, you have two choices: store credit or a straight exchange. And since you’ve been abusing my staff, this will only happen this one time. If you come back with the bed destroyed a second time, you will be turned away.”

Yelling Guy: “I’m a f****** customer!”

Manager: “At this point, you’re a hair’s breadth from getting banned. Accept what you’re getting or the police will be involved.”

Since my manager is busy with other hectic, demanding customers, he has to go off to put out another fire — something about a lady shrieking just as loudly but at the other end of the store. Today is a day for yelling, it seems.

Me: “Very well, we can give you store credit.”

Yelling Guy: “I don’t want store credit. I want the cold hard cash I spent on this d*** bed!”

Me: “Since you don’t have a receipt, I can’t give you a cash refund.”

Yelling Guy: “This is the worst f****** customer service I’ve ever received!”

By now, he has scared away all the little old ladies — a huge part of our primary demographic — in line behind him. They’ve probably run to cower in the canned cat food aisle, the aisle furthest away from the registers. I’m trying my best to be civil.

Me: “Look, if it were my decision, you wouldn’t be getting anything at all, so I suggest that you take your store credit before they decide to kick you out.”

Yelling Guy: “I don’t want anything in this store! I want my f****** cash back!”

Me: “And as the manager just told you, you can either have store credit or a straight exchange. Those are your only choices.”

He can tell he isn’t going to get anywhere, so the miserable jerk takes his shredded bed and stalks away to the back of the store. After a few of the sweet little old ladies return to have their birdseed and cat treats rung up, he returns to the end of the line with a brand-new version of the exact same bed in tow. By the time he gets to the front of the line, my sanity has partially returned.

Me: “All right, you want an exchange, then.”

He says nothing, just stands there looking like a child who threw a temper tantrum but didn’t end up getting the candy he wanted. After I exchange the bed and hand him the receipt, I remind him:

Me: “This is a one-time exchange. If your dogs chew this one to shreds, we will not be exchanging it or offering you store credit. It’s chew-resistant, not indestructible.”

He looked at me creepily and says:

Yelling Guy: “We’ll see about that.”

The manager had a meeting a few days later with the rest of the supervisors and managerial crew. The next time “Yelling Guy” showed up, he got the surprise of his life when a pair of uniformed cops showed up during his bellowing tirade and politely asked him to come outside for a little talk. I don’t know what was said, but he hasn’t shown up at our store since.

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Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 14

, , , , , , | Right | August 26, 2021

I’m a nurse and have been working like crazy in these wonderful times of plague.

I need to get a patient to another ward and, luckily, it’s in the same building, so instead of waiting for the porters — who have been run ragged as much as anyone else in a hospital; praise to them, too! — I decide to wheel the patient there myself. We have a large lift — elevator for you Americans — designed for gurneys and the like, so I bring the patient there.

The door opens, and in the middle of this large space… is HER. The hair, the clothes, the age, the sneer. Everything about her screams, “I want to speak to your manager.”

She gives me one look with my patient and steps forward, blocking my path.

Woman: “No. Wait your turn.”

Me: “What?!”

Woman: “This is my lift. Wait for the next one.”

Me: “No, this is not your lift. I need to get this patient to the ward upstairs.”

She actively sticks her FOOT out to block my gurney before I can get the patient in.


Me: “Back off! Patients take priority, so if you don’t want to be close to anyone else, you wait for the next one. Or take the stairs. I don’t care, but get the h*** out of my way.”

Woman: “But he could infect me!”

She’s pointing at my patient, who is just staring at this woman like, “WTF?!” I am DONE with this woman.

Me: “I am nine days into an eleven-day run of shifts, most of them running twelve hours. I do not have time for this, or you, or your f***ery. F***… OFF.”

Something breaks in me and I think she sees that, too. She five a loud “harrumph” and storms off, making sure to “accidentally” hit me with her handbag as she swings past me. So much for social distancing!

As the doors close, all my patient can say is:

Patient: “I’m about to have an operation, but that was the most painful thing I’ll experience in this place.”

He (and I) are doing fine!

The woman, hopefully, is still waiting for a lift somewhere, wondering why she has to share them in a busy hospital.

Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 13
Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 12
Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 11
Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 10

This story is part of our Best Of August 2021 roundup! his is the last story in this roundup, but if you’d like to read more of our favorite stories, you can always check out July’s roundup next!

Read the next Best Of August 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of August 2021 roundup!


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A Tale Worthy Of A Book

, , , , , , , | Right | August 3, 2021

My father has taken me to public libraries every weekend since I was almost three. It used to be a long walk, but I enjoyed looking at books. My schooling was in English and the books were in my first language, so I could not read much until about eight. The public libraries did not carry a lot of English books.

When I was about ten, we moved to a neighborhood where the public library was less than five minutes’ walk from my home. It was open for three hours in the morning and evening. Every evening, I would rush to the library soon after school. Usually, I would be there within five minutes of opening. Their usual practice was to set up periodicals first as evening newspaper readers would start coming in. Instead of waiting for them, I would just start dusting the kids’ section seats and turn on the lights and start my reading.

The librarian was the kind of man who just did not look approachable. I used to hear him being hard on people who had late returns or spoiled the books, and he used to be curt with my father when he joined me on Sunday mornings, so ten-year-old me was scared of this man.

Every day, fifteen minutes before the actual closing time, they would start announcements and ask people to vacate. The first few days, I just did not understand why someone would make me leave fifteen minutes early. And since I did not have a library card, I could not take my half-read books with me. I would simply put the book back and go back home. After a few days, the librarian must have silently observed my long face, because he started making announcements about closure only in other sections.

The housekeeper lady would just smile at me and leave the lights on just enough for me to read while they tidied up the rest of the place and did their closing activities. This gave me another ten minutes to read. Five minutes before closing, I would straighten the books in the kids’ section and join them in locking up. Very soon, in my head, I had become a part of their opening and closing team! Every Sunday, I would proudly walk in with my father as if I were taking him to my own place.

We lived in that house for about five years and I had read most of the books in the kids’, young adult, and basic science sections. The librarian, still curt and limited on words, had started to smile at me. He would simply point at new books and smile at my brightened eyes. If I missed going to the library, the housekeeper lady would be worried and ask why I had missed my routine. When we were moving, the librarian gave an additional borrower’s card to my father’s account and asked me to use it. We did not move far off and my aunt lived near the library, so I went back there at least twice a week.

The next year, when I turned sixteen, the librarian asked me to get my documents and registered me for my own borrower’s account and penned my name on my first-ever library card. That day was pure joy for me and him. During my college days, I would go there if I wanted some quiet place to study. He’d simply give me reading room keys and let me be. I knew the library layout very well and sometimes helped other patrons, too. When they closed for maintenance activities, I would join them for housekeeping tasks. They both knew they just couldn’t get rid of me!

Then, life happened. I moved places and lost touch with that library. The last time I was in that neighborhood, I saw a new librarian and heard that the old man had retired and they have smart cards now.

I still love books, all thanks to my dad, that silent librarian, and the sweet housekeeper lady. I still have that card with the librarian’s handwriting!

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A Fun Day For Everyone!

, , , , , | Working | July 16, 2021

One day, I am getting ready for work when I realized it’s my grumpy store manager’s birthday. She comes in with her usual scowl, but I smile sweetly at her.

Store Manager: “Yes, [My Name]?”

Me: “Happy birthday! Anything fun planned?”

Store Manager: *Surprised* “Oh. Um, thank you. That’s… very kind. How did you know?”

Me: “You told me last year. Remember?”

Store Manager: “Right. Uh, no fun plans. Just work.”

She leaves.

Coworker: “She told you it was her birthday?”

Me: “I don’t actually know how I know that.”

Coworker: “Then what made you remember it’s today?”

Me: “She shares a birthday with Hitler.”

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