The Only Kind Of “Straighteners” That Work

, , , , , | Working | July 13, 2018

(I have extremely curly hair, which is the thing most people notice and remember about me. I am also a closeted woman-loving-woman who has told only a couple people.)

Me: *putting away fabric with coworker* “Hey, [Coworker], I just realized something I can say.”

Coworker: “What?”

Me: *shoves a bolt of fabric away and grins* “My hair is straighter than I am.”

Coworker: *laughing* “Oh, my. Yes, it is. It most certainly is.”

Me: “Wait, I did tell you before—”

Coworker: “Yeah, you mentioned your girlfriend before.”

Me: “Okay, I forgot if I did.”

Coworker: “I’m just going to make sure that you stay far away from any hair straighteners now.”

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Here’s My Two Cents… Plus Twenty-Seven More

, , , , | Right | July 6, 2018

(I work in a fabric store. I’m working at the cutting counter when my coworker calls for a price check. Since we’re not busy, I head over to the art canvases for her.)

Coworker: “This guest says that the 8×8 canvases are on sale for 29 cents.”

Me: “That sounds ridiculous; there’s no way that can be right. I’m looking forward to this signing error.”

(I go back to look, but the signs clearly say 40% off. Nothing says 29 cents. I scan the canvas.)

Me: “Yeah, it’s coming up $3.49.”

Coworker: “Uh, he’s headed back to—”

(As she’s talking, the customer comes around the corner. I show him the handheld.)

Me: “No, sir, these are coming up as $3.49. I don’t know where you’re getting 29 cents from.”

Customer: “No, the ones right here.”

(He leads me down the aisle to the same canvases that I scanned, just in a different place. In front of them is one of those signs that lists regular prices versus sales prices for the mathematically challenged, like myself. The first one on the list reads, “50¢ – converts to – 29¢.”)

Customer: “See? The canvases are right behind here, so that means they’re 29 cents.”

Me: *after staring at the sign, then back at him* “Sir, that sign just shows hypothetical sale prices. It’s not an actual sale sign.”

Customer: *points more aggressively at the sign* “But it says 29 cents!”

Me: “Sir, that is not the intended use of that sign.”

Customer: “Well, what in this aisle is 29 cents?!”

Me: “Absolutely nothing. These are our artists’ canvases, which run from about $3 to upwards of $20. The only thing in this store I can think of that is under $1 is our embroidery floss. The sale price on this canvas is already $3.49, and I absolutely know that our manager isn’t going to drop it to 29 cents.”

Customer: “But the sign—”

Me: “How about I call my manager?”

Customer: “Why would you—”

Me: “Because I’m not equipped to explain this, apparently. The canvas is $3.49. That sign is intended to help people calculate sale prices, not demonstrate sale prices. I don’t know how to make that clearer.”

Customer: “Fine. Thanks.”

(He walks off. I quietly get back on my radio.)

Me: “Well… that was the most pointless conversation of my life.”

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Firing Up The Chain

, , , | Right | June 29, 2018

(I have been browsing a fabric store for a while on a very slow evening. I hear a loud conversation near the front of the store. About five minutes into it, I am ready to go. When I get to the cash registers, the cashier is crying. Off to the side, a manager is talking to an irate customer.)

Customer: “I was in line in front of that other person. Your cashier took the other customer first.”

Manager: “I am sorry about that. I will speak with my staff about how to handle the lines.”

Customer: “I want her fired.”

Manager: “I understand that. I will talk to my employees about how to handle the situation.”

Customer: “I want to talk to your boss.”

Manager: “That would be the corporate office. I can ask them to contact you tomorrow.”

Customer: “She should be fired. I want to talk to them now.”

Manager: “They are not open this time of night. I will ask them to contact you, or you can use the website to send your complaint.”

Customer: “Why can’t you fire her? I’ll get you fired!”

(This went on the whole time I was checking out. The irate customer wasted more time complaining about the issue than she could have possibly spent in line in the first place. I told the cashier I was so sorry she had to deal with this. When I got home, I went online to send a compliment about the cashier and manager being calm under pressure!)

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The Fabric Of My Vocation

, , , | Right | May 20, 2018

Me: “Welcome to our fabric store. Is there any way I can help you?”

Customer: “I pick out fabrics, I bring it up to you, you cut it, and then I pay you?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. That’s pretty much my job description.”

(She seemed genuinely confused at how buying stuff works.)

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They Know “Who” You Are

, , , , , | Working | April 10, 2018

(I have anxiety and, in an effort to help myself be more sociable, I have sewn myself a purse using a nerdy fabric print, knowing it will probably catch another nerd’s eye. A new fabric store has opened in the area a month ago, and my husband has taken me to grab a few things I need for projects. As I’m browsing, one of the employees who is putting back bolts of fabric nearby suddenly gasps loudly. I give her a startled look and she claps one hand over her mouth. She takes her hand away from her mouth and smiles.)

Employee #1: “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to scare you like that.” *she pauses before continuing excitedly* “Your Doctor Who purse is really cool! We have that exact same print over there!” *points to the other end of the shelf*

(I stand there like a deer in the headlights for a moment, then take a deep breath and smile at her.)

Me: *timidly* “Th-thanks.” *clears throat and speaks louder* “I made it myself using a free pattern I found online.”

Employee #1: *wide-eyed stare* “You made that?!” *she reaches for my purse but stops herself short* “Can I get a closer look?”

Me: “Sure.”

(I hand her my purse and she turns it over in her hands, admiring my craftsmanship, then promptly gives it back.)

Employee #1: *smiling brightly* “That’s a really nice purse! And it’s so much cooler because you made it yourself.”

Me: *smiling and blushing* “Do you want to see the lining fabric? It’s Doctor Who, too, but a different print.”

Employee #1: *excitedly* “Yes, please!”

(I unzip my purse and show her the interior fabric, and she squeals with delight.)

Employee #1: “That’s a really cool fabric!” *her face falls* “We don’t have that one, though.”

Me: “Yeah, my husband bought it for me on clearance when [Other Fabric Chain] went out of business. I think you guys sell it online, but you can get it cheaper from [Online Fabric Retailer].”

Employee #1: “That’s really cool!”

(Another employee comes over, obviously drawn by her coworker’s exuberance.)

Employee #2: *smiling at me* “Is something wrong?”

Employee #1: *grabbing her coworker’s arm and shaking it excitedly* “She made her purse! I know people come here to buy things to make stuff, but I’ve never seen one of them with a handmade purse as cool as hers.”

Employee #2: *noticing my purse* “Oh, that is pretty cool. It’s Doctor Who, right? I don’t really watch the show, but that is a really great purse.”

Me: *blushing* “Thanks.”

Employee #2: *to her coworker* “Don’t forget that you’re working.”

(That employee’s reaction made my day. I go into the store at least once a month now and every time she sees me, she asks what new project I’m working on. And she’s made sure to point me out to her coworkers with an exclamation of, “See her? She’s the one who made the ‘Doctor Who’ purse!”)

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