Our Heart Is Not With The Children

, , , , , | Right | April 19, 2018

(I work as a bagger at a grocery chain well known for its great customer service, assigned baggers at each till, and complimentary service to take customers’ carts out and load their cars. I wear a small heart monitor that has wires connected to leads on my chest, slightly visible under the shirt if I am standing straight. If my heart rate goes too fast or there is an unusual-looking rhythm spike, the monitor lets out a loud beep and I have five minutes to press a button telling it that I don’t need emergency services. If I don’t or can’t hit the button, EMTs are dispatched to make sure I’m not passed out from a dangerous rhythm and unable to get help. A nanny pulls up with a half-full cart and two young boys. One boy is probably four years old and the other is about six or seven, obviously the worst-behaved of the two.)

Me: “Well, hi there, big guys!”

(I start bagging and carefully setting things in the cart around them. The older boy stands up in the cart and leans over to start hitting me in the shoulder and upper chest, with a huge smile on his face.)

Me: “Uh…”

(I pat his head gently to move him back a bit. It’s only my second month working, and I’m afraid to talk back to any customer, no matter how young. The nanny is having a conversation with the mother on the phone, is obviously very overworked, and doesn’t see what’s happening. A few minutes later, I finish bagging and put two hands on the side of the cart to offer to take them out and load their car. I’ve quietly asked the boy to stop several times, but he keeps hitting me. It’s gentle enough, since he’s young, so I tolerate it. The nanny finally notices as she begins writing out the check.)

Nanny:  “Hey, now, she ain’t afraid of you. Stop it.”

(She goes back to her check. The older boy gets nose to nose with me, as I turn my head back to adjust my hold on the cart, and blows a very spitty raspberry in my face before landing a rather hard punch right on one of my monitor leads.)

Me: “Hey!”

(The monitor goes off. I have to pull my shoulders back so I can reach it on the back of my belt to shut it off.)

Older Boy: “OH! WHAT’S THAT?!”

(Then, he grabbed the now visible wire bumps and ripped my leads off my chest. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone as mortified as that poor nanny. Next time, when the mother actually came in with her children, the manager told her that she could no longer bring the kids into the store because her son had practically assaulted me. She left all huffy after they showed her the security tapes of her “little angel.”)

Doesn’t Have The Power(ball) To Change

, , , , | Right | April 18, 2018

(I’m working the lottery counter at customer service. A customer comes up with a Powerball slip and when my lotto rejects it, I realize it’s an old slip.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but this is an old Powerball slip. They changed the game, so you’ll need to fill out a new one.”

Customer: “New slip?”

Me: “Yeah, they didn’t say anything about changing the game, but the numbers are different. There are more up top and less down bottom.”

Customer: *stares at me with a slightly irritated expression*

Me: “We have new slips right over on the counter, so all you need to do is fill out a new one.”

(The customer steps back, stomps to the side, and tears his old Powerball slip it half, tossing it onto the floor and walking away.)

Me: “Or you could do that.”

You’re Sew Racist!

, , , , | Right | April 18, 2018

(The dry cleaner where I work does onsite alterations with a seamstress on duty. The various sewing machines are clearly visible from the outside.)

Customer: “Oh my! You do sewing!”

(I get this often, and it’s usually from customers confirming said fact or expressing that they are pleased that we do it. My coworker is sewing a garment now.)

Customer: “Do you have a seamstress here?”

Me: “Yes, she is right there.”

(Keep in mind that the customer has looked at her.)

Customer: *to [Coworker]* “So, you do sewing?”

Coworker: “Yes, ma’am, all types.”

Customer: “Where are you from?”

Coworker: “Poland. I immigrated 30 years ago!”

Customer: “Well, are you sure you can handle simple tasks?”

Coworker: *looks at me, unsure what to do*

Me: *getting angry* “Ma’am, her birth country has nothing to do with her exemplary sewing skills.”

Customer: “There is no reason for you to get nasty with me.”

Me: “Ma’am, there is no reason to question her abilities based on her country of origin.”

Customer: “Well! I am new to the area and wanted to find a dry cleaner, but I see I will not be using this one!

Me & Coworker: *almost at the same time* “That’s fine!”

Coming To An Understanding

, , , | Right | April 16, 2018

(I am working at a car dealership in the service center, and I receive a phone call from a customer complaining about a repair that was done but doesn’t seem to have fixed the problem.)

Me: “Good afternoon. [Dealership] service. How may I help you?”

Customer: “I had a repair done a little over two weeks ago, but the same problem persists with the air conditioning.”

Me: “I am sorry to hear that, sir. When can we have you back down here to inspect the vehicle?”

Customer: “Well, I live over an hour away; I don’t want to drive down just to be told you don’t have the part in stock and it needs to be ordered. I want it fixed right this time. I have an appointment for 4:30 today to have it inspected.”

Me: “Okay, sir, I understand. Coming in today, we can check the vehicle out, but if it’s more than a part we need to order, the wait could be long enough to warrant a courtesy vehicle, which I don’t have at this time.”

Customer: “I understand that.”

Me: “If it was a part that needed to be ordered, and I ordered it now, I still wouldn’t have it until tomorrow.”

Customer: “I understand that.”

Me: “So, would you like to reschedule, or do you still want to come down today?”

Customer: *sighs* “No, I still have the appointment today; I guess I’ll come down.”

(I really wonder what he thinks is going to happen, since he understood everything I said.)

Fail To The Bus Driver

, , , | Learning | April 15, 2018

(I usually drop my younger brother off at his bus stop when I have the chance. On this particular morning, the school bus hasn’t shown up. However, a strange bus sped by a few minutes ago. My brother starts to get worried, thinking it might have been a substitute driver who didn’t recognize the stop, despite the students waiting with backpacks on the sidewalk. When it’s clear that his school bus really isn’t coming, I call the bus service.)

Me: “Hi, my brother’s bus hasn’t arrived yet, and there are several kids waiting. It’s bus [regular number].”

Employee: “Let me check on that.”

(Hold ensues.)

Employee: “You have a substitute bus today: [different number]. The driver said he already made that stop and there was no one there.”

Me: “Wait, did you say [different number]? It drove through without stopping!”

Employee: “I’m sorry, but it’s already on its way to the school. There’s nothing I can do.”

Me: *sighing* “It’s okay; I’ll just drive my brother to school. There are still other kids here, though. I don’t know what they’ll do.”

Employee: “Uh… The bus will be there in five minutes.”

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