I’m So Tolerant I Can’t STOP Talking About It!

| Cedar Rapids, IA, USA | Right | March 27, 2017

(I work in a flower shop. It’s shortly after Valentine’s Day, so we’re all recovering from the rush. I’m a woman in my twenties.)

Customer: “So, did you and your husband do anything for Valentine’s Day?”

Me: “I had to work, but my partner understands. I sent flowers and we had dinner when I got home.”

Customer: “Oh, is that what we have to say now? ‘Partner?’ Not ‘husband’ or ‘wife’?”

Me: *a little annoyed* “Well, considering I’m gay and I don’t always feel like outing myself to random strangers, yes.”

Customer: “Ha, sure. You know, we’re having training at my job for that. We have to use different words. Gotta make sure we don’t offend anyone who’s not heterosexual.” *laughs*

Me: “Mm.”

Customer: “You know, I’m fine with it.”

Me: “Okay, good.”

Customer: “As long as you’re happy.”

Me: “I am.”

Customer: “You should go to San Francisco. They’re so tolerant there. It’s crazy.”

Me: “…uh-huh.”

Customer: “So liberal. I mean, it’s insane. They kiss in public there and everything. The first time I saw that, I was like, ‘What the h***?!’ I couldn’t believe it! In public!”

Me: “…”

Customer: “You really should go there. You’d love it. You’d fit right in.”

Me: “Have a nice day, sir…”

(Whatever his training was, I think that customer needed remedial classes.)

This Flower Smells Of Sweet Condescension

| Canada | Working | February 27, 2017

(I needed a specific type of flower for my grandmother, because they were her favourite. I called the local flower shop to ask if they had these flowers.)

Me: “Hi, I was just wondering if you guys carried lilacs?”

Florist: “What flowers? Lilacs? Honey… do you know what time of year lilacs grow?”

Me: “Uhm, no, I don’t actually.”

Florist: “Well, they certainly don’t grow right now. Maybe think your request through next time, eh, sweetie?”

(It being winter in Northern Canada, I assume no flowers grow at this time of year. If they only sold what they could grow right now I assume they would go out of business! Also, considering I was in my twenties, being called honey and sweetie was a very condescending way to speak. I never went back there.)

Do Not Face My Wreath

| MA, USA | Right | December 28, 2016

(I work as a florist. I pick up the phone.)

Customer: “Hi, do you do Christmas wreath repair?”

(The connection is a bit fuzzy and it’s January 22nd, so I’m not sure I heard him right. I ask him to repeat himself, and he does.)

Me: “I’m sorry, do you mean like fake wreaths that need gluing because they’re broken?”

Customer: “No, like… fixing lights on a wreath.”

Me: “Well, we’re a flower shop, so unless you need me to glue together something for you, I can’t do much for you. You could just buy new lights and re-string the wreath.”

Customer: “Re-string? How would I do that? I thought you just had to replace the lights that don’t work.”

Me: *pause* “Right. Either way you want to do it, you’d need to buy lights. Which I don’t sell… because I’m a florist and it’s also January 22nd, so… you could try [Hardware Chain] or online?”

Customer: “But I thought I’d just have to replace the lights.”

Me: “Yes… well… good luck.”

(I hung up quickly.)

Explaining It Until You’re Pink And Purple

| Ireland | Working | October 19, 2016

(I ring up the florist to order a small posy of flowers for my grandmother’s grave for the first anniversary of her death. I asked for the posy to be exclusively pink. This is deliberate as my gran was known as ‘The Lady in Pink.’ I’m only eighteen and really emotional about the anniversary since I had been really close to my gran. I call into the florist after work that evening.)

Me: *walking up to the counter* “Hi! I ordered a posy earlier under the name [My Name] and I’m here to collect and pay for it.”

Florist #1: “Great, it’s just over here.” *fetches posy* “That will be €50, please.”

Me: *sees that posy is mainly purple and white with only two pink flowers present* “Oh! I’m sorry, this one can’t be mine. I ordered a pink posy?”

Florist #1: “Oh… Let me check with [Florist #2]. She dealt with the orders earlier…”

Me: “Yes, please!”

Florist #2: *approaching me with a scowl* “What’s the problem?”

Me: *recognizing her voice from the phone* “Hi, I called earlier and ordered a pink posy. I think I was talking to you about it and—”

Florist #2: “Yeah? There it is. What’s wrong with that one?” *pointing to purple posy*

Me: “I don’t think so… I asked for pink and white flowers only. I hate to be a bother, but it’s important that the posy is pink. Is there any way of taking the purple flowers out and replacing them with pink?”

Florist #2: “For f**** sake! There’s nothing wrong with that one! I can’t bloody well take anything out! I’d have to make a whole new one for you!”

Me: “Well, I can come back later to collect it if that’s the case? I need it to be pink.”

Florist #2: “That’s not happening! Who are you to be complaining to me? I never get complaints! I’ve had a terrible day and here you are giving me a hard time!”

Me: *apologetically* “I’m sorry, but it’s really important to me… It’s for my gran’s—”

Florist #2: “Your granny will live if she gets some f****** purple flowers!! Get her pink the next time!”

Me: *finally raising my voice* “It’s for my grandmother’s GRAVE!”

Florist #2: *rolls eyes* “Then she won’t know they’re purple, will she?”

(At that point I was in tears from being shouted at and from the florist’s insensitivity so I fled from the shop. I was so upset afterwards that I had to call my mother to collect me and drive my car home for me. I couldn’t bring myself to buy flowers for her grave this year after that drama so I opted to buy a teddy bear for her instead.)

Gotta Take It H2-Slowly

| Boston, MA, USA | Romantic | July 16, 2016

(I work in a flower shop. We sell cut flowers and some potted plants. Two young women approach the counter with one small potted cactus each.)

Customer #1: “We’d like these, please. Are they easy to take care of?”

Me: “Yup, they’re very easy going. Just put them in direct sunlight and water them about once a month.”

Customer #1: “Once a month?!”

Me: “That’s right. A lot of people are surprised when they hear that, but you can actually kill a cactus by overwatering it.”

(Customer #1 starts jumping around and clapping.)

Customer #2: “I told her that if she could keep a plant alive for a year, she could have a boyfriend.”

Me: “…I don’t think the point of having a boyfriend is to keep him alive.”

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