At Odds With Everyone In The Store

, , , , , | Right | February 25, 2019

(I decide to get lunch at the food court of my local shopping centre, and I wait in front of a shop known across the globe for its submarine sandwiches. It’s also known for having a customer-serving procedure where you start from the right side and move across to the left side, all the while telling the employee what you want in your sandwich until you reach the register on the far left.)

Me: “Hi. Could I get a full-length sandwich?”

Employee #1: “Sure. What type of bread would you like?”

(I choose the bread and meat and I’m taking a step to the left to decide the cheese when a woman steps into my path.)

Me: *bumps into her suddenly* “Oh! I’m sorry, I—“

Customer: “EXCUSE ME, IDIOT!”

Me: “I, uh… Sorry. I didn’t see you.”

Customer: *rolls eyes, turns to face [Employee #2]* “Hi. I’d like a half-length sandwich, please.”

(Because she’s standing on my left, this creates an awkward situation where she and [Employee #2] have to speak diagonally to each other across from me and [Employee #1].)

Employee #2: “Of course, ma’am. If you could come around to this side so that you can choose the bread.” *motions with his hand to stand on my right side*

Customer: “Yes, I want the honey oat bread.”

Employee #2: “I understand, ma’am, but if you could come around to this side so it will be easier to—“

Customer: “Honey. Oat. Bread.”

Employee #2: “Yes, it’s just that you need to stand—“

Customer: “THIS! ONE! HERE!” *reaches across me and taps loudly on glass*

Employee #2: “I… Okay, fine. Honey oat it is.”

(This uncomfortable standoff goes on as all four of us move down to the left until my sandwich reaches the last step.)

Employee #1: “Sauces and seasoning?”

Me: “Honey mustard sauce and no salt or pepper.”

(I end up having to walk around the female customer in order to get to the register to pay.)

Customer: “HEY! DON’T CUT IN LINE!”

Me: “How am I cutting in line?”

Customer: “You intentionally walked around me so now you’re in front.”

Me: “I’ve always been in front of you. This whole time my sandwich has been ahead of yours. Now it’s finished and I need to pay at the register. Has your sandwich been finished?”

Customer: “Ugh! Whatever.” *rolls her eyes again*

(I paid and left. I’ll never figure out what that woman was trying to pull that day.)

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Their Brain Is Clearly Fried

, , , , , | Right | February 21, 2019

(I work for a fast food restaurant inside of a food court in a mall. Because of this, we have a slightly smaller menu, with basically no breakfast, compared to our stand-alone stores.)

Customer: “Do you guys have fries?”

Me: “Yes, we have them in a small, medium, or large.”

Customer: “But I can’t find it on the menu.”

(I show him on the overhead menu where it says fries in two places. In each spot, the fries accompany either a meal or drink.)

Customer: “But it only shows the fries with a meal or drink. I just want them by themselves.”

Me: “Yes, sir, you can get the fries by themselves in either a small, medium, or large.”

Customer: “I don’t see fries on the menu, though. I guess you don’t have them.”

(He walked away.)

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The Couponator: The College Years

, , , , | Working | January 5, 2019

(In Slovenia we have student coupons; the government gives 2,63€ toward your meal as many times a month as there are working days in a month, up to twice a day, with a four-hour cooldown, between eight am and nine pm. The coupons are tied to your identity and phone number, which are confirmed by devices, kind of like the ones for paying with mobile phones, hence the term ”calling” for coupons. Since eating out with a coupon is often cheaper than cooking at home, students end up being the majority of customers in a lot of places. One day after work I go to a kebab place just down the street. It’s already 20:50, so I’m in a hurry to use my coupon since the price difference can be more than 5€ for a full meal.)

Me: *in Slovene* “Hi. I’d like to order with student coupons.”

Cashier: *English* “Huh? I don’t understand?”

Me: *English* “Student coupons?”

Cashier: “I don’t know how to do that. The guy who knows just stepped out. Would you mind waiting?”

Me: “No problem, but could I just call for coupons? It only works until nine pm.”

Cashier: “Sure. So, what do I do?”

Me: “I call—“ *pointing to the machine* “—and then you confirm my identity.”

Cashier: “Okay, do that.”

(I try but I see that it’s turned off. He has no idea how to turn it on, so I do it. When it comes to confirming my identity, however…)

Cashier: “So, what now?”

Me: “You look at my ID and hit confirm.”

Cashier: “Can’t you do it?”

Me: “Not really; it has to be you. I can’t confirm my own identity, can I?”

Cashier: “I guess that makes sense.” *hits confirm* “So, what would you like?”

Me: “Menu five, please.”

Cashier: “What comes with menu five?”

Me: “Kebab and fries, and since it’s a student meal it should have soup and salad, too.”

Cashier: “We don’t have any soup or salad.”

(They do; offering a menu with soup and salad is. a requirement for entering the program.)

Cashier: “But I guess I could make something. Uh, it looks like the other guy is not coming back. How much do you owe me?”

Me: *already regretting my decision to eat at this place* “3,30€.”

(Note that without student coupons a combo would cost 7,50€, so I could easily be trying to fleece him, but he doesn’t even question it.)

Cashier: “So, you give me 3.30€?”

Me: “Yes, and you give me a receipt.”

Cashier: “I only know how to do receipts for normal orders. Do you really need it?”

Me: “It’s the law that you have to give me a receipt and I have to take it. I don’t want to get you in trouble.”

Cashier: “Oh, right. But I don’t know how to do that for student coupons.”

Me: *trying to remember how these terminals worked from my old job* “There should be a button saying, ‘student meal,’ or something like that. They’re all the same price regardless of what is being ordered.”

Cashier: “I think I found it. It says 5,93€ for a student meal, but you said 3,30€. Am I doing this right?”

Me: “The government gives 2,63€, so I give you the rest. You should apply the student discount to the meal.”

Cashier: “I see. Sorry about. I’m new here, and I have no idea how the system works. I’m not from Slovenia; I just moved here a month ago.”

Me: “It’s all right. I’m just happy I got my food.”

(The food was all right, but I still don’t understand why would they leave an untrained worker to work alone without even an explanation of how the student coupon system works, especially when that is where most of your revenue comes from!)

The Couponator 10: Expiration Day
The Couponator 9: The Passive Aggression
The Couponator 8: The Fabric Of Reality

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Toying With The Idea Of Saving This Child

, , , , , | Friendly | December 20, 2018

I had just finished shopping at a large mall and decided to treat myself by stopping at the food court for some food that wasn’t good for me at all. It was the beginning of the holiday season so the food court was busy but not packed. I got my food, sat at one of the tables, and enjoyed some people watching while I ate.

I noticed a mom sitting at a table with four kids: what looked like twin one-year-olds in a stroller, a four-year-old that looked like he was going to bolt at the first chance he got, and an eight-year-old girl. The mother had gotten her children’s meals from a popular fast food restaurant and was trying to keep the four-year-old focused on his food and feed the twins baby food from a jar. All I could think was, “You brave woman.”

Now, the eight-year-old appeared upset. She apparently got a boy’s toy in her meal. I sympathized; I always hated that when I was small. The mother, who had her hands full, told the girl she could go exchange the toy since they were sitting right in front of the restaurant.

The eight-year-old went up to the counter but was ignored by the cashier. Then customers started pushing in front of her and talking over her. She looked to her mom for help and I could see the mom trying to wrangle the other children so she could go help.

I am a very shy adult and I was an even shyer child. But I couldn’t watch this without doing something. I marched up to the girl and asked her if she wanted a girl’s toy. She nodded yes, doing her best not to cry. Now, I may be shy, but I’m a large woman with a voice that carries when I choose to use it. I marched up to the counter with the little girl and let loose.


Everyone stopped, and a startled cashier quickly handed the toy in exchange. I then walked the girl back to her table. The mom thanked me and the little girl gave me a hug. But the best part was when the little boy looked at me and said, “You have a superhero voice!”

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Unfiltered Story #124574

, , , | Unfiltered | October 29, 2018

(I’m in line at a convenience store in our campus students’ union building, and conversing with the cashiers about a crazy customer they had in earlier. The store has a display of fresh fruit outside the store, but easily in view of the cash registers.)

Cashier: Yeah, he tried to take a mandarin without paying for it-

(At that moment, we hear some raving and a man in a black trench coat and black wide-rim hat starts yelling at the young man who had bought something before me. The young man is standing just outside the store, completely confused as to what’s going on.)

Cashier: That’s the guy… Oh, man.

Raving Customer: *pointing at the young man, who clearly doesn’t work in the store* You think you can’t sell me an orange?! YOU WON’T WORK IN THIS COUNTRY! YOU CAN’T WORK HERE! I want you to sell me an orange, you tell me no – YOU CAN’T WORK HERE! YOU ARE WRONG! YOU ARE AN A**HOLE MONKEY!

Young Man: *shakes his head and walks away*

(Raving Customer then starts pacing around the food court next to the convenience store ranting at no one in particular. As the cashier’s coworker calls security, I cash out and join my boyfriend waiting around outside the store. A few other people are there, watching to make sure Raving Customer doesn’t do anything. He’s made about two laps around the food court by now and passes within earshot, still raving.)

Raving Customer: I’m the New Superman, and I want an orange and a coffee – WHO’S BUYING?! You people won’t sell me – well, I’m the NEW SUPERMAN and I WANT an orange and coffee!