When Life Gives You Lemon Trees…

, , , | Right | February 18, 2020

(I’m crazy about plants, so I work at a garden center. Today, I’ve been getting weirder and weirder questions. I have to say that some are bordering dumb but I do understand that gardening can be daunting when first started. By the end of the day, my mood is just silly from repeating myself. Then, this couple walks in:)

Woman: “Oh, my! It smells so good over here! This is bliss.”

Man: “Are we here for plants or a birdbath? C’mon. Let’s go.”

Woman: “But everything is so fun. Let’s look around.”

(They wander a bit and I go over to see if they need help.)

Me: “Hi there, welcome. Can I help you find anything or answer any questions?”

Woman: “Yes! It smells so good over there.”

(Not a question, but I respond.)

Me: “It sure does. Those are the citrus trees. They do smell great. I just rinsed a few off and that seems to make them smell even better.”

Woman: “Oh! What did you rinse them with?”

Me: “Water. I just hosed them down since they were gathering dust. We kick up quite a bit of dirt, as you can imagine for a garden store. I hosed them off so they’d look better and actually grow better. We haven’t had any rain in over a week.”

Woman: “But why do they smell so good?”

Me: “Citrus trees have a nice fragrance in general, but as you can see, many of the lemon trees are pretty heavy with fruit right now.”

Woman: “That’s it! They smell like lemons!”

Me: *smiling broadly* “Yup! They sure do.”

Woman: “Why do they smell like lemons?”

(The silly factor has kicked in and I may giggle a bit.)

Me: “Because they are lemons. See the fruit hanging? Those are lemons. Most are still pretty green, but they will get larger and yellow up a bit. They won’t get as bright as the ones in the stores but those are, indeed, lemons on the lemon trees.”

Women: “But why do they smell like lemons?”

Me: *flat-out laughs* “Because that’s what lemons smell like. Lemons.”

Man: *quite angry* “Are you laughing at my wife?! She just asked a question.”

Me: *still smiling* “No, sir. I’m laughing because I can’t think of a better way to describe it. These are the real deal. I know not everyone has seen a lemon growing on a tree. This is it. And this is where the smell comes from.”

Man: “Get me your manager! Now!”

Me: *still smiling* “Sure.”

(I call the manager over and tell him these folks want to talk to him. He is a little confused but listens intently.)

Man: “She mocked my wife. She was rude.” *gives his side of the story, somewhat embellished*

Manager: “Um…”

Man: “Aren’t you going to do something? Are you going to talk to her? Fire her?”

Manager: “Um, no, I can’t really do that.”

Man: “Why the h*** not?!”

Manager: “She’s my boss! She’s the owner!”

Me: “I will give you a discount on a lemon tree, though. You could have fresh lemons all summer.”

Man: “F***!”

(The woman left, still looking confused.)

Manager: “Why did you do that to me?”

Me: “He asked for the manager. What else was I supposed to do?”

(I really wasn’t trying to be dismissive or rude. It just struck me as silly and I couldn’t think of any other way to explain why a lemon smelled like a lemon.)

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Karen Sounding Like Scratching Plates

, , , , | Right | January 20, 2020

(I am talking to a customer on the phone when I pause beside a register to read the ingredients on an item. Apparently, this means that I am opening the register, so two customers — a man and a woman — come over.)

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m not on the register.”

Male Customer: “Then why are you standing here?”

Me: “I’m on the phone with another customer.” *gestures to the phone still in my hand* “You can check out at the registers with the lit numbers.”

Male Customer: “Oh. Sorry.”

Female Customer: “I’m not leaving.”

Me: *gives her a questioning look*

Female Customer: “You heard me. Do your job.”

Me: *points to the phone* “I am.”

(I turn away and leave her standing at the register. A few minutes later, my name is called over the loudspeaker with a request to go back to the same register. I do so and see a manager standing beside the woman, who looks quite pleased with herself.)

Manager: “[My Name], please ring out this woman.”

Female Customer: “If you don’t, I’ll call corporate and tell them what you did.”

Me: “[Manager], can I talk to you for a minute?”

Manager: “After you’re done with her, you can come to see me in the office.”

(The woman unloads her purchases as I sign on the register.)

Female Customer: “You deserve this. Aww. Poor little girl. Someone made you do your job.”

(There are two small ceramic plates, generally used under potted plants, with a piece of tissue paper between them.)

Me: “Do you want the paper between these plates?”

Female Customer: “If you had just done what I told you to do in the first place, this wouldn’t have happened.”

Me: “Ma’am, the paper?”

Female Customer: “No. You could have just checked me out and– What are you doing?!”

Me: “You said no.”

Female Customer: “You’re going to scratch them!”

Me: “I asked if you wanted the papers; you said no.”

Female Customer: “I did not! I’ll be sure you’re fired. You’ve been horrible this entire time.”

Me: “Your total is [total].”

Female Customer: “And now you’re trying to push me out the door!

Me: “Just doing my job, ma’am.”

Female Customer: “Your generation is so disrespectful!”

Me: “Cash or card, ma’am?”

Female Customer: *swipes her card* “Everywhere I go, terrible service!”

Me: *handing her the receipt* “Maybe it’s not the associates.”

(I walked away, once again leaving the women at the register. I did have a talk with my manager. She sided with the customer at first, saying I should have opened the register. When I told her what the woman said when I was checking her out, she changed her mind.)

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Unfiltered Story #169619

, , | Unfiltered | October 16, 2019

So, I was working the cash register in the garden center. and this girl came threw my line. she had some gold spray paint and it was the kind/brand that wanted their age. since they had to be 18 to get it. now this girl looked under 18

me: can I see your ID, I need it for the paint
customer: I don’t have it with me, can’t I just give you my birth date
me: no,
customer: but I’m over 18, i need it for a wedding
me: I could get in trouble for not checking. without an ID i can not sell it to you.

so she ends up buying the flowers and leaves. she goes to her car in the parking lot and drives off. so she was driving around without an licenses or

shortly after my co-worker walked by and i asked them if they could bring the paint inside and i told them what happened. It was in case she came back and tried anything funny.

co-worker: Did you know that Gold is the most common color people use to huff paint.

The Zombies Are Already Among Us

, , | Right | September 24, 2019

(I’ve finished work. I’m wearing smart black business attire, with my company’s logo on my coat.)

Customer: “Do you work here?”

Me: “No, the staff here wear green and beige. In fact, there is a hut over there—” *twenty feet away* “—with ‘customer help’ written on it; I can see that there is someone in there. You should probably ask him.”

(The customer pauses.)

Customer: “Yeah, well, I wanted to know about these sprayers. Can I—”

Me: “No, I’m sorry; I don’t work here so I couldn’t possibly tell you.”

Customer: “Oh, okay.” 

(The customer paused again, and then walked off in the wrong direction.)

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Unfiltered Story #163223

, , | Unfiltered | September 12, 2019

(I am the Garden Center cashier. I have just scanned two large, urn-shaped flower pots for a customer)

Customer: *Glancing at screen* Is that what they cost?

Me: *Checks screen as well* Yes sir, they came up as $21.00 each.

Customer: I found those in the Clearance section. They shouldn’t be $21.00. These don’t have labels, so I’ll go get another.

(It isn’t far, so he’s back shortly with an identical pot with the clearance sticker displayed)

Customer: *Shows me the pot smugly* See, now what does that one say?

Me: Well, that’s clearly a clearance sticker, and it says $21.00.

Customer: Oh.

(He decided not to get the pots, and was pretty quiet for the rest of the transaction. It isn’t often that I can prove a customer wrong, and it sure felt good!)