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In For A Penny… Part 4

, , , , | Right | January 22, 2023

I worked at a gas station as a teenager and, among many transactions, one customer interaction stood out. The customer asked for a fill-up and pumped all of the amount she wanted EXCEPT for one cent. I opened the register and took out one penny. 

Me: “Here you go. One cent is your change. Have a nice day.”

Customer: “Can you send the remainder back so I can pump it?”

Me: “You want one cent worth of gas?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “I do not think any gas will come out. The pump may not even push any gas through.”

Customer: *As she walks back to the pump* “It’s fine. Thanks.”

Hope the effort was worth it.

In For A Penny…, Part 3
In For A Penny…, Part 2
In For A Penny…

Gas Him Up And Watch Him Explode

, , , | Right | CREDIT: exploding_shadows | January 17, 2023

I juggle a few jobs, and one of them is working at a service station and café. We sell fresh food, coffee, fuel, etc.

One day, at around 3:00 pm, a customer pulls up to the pumps and starts fueling up his car. Normal enough.

I’m cleaning behind the counter while watching people at the pumps when I notice this particular customer acting pretty strange. He’s swinging off the side of his car, skipping between the pumps, and just generally acting pretty goofy. Weird, but he’s not putting anyone in danger, so I go on with what I’m doing.

He comes in to pay for his fuel eventually, and he tries to pay with a gift card for an unrelated retailer. This is still fairly normal; people get their gift cards mixed up.

Me: “We cannot take the gift card of another retailer. Do you have another way you can pay for your fuel today?”

As we’re having this exchange, I notice that the customer is swaying when he’s standing still and his voice is slurred and mumbling.

The customer gets defensive straight away.

Customer: “This gift card is the only way I can pay! I have no money on my debit cards, and there’s no one else who can pay for me.”

Still not unusual; this happens with people all the time.

Store policy is that when this happens, we can issue an IOU and the customer has twenty-four hours to arrange payment, but this has to be cleared by the manager first — no exceptions.

I jump on the phone to the manager, explain the situation, and get clearance to issue an IOU. Perfect.

While I’m doing this, more cars have pulled up and more customers are coming into the store, so I open up the second till and start serving on that while I’m also filling out the forms for the customer and making coffees and serving food.

Once the customer notices that there are other people in the shop, he starts asking me why I can’t just accept his gift card, in a very loud voice. I go through with him again why we can’t accept the gift card.

Me: “It’s not for our store; it won’t work with our systems.”

He asks the same question again. I respond with the same answer and apologise for the inconvenience.

The customer chuckles to himself and asks the same question again. And again. And again.

He doesn’t want to give me his name or contact details until I have answered his question to his satisfaction. It is at this point that my politeness starts to slip and my frustration starts to show. In a harder tone than I’ve been using up to this point, I explain to him again why his gift card won’t work with us: because we are a completely different retailer than the one his gift card is for. We have no affiliation in any way.

Customer: “Fine, fine, I’ll give you my name.”

He tells me the name of a popular brand of alcohol.

This could be legit. It could actually be his name, but people have tried giving us fake names in the past so we can’t contact them to pay their IOU.

Me: *With a smile* “Thank you. Can I see your driver’s license to confirm those details? It’s store policy.”

The customer just starts yelling at me.

Customer: “I don’t have my license on me! And I don’t like your attitude! I’m the customer. I’m right, you’re wrong, and I will not stand for this disrespect! I’m done. I’m going. You can just cover the cost out of your wages.”

Any patience I might have had evaporates.

Me: “No, sir, that won’t be happening. If you leave this store, I will call the police.”

Customer: “WHAT?! How dare you?! How dare you speak to me like that?! No one disrespects me like that! You’re dead. I am going to wipe the floor with you.”

What I don’t realise is that my manager has been listening to this entire back-and-forth because I didn’t put the phone down properly when I called him earlier. He lives very close to the store and, unknown to me, is already on his way as he can hear the situation escalating.

Also relevant is that I’m average height, very slim, and look like a strong breeze could knock me over. My manager is 6’4″ and built like a brick s***house. He’s the friendliest guy but doesn’t tolerate bulls***. He pulls up on his motorcycle outside just as the customer is explaining to me how his mates will find me and “destroy me” for how I treated him.

Me: “Sir, clearly, you aren’t satisfied with my service today, so I’m going to pass this over to my manager so I can assist actual paying customers who aren’t threatening violence. If you feel I’ve been inappropriate, I encourage you to file a complaint with the manager.”

I hope I never forget the look on the customer’s face when he turns his gaze upon the towering figure of my manager calmly taking his helmet off and saying, with a look of steel in his eyes:

Manager: “I’ve been listening to the way you’ve been threatening my staff, and I’m here to sort this s*** out. You can fill this form out with me now and leave on the condition that you’ll be back before 9:00 am tomorrow morning to pay and then never come back here again, or you cannot and I will call the police. This isn’t up for debate. What is your choice?”

The customer almost fell over himself trying to apologise and decided to fill out the form properly and go.

After he left, almost hitting another car as he swerved out onto the road, we called the police anyway.

Not carrying a license and driving in an erratic manner while showing signs of intoxication during school pick-up time? Nobody wants to be sharing the road with someone like that.

Hopefully, we won’t be seeing him tomorrow morning after all.

Look. NO ONE Likes Waiting In Line.

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: Fickle_Midnight5907 | January 16, 2023

I work as a cashier. The store has a line of maybe seven people. I have the “register closed” sign up, and I am stocking the accessories on the shelves behind the counter.

My coworker is handling the customers in line. I turn when I hear the door opening. A lady walks in without a mask on.

Me: *Politely* “Excuse me, miss. Do you have a mask that you could put on?”

She scoffs at me and rolls her eyes as she digs in her purse for a minute or two. Finally, she pulls out a ratty little mask with only one functional strap and holds it to her face while she’s waiting in the line.

Well, apparently, she can’t do that for very long. She comes to the front of the line ranting and raving.

Customer: “This line is too long! You shouldn’t be keeping a valued regular customer waiting!”

I’ve been working here for four months and I’ve never seen her; I’m fairly confident I know all the regulars.

Me: “There are other things my manager left for me to do before the end of closing, and I have to get them done.”

She doesn’t seem to like that all.

Customer: “I demand that you open your register right now!

Okay, you got it, lady. I move the “register closed” sign and then turn back to her.

Me: “Do me a favor and stand a little bit to your right.”

Surprisingly, she complies, albeit with her arms crossed and an angry gaze.

Me: “Next customer!”

It dawns on her what I’m doing, but the next customer shoots up in front of the counter before she can even fully process it. I go about this transaction as normal, despite the fact that this lady is yelling at me at the top of her lungs — no longer holding the mask to her face, mind you.

I finish up with the other customer and I turn to the lady. She tries to yell over me, so I raise my voice a bit and try to be as stern as possible.

Me: “Just because my register is open now, it doesn’t entitle you to skip all the other people in this line who also have lives, jobs, and other responsibilities. Get to the back of the line and be respectful, or I will have no choice but to have you removed from the store.”

We don’t have security, but we’re two blocks away from a police station, and one of the cool officers who comes into the store gave me their personal number to use just in case we have any issues.

The lady harrumphs loudly and walks dejectedly to the spot in the line she had before she left. In the time since she approached me to yell at me, more people have gotten in the line.

Me: *Pointedly* “I said the back of the line.”

She dropped her shoulders and walked to the back like a toddler.

Intelligence Abhors A Vacuum, Part 8

, , , | Right | December 29, 2022

I am manning the car wash.

Customer: “Excuse me, but I thought you should know that the vacuum with the out-of-order sign isn’t working.”

He is completely serious.

Me: “You want to say that again, but slower?”

Customer: “Why?”

I just thanked him and went to make larger signs.

Intelligence Abhors A Vacuum, Part 7
Intelligence Abhors A Vacuum, Part 6
Intelligence Abhors A Vacuum, Part 5
Intelligence Abhors A Vacuum, Part 4
Intelligence Abhors A Vacuum, Part 3

You Can Point A Customer To The Signs, But You Can’t Make Them Read

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: chef_dad64 | December 14, 2022

I used to work at a gas station years ago. Like every other business in America (for the most part), we had signs on our door that let you know that you have to pull for the door to open, and then inside upon leaving, you would, of course, push to open them.

I have lost count of how many times (daily) people would park and walk up to the door, and even though it said, “PULL,” in big capital letters, would push the door only for it to just kind of halt them and rattle a bit.

From there, rather than pull the door open, instead, they would grab the door and start violently shaking the door aggressively for a good five seconds as if a horde of zombies was inches away from them and they were desperately trying to get inside.

Once the imaginary begging for mercy from the zombies was over, they would give up, pull calmly on the door, see that it just magically opened, and walk in with some kind of sly remark about what had just happened.

One day, I just decided to put ten paper arrows all pointing to the “PULL” signs on the door, thinking this would help, but no. Sadly, these “intelligent” people would continue to do the same stuff.

And finally, when they were inside, they would continue to remind me that it’s my fault cigarettes and gas are expensive. Or, they would complain to me that they were just in a town forty-five minutes away and their gas was thirty-five cents cheaper, as if they were subtly threatening to just go there instead if I (as the lowly cashier) didn’t use Dumbledore’s Elder Wand to magically make the gas prices cheaper.

The usual.