Smoking Away The American Dream

| WV, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Crazy Requests, Family & Kids, Wild & Unruly

(A family walks in and gets some cigarettes and snacks. They walk to their vehicle and after ten minutes, the father, who was pretty rude earlier, walks back inside.)

Me: “Hello.”

Customer: “I need a new pack of cigarettes.”

Me: “Okay, sir, which kind?”

Customer: *tells me name of the cigarettes*

(I go to ring them up, at which point he stops me.)

Customer: “No, no, no! I want to exchange the ones I just bought for those!”

Me: “Okay, sir, may I have the other pack?”

(The customer hands me the opened, and half-gone pack of cigarettes.)

Me: “Sir, once these are opened, I am not allowed to return or exchange them.”

Customer: *angrily* “THIS IS AMERICA!”

(I am slightly thrown off and just stare for a moment. He widens his eyes and tilts his head forward wanting a response.)

Me: “Sir, I know this is America, but with THAT logic, I can go to a bank, rob it, scream ‘THIS IS AMERICA,’ and run out with no repercussions. This IS most definitely America, but we have rules and policies here that we still have to follow.”

Customer:“I have the receipt!!”

Me: *knowing full-well he declined the receipt when I offered it to him* “Sir, even with a receipt I cannot return an opened and incomplete item to the shelf.”

Customer: “Give me my receipt!”

(I print it out and hand it to him. He leaves and his son enters.)

Son: “I need to exchange these.” *lays receipt on counter*

(At this point I am very agitated.)

Me: “Sir, I cannot exchange or return open and incomplete items.”

Son: “But I have a receipt!”

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry but it doesn’t matter. The cigarettes are open and several have been taken out. All I can do is ring up a new pack.”

Son: “Can I have my money back for these, then?”

Me: “No, sir, the pack is opened and some are missing.”

Son: “Well, I’ll just keep the pack. You just give me my money!”

Me: “That’s not how this works. I can’t give you a refund and let you keep the pack. But I can’t give you a refund on incomplete and used items anyway.”

(At this point THE WHOLE family comes in and is yelling at me in another language, screaming occasionally ‘This is America!’ and ‘I know my rights!’)

Son: “We want to see the policy that states you can’t take these back and give us a refund.”

Me: “It isn’t written anywhere. It’s common sense.”

Son: “I want to speak to a manager!”

(Only one person is on shift at a time. Managers are not on site either.)

Me: “No managers are currently on site, sir.”

(This is also at 12 am and we are directed to leave any complaining customers with the store phone number and a time when managers will be available.)

Son: “Then give me their personal number!”

Me: “At 12 am? Sir, I can guarantee if you call them at 12 am, you will not get what you are wanting. Besides, we are not allowed to give customers personal numbers. I can give you the store number and a time when a manager will be available, but that’s really all I can do.”

Son: “I’m calling the cops, then.”

Me: “That’s fine. Please do.”

Son: “You are a horrible employee!”

Me: “Tell me, would YOU buy a pack of cigarettes that was ready opened? Or want to even use a pack of cigarettes that someone you know nothing about opened and touched?”

Son: “…no.”

Me: “Exactly. So why would you expect someone else to do the same?”

Son: “THIS IS AMERICA!”

Gonna Spread Her Terror Across The Street

, | NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Religion

(I’m a customer waiting in line at a local convenience store. A man and a woman walk in, grab drinks out of the cooler and head for the register to pay. Suddenly, the woman throws the drink on the ground.)

Woman: “Oh, h*** no! I don’t buy nothing from no towelhead, Muslim terrorists!”

(The man behind the register, who is Middle Eastern, says nothing.)

Woman: “You know what? F*** this place. I’m going to [Store across the street] and buy my stuff from Americans!”

(Both of them storm out the door and head across the street. I walk up to the counter.)

Me: “Well, that was interesting.”

Clerk: “They’re not going to like it any better over there.”

Me: “No?”

Clerk: *laughing* “My brother owns that store!”

Reading The Smoke Signal Loud And Clear

| Columbus, OH, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior

(I’m working third-shift in a quiet part of town, when a car pulls up, a man steps out, walks in, and comes up to the counter.)

Customer: “Pack of Marlboro Reds.”

Me: “Sure thing. May I see your ID?”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “Your ID. I need to see it before I can sell you cigarettes.”

Customer: “Are you f****** kidding me?”

Me: “…no, sir. I need to see ID before I can sell you cigarettes.”

Customer: “Look, I know this is a s***ty little town, but in a real city like Cleveland, they don’t ask people older than 18 for ID for just cigarettes.”

Me: “Sir, I doubt that. I’m abiding by state law, and that applies in Cleveland, too.”

Customer: “Just give me the smokes!”

Me: “Sir, I can’t do that without ID.”

Customer: “You know what? You’re just some dumba** kid who works a s***ty job, and you’ll never amount to anything because you live in this piece of s*** town. If you had a real job or weren’t a total loser, you wouldn’t be such a piece of s*** about this. You won’t ever be anything in life, you f***.”

Me: “That might be true, but, you know what I can do that you can’t?”

Customer: “WHAT?”

(I turn, grab a pack of my brand of cigarettes off the shelf, scan them, pull out my wallet, swipe my card, grab my receipt, open the pack, and slide a cigarette behind my ear, before pocketing the smokes and receipt.)

Me: “I can buy cigarettes here.”

Customer: “F*** YOU!”

(He turns and storms out.)

Me: “Have a great mornin’!”