Don’t Forget To Microwave Them Goodbye As They Exit The Store

, , , , | Right | January 4, 2018

(I am working the returns desk. I look up to see a lady and her husband coming through the door with this rather large and battered box in a shopping cart. The customer is returning a microwave, in particular, a type which we had a recall on in the past due to it not wanting to shut off and burning itself up.)

Me: “So, what was the problem with the microwave?”

Woman: “It blew.”

Me: “Didn’t shut off and burned up?”

Woman: “No. It blew.”

(I am gritting my teeth. It is everything I can do to not tell her that’s the definition of “burned up.”)

Me: “It blew up?”

Woman: “No. It’s blue. It doesn’t match anything in my kitchen.”

Me: *blinks* “What?”

Woman: “It’s blue. Blue like the sky.”

(I pick the microwave box up and start opening it. The woman gets somewhat angry with me, starting off on this rant about how I don’t trust her or something, how she hates the store; you know — the usual “I pay your check” rant.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I just haven’t ever seen a blue microwave before. That’s all. I have got to see this.”

(Opening the box, I blink and then realize that the woman has made a mistake. So I gently tell her that no, the microwave isn’t blue. This does not go over well. She starts in on that rant again, going on about how stupid I am, questioning my intelligence, and noting that a “southern” person can’t be trusted; this is in Georgia, but she has a THICK New York accent. As she’s carrying on her rant, I start picking at the corner of the top I’ve exposed. My manager at this point has come over, which starts the whole “It blew/blue” thing again. About halfway into that, I manage to get a good hold on the plastic coating on the microwave. Giving it a good hard yank, producing a wonderfully loud ripping sound, I remove about half of the protective film off the microwave, revealing the stainless steel underneath.)

Me: “It’s not blue now.”

(The woman just stared at me, looked at the microwave, and back to the manager, all the while making this open mouth motion like a fish out of water. The manager had this funny grin on his face, and you could tell he was trying NOT to laugh in her face. Eventually she realized the stupidity of what she had done, and how this “southern” boy just made her look stupid. Needless to say, she took the microwave home.)

Fight Fire With Kindness

, , , , | Hopeless | December 25, 2017

When I was four, our century-old wooden farmhouse burned to ash. It was January, so all our Christmas gifts went up in flames along with everything else we owned. We literally were left with only the clothes on our backs.

My parents didn’t know how they were going to afford to replace the necessities. They were not rich, and due to the age of the house there wasn’t much in the way of insurance. With two small children to care for, things were looking rather grim.

Then the donations started to arrive. Friends, neighbors, and local clubs and businesses all pitched in. These people, many of whom were strangers, gave money, clothes, furniture, and even toys. This support was especially heart-warming considering that January tended to be a difficult time of year for folks. Our rural community came together and did what they could to help my family through one of the most difficult periods of my life. Even though I was only four at the time, I still smile when I remember their kindness.

Don’t Forget Crazy Aunt Syphilis

, , , , , , , | Learning | December 23, 2017

(I’m a tenth-grader taking driver’s ed because I ended up not taking it the year before. Three of the more popular ninth-graders sit in front of me.)

Girl #1: *out of nowhere* “You know, if chlamydia weren’t a STD, it would be a really pretty name.”

Girl #2: “Really?”

Girl #3: *mockingly* “Could you imagine? ‘Oh, hi. This is my daughter, Chlamydia, and my son, Herpes. Nice to meet you.’”

(I tried to not die of laughter because I didn’t want them to know I was eavesdropping, but I was also trying not to show my great disappointment with this statement.)

One Pregnancy Brain Free With Purchase

, , , , , , | Right | December 21, 2017

I’m working seasonally at a department store around Christmas. One day I’m in textiles and a pregnant lady comes up to me asking to help her with some pillows. We go to the pillows and she picks out 8-10 that she wants. She won’t carry a single one because she’s pregnant — her words. So I have to make two or three trips back up to the register. I ring her up and she leaves.

The next day I’m working in the kitchen department. She comes up to the register with a big box (heavier than pillows!) and says, “You again?” The box is a free gift with purchase. It even says so on the side of the box. It’s a set of three sauté pans that you get when you buy a larger set of cookware. I immediately tell her this is a free gift with purchase and point out the words on the box. She tells me she wants her money back anyway. The box is all faded and has huge grease spots all over it.

This store has customer return label stickers that act as a receipt. They get scanned and put on anything you buy. I scan the label because she doesn’t have a receipt and see that she “bought” (acquired?) the set last Christmas season, and it’s showing she’ll get zero dollars back for returning it because it’s a FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE.

I show her the computer screen and she refuses to leave this store without some money for her used pans. She walks me over to the same cookware set and gift with purchase and shows me. Ok. You still didn’t pay anything for it. She insists she paid for it. I ring up one of the new boxes to show her it won’t even let you ring it up without ringing the bigger cookware set first.

I finally flag down a manager after what seemed like hours and ran away to tidy up another part of the department until she left, so I don’t know if she ever got any money for the pans she didn’t pay for and used for a year!

When Larry Met Nobody

, , , , | Working | December 18, 2017

(My boss is an inept person who lacks most skills it takes to run a business. This takes place via text:)

Me: “[Name] called and asked that you call him as soon as possible. He did not leave a phone number.”

Boss: “What’s his phone number?”

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