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The Holidays Just Flasher By

| CT, USA | Holidays

(For Halloween, the grocery store I work at allows employees to come to work in a costume. On a tight budget, I had dressed like a 1930’s reporter, complete with the notepad in the fedora and a trench coat that went down to my ankles. (It should be noted I am a 6’3″ male.) A middle aged woman comes to my register, a concerned expression on her face.)

Me: “Happy Halloween, miss. May I see your rewards card?”

Customer: *serious tone* “Are you dressed as a flasher?”

(I’ve had customers ask if I’m everything from a private eye to a crooked lawyer.)

Me: *the trench coat is unbuttoned, with my shirt and pants visible on the middle of my chest* “Miss… if I were dressed as a flasher, the jacket would be closed.”

Customer: “Oh…”

(She went along the rest of the transaction seeming rather disappointed in my reply.)

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Not Very Closed Minded, Part 16

| East Lansing, MI, USA | Bad Behavior, Time

(The grocery store I work for has just closed its doors for good, and I am helping a small handful of my employees pack up items and clean up. For the past month and a half, there have been signs posted all over the store, at eye level, telling shoppers that the store would be closing. Most of the shelves are completely bare once the store is finally closed, and the front doors are shut off and closed, but not locked as we did need a way to get in and out of the building. My managers are out doing the final bank run, when a gentleman pushes past the doors, grabs a cart and proceeds to walk aimlessly around the store, weaving around large piles of boxes and empty displays. Everyone notices and proceeds to stop and stare at the man, without approaching him or notifying him that the store is closed. I finally decide to step up to him.)

Me: “Um… sir? I’m sorry, but the store closed on [Date].”

Customer: “Really? I don’t see any signs! I just want to do a bit of shopping.”

Me: “Yes, we have signs posted every five feet, at eye level, and as you can see, most of our shelves are completely bare. Not only that, none of our registers are on, nor do we have money to give you change if you decided to pay cash for whatever groceries you do happen to find.”

Customer: “Oh, well, I was wondering why your store was so bare. Would you mind if I take a look around anyway?”

Me: “The store is closed, sir. Of course I mind. There’s nothing here for you to see except a bunch of empty shelves, and even if you did find something, you can’t buy it, nor can you take it with you! Please leave!”

Customer: “Fine. You didn’t have to be so rude! Now I know why this place is closing!”

Me: “It’s closed already, sir. Have a good day.”

(The gentleman left his cart in the middle of the store and walked out. Everyone was left scratching their head by the end of that ordeal.)

Related:
Not Very Closed Minded, Part 15
Not Very Closed Minded, Part 14
Not Very Closed Minded, Part 13

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Hold Your Breath For Crazy Cat Lady

| OR, USA | Bizarre, Pets & Animals, Popular

(I am working as an emergency room veterinarian and stop at a 24-hour grocery store near my house on my way home after work, still wearing my scrubs, at about 3 am.)

Me: *gets in the checkout line behind a woman, the only other customer*

Woman: *turns to me* “Are you a nurse? My cousin’s a nurse!”

Me: “What? Oh, no, I’m actually a veterinarian.”

Woman: “Oh, that’s so wonderful! That means you get to work with cats! That must be the best job in the world, because you get to be with cats all day. I bet you love your job!”

Me: *crazy cat lady alarm bells going off* “It can be pretty rewarding, yeah.”

Woman: “Cats are just the best. Well, of course YOU know that. You work with them! Aren’t they just the greatest? They’re just so amazing, the way they breathe!”

Me: “Um… what?”

Woman: “You know, the way they breathe! They breathe for us! They just breathe it in, breathe in all of our negative energy, everything, just breathe it all in and turn it to light! They’re the only animals that breathe for us! You must know that though. I’m sure they teach you that! They must tell you all about how they breathe!”

Me: “Uh… sure?” *looks at the cashier who by this point is trying to get the woman’s attention* “I think the cashier needs you to pay now.”

(The woman pays and leaves, continuing to babble on about cats to me and the cashier.)

Cashier: “Find everything you need?”

Me: “Depends. Do you stock crazy cat lady repellent?”

Cashier: *laughs* “I’ve actually seen crazier while working nights.”

Me: “Sadly, so have I…”

 

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Throwing Dirt Until It Sticks

| ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

(We have six self-checkouts. It’s a busy day and five machines are in use as one is broken, and I have a line of about five people. A customer approaches me from the entrance.)

Customer: “Can I get some of the dirt that’s outside?”

(It’s spring, so we sell 10 lb bags of topsoil which are all outside.)

Me: “No problem. If you’ll just get in line, we can ring that through for you.”

Customer: “Can you just ring them through for me?”

Me: “I don’t have a register to do so at the moment, but if you’ll just get in line I’ll help you as soon as I’m able.”

(The customer gets into the express line next to mine. This isn’t a problem: all checkouts have the PLU for the dirt written down and most cashiers have it memorized regardless. After a few minutes, he gets out of the slowly growing express line to approach me again.)

Customer: “Do I need to bring in a bag of dirt to scan or something?”

Me: “No, you don’t. We have codes at every register so you don’t need to. Just tell her what you want and she’ll be able to do it no problem.”

Customer: “Well, can’t you just ring me through?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I don’t have a register to do that for you. If you’ll just get in a line up, any cashier will able to do it for you when it’s your turn.”

Customer: “So you can just ring me through here?”

Me: “I can’t ring you through at the moment, no, but if you’ll get in line, when you have a machine I can put the dirt onto your order.”

Customer: “So can’t you just ring me through now?”

(This goes back and forth about five times in total before he gets back into the express line.)

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Time To Coin An Idiotic Phrase

| Marion, VA, USA | Extra Stupid, Money, Technology

(I work at a grocery store as a bagger. Part of my duties include gathering the shopping carts from the parking lot and bringing them back to the store lobby. I am doing this when I am hailed by a man standing beside the drink vending machines on the store sidewalk/porch.)

Man: “Can you help me? How do you get this thing to work? I can’t get it to work. I already put in three quarters.”

(I go over and see him press the drink dispense button. Nothing dispenses, so I look up to the display where it shows the price – it says “Sold out.”)

Me: “Sir, it looks like that one is sold out. Is there another one you might want to get?”

Man: “Well, the strawberry or peach.”

(I press those, and note that it still says “Sold out.”)

Me: “Um… hm. Those appear to be sold out as well…”

Man: “Well, any of them. I put in my quarters.”

(I proceed to press all them, checking after each one that they are ALL “Sold out.”)

Me: “Uh, well, since they’re all sold out, I think this lever here is the coin return.”

(I push down the coin return, don’t hear anything, check to confirm that it didn’t return his money, and then try again a few more times to no avail. The store will give refunds to customers when the machines eat their money, so I prepare to instruct him on going up to the front desk to get his 75 cents back.)

Me: “Huh, it’s not giving you your change back. Well, sir, since it isn’t working, what I would do is go inside and—”

Man: “It didn’t even take my money!”

Me: “What…?”

Man: “See, look! You can see the quarters just sitting there!”

(He points. Our vending machines have a lock cover, a piece of metal that has a vertical rectangular hole that connects with a prong to keep people from accessing the lock and getting inside the machine. There is a small gap between the edge of the hole and the prong on this particular machine, and he has placed all three quarters side by side in this gap. These quarters are clearly visible now that I know where to look, but they aren’t accessible.)

Me: “Uh…” *I try to pry the latch unsuccessfully. I spot a coworker nearby* “Are you going inside?”

Coworker: “Yeah, why?”

Me: “This man has put his money in the lock cover instead of the coin slot. Could you get someone to come out and help him get it when you go in?”

Coworker: *look of disbelief* “Yeah.”

Me: “Sir, someone will be out to help you get your money.”

(I return to collecting shopping carts. I see one of the managers come out a minute later. I don’t hear most of the conversation, but I see that he has gotten the latch off and given the man his money. I overhear a little bit.)

Manager: “Well, sir, that’s not the coin slot; that’s just a cover.”

Me: *shaking my head*

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