Leaves A Lot To Be Desired

, , , | Right | July 26, 2021

My husband works in the produce department at the local supermarket. An older gentleman approaches him carrying two organic cabbages.

Customer: “Are these all the cabbages you have?”

Husband: “Well, that’s all we have left of the organic cabbage. But we have the regular green cabbage right over here.”

He escorts the customer over to where they have plenty of cabbages.

Customer: “No, I don’t like those. They have too many leaves!”

He walked away with the organic cabbage.

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Employees Are Human, Too

, , , | Right | July 26, 2021

I have to return something to the grocery store, so I get in the customer service line. It’s a very long line and the woman working the counter is moving as fast as she can. Nobody is being outright rude to her, but people are also not being kind — no small talk, a clear air of impatience, foot tapping, and almost always a complaint about the wait. Finally, I get up to this clearly overworked woman.

Me: “How are you doing?”

Her head snaps up abruptly, she makes eye contact, and for a solid five seconds, she stares open-mouthed at me, frozen.

Worker: “Oh, erm, well, it’s a little crazy here right now, but I’m making it through!”

We had a short conversation as she rang my return, and I mentioned louder than needed that she was doing great.

Even if you’re not rude to a worker, it still makes them happy to be treated like a human being. I hope I made her day a bit more bearable.

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Has Some Serious Bag Baggage, Part 9

, , , , , | Right | July 24, 2021

I work as a cashier in an organic-focused grocery store. Because of the health crisis, my store has large plexiglass barriers separating cashiers from customers. Masks are required. Many customers bring in their own bags rather than using our paper bags, but we are no longer able to touch them or bag them. Customers have to do it themselves.

I’m autistic. It’s not severe and I’m fairly good at masking when needed, but I’m awful at reading people and situations, and I’m even worse at figuring out what to do if someone doesn’t tell me very specifically what they want.

An old woman with one of those personal carts comes through my line. She has her personal cart folded in one of our store carts. She’s a semi-regular and always has that cart with her, even though she can hardly lift it out of the store cart.

She struggles to get it out, so much so that the customer behind her rushes in to help her while I’m scanning the old woman’s items. She has her own bags and knows she has to bag herself, but she doesn’t. She just lets them pile up.

Me: “Do you have a store card?”

Customer: “No.”

She stands by the card reader and waits until I’m done. When she’s done paying, she finally goes over to bag her items.

She only has a few bags, so she tells me to use paper bags for everything else while she packs her large insulated bag as heavy as she possibly can. The bags I pack are much less heavy. Suddenly, when trying to load them into her now unfolded personal cart, she looks like she’s about to drop over with the insulated bag in her arms. She struggles with that bag and then puts it down. She then reaches for one I packed and acts like it’s even heavier. Suddenly, she starts yelling.

Customer: “I’m ninety-three years old!

Me: “Okay, so… do you want to empty that bag out a bit?”

She doesn’t answer, and she eventually manages to shove it in her cart. By this point, I don’t really know what to do. She acts like all the bags are insanely heavy, so I start pulling stuff out to lighten the paper bags. She’s not answering any of my suggestions.

I lighten some of the bags to try and make it easier on her. All the while, she’s grumbling about how stupid I am.

Customer: *Scoffs* “Stupid girl. I’m ninety-three!”

Then, despite all her whining about how heavy the bags were, she starts emptying the bags I lightened and puts heavy items in the heavy bags she already shoved into her cart. She crumples the paper bags, or rips them, and tosses them onto my register.

Customer: “Hey, you didn’t ask me if I had a store card! I didn’t get my discounts!”

Me: “I did ask you. You said no.”

Customer: “And you made the bags too heavy! I’m an elderly woman!”

Me: “I didn’t pack your cold bag. I even lightened the bags I packed when I saw you struggling. Do you want any help out to your car?”

Customer: “No! I’m waiting on a taxi!”

Finally, she grumbled and walked away. I had just started covering a coworker’s thirty-minute break when the woman came through my line, and by the time my coworker came back, I had only gotten through four people total.

Has Some Serious Bag Baggage, Part 8
Has Some Serious Bag Baggage, Part 7
Has Some Serious Bag Baggage, Part 6
Has Some Serious Bag Baggage, Part 5
Has Some Serious Bag Baggage, Part 4

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It Feels Like Time Has Lost Its Meaning Lately, But This Is Ridiculous

, , , , | Working | July 24, 2021

During the health crisis, I’ve been ordering curbside pickup and delivery from a large, well-known grocery store. They were bought by a large Internet retailer a couple of years back, so ordering is done via the retail website. At first, it goes off without a hitch, but then I start having issues. One is that no matter what time I place my pickup order for, they start working on it immediately and the order is done really quickly.

Normally, this wouldn’t be something I’d consider an issue, but it’s actually been a pretty big one. For example, one time, I placed my order around 2:00 in the morning to be picked up between 2:00 and 3:00 pm the next day. The next day, I woke up at 9:00 am and saw the text messages: they’d started shopping my order, wanted to know what items to substitute as certain things were out of stock, had substituted items I didn’t want and couldn’t return without going into the store.

Most of the time, I manage to get to the store and pick up my order early or at the time slot I was booked for. For curbside pickup at other stores, you’re normally allowed to pick up any time after the order is ready. Not here. One time, I put in an order and realized I was going to be a bit late for my window. Half an hour after my window, I was leaving my house and I started getting text messages from the retailer, saying how important it was to be on time. Then, when I got there, I was chewed out for being late by the person who brought me my order. From then on, I decided to be more careful about what time I ordered and when I’d get there.

I made a few more orders with not too many issues. Then, I made an order to pick up between 3:00 and 4:00. Somehow, it went through as 2:00 and 3:00 and I didn’t realize. So, I was on my way right after 3:00 and I started getting phone calls that said they were from the retailer. I didn’t pick up, as I was driving, but in my five-minute drive to the store, I had four missed calls. I looked up the number and found out it was from their missed event line. I looked at my order and realized the issue and, luckily, didn’t get chewed out this time.

Finally, I decide to order for delivery. Despite living five minutes away, my local store does not do delivery, so my groceries will come from several cities away. I figure when you order for a specific delivery time, that’s about the time they deliver, right? Wrong. I make my order at 12:00 pm to be delivered at 4:00 pm. At 12:15, they are shopping my order. I get sucked into work and go about my day. Closer to 3:00, I check to see if the order has finished being shopped, and I notice a text message saying that my order was delivered at 1:30. No one knocked or rang the bell. My frozen items are defrosted and ruined.

I’ve decided I’m going to hold off on ordering from these guys again.

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The Empowered Versus The Entitled

, , , , | Right | July 22, 2021

I’m a department manager at a grocery store. I’m stocking a load when I respond to a call for a manager up at the registers. The cashier directs me to a woman standing off to the side.

Cashier: “She asked to speak to a manager. I don’t know what it’s about, but she was really rude. Sorry.”

Me: *Bracing myself* “Yes, how can I help you?”

Customer: *Condescendingly* “I doubt you even can, dear. I wanted to speak to the manager, not some stock girl.”

Me: “We all pitch in on basic store operations, but I am one of the managers on duty and I assure you that I am empowered with override codes and the authority to handle what you need.”

Customer: “What about the other managers? I need to speak to a real one, not a little girl.”

Me: “We’re all stocking shelves. I’m here. What do you need?”

She is craning her head around at all the other floor managers, who all also happen to be women.

Customer: “No, that won’t do. What about your boss, the one who works up in the office? Is he here?”

Me: “He is, but I’m sure I can handle your issue if you’ll just tell me what it is.”

Customer: “No. I need to speak to the man in charge, so you can get back to your little cart. Understand?”

I sigh and trudge upstairs to the buyer’s office to relate the situation to the general manager.

Manager: “Oh, I see. If she won’t accept the help of any of the several managers on the floor, it can’t be that urgent. I’ll be down riiiiiiight after I’m done with this.”

I go back downstairs, let the customer know that the manager has been notified and will be on his way, and return to my cart of product. Time passes, and there’s another cashier call for a manager. I go back again and the customer is still standing off to the side, looking exasperated. 

Customer: “I’ve been waiting here this whole time! I don’t have all day. I have things to do!”

Me: “Well, if you’re in a hurry, maybe you’d be inclined to let me help you since I’m available?”

She refuses, and I shrug and walk away. The customer waits and waits, and there are several more manager calls as she harasses the poor cashier. Other managers respond, but she refuses them. Eventually, our boss comes down to put a stop to it. Afterward, he comes and finds me.

Manager: *Laughing* “Guess what? After all that fuss, all she needed was a simple return.”

Me: *Exasperated* “I could have done that for her if she’d have only let me.”

Manager: “She didn’t even need a manager override. After all that time she made herself wait, all she had to do the whole time was get in line.”

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