Thankful For Diwali

| Edmonton, AB, Canada | Crazy Requests, Religion, Theme Of The Month

(I work customer service for a large Canadian grocery retailer. This exchange takes place just around Thanksgiving, when we had signs for Diwali and Halloween as well.)

Customer: “Excuse me! What are these signs?”

(She gestures to the purple signs above a display of flower which read ‘Happy Diwali’.)

Me: “Those are signs for Diwali. It’s the Indian Festival of Lights, celebrated by a billion-plus people worldwide.”

Customer: “Take it down.”

Me: “…I’m sorry?”

Customer: “Take it down. I don’t like it. How racist.”

Me: “I assure you the holiday is not racist, as everyone is invited to participate if they would like to, and the deals we have for the holiday are applicable to all customers.”

Customer: “But I don’t get to participate! I don’t like it. I want you to take it down.”

Me: “Well, do you celebrate Thanksgiving?”

Customer: “Yes. But these people are—”

Me: “—These people may not celebrate Thanksgiving, or Halloween, or Christmas, and we are an equal opportunity employer, so we accommodate several cultures and their respective traditions. As well as Diwali, we market for Chinese New Year’s and Eid.

Customer: “You must take this sign down, or I will be calling head office.”

Me: “You can get their number at the customer service desk. Head office sent us these signs. They also wished their Indian employees a Happy Diwali. If you have any other questions, I’ll be happy to help; otherwise, I’m afraid we cannot continue this discussion.”

Customer: “Fine! I’ll call them! I’ll be sure to give them your name, too!”

Me: “That’s quite all right with me. My name is [distinctly North Indian name] and I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving. Happy Diwali, as well! “

Going On And On And Coupon

| OH, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Money

(I used to work as a cashier at [Large National Chain]. One afternoon I am ringing out an elderly couple’s groceries. The elderly woman has a duplicate coupon for an item that she can only use one for. I give it back to her and try to explain that we don’t allow duplicate coupons. The woman becomes irate.)

Elderly Woman: “We already spend so much money here! Why can’t we just use it?”

Me: “Ma’am, you only have one of those items, and the coupons are only good for one item each. You can get another one and use the coupon, but I can’t ring the second one up when you only have the one item.”

Elderly Woman: “I don’t understand. My husband and I spend so much here. Can’t you just allow it?”

Me: “I can’t. I’m sorry, but the coupon won’t even scan, and I’m not allowed to hand-key it in at this location.”

Elderly Woman: “That’s stupid. Just forget it.” *throws her items at me* “I don’t understand why you can’t just do it when I spend so much money here.”

(I apologized to the woman and continued scanning her items. Later, I was working at the customer service desk and she went up and complained about me. To me.)

Both Brains Were Fried

| Toronto, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

(In this case, both the cashier AND I were idiots. I’m a product demonstrator buying supplies for my next demo: 12 bags of French fries. I get to my car and realize the cashier only charged me for 10. So I go back in and explain the problem.)

Cashier: Thank you so much! I’d have been in so much trouble.”

Me: *feeling sheepish, I brought the receipt but NOT the un-scanned bags back in* “Should I go get them to scan again?”

Cashier: “Nah, just grab two more from the cooler. I’ll scan those and charge you for them.”

(I run and get them. I get back and she’s explaining to the entire line what a tool she is and how grateful she is to me for my honesty. As such, she’s working distracted and on autopilot… It’s 10 pm and I’ve had a long day myself, so I’m not precisely paying attention either.)

Cashier: *scans bags* “Okay, that’ll be $4.99.”

(She automatically bags them and hands me the bag. I automatically take them, say thank you, and leave.)

Me: *10 minutes later at home, un-bagging groceries into my freezer* “Oh, lord! Now I’ve paid for 12 and have 14!”