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It’s Less… Slappy, In The Philippines!

, , , | Right | January 10, 2023

I have been working in the same grocery store for almost ten years. While I enjoy my coworkers and the stable paycheck, the job and the customers have been wearing me down so I have been saving up for a couple of years to take a break and backpack around Asia for a few months. My bosses all know this and know I will one day be giving my two-week notice.

I am checking out an older lady.

Customer: “No, no, no! That item is on sale!”

Me: “The sale on this ice cream is only for the cookie dough and brownie flavors. This flavor isn’t on sale!”

Customer: “That’s not what the label said!”

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, but I personally stocked the ice cream myself this morning. I know that’s what the label says.”

Customer: “You’re just trying to f*** me over! Get me your manager!”

Me: “Ma’am, I can call them over but the label will still stay the same.”

Customer: “I am going to make a scene unless your manager gives me my discount on this ice cream right now!”

Me: “…no.”

Customer: “What did you say to me?!”

Me: “I said no. No, I will not be rewarding your tantrum. You do not get to stomp your feet and get your own way because someone is finally saying no to you. What stage of entitlement do you have to reach to behave this way over ice cream? It’s pathetic.”

Customer: “You call your manager over this instant! You’re getting fired!”

Me: “Customer service desk is near the exit. Please pay for your items or leave.”

Suddenly, in a fit of rage, this customer actually slaps my face! It’s not enough to cause injury but there is a nasty sting to it, and it’s loud enough for everyone nearby to stop and stare.

My manager comes racing over while I am sitting there in shock and the customer is beginning to realize they might have effed up.

Manager: “What’s going on?”

Customer: “Your employee is not respecting your customers!”

Manager: “And so you slapped him? I don’t care what he said, that is assault, and we will be calling the police.”

Customer: “But… they disrespected me! Fire them this instant!”

Me: “No need… I quit.”

Both the manager and the customer stare at me.

Me: “I shouldn’t be at risk of assault simply for standing my ground and abiding the rules. This foul excuse for a human being should be banned and forced to reckon with their behavior. As for me, I am out of here. I’ll be relaxing on a beach in The Philippines if you need me.”

I left right there and then. I went back in the next day to hand in my uniform and provide a statement to the police. My boss was very understanding and allowed me to take my accumulated leave to cover my two-week notice period.

I’m now a few weeks into traveling around The Philippines and am yet to encounter a single awful customer. I know this trip has to end sometime, but knowing that customer got a criminal record helps more than I can say!

Living Childfree Doesn’t Protect You From Screaming Babies

, , , , | Right | January 9, 2023

I am checking out an older couple during the after-church hours. Anyone who has worked Sunday during these hours knows these customers can sometimes be… a bit much.

They have bought a huge bag of dog food on sale, and I pick it up to scan it, and then place it behind me.

Customer: “Oh, dear, don’t do that! It’s far too heavy. [Husband], you do it!”

Me: “It’s fine, ma’am, I do it all the time.”

Customer: “Oh but you mustn’t do that! It’s not good for a girl your age to be doing that, it won’t be good when you get married and want babies.”

Me: “Oh, I don’t want babies.”

I just blurted that out without thinking, and as soon as I said it, I knew it was a mistake. NEVER get personal with the customers, especially the judgemental after-church crowd. The customer blinks widely and does a “clutch pearls” gesture.

Customer: “But why! Every girl your age should be looking to find a man and have babies.”

Me: “I… I just don’t want babies.”

Customer: “But… why?”

Me: “I just don’t want them. I don’t want the commitment.”

Woman Customer: “How selfish of you!”

Me: “Pardon?”

Customer: *Suddenly angry.* “When you’re all alone in the care home with no one to love you, you’ll regret your selfish decision!”

Me: “Ma’am, it’s none of your business—”

Customer: “Selfish!”

Me: *Giving up.* “So you’re saying the only reason I should have children is to force them into some obligation to look after me when I get old? And you think I’m the selfish one?”

Customer: “Stop twisting my words!”

The customer’s husband finally speaks up.

Customer’s Husband: “Come on now, dear, she’s right; you did say that. Let’s just get our things and go.”

Customer: “But we can’t leave now! She still doesn’t want children!”

Customer’s Husband: “She doesn’t want a child, and you behaving like one isn’t going to change her mind. Let’s go!”

She grumbles, pays, and they take their items. Next Sunday he was back, with the wife staying in the car. Fine by me!

How To Fail Upward

, , , , | Right | January 9, 2023

Good news! My shift ends early today! Bad news! It finishes early because this afternoon I have my end-of-year review, and those are about as fun as they sound.

I’m at the checkout and an older lady is placing her items on the conveyor. She hands me a packet of cookies.

Customer: “This packaging is all wrong. It’s usually blue, but they’ve made it all red!”

Me: “Yes, they sometimes change their packaging. I know it can be confusing sometimes when you’re looking for it on the shelves.”

Customer: “I don’t care about how it looks on your shelves, I care about how it looks on my shelves! My kitchen was covered in an interior design magazine, and I won the Best Pantry award! I can’t have the red packaging!”

Me: “So, you don’t want the cookies, ma’am?”

Customer: “No, I do! But I want the blue packaging.”

Me: “Unless there is some older stock on the shelves, I’m afraid we will only have the red packaging for that item, ma’am.”

Customer: “Unacceptable! I need this in blue!”

Me: “I don’t know how you expect me to make that happen, ma’am.”

Customer: “Just go get a blue one! Think of my pantry!”

Me: “I can call for someone to check the back for you, ma’am, but I buy those cookies myself and I haven’t seen them in blue for a while.”

Customer: “So you’ve taken all the blue ones!”

Me: “What? I… no, ma’am, that’s not what I am saying.”

Customer: “Manager!”

Me: “I…?”

Customer: *Shrieking loud enough for all to hear.*Manager!”

A manager comes over and asks what the problem is.

Customer: “Your cashier here has taken all the blue [brand] cookies for her own pantry! She wants my pantry to look ugly!”

My manager just blinks at her, and then looks at me hopefully.

Manager: “[My Name]?”

I explain the situation as best as I can without making the old lady sound insane. I don’t think I was successful.

Manager: “[My Name] has explained the situation, ma’am. That brand switched to the red packaging a few months ago and we have no control over that.”

Customer: “Then you need to punish your cashier! She stole all the blue cookies!”

Me: “No… I—”

Customer: “Fire her!”

Manager: “Okay, ma’am, the customer is always right.”

My manager turns to me.

Manager: “[My Name], from this moment forth you’re no longer a cashier at this store.”

The customer looks smug and satisfied.

Manager: “I was going to wait until your end-of-year review later to tell you this, but from this point on, you’re a supervisor. Congratulations on the promotion!”

Customer: “Wait… what?! You’re rewarding her?”

Manager: *Ignoring the customer.* “As a supervisor, you now have the authority to deal with—” He waves dismissively at the customer. “—this.”

My manager scuttles away leaving the customer to just look at me. I simply stare back and then hold out her item.

Me: “Cookie?”

She stomped off leaving behind her items. It was worth it.

A Cartful Of Karma

, , | Right | January 9, 2023

I am gathering the shopping carts in the store’s parking lot at the end of the night. It’s cold and snowing, but it’s my job so I don’t complain.

One of the last customers comes out and unloads her groceries. She sees me gathering the carts, looks at her own, and looks at me again. Then, in an act I can only consider as spiteful, she pushes the cart into a snowbank, looks back at me, and mutters:

Customer: “Not my job, not my problem.”

She then drives off as I retrieve the wet and cold trolley from the far side of the parking lot.

I head home, forget the encounter, and get some sleep as I need to back in for an early shift the next day.

I turn up to work and am unlocking the carts, when who screeches into the parking lot at opening time, but the same spiteful customer as before! She storms out of her car with a couple of items – likely returns from the night before – and struts towards the store.

She emerges later with yet another fully loaded cart, sees the snow falling quite heavily again, and decides to start grumbling at someone on her phone.

Customer: *On the phone.* “Pull the car around, I’m not walking in this weather!”

As she’s on her phone, she is looking back at the store and doesn’t notice her rather heavy cart has started to slide down the disabled entry ramp. Bolstered by the wind, it picks up a decent velocity and topples over when it gets to the bottom of the ramp. All her items are spread all over the floor.

She notices finally and then glares at me like it’s my fault.

Customer: “Why didn’t you stop it!”

I reply in the only way the karma gods can allow me.

Me: “Not my job, not my problem.”

She was left to retrieve every item that fell while whoever was waiting for her in her car wisely didn’t drive up to pick her up.

The Latest NAR Avenger: Olive Man!

, , , | Right | January 9, 2023

I am stocking shelves and I can see a mother and two children standing in the aisle. The mother has stopped to take a phone call and the boys are play-fighting with some toy lightsabers. They are going quite rough, and knock a jar of olives over on the shelf. I step on over and pick up the items.

Me: “Hey, guys, try to be a little careful, yeah? Don’t want to accidentally break something.”

Boy #1: “F*** you!”

Boy #2: “Yeah, haha! F*** you!”

Me: “No need to be rude guys, I just—”

At this point the mother has noticed I am talking to them and storms a few steps toward me.

Mother: “Hey! Hey! Don’t you dare talk to my boys! What are you, a creepy weirdo? It’s just olives!”

Boy #1: “Yeeeeeah, it’s just olives, weirdo!”

Boy #2: “Yeah, olive man! It’s olive man! Haha!”

Me: Ignoring the boys. “No, ma’am, I am an employee who is trying to prevent your children from breaking something, and therefore saving you from having to buy it.”

Mother: “Do not tell my boys what to do!”

As she is scolding me with that last line, the boys’ play fight continues and they knock over several jars of stuffed olives. They shatter all over the floor. The boys look at their mother with an “uh-oh” look. The mother then looks at me, and then shrieks at me with what she considers a well-reasoned argument in her defence.

Mother: “You knew that was going to happen!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I did. That’s why I tried to stop them.”

Mother: “Come on boys, we’re leaving!”

Me: “Leaving to the customer service desk to pay for the…” Quickly counts. “…seven jars of olives your boys broke.”

Mother: *Scoffs, while getting out her car keys.* “Screw you! Good luck proving it was my boys!”

Me: *Pointing.* “I don’t have to. Those cameras caught the whole thing, as well as capturing you entering the store from the parking lot, which is also surveilled by cameras so we know which license plate to report to the police if you choose to leave without paying.”

Mother: “It’s… it’s just some f****** olives! I’m going to complain about how you’ve treated me to your manager! What’s your name?”

Me: “Don’t you know? Why, I am Olive Man! Customer service desk is this way.”

I escorted the customer to the customer service desk and called for a clean-up from there, while explaining to the manager on duty what happened. The customer was charged appropriately. I would have let it go if they had been nice, but they had created Olive Man, and Olive Man requires justice…