Has The Mental Capacity Of A Cupcake

| Long Beach, CA, USA | Working | December 9, 2016

(I’m the customer in this story. My daughter’s first birthday is coming up in a week, so I decide to go to a popular chain grocery store to order a custom birthday cake for her to smash up. I go online and find a photo on a photographer’s website of another baby eating the cake that I want made and print it out to take with me, to help avoid confusion. The cake is iced to look like a giant cupcake. At the store, my husband, baby daughter, and I go to the bakery counter together.)

Employee: “Hi, can I help you with something?”

Me: “Yes, I’d like to order a custom birthday cake for my daughter’s first birthday, please.”

Employee: *sigh* “Sure, I can help you with that.”

Me: *hands employee the picture* “I’d like the cake in this photo, please.”

Employee: *glances at photo* “Okay. What’s your name?”

Me: “It’s [My Name].”

Employee: “And your phone number?”

Me: “It’s [phone number].”

Employee: “What size cake do you want?”

Me: *glancing pointedly at the photo* “Um, eight-inch round?”

Employee: “Uh huh. Flavor?”

Me: “Vanilla.”

Employee: “Whipped cream or butter-cream frosting?”

Me: “Whipped cream.”

Employee: “What color do you want the frosting?”

Me: *again looking pointedly at the photo* “Red on the bottom, blue on top?”

Employee: “Um, okay. So we’re doing a photo cake?”

Me: *pointing at the photo of the child that’s obviously not mine eating cake* “I don’t want the photo on the cake; I want the cake in the photo.”

Employee: “What?”

Me: “I don’t want a photo cake. I want the cake that looks like a cupcake that the kid is eating.”

Employee: “I don’t understand.”

Me: *taking a deep breath* “I want an eight-inch round cake, vanilla cake, whipped cream icing, iced to look like the cake the child is eating in this picture. Red icing on the bottom for the muffin tin, blue on top. It should look like a cupcake.”

Employee: “Um, okay?”

(I spent the next 10 minutes explaining over and over what I wanted. I ended up cutting out the picture of just the cake and showing it to her that way. I think she finally got it, but we’ll see what I pick up next week!)

Getting Nowhere Fast

| Athens, GA, USA | Right | December 8, 2016

(I have been working as a cashier for only a couple months now and have been struggling with going as fast as the company wants me to, according to the ‘Items Per Minute’ score tracked by the register. On this particular night, I notice that my score is significantly higher than it has ever been before, so I decide to challenge myself and try to get my score as high as possible. All of my customers seem very enthusiastic when I explain this to them, even complimenting me on how great a job I’m doing. Right before I clock out, only two customers are remaining in my line. I do not mention what is going on to either customer; I just process their groceries as normal.)

Customer #1: *in a very annoyed tone* “You need to calm down!”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer #1: “You’re going way too fast! You need to go home and calm down!”

Me: *stunned and confused* “Well, I’m going home after I finish checking out you and the man behind you.”

Customer #1: “Good! You’re way too fast! You’re rushing people!” *storms off angrily*

Customer #2: *walks up to me as I begin scanning his groceries* “Don’t listen to her, honey. You’re doing a wonderful job. Don’t let her tell you how to do your job.”

Me: “Oh, thank you! Yeah, I don’t know. I’m just confused more than anything. I’ve never heard of anyone complaining that their cashier was too fast before.”

Surviving On $1.24

| WY, USA | Working | December 7, 2016

(This occurs just after the 2016 Presidential election, when disappointment and tensions are high on the losing side.)

Cashier: “Hi there, how’re you doing today?”

Me: “Oh, pretty well, how about you?”

Cashier: “Oh, you know, surviving.”

Me: “Yeah, sometimes that’s all you can do.”

Cashier: “Sometimes it’d be nice to do something besides just survive, you know?”

Me: *after a pause* “I almost made a political comment, but that might not be a good idea.”

Cashier: *quietly* “I think I know the comment you were going to make, and I know how you feel.” *louder* “Okay, your total is $25.24 today.”

Me: “Crap, I only have $24 in bills; I’m going to have to give you some change.”

Cashier: “Here, let me fix that.” *knocks $1.24 off the bill*

(Pause.)

Cashier: “I’m sure there was something in there that should be on sale.”

(I don’t know if it was just because the store was so busy and he didn’t want to wait for me to count coins, or if it was political commiseration, but it made my night!)

Contracted To Death

| WA, USA | Working | December 5, 2016

(Due to being shorthanded, our assistant manager is helping us night stockers “face” the store.)

Assistant Manager: *cough*

Me: “Don’t die on us.”

Assistant Manager: “Well, if I did at least I’d get some time off of work for once.”

Me: “SOME time?”

Assistant Manager: “I’m sure [Company] would find a way to reanimate me.”

Her Stress Is Ballooning

| New London, NH, USA | Working | December 5, 2016

(My boyfriend and I walk through the checkout line with a package of balloons.)

Cashier: *very friendly* “Will that be all today?”

Me: “Actually, could we get a couple of these inflated?”

Cashier: *suddenly distraught* “You want me to inflate all of them?!”

Me: “Uh, no, just five or so…”

Cashier: *sighing and visibly annoyed* “Okay, fine. But this is going to take a while.”

(She proceeds to inflate five balloons and tie strings onto them, sighing throughout the whole thing. Note that it is about three pm on a weekday. There are only a few other customers in the store, and several other registers open. At one point another customer gets in line behind us.)

Cashier: *very loudly and obviously annoyed, to the other customer* “I’m sorry but you’re going to have to go around. I have to inflate all of these balloons. It’s going to take a long time.”

(This happens one more time after this, and neither of the other customers seemed to be in any kind of hurry. She finishes the balloons and hands them to us. The whole process took about three minutes.)

Cashier: “Will THAT be all today?”

Me: “Uh… yup. That’s all.”

(She rang us up, I paid, and we left. Neither my boyfriend nor I could understand why inflating five balloons was so stressful!)

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