Read My Tulips

| NY, USA | Crazy Requests

(A woman comes in and, since I’m standing near the front of the store, she walks right to me.)

Customer: “Do you work here?” *our favorite question… as though the shirt with the company logo isn’t a dead giveaway*

Me: “Yes. Can I help you?”

Customer: “I know you sell flowers, but do you sell flower bulbs?”

Me: “At the moment we do carry some seasonal bulbs. They are amaryllis bulbs, just for the holiday season. They’re about four dollars each.”

Customer: “No, no, I know about those. I need about forty hyacinth bulbs.”

Me: “I’m afraid we don’t generally carry bulbs for planting. We only have these amaryllis bulbs as a decorative holiday item.”

Customer: “Well, just FYI, Home Depot doesn’t have hyacinth bulbs, either. They only have tulip bulbs. And I. DON’T. DO. TULIPS!”

You Toy With Me I’ll Toy With You

| NY, USA | Bad Behavior, Rude & Risque

(I answer the phone. The caller is male; I am female.)

Me: “[Grocery], how may I help you?”

Caller: “Your hold music is awesome.”

Me: “Thanks… What can I help you with today?”

Caller: “Do you sell…” *giggles* “…sex toys?”

Me: “No, we do not.”

Caller: *still giggling* “Oh, well, my girlf—” *I disconnect the call*

(Later, when I’m relaying the story to a coworker…)

Me: “I should have said ‘no, you’ll have to find another way to go f*** yourself.'”

Getting Nowhere Fast

| Athens, GA, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

(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.”

Some Customers Are Just Too Much

| Glens Falls, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(I am in my second year of employment as a bagger at a higher-end grocery store that sells itself on its all natural and organic products, all of which are at a significant mark-up. It’s late at night; the only people on the floor are two service leaders and me. A customer with a cart near overflowing comes to the register. She unloads her cart, almost entirely comprised of organic foods, and we set about getting the order completed. I am nearly finished bagging.)

Cashier: “That will be [three-figure price].”

Customer: *stated, with no emotion in her voice* “Oh, that’s too much.”

(As it is late, we are tired, and unsure of what the customer wants us to do about it.)

Cashier: “Well, most of what you bought was all organic, and that is more expensive than the non-organic.”

Customer: *still emotionless* “That’s too much.”

(At this point, the customer starts looking around, and it occurs to us that she is hoping another customer, of which there are none, will heroically come to her rescue and pay for the not insignificant cost of her groceries. Upon realizing that she is alone, she looks back at us.)

Customer: “I only have 75 dollars.”

Cashier: “Well, would you like us to take something off of your order?”

Customer: “Yeah, lemme see…”

(The customer proceeds, taking no more than two items off at a time, again hoping that someone will come to her financial rescue. A half-an-hour later, we have reduced her order to only a handful of very expensive items, but are below the 75 dollar limit. She pays, and walks out, leaving the belt covered in her excess groceries. As the woman leaves the building, the cashier turns to me.)

Cashier: “Did she really think someone was going to pay for her groceries at 10:30 at night?”

Me: “I try not to think about it. It just makes my head hurt.”

Irresponsibly Entitled

| USA | Criminal & Illegal, Family & Kids

(I am the cashier serving a woman with a very full grocery cart. Her son, who looks to be around four, is hanging from the handle, swinging like he’s trying to be a monkey and making the cart tip back slightly.)

Me: “Honey, it’s not really a good idea to do that. The cart could tip over and fall on you.”

Woman: “Don’t tell my son what he can or can’t do! That’s not your job!”

Me: “I apologize, ma’am. I’m merely trying to prevent him from hurting himself.”

(At this point the cart’s front wheels are lifting off the ground every time the boy swings. His mother just shrugs.)

Woman: “If he does then I’ll just sue you for having unsafe carts and take you for everything you’re worth!”

Me: “Actually, no, you can’t. I’ve officially given both you and your son fair warning that what he’s doing is dangerous and could lead to injury, therefore I’ve fulfilled the legal requirements for health and safety. Whatever happens from here on is squarely your fault and your fault alone.”

Woman: “But…”

Me: “And if you’re going to try and lie about it to my manager or a lawyer, please direct your attention to the cameras overhead. They record both picture and sound so that’s additional confirmation I did everything I could to keep you and your son safe and thus you are entirely at fault for not stopping him.”

(The cart suddenly tips backwards, and the boy loses his grip on the handle. Miraculously it doesn’t tip over though; it just crashes back onto its wheels. He gets up and tries to swing from it again.)

Me: “By all means, ma’am, if it’ll make your day to sue us then go ahead. Just note you’ll have no case whereas I will have plenty of cause for calling social services on you.”

(The woman turns white and smacks her son’s hands.)

Woman: “DON’T YOU DARE TOUCH THE CART AGAIN!”

Me: “Thank you for understanding, ma’am.”

(I finished ringing her up and she hurried out of the store with her son in tow. Sometimes you really do have to spell it out for people why they can’t just laden all their responsibility on others.)

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