Six Red Flags

| TX, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal & Illegal, Liars & Scammers

(Two customers come to my register with two baskets overflowing with groceries. They’re accompanied by four children between the ages of 4 and 11. The carts are loaded to overflowing with baby food and formula, diapers, expensive meats, cheese, beer, wine, sodas, and lots of frozen meals. They are extremely friendly and lay on the endearments quite heavily.)

Me: “So, did you find everything okay tonight, folks?”

Customer #1: “Oh, honey! Bless you! You bet we did, baby!”

Customer #2: “Woooo! More than everything! Look at these steaks! These are gonna be great!”

(The customers and their eldest two children load the first cart onto the belt. They take it, empty, to the end of my register to bag and load their groceries, since I don’t have a bagger. After several minutes, I finish ringing them up.)

Me: “Okay. Your total comes to [large, triple digit sum]. How would you like to pay that today?”

Customer #1: “By check. Let me write it up for you, honey.”

(As the first customer writes the check, the rest of the group finishes packing the groceries. She finishes writing the check and hands it to me.)

Me: “Okay, great. Can I see your ID to confirm a few details?”

Customer #1: “Sure, honey. Sure.”

(She opens her wallet and flips to the clear ID panel. The driver’s license inside looks really wrong.)

Me: “Sorry. Do you mind if I remove the ID from the plastic to see it better?”

Customer #1: “No, baby! Go ahead, sweetie! Help yourself!”

Me: “Okay. Ah. Do you have another form of identification, ma’am?”

Customer #1: “What’d you say, honey?”

Me: “Another form of ID? A driver’s license or something?”

Customer #1: “Honey, that IS my driver’s license.”

Me: “Actually, no, ma’am. It’s a Six Flags ID. See? The back here says ‘not government issued ID’ and the ‘Texas’ holograms are just gold puff paint.”

Customer #1: “I don’t know what you’re talking about. That right there IS my real ID, baby!”

Me: “And your check has a few routing numbers scratched out—”

(The customer suddenly snatches the check and ID out of my hands. The whole group bolts for the exit as I call for a manager. He commends me on catching them out and gets staff to put the items in the freezer for the time being. A few minutes later, I get a phone call on my register.)

Me: “Hello. This is [Store Name], register 12. [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

Cashier: “Hey, [My Name]. Can you get me [Assistant Manager]? I’ve got someone trying to pass a bogus check on gas and soda out here.”

Me: “Does she have [Name] tattooed across her chest in a script font?”

Cashier: “That’s her.”

Me: “Stall her. Tell her the check’s jammed in the machine or something. I’m sending him out.”

(I call the same assistant manager as before. The acting unit manager, loss prevention member, and the assistant manager book it out the door to the parking lot. By the time they arrive, the customer and her group had made a run for it, leaving the stolen check and fake ID behind. Police are called. We are questioned, and then told that the woman has no fewer than three warrants out for her arrest.)

A Time For Giving (A Piece Of Your Mind)

| Newark, DE, USA | Holidays, Religion, Theme Of The Month, Wild & Unruly

(I’ve gone to pick up a few things. I am in the line for the register when I hear someone yelling. Since I’m a curious person and the store isn’t very busy, I leave with my cart to see what’s going on. I soon see a woman in her 30s lecturing a boy in his teens who works in the store.)

Customer: “People like you disgust me! Not everyone is Christian! You shouldn’t tell people to celebrate something from a faith they don’t believe in! F*** you and your ‘Merry Christmas!’ religious erasure!”

(The employee is clearly overwhelmed. He’s been very sweet in helping me in the past so, against my better judgment, I step in.)

Me: “Even if you aren’t Christian, it’s still nice to hear that someone wants you to have a good holiday. Peace on Earth, goodwill towards man, not erasure. If you even bothered to talk to this guy for more than a few seconds you’d know how nice he is. He just wants you to have a good holiday season, lady.”

Customer: “You, too! You’re just as rude and disgusting as this brat. I bet you and him go around thumping gays with bibles to turn them straight! I’m going to report the both of you!”

Me: “Lady, I’m agnostic. That means I accept the fact that we don’t know for sure if there is a God or not. As such, I should just be the best person I can be because it’s the right thing to do. I love Christmas time. It’s full of love for everyone and it’s a time for family and friends to all come together. It’s full of people doing good for each other. If you don’t like people wishing you a good holiday just because of the religion that celebrates the holiday, you’re just as bigoted as the people who really do want erasure. Also, I’m bi. So I wouldn’t go around ‘thumping’ anyone for their sexuality.”

(The customer sputters for a minute before storming off with her cart. The employee looks at me after a few seconds to calm himself down.)

Employee: “I only said it because she said she was planning Christmas dinner…”

The Only Thing She Skipped Was Kwanzaa

| NY, USA | At The Checkout, Holidays, Religion, Theme Of The Month

(I’m standing behind a nice old lady who is checking out at the grocery store.)

Lady: “You look like you both need a smile. This is for you!”

(She hands the cashier a few pieces of Christmas themed candy, and gives one to me.)

Cashier: “Oh, thank you! Happy Holidays!”

Lady: “Oh, it’s okay. You can say ‘Merry Christmas’ to me. I know you want to.”

Cashier: “Actually, I’m Jewish—”

Lady: “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you. Oh, yes! Feliz Navidad to you!”

(The cashier and I both just smiled, because regardless of what you call it, she still had the best seasonal spirit!)