Taxing Taxis

| AB, Canada | Working | April 27, 2015

(Many years ago I worked in a grocery store. We had the local taxi service under contract to do deliveries for us, and we had a delivery ready to go.)

Me: “[Cashier], hey, we’ve got an order ready to go. Could you call the taxi company and get them to come pick it up, please?”

Cashier: “Sure! What’s the number?”

Me: *states phone number*

Cashier: “And then what?”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Cashier: “Well, what do I say to them?” *begins talking in a really sarcastic tone* “Hi! This is [Cashier] at [Grocery Store]! I’d like to order a taxi, please!”

Me: “Yes. That’s exactly what you say.”

Cashier: “REALLY? That’s all you have to do to call a taxi?”

Me: “Yup. Now, could you do it, please?”

Cashier: “Well, I can’t.”

Me: “Why?”

Cashier: “Because I’m shy. I can’t talk to a complete stranger on the phone.”

A Seniority Complex

| TX, USA | Friendly | April 22, 2015

(One of the grocery stores near my dad’s house has, in addition to its handicapped parking, a half row of spaces right next to the building that are signed as ‘Senior Citizen Parking.’ They are kind of hilariously subject to policing by “concerned citizens.” I go to the store with him when I am visiting, and when we come out my dad is accosted by a fellow shopper.)

Shopper: “Hey! You have to be a senior citizen to park here!”

Dad: “…And I’m 73. By whose definition do I not qualify?”

Shopper: “Oh, I… Well, okay, then.”

(In the guy’s defense, my dad is driving a convertible sports car, and although he’s white-haired, doesn’t otherwise look his age. But it gets better…)

Dad: “Who made you the parking cop, anyway? How old are you?”

Shopper: “I’m 57.”

Dad: “Well, then, in eight years you can come back and park here, too.”

Shopper: “I– But– Well, IHOP says I’m a senior citizen!”

Dad: “Excellent! Between now and then, you can go park there.”

Be The Change You Want To Give

| FL, USA | Working | April 22, 2015

(My fiancé and I are going through a check-out with a small amount of food so I decide to pay with cash, which I have never done at this store before.)

Cashier: “Your total is $12.56.”

(I hand the cashier a $20 bill. He hands it back to me. I think it’s odd, but I don’t say anything, assuming that’s how they handle cash at this location.)

Cashier: “And $7.44 is your change.”

(The cashier hands me the change and I try to hand him the $20 bill, but he doesn’t take it.)

Me: “Sir, the $20?”

Cashier: *genuinely confused* “What?”

Me: “You need to take the $20.00.”

(The cashier just stared at me uncertainly.)

Me: “You handed me the $20 back after I gave it to you and now you have handed me the change too. Please, take the $20.”

(He finally took it but still seemed completely unconvinced.)

Me: *to my fiancé, after we leave* “I really don’t think he believed me. I never had to work so hard to convince someone to take my money before.”

Fiancé: “I don’t think he believed you either, but he will when his register isn’t short that $20 at the end of the night!”

Trust Is A Two-Way Street

| Aldergrove, BC, Canada | Right | April 16, 2015

(An elderly woman comes through my till and is writing a cheque to pay for her order, but is having difficulties with her shaky hands. I offer to write it for her.)

Me: “All right, so the total was $62.83. If you would like to check it over yourself and sign it for me, please?”

(She goes to take the cheque from me when a younger woman behind it snatches it from my hands and starts triple-checking the amount on the cheque and the computer screen, before handing it to the elderly woman to sign.)

Young Woman: *snottily* “You just can’t trust some people.”

Me: “Fair enough…” *to the elderly woman* “Here’s your receipt; see you next week!”

(I quickly run the younger woman through, who says nothing the entire time. At the end of the transaction she hands me a $100 dollar bill. I hold it up to the light and start checking all of the security features, the younger woman glaring the entire time.)

Me: “Like you said, you just can’t trust some people.”

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Providing A Self-Service Service

| East Sussex, England, UK | Right | April 16, 2015

(We have two self-service checkouts and three normal registers. Younger customers tend to be fine with the SSC but our elderly customers prefer the manned registers; however, there’s often only two staff in so if there’s a queue then sometimes people who would normally come to a human will switch to the SSC queue. An elderly man switches out of our queue to use a SSC, and immediately starts having issues. The next SSC comes free and a mother starts teaching her daughter how to use it.)

Elderly Man: *puts his basket in the bagging area*

SSC: “Unexpected item in the bagging area. Remove item before continuing.”

Elderly Man: “THESE CHECKOUTS ARE A DISGRACE! They don’t make any sense!”

Mother: “Now, [Daughter], lots of people find these tricky, but if you remember a few things then they’re easy as pie!”

Daughter: “Okay, mummy! What do I do?”

Mother: “Well, put your basket on the left. The left side is just a shelf and the right side has scales which weigh our shopping so it knows we aren’t stealing. The middle bit is the scanner and we have to wave the barcodes at the glass panels there.”

Elderly Man: *picks up his basket and looks to the woman uncertainly*

Mother: “So, [Daughter], remember: leave ’em to the left and roll ’em to the right. You can’t go wrong!”

Daughter: *picks up a tin of beans and rolls it over the scanner glass*

Mother: “Now, hear that beep? That means it scanned it. You can look at the screen if you’re not sure.” *points to where the screen now says ‘beans’*

Elderly Man: *copies*

(It all goes well at both tills for about 30 seconds until…)


Mother: *rips the corner off a ready meal barcode whilst her daughter is looking at the elderly man shouting* “Oh, no! Look, [Daughter], we can’t scan this one!”

Daughter: “Should I get another one, mummy?”

Mother: “No, that takes too long, but it’s okay. See that big button that says ‘Finish and Pay’?”

Daughter: “Yes, mummy.”

Mother: “Well, just above that there’s a button that says ‘Item Does Not Scan,’ so if you press that, you can put the numbers from the barcode in by yourself. If I read the numbers out, you can push the buttons.”

Daughter: *does this*

Elderly Man: *copies and then picks up a Danish pastry, and turns it over in his hand looking for a label*

Mother: *notices and picks up her own bakery items* “[Daughter], let’s do these next!”

Daughter: “But these don’t have a label on them!”

Mother: “That’s because we bagged them ourselves, silly! Now there’s two ways we can do this. If we press the ‘bakery’ button we can either select a subcategory like ‘pastries’ or ‘doughnuts,’ or we can press search if we’re not sure what category something goes into.”

Daughter: *puts all their bakery through*

Elderly Man: *copies daughter*

Mother: “Now, then. We’re all done. What button should we press now?”

Daughter: “Finish and pay?”

Mother: “Exactly right. Now, before we pay, mummy needs to scan her [Loyalty Card] so we can have the points for our shopping. Can you press the button for it?”

Daughter: *presses the button*

Elderly Man: *finishes scanning items and stands there looking at the till*

Mother: “Oh hang on, [Daughter]! I want to check if those crisps came up as ‘buy one get one free.'”

Daughter: “How can we check?”

Mother: “Well, the tills take the offers off at the end, so if you press ‘go back’ we can look at the bottom of the screen to check the offers. If it’s all good then we can just PRESS THE BIG FINISH AND PAY BUTTON ON THE BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER OF THE SCREEN.”

Daughter: *goes back to look if the offers have come off and then presses back to the payment screen*

Elderly Man: *presses ‘Finish And Pay’*

Mother: “Good, so now we just need to put the money in. Remember to check the notes are unfolded and that the corners aren’t bent. You can drop coins in this hole.”

Daughter: *pays*

Elderly Man: *copies*

Mother: “Right, [Daughter], our receipt comes out here, next to the scanner. Once it’s printed we can leave.”

Elderly Man: *snatches receipt and stalks off*

Manager: “Excuse me, miss? You forgot to take this!” *hands her a MASSIVE box of chocolates*

Mother: “Oh, I couldn’t!”

Manager: “No, please. That was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. I wish all our customers were like you!”

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