Returner Burner

, | USA | Right | December 26, 2015

(A customer walks up with some essential oils.)

Customer: “I have to return this; it’s been tampered with. You shouldn’t put this back on the shelf.”

Me: “Okay, would you like to just return it or would you like to exchange it?”

Customer: “I would like to exchange it.”

Me: “No problem! Just grab what you need and I’ll swap them for you!”

Customer: “NO. You need to grab it for me! I’ve had a very long day and I’m too tired for this!”

Me: “…Uh.”

(I remember that my coworker is behind the wall that we sort our returns, so I could leave to go grab it but if she wasn’t there then I wouldn’t have been able to.)

Me: “Sure…” *to coworker* “Hey [Coworker], I have to go grab something for a customer. I’ll be back in a second.”

(I run to go grab it and I’m quite perplexed by his attitude with me. Fortunately, one of my coworkers in that department helps me find it so I get back right away. I process his exchange.)

Customer: “Now, you better not put that one back on the shelf!”

Me: “Yep, and I double-checked to make sure that one wasn’t tampered with for you.”

Customer: “Thank you!” *leaves*

(One of my coworkers comes up to me.)

Coworker: “You should have just pretended like I wasn’t there. That’s what I would have done.”

Me: “I guess; I just didn’t want to make it more troublesome than he was making it out to be.”

Coworker: “I would have made it so awful for them. When people treat me like that, I purposely will make sure that the return will take much longer than it usually does. Such as, restarting the transaction over a few times.”

Me: “…I think, I’d rather just get them out of here as fast as possible so I don’t have to deal with them any longer.”

Coworker: “I’d rather stare them down and make them uncomfortable. I even do an overly happy/obnoxious voice just to make them mad.”

Volunteering, Can’t Believe What You’re Hearing

| Boulder, CO, USA | Working | December 25, 2015

(I’m the lead at a warming shelter on Christmas Day. We serve over 100 people with snacks, a warm place to rest, movies, and fellowship. Mid-day, I notice we’re low on cream cheese for the bagels, and cookies, so I dart out to the only grocery store in town open on Christmas.)

Me: *checking out* “I am so glad you’re open today! But I’m also really sorry you have to work today.”

Cashier: “Don’t worry about it, lady! I volunteered! I’m getting 42 bucks an hour!”

Kindness In Bloom

| USA | Right | December 25, 2015

(I am standing behind a little old lady in line while holding a bouquet of tulips. In front of the old lady is a mother with her child and the mother seems to be having trouble. I haven’t really been paying attention to it.)

Old Lady: “Those tulips are very pretty. May I ask who they are for?”

Me: “They are for my mother. Her favorite flowers are tulips. Today is my parents’ anniversary and my dad couldn’t get off work today.”

Old Lady: “That is so sweet of you. Since you only have those flowers and I have a ton of groceries, how about you get in front of me so you can go surprise your mother faster.”

Me: “Thank you so much.”

(I was really happy I got to leave earlier and I smile at the old lady. Then I realize what’s going on with the lady in front of me: her card isn’t working and she has about $300 worth of groceries bagged. She’s crying and yelling loudly at the cashier.)

Lady: “I just got this card and they told me it would work; I really need these groceries today!”

Cashier: “I am sorry; is there something else you can pay with?”

Lady: “No, not at the moment! I’ll just leave.” *starts to grab her purse when the little old lady behind me walks in front of me*

Old Lady: “How much was everything she is wanting?”

Cashier: “It’s about $300.”

Old Lady: *looks at the lady who is crying* “Just think of this as an extremely early Christmas present.”

(The old lady then swipes her card and pays for the lady’s groceries. The lady breaks down in tears.)

Lady: “I’m so sorry for all of this. Is there anything I can do for you? I’m so sorry. I just got off of work and I’m pregnant and times are not being so good to me.”

Old Lady: *smiles at her* “The only thing I ask of is that you smile and know things will work out eventually.”

(I then broke down crying. As I was leaving I handed the old lady a tulip from the bouquet I had bought and smiled at her.)

Old Lady: “Thank you very much, dear.”

Me: “I wanted to thank you for being the kind soul that you are.”

Old Lady: “You are a very kind person; don’t ever lose that.”

Me:You are the kind person. Would you like any help with your groceries?”

Old Lady: “Um, yes, please; I don’t think I could manage by myself very well.”

(I helped her with her groceries and went home. I gave my mom her tulips and told her the story, and we both started crying.)

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Likes Dem Apples Very Much

| Cedar Rapids, IA, USA | Right | December 23, 2015

(I work in a Midwest grocery store chain, known for helpful smiles. One of our regulars, a single mother of four, has come to my register with a large amount of groceries.)

Me: “Hello, how are you doing today?”

Regular: “Oh, we’re good. Celebrating [Youngest Son]’s birthday tomorrow.”

Me: “Oh, is that what this awesome birthday cake is for?”

(She nods, then chats idly with the young man in line behind her, who is a college student. After loading everything onto the belt, she looks at her oldest son and gives him her EBT card, as well as some cash while she runs to check on something. After she’s left the register, the man behind her speaks up.)

Male Customer: *to me* “Miss? I’d like to cover these folk’s groceries today.”

(I pause, as this has never happened before.)

Me: “I’m sorry; can you repeat that, sir?”

Customer: “I’d like to get this family’s groceries for them today. But on the down low. Anonymously, you know?”

(I nod, and he turns to the children.)

Customer: “Hey, don’t tell your mom, okay? I’m gonna cover your groceries for you today. Merry Christmas!”

(All four children are rather shocked, as am I, as the bill continues to grow larger. Once I ring everything up, I give him the total.)

Me: “All right. Well, sir, since you said you were going to cover it, it’s going to be $85 and change today.”

Customer: *nods, then adds his bag of apples before turning to the oldest child* “Here, I heard you say you wanted some apples, but your mom said you couldn’t get them today.”

(I add them to the total, and he slides his card only moments before the mother returns. This has all happened in less than two minutes.)

Me: “All right, here’s your receipt, ma’am, and have a Merry Christmas. And have a Happy Birthday, [Youngest Son].”

(My regular nods, smiles, glances between me and the male customer for a moment, then her children, then walks off. I start to ring up the male customer’s groceries, telling him how kind and generous I think he’s been when the mother comes back.)

Regular: “Wait, what just happened?”

Customer: *explains to the mother, whose eyes get wider as he speaks* “So, have a Merry Christmas, miss, and tell your son I said Happy Birthday.”

Regular: “Seriously? I mean, you really did that?”

(Customer nods.)

Regular: “Oh, my lord. Thank you. You don’t know what this means to my family. Thank you so much, and Merry Christmas to you, too!”

(She heads back to her children, on the verge of tears as she slowly walks out the door, shaking her head in amazement.)

Me: “Sir, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a kind thing in my life. Can I just say how amazing that was, and what a generous person you are?”

Customer: “Hey, it’s Christmas time. I’ve got the cash, and if I can help someone out, then I’ll do it. Those smiles lit up my day.” *pauses, then chuckles* “Of course, now I’ll have to get more apples. But that’s another day’s concern!”

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Not The Grapest Thief

| SC, USA | Friendly | December 22, 2015

(I am in a department store when I hear chewing noises. As I round the corner I find a very small boy standing at the display stand. He is two at the oldest. He looks up at me with a blank expression, cheeks puffed out like a chipmunk. His little arm is still buried to the wrist in an opened bag of grapes. I’m standing there in shock, because this tiny child is very clearly alone and is shoving the grapes into his mouth with this confused look, like he isn’t sure why I looked surprised. A woman comes up the aisle with her cart and catches sight of the teensy grape thief. She leans back, hand over her heart, and laughs hysterically.)

Woman: “I did that when I was a kid, back when you could walk to the store! Ooh, my mother would get so mad!”

(Then she strolled away, still laughing, leaving me standing there with the grape-eating baby. I just kind of stood there open-mouthed until someone I really really hope was the boy’s mother came over from two aisles away to put him in the cart and leave. Apparently the laughing woman thought that a baby stealing from a grocery store was funny. Wonder if the toddler’s mother felt the same way?)

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