The Gift Card That Gave Up Giving

, , , , , | Working | December 26, 2019

(My mother-in-law sends us a gift card for Christmas to a large department store. I seldom shop at that store because it is always a pain in the, er, neck. But, with the card being only good there, I have to suck it up. We pick out something for the whole family that would ring up to about the limit of the card and head to the register.)

Cashier: “That will be $101.62.”

Me: “Okay, I have this card for $100 of it, and I’ll pay cash for the last bit.”

Cashier: “We don’t take that card.”

Me: “It’s a gift card for this store. This is the only place it can be used.”

Cashier: “We don’t take it.”

Me: “You don’t take cards with this store’s name on it, purchased at a store with this store’s name on it?”

Cashier: “No.”

Me: “Well, you do. Run the card for $100, and I’ll pay cash for the rest or you can run $1.62 in cash and then run the card.”

Cashier: “We. Don’t. Take. That. Card.”

Me: “You. Do. Get. Your. Manager.”

(She rolls her eyes and calls a manager. It takes quite a while, and the whole time she stands staring at me and I just stare back. Finally, the manager arrives.)

Cashier: “She wants to use a card we don’t take.”

Manager: “You can’t use it.”

Me: “Would you like to see the card?”

Manager: “Okay.”

(I show the card with the store’s name clearly on the front.)

Manager: “We don’t take it.”

Me: “Try running it and see what happens.”

(The manager says nothing and half-heartedly swipes the card. The total drops to $1.62 on the screen.)

Manager: “See? It didn’t cover the sale.”

(Being completely fed up with this, I dropped the exact change in coins on the counter.)

Me: “Do you take cash?”

Manager: “The total was, what was the total? The total was over $100.”

Me: “Yes, and you ran the card for $100; the register clearly shows that. Here you have the rest. Now I need my receipt.”

Manager: “You have to pay first.” *actually getting pissy*

Me: “I have. Type in $1.62 and hit the cash button and see what happens.”

(She actually does, and the drawer pops open and a receipt spits out. The manager looks at the register, looks at me, looks at the cashier, looks at the receipt, and looks back at me with eyes a bit wide. I reach out, snatch the receipt, pick up the item, and walk out the door saying quite loudly:)

Me: “This is why I don’t shop here.”

(That chain has finally gone under. I shopped there one other time in the next decade. It just wasn’t worth the hassle.)

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Take A Holiday Chill Pill

, , , , , , , | Related | December 26, 2019

One year for Christmas, my grandmother gives me a “Christmas break survival box” to get me through the weeks I’ll be stuck in the house with my three younger brothers. It’s a creative idea, and I’m excited as I pull out a knit blanket, a few books, and a CD.

Then, I come across a red and white bottle. It looks like a pill bottle and I’m very confused. I read the brown paper label, which identifies the contents as “Brother-B-Gone. Temporary. Take four and crunch loudly so you can’t hear brothers. May also be used as a bribe to make them go away.”

I open the bottle and find it full of M&Ms. I’m relieved to find that I have not, in fact, been given a bottle of pills.

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A-Wrist-ed Development

, , , , | Related | December 26, 2019

(My brother and I have just received identical smartwatches as Christmas gifts from our parents.)

Me: “Oh, yours is the same. How will we tell them apart?”

Brother: “Mine will be the one on my wrist…”

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It’s The Little Things That Make All The Difference

, , , , , | Right | December 26, 2019

(It’s the day after Christmas. It’s late and near closing time at the big chain grocery store. Even though there is only about 5% of the customers that are normally there, all the staff look weary. I approach the cashier to check out.)

Me: “I bet you’re glad all the Christmas chaos is over.”

Cashier: “A little.”

Me: *laughing* “Just a little? Do you mean it’s just a little over or do you mean you’re just a little glad?”

Cashier: *after thinking for a moment* “A little of both.”

Me: “Touché.”

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It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Ear

, , , , , | Right | December 26, 2019

(It is December, the busiest month of the year. I love December because I love getting into the spirit of Christmas. In doing so, I wear elf ears when I work. These are just two of my favorite interactions so far:)

Customer: *as I am gathering the product I am working with for the day* “Oh, my God, I love your ears!”

Me: *turning to him with a giant smile on my face* “Thank you!”

Customer’s Wife: “Oh, those are so cute! Where did you get them?”

Me: “The renaissance festival last year. And thank you! I love wearing them in December; children love it.”

Customer’s Wife: “Well, we love them, too. They’re super cute.”

Me: “Thank you. Adults have liked them a lot this year, too. Actually, I think more adults have commented than children!”

(A few minutes later:)

Customer: *walks up sheepishly* “I’m sorry if this sounds creepy, but could I please get a photo?”

(I cosplay, so this isn’t a creepy question to me if I’m in some sort of costume.)

Me: “Not creepy at all! Let me just take off my hat and apron.”

(I do so and the man takes a quick photo.)

Customer: *while I’m putting my uniform back on* “Now that, that’s the Christmas spirit. Thank you so much. Merry Christmas!”

Me: “It’s no problem. Thank you!*as he’s walking away* “Merry Christmas!”

(When working, I wish everyone whatever holiday they wish me: “Happy Holidays,” “Merry Christmas,” “Blessed Yule,” etc. Another time, a family stops at my cart: a mom, a dad, and two daughters. [Girl #1] is the oldest and [Girl #2] is the youngest.)

Girl #1: “Your ears! Your ears!”

(I turn my head slightly to give her a better view and twitch my ears.)

Me: “What about them? Is something wrong?”

Girl #2: “She’s an elf! She’s an elf!”

(The girls are super excited.)

Girl #1: “You are an elf, right?”

Me: “Very perceptive of you, little ones. Yes, I am.”

Girl #2: “Why’re you here? Shouldn’t you be helping Santa?”

Me: *looking around like I’m about to tell them a secret* “Do you two want to know a secret?” *both nod vigorously* “Santa has thousands of us hidden around the world, mostly working in stores like this one. But in December, the Christmas magic is too strong, and we find it hard to hide our ears.”

(The girls stare at me, wide-eyed, practically bouncing.)

Girl #2: “Do you see Santa?!”

Me: “Every Wednesday!”

(At this point, the parents start to herd them away, as they ramble about my ears.)

Mom: *as she passes me she whispers* “Thank you so much.”

(It’s days like these that remind me why I love my job.)

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