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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Might As Well Be Stealing From Santa’s Cart

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

(It’s Christmas time and online orders are coming in like crazy. I am pulled to help find items for the orders around the store. We have specialized carts for fulfilling online orders that look nothing like regular shopping carts or even the employee-only carts. I am in the infant department with my cart trying to find an outfit for an order when a woman wanders over to me.)

Customer: “It is just wonderful how you guys put out these clearance carts so there’s more product on the floor even when the clearance section is full. I love looking through what you guys have.”

Me: “Are you referring to this cart right here?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Ma’am, these carts are for picking online orders. All the items in these carts are already paid for and purchased by other customers.”

Customer: “I had no idea. I’ve been taking things I’ve liked for years!”

(Now I know why sometimes when we go to pack the orders, some things are missing, which causes us a lot of frustration.)

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Music To Your Fears

, , , , | Right | December 25, 2019

(I work in an assisted living facility. My boss has me playing Christmas music from the computer in the front lobby. It’s been going on since before Thanksgiving. One of my Muslim coworkers comes up and we’re talking and she starts singing along. It should be noted that she wears hijab. A white, male visitor has just signed in and is walking off for his visit with his relative.)

Coworker: “I love Christmas music!”

Me: “You seem to know all the words, too.”

Visitor: *cuts me off* “You can’t!”

Me: “What?”

Visitor: “Her! She can’t like Christmas music! She’s one a them d***…” *makes flailing hand movements towards her*

Coworker: *just standing there, looking shocked*

Me: *eyes narrowed, customer service smile gone* “Sir, she can like whatever music she pleases. It’s a free country. I don’t appreciate your tone.”

Visitor: “You’re supporting a d*** [racial slur]?!”

Me: “I’m supporting my friend. Sir. I’m going to have to ask you to continue on your way or leave.”

Visitor: *starting to puff up for another rant*

Me: *cutting him off* “Nope. [Resident]’s room is that way. Have a nice visit.” *gives a very non-customer-service look*

Visitor: *stares for a second and then stomps off, muttering under his breath*

Me: “I’m sorry about people like that, [Coworker]. Guy obviously had a candy cane up his a**.”

Coworker: *shakes head*

(I got up and gave my coworker a hug. She was kind of shook by the whole thing. I can’t imagine what was wrong with this man. Maybe he really did have a candy cane up his a**… or maybe he needed one. I will never understand what is wrong with people.)

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A Stinging Inviting

, , , , | Friendly | December 25, 2019

(For the past few years, I’ve hosted a small Christmas party and invited a few coworker friends. This is the last year I’ll be hosting because I’m moving, so I send out the invite. One friend who has attended in the past responds that she “probably can’t make it,” which I understand; everyone is busy this time of year. Fast forward about two weeks, and I and a few other people receive a message on social media.)

Friend: “Hey, [Other Friend] and I would like to have a [theme] party and you’re all invited!”

Me: “Sounds great. When is it?”

(I don’t receive a response until the next day.)

Friend: “How about [same day as my get-together that she declined]?”

Me: *eyeroll* “Can’t make it; I’m hosting something else that night.”

(I usually brush these sorts of things off, but it did sting a bit. If she didn’t want to come, fine, but she clearly wasn’t doing anything until she decided to host this new event on the same night. At least she invited me, I guess?)

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