Lifting Like A Girl

| Germantown, MD, USA | Working | July 17, 2015

(My parents are landscaping and I am picking up extra topsoil because they ran out — ten bags of it. I am an average-sized female in my 20s.)

Me: *lifting bags of topsoil onto a cart*

Male Employee: “Miss? Why don’t you let me do that?”

Me: *lifting another* “Why? Are customers not allowed to get their own anymore?”

Male Employee: “No, ma’am, I just thought…”

Me: “Just thought what?”

Male Employee: “Well, you are a girl…”

Me: “That a girl can’t lift 50 lbs of topsoil on her own?” *lifting another bag*

Male Employee: “Uh, well, I just thought you might need some help…”

Me: “Just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean I’m weak. If I needed help, I would have asked for it. If women can push a baby out, they can lift 50 lbs of soil!”

Male Employee: *flushes bright red and scurries off*

Female Cashier: “You’re the first girl to ever reject his help!” *laughs* “I wish more women did.”

That Benefit Went Straight Down The Faucet

| Rio Rancho, NM, USA | Right | July 16, 2015

(I work at a home improvement store. A customer has picked out a faucet.)

Me: “Great! We have that exact one in stock. While I set up this order, I will have someone go get it from the warehouse for you!”

Customer: “That’s perfect! What do I owe?”

Me: “$103.00. That can be cash, check, or card.”

Customer: *hands me a card*

Me: “Uhm. This is a EBT card.”

Customer: “Yeah, I know.”

Me: “Uhm, food stamps only work on food and necessities. Did you mean to give me a credit or debit?”

Customer: “No, just charge the card I gave you.”

Me: “Uhm, ma’am, I cannot do that. This is a state issued EBT card. It’s not meant to be used for household fixtures, just food and some basic supplies. My computer won’t even accept it if I did enter the information.”

Customer: “I want it charged to that card! That is why I gave you that card!”

Me: “I understand that; however, that is not how these cards work.”

Customer: “Well, why not?”

Me: “Because the state issues them for families who cannot afford food, water, formula, or other needs. But it has to be for a need that is basic to supporting life, not things like faucets or even clothes.”

Customer: “But I NEED a new faucet.”

Me: “Well, if you are renting, the owner of the property should be the own who replaces it. If you own your residence, I can ring this up with cash, check, or a bank issued card.”

Customer: “Just swipe the card I gave you!”

Me: “This is a state issued food stamp card. I cannot.”

Customer: “This is discrimination because you think I am poor!”

Me: “Ma’am, I do not judge based on how much money a customer happens to have. However, I can refuse forms of payment that either do not work, will not work, or are illegal to attempt to use.”

Customer: “Illegal? Now you don’t think I am American!”

Me: “What? I said forms of payment that are illegal to use.”

Customer: “You are calling me an illegal!”

Me: “Ma’am, I cannot help you. Nor can I sell you this with the payment you offered me. You can either give me a legal, bank issued form of payment or not buy from this store.”

Customer: “How dare you!” *flounces out*

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A Heavy Dose Of Misogyny Or Laziness?

| MI, USA | Right | July 11, 2015

(I work as a loader/lot attendant at a popular hardware store. People tend to give me a hard time of it since I’m female. At this point, I’ve just been called to a register by a coworker. They are with a female customer.)

Coworker: “Hey, this customer needs help getting the insulation blower out of her truck.”

Customer: “You mean she’s gonna do this?”

Me: “Yep, I’ve got it. Come on.”

(We go outside and I begin to get all the parts out of her rather tall truck. I’m starting to wonder why she’s not even helping at all, as the customer usually helps me unload. But she stands there glaring at me like I’m a disease. Finally, I come to the heaviest part.)

Me: “Hey, would you mind grabbing the other side of this and helping me lower it onto the cart?”

Customer: *huffs angrily and glares* “I did not want to have to be doing this!”

Me: “I’m sorry…?”

(She lifts it off anyways with my help, but then, suddenly lets go once it’s off the truck. The machine drops and smashes down into my knee, bruising it badly. It’s not on the cart the whole way and the cart is rolling away as I struggle to lift it on the rest of the way.)

Me: “Could you please at least hold the cart still for me?”

(She then gave me one last glare, brushed off her jacket, turned around, got into her truck, and drove off.)

Refuses To Go Through The 20 cm Questions

| Lisbon, Portugal | Working | May 29, 2015

(I bought a bed at Ikea and at the center it needed a piece of wood to sustain the weight. Just my luck, the part that came from IKEA was 10 cm too short. So I go to one of those large home-improvement stores where they sell everything you might need and will even cut the wood in the size you require, for free. I show the part to the employee and explain:)

Me: “I need a piece of wood just like this, but with 20 cm instead of 10 cm.”

Employee: “Sorry, we can’t. Our machine only cuts a minimum of 23 cm.”

Me: “You’re telling me there is no way you can cut a piece of wood exactly 20 cm?”

Employee: “That’s right.”

(I am a bit confused and walk around the store for a bit. At some point I pick up a 260 cm piece of wood and take it to the cutting area.)

Me: “Can you cut this exactly 240cm ?”

Employee: “Sure, give a few minutes.”

(He did and when he got back I had my 20 cm piece of wood to finish assembling the bed.)

Taking Good Account Of The Plumbing

| Barrhaven, ON, Canada | Right | May 27, 2015

(I am working in the plumbing department of a big home improvement store. A customer comes to me on a busy weekend afternoon and asks about how to replace a toilet. I go through the steps. As I do so, he regularly interrupts to challenge what I’m saying.)

Me: “You have to set the toilet down straight to ensure a good seal. Hold it by the sides here and stand like this.”

Customer: “No, that’s not right.”

Me: “Yes, it is, because if you set it down on an angle the wax seal is squished and can’t bounce back.”

Customer: “Hmm.”

(And so on. This goes on for some time until finally he challenges what I say and instead of explaining, I ask how he plans on doing this.)

Customer: “Oh, I’m not doing anything. I’m an accountant; I don’t know anything about plumbing. I’m having someone else do it but I want to be able to challenge them and look like I know what I’m talking about.”

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