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This Customer Keeps On Ramping Up

, , , , , , , | Right | September 18, 2023

I have a disability that requires a wheelchair, but when required, I can stand for a minute or two. My friend and I are entering the store where we both work, and the wheelchair ramp is blocked by someone using an electric wheelchair that seems to have run out of juice. I can see him arguing with an older woman, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be resolved any time soon.

Not wanting to be late for work, my friend asks me:

Friend: “Think you can make it up those five stairs or shall we wait?”

Me: “I can do those five.”

Very clumsily, I get up from my wheelchair, and holding the rails, I make the slow climb of five steps while my friend carries the wheelchair. I’m not even halfway up when I hear the other customer in the electric wheelchair shouting at me.

Customer: “Are you mocking me?!”

Me: *Getting back into my wheelchair* “What? No.”

Customer: “Yes! You are! You’re calling me fat and mocking my disability!”

Me: “I’m lucky enough that I can move short distances, so we thought we would use the stairs since we could.”

Customer: “Because the fat blob is blocking the ramp, is that it?!”

Me: “Sir, you obviously have a chip on your shoulder about some things, but please know that I just want to get into the store as quickly as possible. I didn’t say or do anything to you.”

Customer: “Lazy fake-a** liar! Pretending to need a wheelchair when people like me really need it!”

My friend glares at him, but he’s learned that I prefer to fight my own battles, and I have deemed this one not worthy of my time. I clock in and wheel myself over to my checkout and start my workday.

An hour or so later, the same customer comes through my lane. (I work at one of the extra-wide disabled access lanes.) He is still with the older woman, and neither of them seems to recognize me as I start scanning his items.

Customer: “All the other register operators are standing, but you’re sitting down. Are you mocking me?”

Me: “Seriously, sir? Again with this?”

The customer then looks at me properly and notices that I am sitting in my wheelchair and not a regular chair.

Customer: “You again! Are you following me?! Spend all day making fun of the disabled fat guy, is it?”

Me: “Sir, I am literally just trying to scan your items and get you sent on your way.”

Customer: “Where’s your manager? They need to know that they have hateful staff who like to discriminate against disabled people!”

I sigh, call my manager over, and continue to ignore the customer as I finish scanning his items. My manager comes over expecting a simple question about pricing and suddenly is hit with a wave of shouting from my custome.

Customer: “This hateful person has been mocking my disability all morning! He laughed at me when I got stuck coming into the store, and now he’s pretending to need a wheelchair to make me feel like a [slur for disabled people].”

Manager: “Uh… sir, [My Name] here genuinely needs his wheelchair. He is not mocking you or anyone else by using it.”

Customer: “Bulls***! He climbed the stairs like it was nothing!”

Me: “It took me a full minute to make the climb, and I was holding on to the rail the entire time! It was not nothing!

Customer: “You were mock—”

Manager: *Cutting him off* Sir! I am not going to entertain any such accusations against my staff. Now please pay for your items and leave.”

Customer: “But he’s mocking the disabled—”

Finally, the older woman speaks up as she has seemingly had enough.

Older Woman: “Jesus Christ, [Customer]! You’re not disabled; you’re just fat! This poor man doesn’t have a choice but to use his wheelchair, but you do! So shut up, buy your f****** mac and cheese, and let’s get out of here! You’ve embarrassed me enough already!”

The man sheepishly pays for his items and starts to leave, with the woman still muttering:

Older Woman: “I thought I stopped raising a baby thirty years ago!”

It’s The Zombie Gaypocalypse!

, , , , , , , | Right | September 18, 2023

A woman pushes past a customer I am about to serve and places a video game on the counter.

Customer: “How dare you sell this game to my son?!”

I see that the game in question has a cover that doesn’t hide the fact that a lot of violence and gore-soaked situations are present.

Me: “Yes, this is a zombie fighting game that’s rated M for mature content. I recall selling this to you and warning you about the violence.”

Customer: “I don’t give a s*** about that! You never told me that the game has gays in it! Gays! You should warn parents about that before you sell them to their impressionable young kids!”

Out of curiosity, I Googled the “gay” content of said game. One male character mentioned they had a husband in a cutscene. That was it. Nice to know that was the content that would damage her “impressionable” child and not the endless waves of zombie killing.

The Donation Perturbation, Part 2

, , , , , , | Working | September 15, 2023

I work in an office full-time while I am also in full-time education. I am earning barely above minimum wage (hence the push for my education), and I’ve been denied a raise by my boss twice due to some fake, made-up reasons; the real reason is that he is a cheapskate.

This is fine, as I don’t intend to be here forever, so I accept the stability of the workplace and the fact that I can fit it in around my studies.

The boss hired another manager from outside who is totally his type. She is admittedly beautiful, but she has no idea she was hired because of her looks, not because of her competence. Thankfully, she is a very nice lady and she does her work with few issues.

She is also one of those people who volunteers a lot and raises money for lots of charitable causes. Our boss has never donated to charity before, but whenever she comes in stating that she’s raising money for a specific cause, he’s suddenly very generous!

With my barely-above minimum wage and my need to make rent, I have very little disposable income. However, the cause she’s raising money for this one is one I feel strongly about, so I am able to hand over five dollars when she sets up a donation box in the break room. (She doesn’t go desk to desk, thank God!)

My boss witnesses me putting in a five into the box while he is trying to look good in front of the pretty office manager.

Boss: “Was that $5?!”

Having my poverty called out like that makes me angry.

Me: “Uh… yes, it is.”

Boss: “Why aren’t you donating more?”

Me: “Why aren’t you paying me more?”

That was the quickest I have ever seen my boss shut down in the middle of his stride!

He didn’t bring it up again, and the new office manager thanked me genuinely for anything I could donate.

The Donation Perturbation

Identity Theft: When It’s A Case Of “When” Not “If”

, , , , , | Right | September 11, 2023

A customer is paying for her items and has been on her phone during the entire checkout process.

Me: “Do you want me to look up your number for your rewards card?”

Customer: *Still on their phone* “Eww, no! I’m not letting you guys steal my identity by having my phone number!”

Me: “I’ll just put it as ‘unlisted’, then, ma’am.”

Customer: “Uh-huh, whatever.”

The customer gets her card out to pay but is continuing to talk to someone on the phone.

Customer: *Loudly, for all to hear* “Yes, I actually have my card right here. It’s [sixteen-digit] number, the expiry date is [date] and the code at the back is [three digits]. Do you want my social, too?”

Good thing our checkouts don’t have HD cameras recording video and audio… Oh, wait!

The Mother Of All Fads

, , , , , | Right | September 8, 2023

A customer is choosing what smartphone she’d like to upgrade to, and I am taking her through some options. Her mother is with her, looking bored.

Me: “This model is a great phone if you’re not interested in photography and you just use it to go online.”

Customer’s Mother: “You don’t want that one! It’s ugly, and I don’t like where they put the cameras.”

Customer: “It’s fine, Mom. Let me see my options.”

Customer’s Mother: “Hmph! I’m just trying to help.”

Customer: “Sorry, mom, but you’ll forgive me if I don’t take technological advice from someone who still thinks the Internet is just a fad in 2023.”

The customer’s mother was quiet for the rest of the transaction… by scrolling on her phone’s Facebook.