It’s Curtains For That Line Of Enquiry!

, , , , | Right | March 1, 2021

I have just finished my shift as an EMT and have to stop at a store where their uniform is jeans and a vest. Normally, I don’t go out in my uniform, but I just need a handful of items. I have stopped in an aisle to look at a couple of things and compare them. A random customer comes up to me.

Customer: “Where are the curtains?”

I continue to compare items.

Customer: “Excuse me! I’m talking to you!”

Me: “Oh, me?”

Customer: “Yes! Curtains!”

Me: “No idea. Just because I’m in a uniform, it doesn’t mean I work here.”

Customer: *Now talking to herself* “Oh… I, uh, um, curtains, where could they be?”

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Making A Point

, , , , , | Right | February 16, 2021

I’m thirty years old but my mother raised me to be an old-fashioned lady; no elbows on the table, no pointing, no swearing, always use manners, etc. As a result, I never got in the habit of pointing. I always gesture with my full hand unless the item is super close.

I’m shopping for clothes for a funeral with my sister, who is thirty-four, in a large department store. A lady in her fifties or sixties approaches me and taps me on the arm. I’m very surprised because, due to the current health crisis, no one where I live gets close enough to touch strangers.

Customer: “Girl! Where are your children’s shoes?”

I start walking backward straight away until we’re six feet apart.

Me: “I don’t work here, but I think over there.”

I gesture to the children’s clothes area. The lady looks me up and down, steps halfway between us, scrunches up her face, and starts shouting.

Customer: “F****** rude! It’s rude to point! It’s rude to tell me you don’t work here! It’s rude to back away from me! I’m not infected with anything! You are! B****!”

Other customers nearby turn and start to stare. I’m shocked and embarrassed but anger quickly takes over. I back up a few feet and raise my voice, pointing at her with my index finger.

Me: “Get away from me right now! We are shopping for a funeral and have been isolating together to be able to attend. I’m not risking my family’s safety for some crazy old b****!”

The woman’s face turns red as some of the store’s employees start to approach to deescalate the situation. She looks from them to me before throwing her items on the floor and stomping off.

My sister, who has been silent this whole time, turns to me, half-laughing.

Sister: *With a sing-song voice* “Ooh, Mom’s going to kill you when I tell her about this!”

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Beyond The Mountains Of Madness Lie The Plains Of Ignorance

, , , , | Right | February 15, 2021

I’m shopping. I’m wearing a black shirt with a dragon breathing lightning on the front. In no way, shape, or form is this like a uniform in the big box store I’m in. I’m browsing through some shirts, which are stationed across the walkway from the registers, and it’s a quiet time; there are no major crowds, and as per usual for big box stores, there are only a couple registers open.

Shrill Woman: “I’m ready to be rung up now!”

None of my business. I figure it’s probably someone who feels they must announce their presence to the world. I smirk to myself, thinking that this person also announces, “I have to go potty now!” before they walk to the public restrooms.

Shrill Woman: “Helloooo! I’m ready to be rung up nowww!”

I’m digging through the display. Do they have this shirt in blue? All I’m seeing is black or white or tan.

Shrill Woman: “Hello! Hello! Excuse me! Hello!”

Oh, they have it in red, but… meh… I walk around to the other side of the display.

I have a cart with me. This is fully visible to the registers. When I go to the other side of the display, I push my cart, with my purse and a few other purchases in it, to the other side of the display.

I hear the dainty sound of a T-Rex in flip flops come stomp-flapping my way.

There’s the blue! Awww, I don’t like the blue in this style AND they don’t have my size. Darn.

Shrill Woman: “HEY!”

This feminine Randy Savage bellow could have blasted the shirts off the top of the display.

Shrill Woman: “I’m trying to get your attention! I’m ready to be rung up now!”

I slowly look up and meet this person’s gaze.

Me: “That’s nice. Go to any open register you like.”

Shrill Woman: “I’ve already unloaded my stuff onto the conveyor belt. I’m not moving. Get your a** over there and ring me up.”

I stare at her. She stares right back. I break the gaze, grab the bottom of my shirt and stare down at my lightning-breathing dragon on my front. I look back up, slowly, slowly, stretch my face into a huge grin, and then laugh in her face.

Me: “Ha! That’s a good one! Have a lovely day, ma’am!”

She looks outraged, but then she stares at me a little more closely.

Shrill Woman: “You don’t work here.”

Not even a question. The dawn has broken over the Plains of Ignorance.

Me: “Obviously.”

I pushed my cart deeper into the jungle of shirt displays and left her behind. When I looked back a short time later, peering through the tangle of clothes racks, all of her things were back in her cart and she had slunk to the end of the line of an open register.

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Insert Several Clapping Emoji Here

, , , , , | Right | February 11, 2021

I am shopping for supplies for a charity I help run. There is one other customer in the same aisle as me: a young woman in a polo and dark pants. Employees of this store wear a different color polo and khaki pants. Another customer turns down the aisle and makes a beeline for the young woman.

Customer: “You. Where are your [product]s? I’ve been all over and I can’t find it. Your store is horribly organized.”

Young Woman: “Oh, I don’t work here, but I think—”

Customer: *Cutting her off* “I insist that you show me where they are, now! I am in quite a hurry!”

The young woman abruptly claps her hands several times, right in the other customer’s face. She looks startled and stops talking.

Young Woman: “Li-sten! I. Don’t. Work. Here.”

Customer: “Uh… but I need—”

Young Woman: “I. Don’t. Work. Here.”

She clapped a couple more times when the customer tried to speak, and finally, the customer slunk off to find someone who actually worked there. I gave the young woman a golf clap and we shared an eye roll before we both got back to shopping.

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I Don’t Work Here: Home Edition

, , , , , | Right | February 9, 2021

I’m in a hardware store, looking for a lock for a shed I’m working on, wearing my usual blue Tradie shirt with a pink hi-vis vest, both covered in my pink and black logo. The staff all wear red shirts and dark green pants and aprons.

Customer #1: “Excuse me. Can you help me with the chains in the next aisle?”

Me: “No worries. What do you need to know?”

Customer #1: “I just need three meters of this one here.”

Me: “Oh, you’ll have to grab a staff member to measure and cut it for you. I don’t work here. I thought you just wanted to ask about the different types.”

Customer #1: *Walks off in a huff*


Customer #2: “Miss, which gloves would you recommend for gardening?”

Me: “Okay, so if you’re doing light gardening I’d go for these ones here, but if you’re doing heavier stuff I’d get these; they’re pretty durable and they’re reinforced so you won’t accidentally stab yourself with anything spiky.”

Customer #2: “Thank you. You deserve a raise!”

Me: “I’ll be sure to give myself one.”

Customer #2: “I’m sorry?”

Me: “Oh, I don’t work here. Have a good day.” *Walks away*

And on a separate occasion, I’m wearing the same outfit in a homewares and clothing store, looking at vacuum cleaners. Their staff wear dark blue pants and light blue shirts with the store logo.

Customer #3: “Can you point me to wrapping paper?”

Me: “I’m honestly not sure, but there’s a lady near the entrance who can help you.”  *Points*

Customer #3: *Realising* “Oh, you don’t work here.”

Me: “No. Apparently, I just have a friendly face. Have a good one!”

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