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.

This story is part of our Best Of February 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of February 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of February 2021 roundup!

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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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Working On Getting Groceries Only

, , , , , | Right | February 5, 2021

I’m out doing my grocery shopping. An older man enters the aisle I’m in, and we both browse in silence for a few moments, until…

Old Man: “Do you know where the [item]s are these days?”

I have a vague idea of where they are, so I try to be as helpful as I can.

Me: “I think they’re two aisles over.”

I point in the direction I think the items might be.

Old Man: “They’re always moving things around and putting things in weird places!”

This store has recently gone through a minor reorganization so I can understand his frustration. I just nod and make a vaguely sympathetic noise, and he wanders off in the direction I pointed him in.

I don’t think any more about it until it comes time for me to check out, and I end up in line directly behind the same man.

Old Man: *Seeing me* “Oh! I’m sorry, I thought you worked here!”

I look down at my black tank top, black skinny jeans, bright pink hair, and shopping cart full of items.

Me: “Um… no. No, I don’t.”

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Avengers… Assemble The Cake!

, , | Right | January 24, 2021

I’m at the grocery store shopping for cookie ingredients. A middle-aged woman walks up to me while I look for something extra to put on the cookies.

Customer: “Excuse me, where is the [Brand] caramelized milk?”

I figure she asked me because I was looking intently at the shelves, and I look around a little.

Me: “Well, seems like there isn’t any. Sometimes it’s on sale at the end of the aisle; hold on.”

I leave to check around the corner and come back.

Me: “Nope, nothing. Seems they ran out.”

Customer: “Oh, that’s too bad. You see, I wanted [Brand] to make a cake, but this [Other Brand] is always too sweet, and this other—”

She continues rambling about caramelized milk brands and I end up tuning her out because she starts mumbling and talking while looking away. I reassume staring at the shelf, assuming she’s just talking alone by now, when suddenly she whips back and stares at me.

Customer: “Are you sure you don’t have [Brand]?”

Me: “Uh… no.”

Customer: “You work here, right?”

I looked down at my Captain America shirt and shook my head. She then rambled some more, this time about powdered sugar, before grabbing a different brand and stalking off, leaving me to wonder if the Avengers worked the morning shift.

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