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I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 12

, | Right | October 16, 2013

(I’m browsing the yarn section of a well-known big box retailer. There is another customer, a middle-aged man, slowly making his way down the aisle.)

Customer: *stands next to me and clears his throat*

Me: *takes two steps to the right* “Sorry I’m in the way, hon. I don’t know what colors I want.”

Customer: “Hmph! Well, that’s not my problem, is it? Where are the iron-on patches?”

Me: *gestures* “On the other aisle over there with the sewing notions.”

Customer: “Hmph! I meant for you to show me exactly where to find them!”

(At this point, I remember I’m wearing the jacket for my job, which is the same color as the shirts and jackets this store’s employees wear.)

Me: “Oh!” *I point at my store’s logo on the front of my jacket* “I don’t work here! I work at [Convenience Store] in Robeline. I only know where they are because I sew. I don’t use those, though, as I’d rather sew a patch. There are sew-on patches over there, too.”

Customer: “Don’t lie to me and don’t try to change the subject! Your jacket is the same color as the other employees’ jackets!”

Me: “Honey, I work for [Convenience Store], not [Retailer].” *I point at the logo again* “See? Completely different logo.”

Customer: “Don’t you ‘honey’ me, you brat! If you were my kid I’d tan your hide! The trouble with you kids these days is that you don’t respect your elders!”

Me: “First off, I am NOT a child! I am twenty-four years old, which means I am a grown woman. Second, I have already told you that I don’t work here and showed you proof of the fact. Third, the d***ed patches you’re looking for are one aisle over, next to the other sewing notions, and they’re right in plain sight! If you can’t find them, that’s your problem, not mine!”

(The customer storms off muttering about disrespectful employees. When I go to check-out later, I find myself at the end of the line in the same lane as him and notice that he has the iron-on patches.)

Me: *loudly* “Glad to have been of service, sir!”

Customer: *to his cashier* “I’d like to know who to speak to so that I can report her! She was very rude to me earlier!”

Cashier: *chuckles* “Sir, she doesn’t work here. She works at [Convenience Store]. I see her there all the time when I’m passing through.”

Customer: “You’re just covering for her! I’m going to take this to corporate!”

Cashier: “You have a good day, sir!”

Customer: *storms off with his bags*

 

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 11

, | Right | August 2, 2013

(I’m a regular at a particular location of a major book store chain and know where most of the books are. I usually get something at the cafe and a few books, and make a habit of re-shelving everything myself once I’m done. As I’m re-shelving books one evening, a man approaches me.)

Man: “You. I want to find a book for my wife.”

Man’s Wife: “I just need new tricks or tips on Sudoku.”

Me: “Oh! I love Sudoku. Well, it looks like you’re in the right section. Did you not spot anything you like?”

Man: “Can’t you just look up what she needs for her?”

(I smile and remain generally pleasant, mainly because I think this is funny every time it happens.)

Me: “I don’t actually work here, but if you have the title, sir, just go to the service counter right there. They can find it for you.”

Man: “I just want a book my wife can look at right now. Why can’t you just get it for us?”

Me: “Well… these are books of more puzzles. Um… I don’t actually work here, sir. But if you’re having a hard time finding a suitable book, you can always Google up keywords like ‘sudoku tips’ or ‘solving sudoku’.”

Man: “Yes, but do you have it in a book?”

Me: “Sir, if you would go to the service counter and ask, I’m sure they can find it for you.”

Man: “You! Why can’t you find it!?”

Me: “Sir, I don’t work here. If you go to the counter, an employee could help you look something up in their computer.”

Man: “You’re not going to help us find this book?”

Me: “I wouldn’t be sure where to start, but an employee—”

(An employee that has been walking toward us in the last part of the conversation finally comes up next to me.)

Employee: “I can take over.”

Me: “—can take over from here. Thanks, bye!”

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 10

, | Right | July 14, 2013

(I’m chatting with my friend in a grocery store, completely minding my own business. Another customer approaches us.)

Customer: “Can you please help me to find [item]?”

Me: “Umm… I don’t know where to find it…”

Customer: “It’s pretty much like this, but a different shape and brand.”

(The customer holds up another item, and continues talking for a while. I’m trying to interrupt her, but she’s giving me the exact specs and some more.)

Me: “I’m sorry; but I don’t work here. Unfortunately I have no idea where to find it.”

(She looks at me with a puzzled look on her face. At this point I realize that my shirt is red, and not completely unlike the uniform that the shop assistants are required to wear.)

Customer: “Are you sure? You look like you work here.”

Me: “Yeah, I’m quite certain. Please read the back of my shirt. The store wouldn’t probably accept the message, would they?”

(My shirt is from a local rap artist with a slogan that translates to “steal from your boss”.)

 

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 9

, | Right | July 3, 2013

(I’m super early for a job interview, so I decide to waste time in a nearby retail store. I’m in the electronic section playing on one of the video game displays. This place’s employees wear very distinct outfits. I’m wearing a black suit with a blue and black tie, and a blue dress shirt. A customer walks up to me holding a pair of headphones.)

Customer: “Excuse me. Can you tell me the price of these?”

(I ignore the customer, thinking he is talking to someone else.)

Customer: “EXCUSE ME! CAN YOU TELL ME THE PRICE OF THESE!?”

Me: “What makes you think I work here?”

Customer: “Because you look like you work here.”

(I see two white women walking by, wearing the company’s uniform. I point at them.)

Me: “Why don’t you go ask them for help? They work here.”

Customer: “They don’t work here. They look too well off to work here. Only black people would work here. This job is perfect for them! Now help me, d*** it!”

(Me being black, the two employees come over and intervene before I lose my cool. I decide to just leave the store. The customer is still shouting at me.)

Customer: “You work here and you know it!”

 

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 8

, | Right | June 11, 2013

(I’m looking through a display of jeans when a middle-aged customer approaches me. It’s the middle of winter.)

Customer: “Excuse me?”

Me: “Um, yes, ma’am?”

Customer: “You work here, right?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry; I don’t.”

Customer: “Oh. Well you’re not wearing a coat!”

Me: “Yeah, I rented a locker so that I wouldn’t have to carry around a big heavy coat while I shop.”

Customer: “Well that’s stupid. How am I supposed to know you don’t work here if you’re not wearing a coat?”

Me: “Uhh, the lack of uniform?”