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Making The World A Better Place, One Berry At A Time

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: Cabbit_blm | April 20, 2022

I am at a store buying candy for an upcoming spooky holiday. I don’t work at the store and I have a green shirt on. I am browsing when a man in his seventies and a six-foot-tall teenage boy come up to me out of the blue.

Man: “Where can I find the strawberries?”

We are in the right area and I know where the fresh fruit is, so I walk him over.

Man: “No, I wanted strawberries for strawberry shortcake. I have not had any in many years.” *Getting flustered* “I wanted… more creamy strawberry.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t work here, and I’m not sure what you mean.”

I feel bad as he wanders off to look for others to help him. I watch him walk off, and then I suddenly get the idea: pie filling! I run to the baking aisle to find the strawberry filling, and then I go off to find the man.

I found him a little after near the frozen strawberries, getting slightly upset about how they wouldn’t be right either since the pieces would be too big. I tapped him on the shoulder and waved. Then, I showed him the can.

Me: “I found pie filling. I use it when I want shortcake.”

Man: *Smiling brightly* “This will do great! Thank you. You’re a great worker.”

Me: *Smiling back* “I don’t work here.”

Man: “Why did you help, then?”

Me: “You asked me. It doesn’t hurt to ask; you’re no better off if you didn’t ask at all.”

We part ways and I head to the candy aisle. I find the good candy up high. I’m only five feet tall, so I start to try and climb up to reach the big pack of normal candy bars. Then, a tall teenage boy comes up and helps me get them down.

Me: “Thank you.”

Teenager: “No problem. You helped my grandpa in being able to enjoy his favorite snack with us. He asked me to help you. He wanted me to say, ‘It doesn’t hurt to ask.’”

The teen walked back to his grandpa and we all waved and parted ways.

We Can Only Hope She Learned Something

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Barefootstallion | April 20, 2022

I have always been a very self-confident type of person, but I’m also easygoing and always do my best to be decent to people. I was just brought up that way. I also expect it from others and have absolutely zero patience for people who think it’s okay to act out or be blatantly rude.

One afternoon, I was at a large store trying to do some shopping. I hadn’t thought much about it, but I happened to be wearing the store’s colors: a dark blue button-up shirt, neat jeans, and nice work shoes. I am a trucker and was wearing a shirt from my company.

At some point, I heard a loud, pointed throat-clearing behind me.

Woman: “Ahem! Excuuuuse me!”

A woman in business attire is standing behind me. She gazed at me sternly, her eyes steely, her demeanor as if she were about to berate a servant who had erred.

I stared, silent for a moment, gathering back a swell of irritation at just seeing the attitude this lady had, and then I just simply blurted:

Me: “What?”

She jerked back, incredulous, as though I had just slapped her. But she was also quick to recover.

Woman: “Employees should not speak to customers in such a fashion!”

My brows just went up. That was all. But I said in a very level tone:

Me: “I don’t work here.”

Then I turned away from her, just intent on going back to my shopping.

Woman: “You do not turn away from me!”

She went so far as to grab the back of my suspenders.

I very calmly turned back around and looked down at her a second. (I’m six-foot and she was like five-foot-and-a-half or something.) Then, I leaned down very close to her face — this was long before the health crisis — and began in a very low voice:

Me: “I said…”

Then, I raised my voice to its loudest by the word, finishing with:


By the time I was out with, “HERE!”, I was so loud that I could have been heard all the way through this superstore. I even think I blew her hair back a little.

The look on her face was wonderful.

Woman: *Stammering* “I… I… I’m sorry. I thought you were—”

Me: “Thought I was an employee, yes.”

I was still dead in her face.

Me: “Which you thought gave you the right to speak to me and treat me as though I was beneath you.”

I leaned in even closer. She stood, spellbound, a viper and mouse — she the mouse, me the viper.

Me: “Well, I got news for you, lady. Buying stuff from a store and spending a little money does not grant you license to abuse or belittle people.”

I straightened and then turned on my heel and walked away from her while she stood there gawping like a fish out of water, absolutely speechless.

It was delightful.

Don’t. Touch. Employees. Or Anyone Else!

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: Viper_Commander | April 19, 2022

I’m an autistic fifteen-year-old boy. I’m 5’9” and rapidly growing. I am very fluent in English, so others think I’m an employee when I go shopping with my mom. I explain that I don’t work there and that I’m a minor just getting stuff for my mom to pay for. Most understand… MOST.

I am picking out stuff in the supermarket in the mall, wearing basketball shoes and pants, a T-shirt, and a black jacket. Employees here wear black shoes, black pants, green shirts, white aprons, and green caps. I’m wearing headphones, listening to music on my phone, picking out stuff to bring to my mom. The supermarket where I’m picking stuff is quite popular for people from out of town, but it’s located in a small town, so most of us know each other.

I’m picking out some stuff from the shelf and I feel a tap on my shoulder. Thinking it’s my mom, I turn around and take out my headphones, but oh, no, it’s not my mom.

Customer: “Hey, do you know where the coffee aisle is?”

Me: “Yes, it’s about two aisles to your right.”

Customer: “No, it isn’t. I looked there earlier and there was no coffee.”

Me: “Oh? Well, okay. I’ll just call one of the employees to bring down some coffee from the boxes.”

Customer: “No, I won’t wait for that long. You do it.”

Me: *Confused* “Pardon?”

Customer: “You bring down the coffee.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m not an employee here. I’m not even eighteen.”

Customer: “Don’t make excuses. I know you work here. I don’t pay for these products to give a paycheck to employees like you.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m not an employee here. As I said, I’m only fifteen, and I’d like to finish getting stuff for my mom to pay for.”

Customer: “No, you are going to help me, or I’ll get your manager.”

I’ve had enough, so I put on my headphones and start walking away. The woman decides to yank the headphones off my head, damaging the left lobe to the point that it’s attached to the headphone via the wires.

Me: “What the heck, lady?!”

Customer: “Where’s your manager?! I want to speak with him!”

Me: *Pissed off* “How many times do I have to say this?! I’M NOT AN EMPLOYEE HERE! I DON’T EVEN HAVE THE NAMEPLATE NOR THE UNIFORM!”

Customer: “Get me your manager so I can get you fired!”

Me: “I told you many times, I DON’T WORK HERE! ARE YOU BLIND? DEAF? OR BOTH?”

The woman then proceeds to slap me. She starts pulling me by my jacket sleeve. I do get free, and I start screaming, berating her to the point that she leaves. I say to myself, “Finally, it’s over.” Or so I thought.

A while later, the same lady shows up again, this time with someone who I presume is the manager.

Customer: “There! That’s him! That’s the employee that assaulted me! I want him fired right this instant!”

Manager: “Ma’am, what? He isn’t an employee; he’s just a regular here.”

The woman then proceeds to start shouting at the manager and screaming racism at me at every opportunity. A crowd starts to form, and my mom, who has been looking for me, finally sees the commotion.

Mom: *Confused* “What’s happening, and what happened to you?”

I told her everything that had happened.

The woman was finally seeing that she wasn’t getting anything out of the manager, so she walked over to me, grabbed me by my shirt collar, and started pulling me toward the manager.

I had truly had enough of her touching me, so I pulled her hand off me and started to physically retaliate. After I landed a gut punch, my mom pulled me away and the woman started screaming, saying to get the police, her lawyer, and the local judge.

Some people in the crowd attempted to defend the woman’s actions, but the manager defended me.

After ten or fifteen minutes, the police arrived and take statements from me, the manager, the woman, my mom, and the bystanders. They checked the security footage, which showed I was dragged against my own will and that the woman did in fact assault me first. My mom showed my ID, proving I was fifteen years of age.

The police then arrested the woman. One of the officers asked if I want to press charges and I happily agreed.

She was hit with a variety of charges, including assault and resisting arrest; she kicked an officer in the leg. We went to court. The woman and her lawyer denied everything she had done. After the evidence was presented, the trial was done in three hours. She was sentenced to pay a fine of up to php15,000 — about 300USD — and a prison sentence of about five years.

The Contrarian Ex-Librarian

, , , , , | Right | April 15, 2022

I worked in audio-visual services in a public library for over thirty years. As a result, many customers have become familiar with me and will seek me out for assistance. Although I retired a couple of years ago, I still make the occasional trip into my old place of employment to see staff I know and look at the new materials available for checkout.

I am browsing the new movies display when I am approached by someone who recognizes me as an employee, though I do not recognize her.

Patron: “Hey! Hey, you! Can you help me find this movie? You know, the one with the nun. Vera Farmiga is in it.” 

Me: “Sorry, not familiar with that one. Go to the person at the desk over there, and since you have the name of the actress, I bet that person can find it and pull it off the shelf for you.”

Patron: “No, you can do it since you work here.”

Me: “Well, I don’t work here now; I retired a couple of years ago. And I’m not personally familiar with your actress’s work. I can help you find the title over at one of the public terminals.”

Patron: “No, since you work here, you can look it up and pull it off the shelf for me. Don’t be lazy.”

Me: “I don’t work here, and I don’t have to help you. In fact, please do your own work and stop bothering me.”

Patron: “I want your supervisor. Now!”

Me: “Too bad, God isn’t taking calls right now.”

I walked off, and the last thing I saw from the corner of my eye was the woman haranguing the audio-visual staff person and waving her hands around in my general direction while the staff person was shrugging her shoulders.

The Contrarian Librarian: The DVD
The Contrarian Librarian Runs Out Of Time
The Contrarian Librarian: The Childhood Years
Softening Of The Contrarian Librarian
The Contrarian Librarian: Looking For Work

Kind Of Makes You Want To Never Be Helpful Again

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: anto9900 | April 15, 2022

This happens in Australia just before our first lockdown. There are mandatory mask requirements when shopping at retail stores. In high school and all through university, I worked at a mum-and-pop hardware store, so I know my way around hardware.

In our big box hardware stores, there isn’t much customer service. Most staff are there to check on stock levels, stock shelves, and attend the cash register. The old warhorses on the staff are always occupied helping people, but they are in short supply.

It’s a Saturday and I need some plumbing supplies. I’m in one of the most intimidating aisles for a lot of people; it’s got all the copper, taps, and toilet fittings. I’ve got all the items I need and I’ve been there for a good twenty minutes. I can see an older gent struggling and trying to work out what he needs. I catch his eye and he waves me over enthusiastically. I grab what he needs for a leaky cistern and instruct him how to install it. He thanks me and leaves.

As I’m about to leave, another old gent waves at me and asks me for help. I show him a direct replacement for his tap washers, but then proceed to show him a ceramic fitting that basically makes sure he never has to replace washers again. He balks at the price, but I convince him to get it — once a salesman, always a salesman, and he gets a seniors discount.

As I’m about to leave with the gent, a woman appears from behind me, silent as a mouse. Then, she screeches at me.

Woman: “Oi, you! I want these items!”

As I turn, she shoves a list in my face. Now, if she had smiled at me and asked politely, I would have happily helped her, but I smile and politely decline.

Me: “Sorry, I don’t work here.”

I indicate my clothes. I’ve got a blue singlet on and blue cargo shorts (with pockets full of plumbing products). Staff wears red and green. I turn and proceed to leave. The woman reaches out her hand and tries to turn me toward her, but I slip out of her grasp.

Woman: “You f*****’ helped him—” *indicating the old fella still standing next to me* “—so you work here. Don’t lie to me!”

I attempt my best withering gaze.

Me: “Ma’am, I don’t work here. I’ll let the counter know you need help and they will send someone along.”

I make a hasty retreat with the old gent.

The woman is hot on my tail, screaming at the top of her lungs, calling me a few racist names, and claiming I’m sexist besides other choice things. I ignore her and I think that infuriates her more. She tries a couple of times to get a hold of me, but I shrug her off. One of these times, she loses her footing and trips, which enables me to get the h*** out of dodge.

A member of staff intercepts the woman.

Employee: “Ma’am, please stop screaming.”

The woman points to me and starts ranting about me, calling me names, and making up a story about me being rude and racist and assaulting her. Clearly, as soon as she says “assault,” the situation escalates. She’s in for a very big surprise.

The employee turns to me and rolls her eyes. She knows this is going to be a long one. I do, too. I turn to the old gent.

Me: “You might as well go get in line. This is going to be a while.”

Old Gent: “It’s fine. You’ll need a witness.”

My heart bursts a little at that.

Security is called. I have a quick conversation with the manager and relay the events that have unfolded. The old man relays the same thing.

Me: *To the manager* “Can you please remind that woman that there are multiple security cameras around?”

Police get called anyway, and unlucky for the woman, she has no time to recant as there is already a patrol car in the parking lot. They separate the woman, the old gent, and me, and do a quick interview.

Then, I chill in the office for about an hour until the officers come back in.

Officer: “We’ve reviewed the tapes. Do you want to press any charges?”

I decline and they let me go. The manager walks me to the checkout and lets me know that the woman is getting a lifetime ban. I pay for my plumbing supplies with a trade discount. As I’m walking to the exit, I see the old fella sitting on the bench. He gets up and asks me if I want a sausage. We have a good laugh over sausage with onions and a soda. I offer to come over and fit the tap washes for him, and we organise a time for tomorrow morning for me to drop by. He actually only lives a street away from me.

As I’m getting in my car, the woman emerges with the cops and the manager. She looks distressed, but at least she’s not in cuffs. I know she’s not got many options, so I drive by as she is “talking” to someone on the phone and wind down my window.

Me: “Hey, see across the road the sign that says [Store]? They are a trade plumbing supplies store. If you go there and don’t be a b****, they will have everything on your list.”