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Choose Your Battles, Part 2

, , , , , , , , | Right | December 2, 2022

This remains the only encounter in the bookstore where I worked that I would not have believed happened if it hadn’t actually happened to me.

Customer: “You’re selling an offensive cookbook!”

Me: “What book are you referring to, ma’am?”

The customer brings up a rather standard-looking baking cookbook and shows me a recipe.

Customer: “See, here! It says, ‘apply liberally,’ when it says to add the cream!”

Me: “What is the problem with that, ma’am?”

Customer: “I’m an American and a Republican! This book is encouraging its readers to be liberal!”

Oh… my… God.

Me: “No, ma’am, that’s not what it means. It just means to be… uh… generous with the portions when adding the ingredient. It’s not a political statement.”

Customer: “I’m still offended! They could have used a million other words! I bet the cook is a liberal and a communist!”

My nearby manager swoops in and tells me to man the counter. I see him talk to the customer for a minute more. She nods solemnly and wanders off. My manager comes over to me, and I have to ask:

Me: “What did you say to her?”

Manager: “That I understood her complaint and that I would be writing to the publishing company myself to demand that they change the recipe to say, ‘apply patriotically,’ instead.”

Me: “And she believed that?”

Manager: “Sometimes you can only fight stupid with stupid.”

Choose Your Battles

So… That’s How Many Hours Of Notice?

, , , , , , | Working | December 2, 2022

My husband is supposed to go to a conference in a big American city. However, a hurricane has just come through our home province in Canada. We have no power, and there’s some damage to our property. I’d have trouble dealing with all of this alone, especially as we have small kids, so my husband decides to cancel his travel plans. He calls the hotel.

Husband: “Hi, I’m supposed to arrive tomorrow, but I need to cancel my reservation because we’ve just had a hurricane come through here.”

Hotel Staff: “Sir, we require seventy-two hours of notice to cancel, or you will have to pay a reservation fee.”

Husband: “I understand. But I didn’t know in advance that I wouldn’t be able to travel.”

Hotel Staff: “But we will have to charge you a cancellation fee.”

Husband: “Okay. It is what it is, I guess.”

Hotel Staff: “If you cancel with less than seventy-two hours of notice, you have to pay the cancellation fee.”

Husband: “Yes. I understand.”

Hotel Staff: “Please hold. I have to get my manager.”

He’s put on hold for several minutes before the manager comes on. 

Manager: “Sir, if you cancel your reservation with less than seventy-two hours of notice, you will have to pay a cancellation fee.”

Husband: “Yes, I got that.”

Manager: “If you give us seventy-two hours of notice, we can waive the fee.”

Husband: “Okay. I’ll keep that in mind next hurricane, I guess.”

The Shrill Whistle Of Entitlement

, , , , , | Right | December 2, 2022

I’m a shift manager at a fast food restaurant. Every so often when we are seriously busy, we’ll have an entitled customer come up to the counter on the side, put some money down, and say:

Customer: “Hey, get me a [food item]. I’m in a hurry. Here’s the exact change.”

We always point to the end of the line and say:

Us: “You need to wait your turn like everyone else.”

We then proceed to ignore any protesting they may give.

There was one persistent princess who would come to the side of the counter, put some money down, and yell something like:

Customer #2: “SWIRL ICE CREAM!”

Being that he had pulled this stunt no fewer than five times that I know of, I would give him a dirty look and continue past him.

Then, one day, I was reviewing footage in the kitchen after an employee was injured. By chance, I noticed someone outside standing at one of the open windows and putting two fingers in his mouth in a whistling gesture.

A crew member walked up to the window, and the two very briefly exchanged words before the crew member angrily slammed the window shut.

I backed up and zoomed in to get a better look, and wouldn’t you know, it was the aforementioned persistent princess.

I called in the crew member and pointed to the screen.

Me: “Tell me he didn’t…!”

Employee: “OH, YES, HE DID! He whistled at me, and when I came over to see if there was some kind of problem, he tossed a couple of dollars on the sill and told me to go make him an ice cream sundae and to hurry up! I’ll take the write-up for shutting the window in his face, but nothing says I have to—”

Me: *Loudly interrupting* “You can go right back to your station because no, nothing says anyone here has to put up with that! You did exactly what I personally would have done!”

Thankfully, it was after that incident that the princess learned to wait his turn like everyone else.

We’d Rather Face Diva Starlets

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: TransSuperboy | December 2, 2022

I’m twenty-three, and I’m currently a production assistant (PA) for a TV show. This means that I do everything asked of me, and a lot of times, that means grocery shopping for the office.

I’m an office PA, so I dress a tiny bit nicer than if I was running around on set. Today’s outfit is a collared button-down, jeans, an old Star Wars pullover sweater because it is chilly, and a lanyard with my lot badge around my neck. My boss sends me to a grocery store and hands me a list of hyper-specific salads, wraps, and other goodies for the office staff to eat.

Boss: “The salads with later expiration dates are way in the back; make sure you grab those.”

Like a good PA, I nod and dash out to my car to head to [Grocery Store].

Once in the store, I pop in my earbuds to listen to a podcast while shopping and start hunting for these hyper-specific items. I have a list in my hand, I am crouched down, and I am sticking my arm way back under the shelves to grab the salads with the further-out expiration dates when a nice lady approaches me and asks if I work there.

Me: “No, sorry.”

Lady #1: *Politely* “Oh, I’m sorry. I wasn’t sure, but it kind of looked like you were stocking and moving things around.”

Me: “No worries!”

She heads on her way.

A couple of seconds later, as I’m loading Extremely Specific Salads with Extremely Specific Dates on them into my cart, an older confused gentleman approaches and asks if I know where some greens are.

Me: “No, sorry. I don’t work here.”

Gentleman: “Oh, I thought you just helped her.”

The nice lady is still nearby and jumps to help both of us.

Lady #1: “Nope! I asked him if he worked here; he doesn’t.”

The gentleman looks like he doesn’t believe me and looks at my cart.

Me: “I’m a PA on a nearby studio lot, and I’m just shopping for work.”

He seems to finally understand, but then he turns to the nice lady to ask her if she knows where his greens are.

I laugh and continue on my way, earbuds in my ears, when I hear over the din of my podcast:

Lady #2: “HEY! YOU! EXCUSE ME!”

I look up from my shopping list.

Lady #2: “Where’re the eggrolls?”

No “hello,” no “do you work here?” Nothing. Just pure entitlement.

Me: “I don’t work here.”

Lady #2: “Yes, you do! I just saw you help those people.”

Me: “Nope, they also asked if I work here, and I told them no.”

Lady #2: “You look like you work here. Where’re the eggrolls?”

She is blocking my cart at this point.

Me: “I don’t work here, so I don’t know. Sorry.”

I don’t know if this woman doesn’t believe me, isn’t listening, or just straight-up wants to waste my and her time, but she once again asks me about her gosh dang eggrolls, and the “I don’t know” exchange repeats.

Finally, she starts getting mad. I think she is going to ask for my manager, but instead, she literally STOMPS her foot.

Lady #2: “Why do you look like you work here if you don’t work here?! You’re wearing a badge!”

I want to ask, “What about a ‘Star Wars’ hoodie, ‘Critical Role’ lanyard, and a WORK BADGE FOR THE TV STUDIO DOWN THE STREET scream, ‘I work at [Grocery Store]?’” but I don’t. I am too dumbfounded.

Me: “I’m a PA… I am working… but not here.”

Finally, an employee comes down the aisle and she sets her sights on him.

Lady #2: “DO YOU WORK HERE?”

…she asks the guy wearing a [Grocery Store] tee shirt, pushing a backroom stock cart of boxes, and wearing a name tag. He nods and the lady once again points at me.

Lady #2: “You shouldn’t let people in here who look like they work here if they don’t work here!”

This poor employee and I shared the pained, dead-inside look of two people who have to work with the public. I hope my look came across as apologetic as I felt, but I used this chance to escape and finish up my shopping as quickly as I could.

In my line of work, I’m no stranger to very dumb questions and being yelled at, but entitled jerks like this make me want to tuck tail and run.

I missed a few items off the shopping list and will probably be sent back to [Grocery Store] before this work day is done, but I’ll be sure to Not Look Like I Work There for any future visits.

[Lady #2], wherever you are, I hope you never found your eggrolls.

How Can You Understand The Math And Still Be So Wrong?

, , , , , , | Right | December 1, 2022

We are running a buy-one-get-one-at-50%-off sale. Having worked in many stores with similar promos, this is the only time I’ve encountered this argument.

Customer: “Why can’t I just have one at 50% off?”

Me: “Because our promotion is to buy one at the regular price and get the other at 50%.”

Customer: “But that is just a way of tricking the customers into thinking they got a deal.”

Me: “What?”

Customer: “Your deal isn’t to get one at 50%; it is to get two for 25% off. If I have to buy one at full price, I’m not really saving 50% on the other.”

Me: “Well, I don’t set it, and that is the company’s terms for the promo.”

Customer: “So, I can’t just get one for 50%, then?”

Mathematically speaking, he isn’t wrong. However, no, he did not get just one at 50%, or even two for 25%, or even buy-one-get-one-half-off.