When They Go Low, You Go Lower

, , , , , , | Right | January 28, 2020

(It is around Christmas when Michelle Obama’s book, “Becoming,” has come out. When a book is released in hardcover, it’ll usually be a year or two — depending on how popular the book is — before it’s released in paperback. It’ll usually come out in paperback when it’s printed in large print. I know for a fact that we don’t have any large-print copies because my manager hadn’t ordered them.)

Female Customer: “Um, excuse me! Do you have Michelle Obama’s new book in paperback?”

Me: “No, ma’am, I’m afraid it’s only available in hardcover.”

Customer: “What is with you bookstores and only having it in hardcover?! Ain’t nobody can afford that!” *walks off in a huff*

(Five minutes later, she appears with five books in her hand.)

Customer: “Uh, b****! I found this in paperback!” *answers her phone that is ringing* “Girl, I found this book in paperback. This dumb, fat b**** told me they didn’t! So, uh!” *snaps her fingers in victory in my face as I’m ringing her up*

Me: *tells her the total and the rest of the transaction goes normally, and then she leaves*

Coworker: “Did you tell her that those paperbacks are in Spanish?”

Me: “No.”

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The Epic Of The Babies Of Beanie

, , , , , , , | Right | January 24, 2020

(This is during the Beanie Baby craze of the mid-90s. The one store in our small town that sells these fuzzy toys is getting a new shipment which is said to contain a few special releases — one of which turns out to be the new Princess Bear released in honor of the late Princess Diana — and the usual group of customers line up before the shop opens that morning to be sure of getting one. The store only allows each customer to get two of a new release, as supplies are limited. I have a dental appointment scheduled for later in the morning, so Mom agrees to just let me skip school and come with her. While we wait, we chat with the other customers and everyone is generally friendly and excited. But there’s one woman who keeps inching her way up the line. She’ll talk to someone for a few minutes and then turn to talk to the person in front of them and step forward. A couple of minutes later, she’ll start talking to the person in front of them and step forward again. Everyone has noticed and is annoyed by it, but no one wants to call her out and risk an altercation.)

Mom: *leans down to whisper to me* “They’re going to open any minute now, and I’m going to deal with her. Go get our Beanies and wait for me by the postcard racks.”

(Mere seconds later, the door is unlocked, and as we’re the first in line, Mom opens the door… and then steps aside to hold it open for the rest of the line, effectively blocking this woman from going inside. She stands there holding the door until the last little old lady has hobbled in, and only then steps aside and gestures the line cutter to enter. By this point, everyone else has gotten their toys and gone to check out. There’s only one of the Princess Bears left, and none of the other new release. The woman is furious, but the staff are polite yet unsympathetic; they saw her cutting the line, too.) 

Mom: *joins me in browsing the antiques while we wait for the line to fade* “And that’s how you handle line cutters. Did you get the bears?”

Me: “Yup. And they let me have yours, too, so we can each buy two of them.” 

Mom: “Good. Pick yourself out a couple of postcards for your collection, and then we’ll check out.”

(While I’m dithering over the postcard selection, the final customer is helped and leaves, and one of the employees comes over with a small box in her hands.) 

Employee: “I saw what you did there, ma’am, and it made my day. I wasn’t sure you’d be able to get your Beanies, though, so I set some aside for you.”

Mom: “Oh! Thank you, but my daughter already picked up my share. I know we’re only allowed two each for new releases, and I don’t want to be greedy.”

Employee: “Ma’am, I’ve seen you come in here time and again, and greedy is the last word I’d ever use. Besides, don’t you have more kids at home?”

Mom: “Yes, actually. I have five in total.”

Employee: “Well, then, I think we can waive that rule just for today. Here you go! That should make six of each design: one for each of the kids, and one for you!”

(We thanked her profusely, purchased our toys and postcards, and went on our way. It was only later that my mom actually looked at her receipt and saw that she was given the employee discount, too. We brought chocolate for that sweet employee the next time we came in and became quite good friends until we moved away the following year.)

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There Is No Policy Against Karma

, , , , , | Right | January 23, 2020

(I work at a cell phone kiosk and have been selling a new cell phone to a snooty and entitled customer. She has been rude the entire transaction but is thankfully finishing up her purchase.)

Me: “All right, ma’am, we’re almost done. Would you like some insurance on the phone? We have a plan where you can pay an extra $7.00 a month to secure your phone, or you can pay $95 upfront to have your phone insured for any damage — not covering loss or theft — for two years. It’s more money upfront but less in the long run.”

Customer: “Do I look like I need insurance?”

Me: *not realizing there was a look of someone not needing insurance* “I suppose not, ma’am. Here’s your phone and have a wonderful day.”

Customer: *already on her phone* “Yeah, yeah.”

(She turns on her heel and then immediately trips over from the turn and the phone slips from her grip, shattering the screen completely. It’s all I can do not to burst out laughing.)

Customer: “MY PHONE JUST BROKE! WHAT DO I DO NOW?!”

Me: “I could sell you a new phone?” 

Customer: “Do you honestly think I’m going to spend another $700 on another phone?!”

Me: “With the insurance, it only would’ve been $30.”

Customer: “Fine, let’s do that.”

Me: “I’m afraid you already declined the insurance and I just saw you break the phone yourself after the transaction was complete; there’s nothing I can do.”

(The woman screeched for a manager and tried to claim I’d broken her phone. The security cameras — which are from every possible angle — showed right away what had really happened. She threatened to call the police but nothing came of it. I have yet to see her return to the store.)

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That’s Changed Their Attitude

, , , , | Right | January 23, 2020

I work in a video game store that rents console time. At the time of this story, I have a bit of a cold, so I’m wearing a surgical mask and I have occasional coughing fits.

Today, a group from the local high school is playing. For some reason, they seem to find me coughing amusing, as when they hear it, they start mock-coughing and laughing.

When it comes to paying, they still are mock-coughing when they think I’m not looking. I’m so fed up that, as they are about to receive their change, I remove my mask and proceed to cough on the coins before I hand them to them. Obviously, they look offended, to which I answer, “Sorry, since you seemed to find my coughing funny, I thought you’d find hilarious if I coughed on your change.”

I’m usually not this petty, but they seem to understand and leave without saying anything.

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Sadly, Their Sense Of Entitlement Is Never Sold Out

, , , , | Right | January 22, 2020

(I work at a movie theater during college. It is a great job: all the popcorn I can eat, free movies for my wife and me, great coworkers, and generally happy people as customers. But there is one regular customer who is always angry about something and complains constantly. She ALWAYS complains about the food prices, insists that we have food deals that don’t exist, and complains about too little butter on her popcorn or too much ice in her soda. She has also registered multiple loyalty cards with different birth months to scam free birthday tickets, as if we don’t recognize that she’s the same lady who comes to the movies every week and just had a free “birthday” movie a few weeks ago. Anyway, this event happens on a very busy Friday night when a popular movie opens and I am selling tickets at the box office.)

Me: *recognizing Angry Lady and bracing myself for the interaction* “Hi, welcome to [Movie Theater Chain].”

Angry Lady: “One for [Popular Movie] at [about 7:00 pm, the most popular time of day to see a movie].”

(She has completely ignored the large sign directly in front of my register and two feet from her face announcing that the show she wants is sold out.)

Me: *using my politest customer service voice while relishing that I can finally get back at her a little bit for the multiple times she has yelled at me for ridiculous reasons* “I’m sorry, that show is sold out.”

Angry Lady:What?! But I want to see it!”

Me: “I don’t know what to tell you; it sold out more than half an hour ago.”

Angry Lady: “That’s ridiculous! I want to go to [Popular Movie]!”

Me: “Again, that show is sold out. Would you like to go to the 9:30 pm show?”

Angry Lady: “No, that’s too late! I want to go to the one right now!”

Me: “I’m sorry, there are literally no seats left in the theater; it is full.”

Angry Lady: “I don’t care. I come here every week and I want to go to the show right now!

(I finally let her have it, as the line behind her was already 20 people deep and has been building the whole time she’s been yelling at me while my coworker on the till next to me is working as fast as she can.)

Me: “Ma’am, you showed up to one of the biggest movies of the summer, on opening night, five minutes before the movie started. Of course, it’s sold out! Come back for the later show or sometime tomorrow; the show right now is sold out!”

Angry Lady: *jaw dropping and sputtering* “I can’t believe this. I want to talk to your manager!”

Me: *pointing toward the concession stand where my stressed-out manager is helping fill food and drink orders for the backed- up lines* “He’s right over there, wearing the suit jacket. Please go tell him you’re angry that I won’t sell you a ticket to a sold-out theater!”

(Someone in the line actually applauded, which started a wave of applause and laughing from the whole line. The angry lady somehow managed to look even more angry and turned around to glare at the people laughing at her in line, which just made them laugh harder and clap some more. She stalked over to the concession stand to yell at the manager, but, having heard the exchange, he made her wait ten minutes until the concession lines died down before he talked to her. My manager had been working at this theater for many years, and had been dealing with this regular for most of that time, first as a floor worker and then as a manager. He told her the same thing I had about the sold-out show and refused to give in to her demand for a free ticket to a different showing. When she complained about how rudely I had spoken to her, he promised to speak with me about it, which consisted of him coming over to high-five me and trying not to laugh while saying, “C’mon, man, please try to be a little nicer to customers.”)

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