The Nightmare Before Halloween

, , , , | Right | November 1, 2016

My manager asks me to go “deal with the pumpkins.” When I ask what is up with them, she tells me that a customer (a grown woman) had climbed into the bin and stood on the pumpkins while looking for the perfect one.

After tossing the survivors into the neighbouring bin and cutting larger holes into it so people can reach in more easily, I take the bin of smashed pumpkins to the warehouse.

Eleven pumpkins died today so that someone could find one perfect jack-o-lantern prospect.


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The Devil Wears Costumes

, , , , | Right | October 31, 2016

(My best friend works in a seasonal Halloween store in our town. Since it’s only open for a little over a month each year, and the sister store is a 45-minute drive away, they can get a lot of business on most days. A mutual friend and I go to her work to hang out and look around while we wait for her to get off. The staff is small, but we’re all very close. One of her coworkers has just gotten off the phone and huffs, noticeably irritated.)

Mutual Friend: “Angry customer?”

Worker: “It’s this woman I’ve been trying to contact about a costume. She needed a size for it we didn’t have, so we had to get it from our store in [Town 45 minutes away] and she didn’t answer our call yesterday so I left a message, except she never called back. So I called her again when we opened this morning and she’s just now getting to me demanding why I’m bothering her. I say, if you want the costume, you need to get it today or I have to put it on the shelves for others to look at. It’s a very popular costume this year, and she says she’ll stop by when she’s ready.”

Owner: “You can’t please everyone. We have policies like this for a reason. I can’t tell you how many people want us to hold items but never get them.”

(Fast forward about an hour. The store closes in twenty minutes at nine pm. A pair of young women walk in and head straight for the service counter. It’s obvious this is the woman from the phone calls. We watch her snatch the costume bag from the coworker’s hands. Our friend is manning the changing rooms and walks over.)

Friend Working: “Ma’am? Can I suggest you try the costume real quick before checking out? Just to make sure everything fits comfortably?”

Woman: *snottily* “Well, why? Like, I already know it fits me.”

Coworker: “It’s just that our policy states all sales are final. We don’t do any returns or exchanges, so if something is wrong or missing from the outfit, we need to know now so you’re getting everything you wanted.”

Woman: “Ugh, FINE!” *stomps over to the fitting rooms*

(I’m sitting on the floor with our mutual friend watching the exchange. We’ve made our purchases, most of the lights in the store are off, and other workers are sweeping or unplugging their props for the night. The woman and her friend then spend the remaining time in the front mirror outside the changing rooms loudly gossiping and complaining.)

Woman: “I don’t see why I have to do this. If I don’t like it, I’ll get my money back. It’s just a cheap costume anyway.”

Woman’s Friend: “Like, yeah! As if we weren’t already busy. Whatever.”

(Almost fifteen minutes after the store should have closed for the night, the woman finally gets dressed, buys the outfit, and leaves in a huff. My friend grabs her jacket, clocks out, and practically RUNS to our car.)

Me: “Wow, [Friend], I thought I got all the horrible people at my job!”

Friend Working: “That’s not even the half of it. We get people like that ALL the time. Even people who try to come in December and call [Owner] as if he should even be open then to sell Halloween stuff!”

Mutual Friend: “They were some straight-up b****es.”

Friend Working: “I would have said something if they weren’t going to buy it, but whatever. That’s not even the worst part. When she went to the counter to pay, she demanded a discount for the trouble we caused HER. She said we owed her for ruining her day off by making her come in and pick up her order.”


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Their Consideration Comes Crashing Down

, , , | Right | October 16, 2016

(I’m on bike patrol when I hear on the radio that a man suffered a heart attack while driving and crashed his truck in the middle of a busy bridge in our city. I pedal over to offer any assistance for traffic control, and see that there are two ambulances already arrived and the paramedics are actively performing CPR on the driver in the middle of the road. The regular patrol officers are diverting traffic carefully but slowly past the scene, so I pedal back to the beginning of the bridge to signal drivers to slow down as they approach.)

Man: *in his car, rolling down window* “Hey! What the f*** is the hold up here?!”

Me: “There was a crash on the bridge up ahead.”

Man: “Well, they should really do something about the f****** traffic!”

Me: “Sir, I think they’re doing the best they can, but like I said, there was a CRASH on the bridge. I think they’re a bit preoccupied at this moment.”

Man: “Well, they need to do something about this f****** traffic! I have places to be and s*** to do! This is f****** bull-s***!”

Me: “SIR, there are paramedics up there right now, doing CPR on someone as we speak! You’re just going to have to be patient.”

Man: “I don’t see why I should be inconvenienced because of this! You people need to do your jobs and move the f****** traffic!”

Me: “EXCUSE ME, SIR! There is someone up there, RIGHT NOW, actively DYING in the middle of the road. So just SIMMER DOWN and shut up, because your problems are just not that important right now!”

Man: “Well, they’re important to me!”

(He rolled up his window with a scowl and continued honking, making impatient gestures, and easing as obnoxiously close to the car in front of him as possible the entire time it took him to get past the scene of the crash.)


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Acting Out Of Line While Inside The Lines

, , , , | Right | October 11, 2016

(It’s back-to-school season and our small store has a coloring competition for children to win a free backpack filled with school supplies. Because the age range for participants is four to twelve years old, it’s a random draw and we take submissions for about two weeks. On the day of the draw, just after we’ve randomly drawn a winner, a couple that appears to be in their fifties enters the store and the gentleman picks up one of the submission papers and begins to draw with the store-provided crayons.)

Customer: “When will this drawing be held, anyway?”

Me: “Oh, I’m very sorry, sir, but submissions closed a couple of hours ago. We’ve actually already drawn the winner!”

Customer: *suddenly irate* “What?! Well, who won?”

Me: “This is the winning picture!”

(I show him the coloring. It’s obviously not the best drawing and not even inside the lines, but it was a very small child so what do you expect?)

Customer: *snorts* “At least you should limit it to people who actually colored in the whole thing!”

Me: “Well, sir… it was a random drawing.”

Customer’s Wife: “And anyway, we only came here to schedule a [service that we’re known for] for him.”

Customer: *still coloring* “No! I don’t want to do it now!”

Customer’s Wife: “What? Really?” *incredulous look at him* “[Customer], don’t do this. You’ve got to be kidding!”

Customer: “I don’t feel like it. I’m not stubborn! I just don’t want to now.” *folds up his coloring page and storms off*


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Some Substitutes Should Be Screened

, , , , , | Learning | October 11, 2016

(I’ve always had photosensitive epilepsy — meaning, under certain light conditions, I’ll have a seizure. This is in the early 2000s, where computer screens were a little primitive, and I am not allowed to use the screens at school. We have a substitute teacher, and she takes us to the lab.)

Substitute: “[My Name]! Why aren’t you getting onto a computer?”

Me: “I can’t, or else I’ll have a seizure.”

Substitute: “Do you have a doctor’s note?”

Me: “No, but everyone knows and my mom talked to [Principal]—”

Substitute: “No note, no excuse. You’re just trying to get out of work!”

(We argue for a while, but I am afraid of getting in trouble so I hop onto a screen. Less than five minutes later, I black out, and I wake up in the principal’s a couple of hours later…)

Principal: “[My Name]! We had a meeting saying you didn’t have to get on the screens. Why did you?”

Me: “[Substitute] told me to.”

(I didn’t really see much of that substitute after that! Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only teacher that didn’t believe me, but this was the only teacher that didn’t confirm that I wasn’t lying before forcing me onto a screen.)


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