Doctor How Much?

, , , , | Right | May 16, 2018

(It’s a busy afternoon at our large store, and I’m working on the customer service desk. Opposite our desk is a display with two canvases. One is printed with a retro comic book and priced at £8.99. The other is a Doctor Who canvas priced at £12.99. A middle-aged woman with two children in tow approaches one of the cashiers.)

Customer: “This Doctor Who canvas is labelled as £12.99; is that how much it is?”

Cashier: “That’s right.”

Customer: “The other one is priced as £8.99, though. Check the Doctor Who canvas to make sure!”

(He scans it through the till and confirms it’s £12.99.)

Customer: “Ridiculous! The other one is £8.99!”

(She marches up to the customer service desk.)

Customer: “Why is that man telling me this is £12.99?”

Me: “Because it is £12.99.”

Customer: “But why is that £12.99 when the other is £8.99?”

Me: “Well… they’re two different items. They may be similar, but if you look at the product codes on the labels you’ll see they are different, so one price doesn’t apply to the other.”

Customer: “What?!”

(I notice she’s going red in the face and getting the wild-eyed look, so I try the empathetic approach.)

Me: “I know. I agree it’s pretty silly! They’re similar products, so that difference in price doesn’t make too much sense. Unfortunately, we just have to do what head office tells us!”

Customer: “How ridiculous. Change the price!”

Me: “Er… I can’t, I’m afraid. We don’t control the prices; those are the prices set by our head office.”

Customer: “Just sell me this one for £8.99!” *waves the Doctor Who canvas about*

Me: “I can’t just reduce it for you, I’m afraid. I don’t have any say in the prices. Would you like me to get you the number for the head office? If you want a product’s price changed, you’d need to speak to them about it.”

Customer: *shouting* “This is ridiculous! Why is it so expensive?!”

Me: “I… don’t know. No one in this store decided the price. All I can offer you is the number for the head office. I’m sorry.”

(The customer casts an evil glare at me and strides out, dragging her children behind her.)

Cashier: *laughs* “Wow.”


Getting Some Is A Rat Race

, , , , , , | Working | April 26, 2018

(I’m the unfortunate worker in this story. I work in pest control, and a law firm has had a rat problem. I lay down some traps discreetly, and go back a week later. There are two doorbells, one saying, “Receptionist,” and one saying, “Office.” I press the one for the receptionist and wait to be greeted, whilst getting my opening line of, “I’m here to do the rat traps,” ready in my head.)

Receptionist: “Hello?”

(At this exact moment my brain freezes and all I can remember is the word receptionist.)

Me: “Hi. I’m here to do the receptionist?” *cue awkward pause* “I MEAN THE RAT TRAPS! Sorry! I’m here to check the rat traps.”

Receptionist: *laughing* “That’s okay. Come in.”

(I quickly did what I had to before making a quick exit, making sure not to sexually harass any more receptionists.)

Speedaway From This Conversation

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 4, 2018

(I’m at rehearsals for an upcoming play with my local players’ society. I’ve gone into the kitchen in the village hall where a group of teens, who are also part of the play, are talking.)

Teen #1: Hey, [My Name], what team do you support?”

Me: “The Poole Pirates.”

Teen #1: “Who?!”

Me: “The Poole Pirates! Best speedway team ever.”

Teen #2: “We were on about football.”

Me: “Well, you should have said.”

Teen #1: “Why do you even support them? You’re not even from Dorset!”

Me: “What football team do you support?”

Teen #1: “Chelsea.”

Me: “You’re not from the Chelsea area, so why do you support them?”

Teen #1: “Whatever.”

(They all went back to talking about football and just ignored me.)

Giving The Peer Review A Bad Review

, , , , , | Learning | February 10, 2018

(I start a college course a year later than people usually do, as I left my previous school and spent six months working in Germany. That, combined with the fact that my birthday is in October, means I am 18 when this happens, and most of the other students in my class are 16 or 17. This happens after we do some peer-marked work and I’ve passed my classmate’s work back to her. I’ve marked her work, and while the information is good, her spelling is terrible, and I’ve corrected the spelling mistakes. I’ve had a lot of problems with this student in the past, so I don’t have a lot of patience for her.)

Classmate: *looks at all the corrections in her work, then looks at me in disgust* “Uh, what is this?”

Me: “Well, you made some mistakes with your spelling, so I corrected those as I went along. Your work itself is really good, though!”

Classmate: “You think you’re so much better than me, don’t you?”

Me: “No? Why would I think that?”

Classmate: “Because you’re older and you worked in Germany! You think you’re smarter than me! You think you’re the smartest person in the room!”

Me: “Darlin’, even if you were alone in this room, you still wouldn’t be the smartest person here.”

They’re Not Making Fine Figure(ine)s Of Themselves

, , , , , , , | Right | January 31, 2018

(It’s release day of a game I’ve had pre-ordered for months. I’m mildly autistic and have social anxiety, as well as having busted my arm in a fall five days prior to the incident. I’ve been at home on rest with my arm in a sling. Normally, I would ask my husband to pick up the game, but due to being stuck in the house all week and the need for a pick-me-up, I decide to brave the store and grab the game myself. I reach the store at the shopping centre where I work, and I see that the queue is six feet out of the door. I join it in disbelief.)

Me: “Must be a lot of games coming out today.”

Customer #1: *overhears and turns around* “It’s a black Friday event, so there’s a huge sale on consoles and stuff. I’m here for a PS4.”

Me: “Ah, thanks.”

(I am now wishing I’d gotten here sooner, having heard of the queues and arguments that happen over in the USA around such sales. I wait in line for the best part of half an hour, and the queue grows behind me as I move forward. A mother and her son, who looks to be in his early 20s, join directly behind me and mutter about the length of the line almost constantly. It appears to be moving slowly, but without barricades outside the shop doors, the queue is more of a rabble. As we head inside the doors, we’re corralled into a narrow queue that sorts us into two abreast at the most.)

Customer #2: *very loudly as the queue narrows* “Has that girl always been in front of us? I don’t remember seeing her there before.”

Customer #3: “She probably pushed in. I bet she was behind us.”

(As the queue narrows, they attempt to push me out of the queue entirely, blocking the entry between the barricades by standing next to each other. Thankfully, I move faster than they do and keep my place in the queue, though I’m beginning to become stressed by the sheer mass of people adding to the pain in my arm. I distract myself from their mutterings by making eye contact with the busy staff that rush by, filling orders. Most are regulars at the food shop I work at and recognize me, smiling, which helps with the unease until I tune back into the conversation behind me.)

Customer #2: “That’s horrendously rude, pushing in. We’ve been waiting here for half an hour. She should have to wait as well.”

Customer #3: “Some people just want their games so badly they just don’t care.”

Customer #1: *turning, looking irritated at their raised discussion* “She’s been behind me the entire time. Cool it.”

(I smile at him for his aid; he doesn’t seem to notice and turns back to the front, but the pair quiets down for five minutes or so. Now, the queue has narrowed, and the line seems to be moving faster, though there are only two sales points so progress is still a little painful. I’m four places from the front when they start up again.)

Customer #3: “I bet she thinks it’s fine because she’s hurt herself.”

Customer #2: “I bet she did it on purpose to get attention.”

Customer #3: “It might not even be hurt; she’s not got a cast, just a splint. It’s probably fake.”

Customer #2: “Maybe she’s using it to scam benefits to spend on games.”

Customer #3: “Maybe I should squeeze her arm and see.”

(By this point I’ve had enough. I’m in a lot of pain and under a lot of stress thanks to my anxiety, and on the edge of tears from the comments. I step into the space next to me and motion for them to go ahead of me while trying to keep calm enough to not succumb to a breakdown in public.)

Me: “Please, if your game is so important to you, save yourself thirty seconds and step in front of me already, and shut up. I’ve already waited almost an hour; a few minutes won’t kill me.”

Customer #3: *as they take my place* “About time. You should have just joined the queue like everyone else.”

Customer #2: “Rude b****.”

(I bite my lip, but I can feel myself breaking. I refuse to leave the store after waiting in the line so long, and I try to repress it, but tears still fall. [Customer #1] turns around and gives me a concerned look, but I shrug and shake my head, knowing my breakdown will only get worse if I try to talk about it. Before long, [Customer #1] is called up to a till and the pair are at the front of the line. Looking around at random parts of the shop, trying to calm down, I notice that [Customer #1] has pointed to me and is talking to their cashier, a man I know well. I offer him a weak smile when our eyes meet, and he smiles back before going back to [Customer #1]. I feel embarrassed that everyone I know from this store is going to know I cried in line now. The pair are pulled up to the second register, pick up the single item they pre-ordered: the same game as me. It comes with a free miniature figurine. They leave just as [Customer #1] does, so I head up to the till with the employee I recognize.)

Employee: “Are you all right? The last guy said that pair in front of you were being pretty rude.”

Customer #4: *overhearing at her own cash register and turning around* “They tried to push her out the queue, accused her of faking her arm injury, and insulted her when she stepped aside to let them in front to shut them up.”

Me: “It’s okay. I just want to pick up [Game] and be on my way home. I’ve had enough.”

Employee: *smiling, bags my game* “Unfortunately, we just ran out of figurines to go with pre-orders, but…” *pulls out a figurine from under the desk of his coworker, who has seen the whole exchange at her own till* “…looks like my associate’s last customers forgot theirs, so you can have it.”

Me: *smiles back* “Thank you.”

(While he is still bagging up my order and putting a 10% discount on my transaction for my experience in the queue, the pair comes back into the store and demands their figurine. My clerk turns my transaction over to a colleague, so he can handle the matter as the manager of the store. They are told that the store has run out of figurines, and that they are ejected and permanently banned from the store for upsetting another regular customer by bullying.)

Customer #2: “Well… You’re upsetting my child!” *the 20-something man just looks annoyed he didn’t get his figurine* “We’ll complain to Trading Standards! I know my rights!”

Employee: “Please do. I look forward to regaling them with the whole story.”

(The woman huffed and stormed out, leaving me feeling a little better with a smile on my face. The staff all wished me well before I left. I still have the figure — a small plastic thing, about the height of my thumb, probably only worth 50 pence — it has place of pride on my desk to remind me of the wonderful staff at my local game store!)

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