They May Not Want Blanc But They’re Drawing One

, , , , , | Right | July 12, 2020

I work in a fairly high-end wine shop that has an extremely knowledgeable customer base, so I am used to dealing with people who have a pretty good idea of what they like or want.

Customer: “Can you recommend a red wine under $20?”

Me: “Sure, any type in particular?”

Customer: “No, just a red wine.”

Me: “Okay… How about this Cabernet Sauvignon for $18?”

Customer: “No, I don’t want Cabernet or Pinot or Zinfandel or anything… just plain red wine.”

Me: “…?”

Customer: “Yeah, I don’t want one of those wines that’re made from a grape variety, just, you know, plain, regular red wine.”

Me: “…?”

Customer: “Like this one, over here!”

They point to a bottle of Aglianico del Vulture, with the words “red wine” in very small print on the label.

Customer: “See?! ‘Red wine.’”

Me: “Um, that one is made from a grape too. It’s Aglianico.”

Customer: “Okay, I’ll just take something that’s really smooth.”

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Garlic Keeps Vampires AND Cancer Away? Magical Stuff!

, , , , , , | Working | July 2, 2020

Technically, since I work in a liquor store in Texas, I’m considered an essential employee, so I’m still working and have a chance of becoming infected by the current outbreak. My young daughter has asthma and a heart murmur she has not grown out of, so as I’m a single mother, she is quarantined with family. At this time, I’ve not been able to see my daughter, outside of video chats, in nearly a month and a half.

I’m talking to a coworker who’s been asking about my daughter and making sure I’m doing okay.

Me: “I’m doing okay, I guess. I miss [Daughter], but I know she’s safe. I just wish people would take this situation more seriously.”

Another coworker walks up. He’s known for being a staunch supporter of the current administration, and for being a little slow on picking up on the social situation he’s in.

Coworker #2: “This is all just a hoax! It’s just the flu; we’ll all be fine!”

Coworker #1: “Um, it’s more serious than ‘just the flu.’”

Coworker #2: “I’ll be fine! I eat at least a clove of garlic a day, and that kills cancer. Just eat garlic, and everyone will be fine.”

[Coworker #1] and I just had to kind of wander away after that. How do you respond to that?!

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Where’s Your Seoul? It’s Sai-gone!

, , , , | Right | June 17, 2020

I’m a Korean-American working as a cashier at a liquor store, and I am in my mid-twenties. I have grown up and lived here pretty much all my life and I run into these types of encounters with customers at least twice a month. This type of situation happens frequently with older white males.

Me: “Hi. Did you find everything okay today?”

The customer just stares.

Me: “Yes? No?”

Customer: “Where are you from?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “Where are you from?”

Me: “I live here in Minneapolis.”

Customer: “No, where are you really from?”

I know where this is going and want to be a smarta**.

Me: “I grew up in a small town about thirty miles north of here.”

Customer: “No, no, you know what I mean.”

Me: “Nope, I’ve lived here for almost 25 years of my life.”

Customer: “No, no.”

The customer makes motions around his face with his hand.

Customer: “This! Where were you born?”

Me: “Well, I was born in Korea, but I moved here when I was about eighteen mon—”

Customer: “I see, I see! Yes! When I was stationed over in Vietnam, I saw all kinds of Oriental women from all over Asia, and I always thought Korean women were the most beautiful women. They were so delicate and shy! You just remind me of this one woman I met in Hanoi; I think she was Korean or Vietnamese or something, and she was the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen!”

Me: “…”

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For Goodness’ Sake!

, , , , | Right | June 4, 2020

My brother and I are on a shopping trip together, which includes a stop at the local liquor store to pick up some sake. My brother is a few days short of his twenty-first birthday, and I’m twenty-four. After finding what I want, I come up to the checkout with my brother.

Cashier: “That’ll be [total], and I’ll need to see both of your IDs.”

Me: “Actually, my brother’s under twenty-one, but I’m twenty-four. This is for me.”

Cashier: “Uh, sorry, you both need to be twenty-one or over. You could be buying this for your underage brother. In fact, there’s a sign on the door that under-twenty-ones aren’t allowed in at all.”

Belatedly, I remember seeing the sign.

Me: “Well, crap.”

Brother: “So, out of all the drinks in the store my brother could try to buy for me, you think I’d go for sake?”

Cashier: “Unlikely, but still possible. But since you were honest about him being underage, I think you were telling the truth.”

He rings us up. As we leave the store, I turn to my brother.

Me: “You couldn’t have been born a week earlier?”

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Don’t Whine If You Drank Wine

, , , | Right | June 3, 2020

I will put my hand up to this. I had some red wine at lunch with a friend. While I am past the time limit for drunk driving laws in terms of alcohol consumed and operating a motor vehicle, red wine smell has always just stuck to me. I am attempting to buy wine for later in the week from a wine store at about 6:30 pm, well after the wine at lunchtime has passed my system.


Cashier: “Have you been drinking today?”

Me: “Yes. At lunch.”

Cashier: “I’m sorry, but as you still smell of alcohol, I cannot sell this to you.”

Me: “Even if it was at lunchtime?”

The cashier nods awkwardly while moving the wine I was going to purchase out the way.

Me: “Fair enough. Thank you anyway.”

I left at that point. The cashier seemed amazed I was so quiet about it. I have worked with alcohol sales in my time in retail and knew her pain.

Seriously, if you smell of alcohol, cashiers won’t sell to you. Better to refuse than lose their job. I bought my wine later in the week with no drama.

I have since been back to that wine store with the same worker, and I complimented her that she was indeed doing her job and doing it well. The moral is: don’t be a pain if you have been denied.

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