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Devil’s Jew

, , , , , | Right | July 15, 2019

(I am ringing customers. A woman gets in the small line that is forming, followed by a gentleman who is spouting about seeing Jesus and being pure of heart and spirituality. He was in earlier in the day so I know who he is.)

Man: *mumbles about seeing Jesus*

Woman: “I don’t want to hear it.”

(They continue like this until the woman comes up to me to be rung up. The gentleman continues while the woman silently pleads for help. I decide to step in.)

Me: “Sir, I am sorry, but we are in the middle of a transaction here.”

Man: *mumbles about being rude*

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but we are still in the middle of a transaction.”

Man: “I was talking to her.”

(The woman mouths, “Thank you,” to me, I nod, and we finish the transaction. The gentleman is next in line.)

Me: “I’m sorry about before, sir, it’s just that we were in the middle of a transaction.”

Man: “Oh, you must be a devil worshiper, then.”

(I am shocked, since I did NOT expect to be accused of being a devil worshiper. I barely know what to say. I see he has a skull cap on and decide to go the Jewish route, since I am Jewish, as well.)

Me: “Sir, I’m not a devil worshiper; I’m Jewish.”

Man: “You are?”

Me: “Yes, I am.”

Man: “Oh, well, that doesn’t make a difference; you could still be a devil worshiper.”

(After going back and forth on this subject for another minute, I gave up and just “yes”ed him to death while finishing the transaction.)

Works Both Ways

, , , , , , | Right | July 11, 2019

(It’s the 1980s. I am on telephone support for a software company. I have a common first name, and there are four other employees with the same first name. Two of us share an office. Because there are five of us, we have to tell customers our last name, in case they need to call back, or file a complaint or compliment. It is against policy to give our real names, so we each make up a last name for our phone identity. I pick the name “Booth.” I figure it is a good mnemonic; customers will remember that if they needed help, just “phone Booth.” I am speaking to one customer. After spending nearly an hour getting her software up and running, we have this exchange:)

Customer: “Can I have your name, in case I have to call back?”

Me: “It’s [My Name] Booth.”

Customer: “How do you spell that? L-O-O-S-E?”

Me: “No, not ‘Loose.’ It’s ‘Booth,’ like in ‘phone booth.’”

Customer: “Oh, B-O-O-S-E?”

Me: “No, it’s like ‘phone booth.’ B-O-O-T-H.”

Customer: “Oh, B-O-T-H.”

Me: *facepalm* “Right.”

(I decided that was close enough, and ended the call. Then, I realized that if she ever called back, she’d ask to speak to [My Name]. The receptionist would ask, “Which [My Name]?” and she’d say, “Both.” At least she’d be connected to the right office!)

All Caulk And No Action

, , , , , | Right | May 28, 2019

(I’m making keys next to an old-but-wise coworker. A short, middle-aged woman approaches me right in the middle of my key-cutting.)

Customer: “Excuse me…”

Me: *still making keys, hoping she’s talking to my coworker*

Customer: “Um, excuse me…”

Me: *turns to my right to see her, and smiles a bit, and silently motions toward the key machine and my coworker*

Customer: “Could you help me?”

(I shut off my machine, silently apologizing to the people whose keys I’m making. I don’t want key slivers in anyone’s mouths.)

Me: “Hi there.”

Customer: “I’m looking for caulking.”

Me: “Ah, it’s in aisle 82 on the left.” *turns the key machine back on and keeps grinding*

Customer: “Yes, thank you. I’m looking for the caulking, and I need to know which one to use for my windows.”

Me: *pauses, looking at her, and shuts off the machine again* “Yes, um, it’s in aisle 82, in the paint department. The guy behind the paint counter desk can help you.” *turns the key machine back on*

Customer: “Maybe he would know where it is?” *motions toward my coworker, who is quite swamped at the moment*

Me: *shuts off the key machine again* “Erm, no, he’s busy. Ask the guy behind the paint counter. He can definitely help you, and is quite experienced with caulking.” *turns the key machine on again*

Customer: “So, he would know?” *motions toward the same coworker to my right*

Me: “Paint counter guy.” *key machine still on*

Customer: *points toward my coworker, confused*

Me: *points in the opposite direction, toward the paint counter* “The guy behind the counter in that direction. The paint guy.”

Customer: “Maybe he’ll know?” *still talking about my poor swamped coworker*

Me: “No, m’dear, not him. He’s not the paint guy. He’s busy at the moment. Turn around, and walk into the middle of the store, and look to your left. You’ll see a guy behind the counter making paint.” *turns back to the keys, and silently wills an invisibility shield around myself*

Customer: *walking to my coworker* “Maybe you know. Where is the caulking, please?”

Coworker: *still helping a customer, ignoring her for a bit, though he raises a “one moment” finger to her*

Customer: “Where is the caulking, please?”

Coworker: *now done* “The associate behind the paint counter will help you. It’s his area of expertise.” *helps another customer*

Customer: *turns around looking like she just passed through someone and comes back to me* “Where is the caulking?”

Me: “Aisle 82.”

Customer: “So, aisle 79?”

Me: “Aisle 82.”

Customer: “So, it’s in the caulking area?”

Me: “The caulking area is in the paint area. Follow the signs, dear.”

Customer: “Where’s the paint area?”

Me: *points*

Customer: “But maybe he knows?”

Me: “I’m confused now.”

Customer: “Me, too. Maybe he knows where it is?”

Me: “But I know where it is.”

Customer: “But maybe he knows?”

Me: “Fine with me, hon.”

Customer: *asks [Coworker] again* “Where is caulking?”

Coworker: *wondering why he’s still here* “It’s in the paint area. Ask the man behind the paint counter. He’ll be glad to help you.”

Customer: *turns to me* “Can you show me where the caulking is?”

Me: “After I’m done making keys. I have quite the line. Maybe it might take less time to wander off into the middle of the store to find it on your own. I can’t leave until I’m done.”

Customer: “But why not?”

Me: “Because I have a line.”

Customer: “Okay, goodbye. Maybe he knows?” *points to [Coworker] again*

Me: “Didn’t you just ask him?”

Customer: “But he didn’t know.”

Me: “So, why are you asking him again? The paint counter guy knows.”

Customer: “So, maybe I should just ask him, right?”

Me: “Well, I’ve told you many times, but I don’t know if it’ll help to do it again, so yes, maybe he can lead you to it.”

Customer: “But I’m here now. Can’t you lead me?”

Me: *after my line is gone and I have no more customers* “That’s what I’m supposed to do, anyway. If you want, you can walk over to the paint counter and ask him where it is, though I can tell you right now that it’s in aisle 82.”

Customer: “But I don’t know where that is!”

Me: “The paint counter or aisle 82?”

Customer: “Anything!”

Me: “Yeah, this store is a bit of a maze.” *spits out a key sliver* “Bleh. That was awful. Go into the middle of the store, and look to the left. He’s right there.”

Customer: “Where?”

Me: “The middle of the store.”

Customer: “Where’s that? Maybe you know?” *walks to my coworker*

Me: “Where the middle of the store is?”

My Current Customer: “HOLY S***, LADY, FOLLOW ME!”

(My current customer takes her by the arm, leads her to the caulking, and comes back.)

Me: “I love you forever.”

Pee Happens: A Novel

, , , , , , | Right | January 29, 2019

(We are attached to a mall. Our store is the only location outside the mall with a public restroom. Due to this, our bathrooms tend to be every shopper’s first stop. We try to keep it as clean as possible, but on busier days we can only check it once or twice every couple of hours. After one busy weekend day, we were just about to do a clean, when a woman marches over to my coworkers and me.)

Customer: *angrily points* “You! You need to fix the bathroom. I use it all the time and it’s disgusting.”

Me: “I’m sorr–”

(Customer cuts me off by slamming her fist onto the nearest bookshelf.)

Customer: “No! It’s disgusting and you are just lazy and just as disgusting if you think that’s acceptable. You are not getting paid to just stand. You need to work!”

Me: “We are actually just about–”

Customer: “No! It’s gross. You MUST do something! It smelled like pee and there was some on the seat! I can’t believe you allow that to happen.”

Me: “Um, what would you like us to do? Pee happens.”

(With that, she turned bright red, slammed her fists again, and stormed away. My coworkers could not stop laughing. The kicker, the bathroom was not bad at all. Not even toilet paper on the floor.)

This Child’s Legs Will Carry Them Far

, , , , , , , | Related | January 28, 2019

(I am at work when I receive a phone call from my eight-year-old daughter’s school nurse. My daughter is supposed to attend the after-school program there, but is complaining of a sore throat and a headache. I tell the nurse I will pick her up around 4:00 pm, once I’ve seen all the scheduled clients for the day. When I arrive to pick up my daughter, she is outside playing. I sign her out and we have this conversation while walking to the car.)

Me: “I thought you said your head hurt and your throat hurt?”

Daughter: “They do.”

Me: “Then why were you outside playing?”

Daughter: “Well, my legs don’t hurt.”