We Don’t Store Pictures From Previous Millennia

, , | Right | May 10, 2018

(I work in a store that also takes passport pictures. We are not allowed to store them for more than 30 days; after that, they get deleted automatically from our computer. Also note that when you apply for a passport — at least in my country — your photo can’t be more than six months old. For example, if you have a five-year passport, you are not allowed to use the same picture on your new passport.)

Customer: *calls on a phone* “Hi, you guys took my passport photo just a little while back. Now I seem to have lost it. I was wondering if you guys could just print me a new one?”

Me: “Sure, when was it taken? Last week or so? We store them for 30 days in our computer.”

Customer: “Oh, it was year 1999. Or maybe 2001. But surely you still have it?”

If They Complain, It’s Your Neck

, , , , , | Working | May 2, 2018

(I buy a necklace from the store where I work, and only notice after I take it home that there is a bead missing. I wouldn’t normally mind, except I’m planning to wear the necklace to work. Since my store is a little bit higher-end, we are supposed to be conscious of our appearance, so I don’t think it would be appropriate to wear a necklace with a piece missing. As such, I take it in the next day and stop by the registers to exchange it for an intact necklace. My manager processes the exchange, and I assume she’s going to damage out the old one, as that is normally our process with jewelry that is missing a part. However, instead, she simply takes the old necklace and puts it back out on the display alongside the other intact jewelry.)

Manager: “Maybe no one will notice.”

(I chose not to argue, but I know our clientele is definitely the kind of people who would notice, and who would potentially make a fuss. I never did hear anything more about it, though, so maybe we lucked out and whoever bought the broken necklace really didn’t notice that anything was wrong.)

Hope For Humanity Doesn’t Bruise So Easily

, , | Hopeless | April 9, 2018

Some years back, when we were about 16 or so, my best friend and I volunteered to help out at a Human Trafficking Awareness campaign. It was held at a mall. We were basically live “mannequins” in shop windows, acting as different kinds of human trafficking victims, while other volunteers handed out leaflets and talked with shoppers and passers-by about human trafficking.

All the live mannequins had makeup done by a professional, giving us fake bruises, cuts, and whatnot. They were very realistic; the person who did our makeup worked on local movie and TV sets as a makeup artist. I was given a particularly nasty bruised eye and a split lip, as well as random bruises around my arm. My friend had bruises on her cheek and cuts on her forehead and arms.

We worked in shifts of one or two hours, and during one of our breaks, my friend and I decided to get some food from a nearby restaurant, also inside the mall, since we were hungry, and lunch wasn’t for another few hours. We got some weird stares from people, and many double-takes as we walked to the restaurant.

Nobody said anything or approached us, until we were lining up to place our order at the counter. An elderly lady was walking by when she spotted us chatting, and paused, doing a double-take. Instead of moving on like everyone else, though, she approached us and asked, in a mixture of broken English and Cantonese, if our boyfriends had beaten us up and if we needed help. We quickly assured her that we were fine and that it was part of a campaign. She didn’t look so convinced, and said something to the effect of, “Are you sure? You don’t have to lie and cover it up for him.” I ended up wiping a little of the fake blood and one of the bruises on my arm off to show her, and handing her a flier I luckily had on me.

She happily went on her way after that.

It’s something that has stuck with me after all these years. Out of everyone who saw what appeared to be genuine bruises and cuts on our faces and hands, she went out of her way to stop and ask us how we were doing.

Working Retail Gets You A Solid(arity) Discount

, , , , | Right | April 8, 2018

(I’ve worked multiple retail jobs in my life, but I am a customer in this case. My boyfriend and I are shopping at a local clothing store in the mall. He is looking at something across the store as I am perusing some shirts by myself when a well-to-do, middle-aged woman walks up to me.)

Woman: “Excuse me, but where are your running clothes?”

(I stop, take a pointed look down at my oversized hoodie, band t-shirt, ripped jeans, and cartoon-character-themed shoes, then look back at her with a completely indifferent face.)

Me: “Ma’am, I don’t work here, and I don’t know.”

Woman: *turning red-raced with anger* “Well, how was I supposed to know?!”

(Immediately, she turns around to the clothing display she wanted and starts angrily tearing up the display while looking for her size.)

Me: “O…kay.”

(I end up finding a few shirts that are discounted from sixty dollars each to twenty five, and make my way to the checkout in wonder that that actually happened. The checkout area is set up where the waiting person has to stand behind a sign, a few feet back from the register, until a lane is open. I am waiting for about five minutes by myself before these two highschool-aged looking girls come up and begin waiting behind me. It is another two minutes before the lane opens up.)

Exhausted Cashier: “Next!”

(I start walking up, and the two girls start to follow me. With a big, exhausted, not-again sigh, the cashier starts waving for them to step back.)

Exhausted Cashier: “One at a time, please. Unless you’re with her, you need to wait so she can have privacy while checking out.”

Teen Girl #1: “Of course we’re, like, with her!”

Teen Girl #2: “Yeah!”

Me: *turning around and done with this whole charade* “Are you stupid? I’ve never seen you before in my life! Go wait in f****** line and stop being idiots!”

(Both girls look like they just smelled something horrendous and go back to wait in line. The cashier looks at me with a relieved expression I know all too well.)

Exhausted Cashier: “Thank you.”

Me: “Don’t worry about it. I’ve worked so many retail jobs before. Long day?”

Exhausted Cashier: *waves to literal mountain of return clothes behind her, and two overflowing return racks* “Tell me about it. It seems like I’ve gotten nothing but stupid all day.”

Me: “Yikes. I don’t even work here, and I’ve had my fill of stupid here, too.”

(I start telling her about the woman who approached me earlier while the two girls behind me continue tittering about the “terrible service.” The cashier’s jaw drops when I finish, then she asks the obligatory “do you have a discount card with us?” questions, to which I say no. I let her finish up, but when I hear the total, I stop her.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I don’t have the discount card.”

Exhausted Cashier: “Oh, no, honey. I put in your employee’s discount. It took an extra [percentage] off. That will be $40.62, today.”

Me: “But I don’t…” *dawning realization in relation to my story* “Oh! Oh, my gosh, thank you!”

Exhausted Cashier: “Don’t worry about it. Have a great day, girl.”

(I ended up saving a total of $80 between the sale and the discount! My boyfriend laughed so hard about it we ended up going out for ice cream to “celebrate my new job.” If crazy still finds me while being a customer, I’m glad I got out of the industry!)

Turn Up For The Books

, , , , | Related | April 2, 2018

(As kids, my brother and I were taught that if we got separated from our parents, we were to stay where we were so that when our parents started looking for us, they could find us more easily. One day at the mall, my brother — about three or four years old at the time — gets separated from the rest of us. After retracing his steps, my dad finally finds my brother… at the bookstore that we haven’t been to today.)

Dad: “What are you doing here? I thought I told you to stay in one place, not go wandering!”

Brother: “I did stay in one place. I came here so I could read while I waited for you.”

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