Found An Opening

, , , | Right | September 11, 2019

(We usually get to the store ten to fifteen minutes before opening. My coworker has lifted the gate just barely enough to get through and is heading to the back room when he hears something and turns around to see a man IN the store.)

Man: *standing in a room with no lights on and having just gone under a three-quarters-closed gate* “Are you open?”

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Many Many After-Closing Comments

, , , , , | Right | September 10, 2019

(When I am in college, I work at an arcade for a while. I usually work the later shift in order to accommodate my school schedule. That usually means that I close alone. We have a policy: all tickets must be exchanged no later than ten minutes before closing, and “last game” needs to be started by five minutes to closing. We usually go around and give people warnings at 45, 30, 20, 10, and 5 minutes so they’ll have a heads-up. On this night, these two women come in with a bunch of kids about two hours before closing and I spent most of the time I usually spend doing cleaning, inventory, etc., chasing said kids because the women are too busy playing basketball.)

Me: *two of the kids are climbing the front of one of the games* “Hey, guys, could you please get down? Those aren’t meant for climbing and I’d hate for you to hurt yourselves.”

Woman #1: “Don’t talk to them like that!”

Me: “Ma’am, your kids can’t climb on the games. It’s a safety hazard.”

(She glares at me, but the kids get down. About fifteen minutes later, I’m taking care of some issues near the front of the store.)

Woman #2: “[One of the Kids] is missing! What did you do with him?”

Me: “What? I haven’t done anything with him.”

Woman #1: “Well, where is he?”

Me: “I don’t know. I haven’t seen him.”

Woman #1: “Did he walk by here?”

Me: *shakes head* “I haven’t seen him.”

Woman #2: “Then where is he?!”

Me: “I don’t know, but let me go see what I can do.”

(I head back towards the storage room thinking I’ll call security and ask them to come help search. As I pass the prize counter, I hear something so I duck around. Guess who I find digging through the prizes?)

Me: “Hey, buddy, people are looking for you.”

(This kid is probably two so I grab him and carry him to the women.)

Me: “I found him behind my counter.”

Woman #2: *snatches him from my hands and hands him off to one of the other kids* “Why weren’t you watching him? Come on; we’re leaving!”

(The kids whine and scream and she finally relents. Somehow, considering [Woman #1] is still playing basketball, I didn’t think they were going to leave. I continue with things and then it gets to be time for closing. I’ve given them all the other notices and it’s coming up on the ten-minute time frame. I walk over to the basketball game the women are playing.)

Me: “Just wanted to let you know that we’ve got about ten minutes to closing. If you have any tickets you’d like exchanged, you need to do so now.”

(Both women ignore me. They do the same when I give them the five-minute warning.)

Me: “Hey, it’s time for me to close.”

Woman #1: “I’m almost done. I need to finish.”

(She’s not looking at me as she continues to shoot, so I just let her finish. It isn’t a fight I want to have, anyway. I do everything I can in order to close with them still in the arcade, but then I end up waiting back behind the counter. She finally finishes after starting another game — she didn’t think I’d notice, but I did — and comes up to the counter with tickets.)

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t exchange those.”

Woman #2: “What the h*** do you mean?”

Me: “It’s after closing; I can’t exchange tickets.”

Woman #2: “Well, nobody told us that!”

Me: “I did. I gave you several notices that I was closing and that you needed to exchange your tickets. If you don’t want to take all those tickets home with you, you can put them in the ticket counter and get a receipt that you can bring back with you next time.”

Woman #1: *sighs in disgust but grabs the tickets and goes to the counter*

(She gets her tickets counted and comes back, and places the receipt on the counter.)

Woman #1: “There. Now do your job.”

(While she was counting tickets, I’d left the counter with my closing stick to pull the grate down and am now standing about halfway between the door and the counter.)

Me: “I still can’t give you prizes. It’s after closing and I need to lock up. You can bring the receipt back with you next time you come, but I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

Woman #1: *explodes* “Why in the h*** would I come back? You’ve treated us horribly and you never told us that we needed to exchange these tickets before closing!”

Me: “Yes, I did. I told you several times. I did you a favor by letting you finish the game you’d started, but I know you started another one after that.”

Woman #2: “How dare you?! She did not!”

Me: “I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

Woman #1: “Why won’t you exchange our tickets?”

Me: “Because it’s almost twenty minutes after closing, I have to lock up, and I gave you several warnings that you needed to exchange your tickets and that we were closing. Now, please leave before I call security.”

Woman #1: “B****, you’d better not be threatening to call security!”

(She starts ranting and raving and throwing her arms in the air, but she does start to leave. [Woman #2] and all of the kids start to follow, with me pulling up the rear. One of the kids gives me this disgusted look.)

Kid: “You’re a mean b**** and you should give me a prize!”

Me: “It’s not nice to look at people like that or to call people names like that.”

Woman #2: *rounds on me as [Woman #1] comes back into the arcade* “Don’t you dare speak to my daughter like that, you dumb b****! Where’s your car? I’ll meet you out in the parking lot as soon as you finish work!”

Me: “If you don’t leave right now, I’m calling security!”

Woman #1: “Go ahead, b****! Call security!”

(I turned on my heel and headed for the back storage room where the phone was, fully intending to call security. But the whole thing had me shaking and when I got back, I was trembling so hard and I honestly felt like crying. I had to take a few deep breaths to get my shaking and the urge to cry under control. By the time that happened, the women had left. I finished my closing tasks and went home. As far as I know, they never came back.)

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That Got Dark

, , , , | Working | August 30, 2019

My mom makes me do errands every now and again because my social anxiety is bad enough that I just lock myself in my room all day. 

I decide it would be a good idea to not wear my earphones in — challenge myself and all that. I don’t even hold onto my phone, a pen, or a book, as means of anchor and self-defense should I need it. Years of bullying does that to you.

As soon as I walk near the makeup section, it feels like I am entering a battlefield. Every retail worker within 10 to 30 feet approaches me to advertise their product. I just smile at them and keep saying, “No, I’m just looking around. Thanks.” 

I pick up a shade of lipstick that I like and ask one of the salesladies for help. I think she is going to swatch it on me. Nope, she does it on herself. Our skin tones are three shades different. She’s white, I’m brown, and the shade is metallic purple. 

I try to swatch it on me but she keeps pushing other shades like pink and other bright colors that hurt my eyes. I say that I like dark colors. She says I look ugly in those. So, I just do a U-turn and buy almost the same shade at another store, albeit a bit more expensive because anxiety just kicked me in the face and I don’t like confrontations. 

Lady, if you want customers, work on your attitude.

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A Customer Who Admits Their Mistakes: Yes, It Can Happen  

, , , , , | Right | August 28, 2019

(I am waiting at a popular electronics store that requires you to make an appointment to have your electronics examined when they are malfunctioning. I arrive about ten minutes before my appointment at 11:50 and wait to talk to someone. I go up to the lady who is checking people in.)

Me: “Do I check in with you?”

Employee: “Yes, you do. Can I get your name?”

Me: “Absolutely. It’s [My Name].”

Employee: “Hmmm, I’m not seeing you on the list. What time is your appointment?”

Me: “11:50.”

Employee: “I’m sorry, I don’t see you on the appointments for that time. Do you happen to have the confirmation email on your phone?”

(I roll my eyes, pull my phone out, and pull up the confirmation email. I show it to her and read it, saying specifically that my appointment is at 1:50, not 11:50. I look down in embarrassment.)

Me: “My appointment is at 1:50.”

Employee: “Mmhmm.”

Me: “I’ll see you later. I’m sorry I was rude. I was wrong.”

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No More MTV For You!

, , , , | Related | August 26, 2019

(I grew up with a huge extended family. None of my grandparents had fewer than seven siblings, so one is always running into great uncles, distant cousins, etc., seemingly everywhere. When I am two, I am in a mall with my mom and dad and we run into one of these distant cousins who recently moved from Ireland to the US. I have a very Irish name, have the overly curly brand of Irish hair, the works, and my dad is proud to be able to introduce me to his cousin.)

Dad: “[Cousin]! What a surprise! This is my wife, [Mom].”

Mom: “So nice to meet you!”

Cousin: *smiling down to me* “And who is this?”

Dad: *proudly* “This is our daughter, [My Name]. What do you say, sweetheart?”

(I look up at him with a big smile and brightly say:)

Me: “You’re a jacka**!”

(My mom told me later that she was so mortified that if there had been a hole nearby she would have tossed me in and walked away. They had no idea why I said that, where I had heard it since they never swore around me, and why I thought that was the best greeting for a newly introduced relative. The cousin laughed and took it in stride, but my mom never let me live that down.)

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