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Being Nice Is The Ticket

, , , , , | Friendly | November 20, 2021

I’m helping set up a stand for my family’s business. I’m carrying heavy boxes and trying to get through the many idling people waiting to get in as normal ticket holders. One woman, in the way and on her phone, drops her ticket. It’s one of the ones you print at home, and she has just dropped in a puddle.

Me: “Excuse me, I—”

Woman: *Abruptly* “I’m not interested.”

Me: “What?”

I suddenly realise she must think me a creep

Me: “Oh, no, it’s nothing like that. You dropped your—”

Woman: “I said leave me alone!”

Me: “Sure thing. Good luck getting in!”

She looked at me with disgust and flipped me off.

I moved past her and they let me in. I took several trips back to the van to collect more stuff. On the last one, I saw the woman frantically trying to search for her ticket; it wasn’t where she dropped it. Then, she tried to con her way in as part of the trades setting up. They weren’t having any of it.

Those Gosh Darn Old People With Their Assumptions

, , , , | Right | October 8, 2021

I help run an indoor market stall as an extension of a family friend’s gift and jewelry shop. I’m only fourteen years old — paid under the table — and my only coworker is my boss’s twelve-year-old daughter.

I’m serving an elderly lady, helping her pick out an ornamental plaque with funny sayings on it, as she wants a gift for her friend.

Me: “This one makes me laugh!”

The elderly lady reads it and laughs, too, picking it up as her first “maybe” choice.

Elderly Lady’s Husband: *Sneering at me* “That’s not the only thing making you laugh, is it?”

Me: “Uh… Pardon?”

Elderly Lady’s Husband: “It’s all those drugs you’ve been taking!”

Me: “What?”

Elderly Lady’s Husband: “Don’t try and deny it. I know you’ve been smoking something!”

Me: “Sir, I’ve never smoked so much as a cigarette in my life.”

The elderly lady’s husband calls me a liar and rants about the youth of today being useless drug addicts.

Elderly Lady: *To him “Bugger off if you’re going to be an a**.” *To me* “I’m so sorry, dear. He turned into a curmudgeon about twenty years ago, and he wears that badge like it’s an honor.”

It was one of the most bewildering things that happened to me at that job. Thanks to NAR, I now see that it’s not just me getting random cranky customers!

There’s Only One Person With Behavioral Difficulties Here And It’s Not The Girl

, , , , | Right | July 21, 2021

I’m a security guard at the local market. I see a regular customer come in with his teenage daughter. Most employees and some other regulars know that the daughter has autism, and she always wears earmuffs when out in public due to her sensitive hearing.

Me: “Good morning, [Regular]. Morning, [Daughter].”

Regular: “Morning.”

The daughter just smiles and gives a small wave. They go about their shopping and I think nothing more of it.

About twenty minutes later, a loud crash comes from the back of the store. I rush over and find the regular holding his daughter, who’s currently holding her earmuffs tightly and rocking in place. Another customer is yelling his head off at the daughter. Several wine bottles are shattered on the floor.

Angry Customer: “You stupid b****! If you had taken off those f****** headphones, you’d have heard me coming around the corner!”

The regular is gently trying to soothe his daughter while talking in an even tone to the customer.

Regular: “Sir, I apologize on my daughter’s behalf for getting in your way, but I must ask that you tone it down. She’s very sensitive to loud noises, and we don’t need—”

Angry Customer: “It’s not my fault your daughter’s a [ableist slur]! Look at this f****** mess!”

I can see the regular struggling to keep his composure, and I know the only thing keeping him from decking the other customer is that he doesn’t want to aggravate his daughter any further. I quickly step in.

Me: “Okay, that’s enough. Nobody’s hurt. Sir, I suggest you continue with your shopping and please leave these two alone.”

Angry Customer: “Stay out of this, rent-a-cop! I make three times your salary! Who are you to order me around?!”

The owner arrives and sees the commotion.

Owner: “What’s going on?”

I quickly recap the situation while the angry customer continues to curse and scream, and at one point, I even have to stop him from trying to reach over and rip off her earmuffs.

Owner: *To me* “Kick his a** out now. I’m calling the police.” *Walks away*

Me: “All right, sir, time to go. You’re causing a disturbance and you’re no longer welcome here.”

Angry Customer: “Shut the f*** up! This is public property! I have a right to be wherever the f*** I want!”

Me: “Actually, this store is private property, and you’re now considered trespassing, so I suggest you leave your groceries and leave, as the police are on the way.”

Angry Customer: “F*** this place! I hope it burns down with all of you inside, especially that [ableist slur]!” *Storms away*

I check on the regular and his daughter while the janitor shows up to clean the mess.

Me: “Are you two all right? Sorry about this.”

The daughter is still rocking violently despite her father’s soothing.

Regular: “She’ll be fine, but I’d better take her home. I’m sorry. We’ll be back tomorrow.”

The police arrived fifteen minutes later and took information on the incident. They said to call again if the customer came back; fortunately, he never did.

The regular and his daughter came back the next day like he said, and thankfully, she seemed to be back to normal!

When There Isn’t A “Corporate” To Empower Them

, , , , , | Right | March 22, 2021

I’m selling at a market for handmade goods. I crochet and make beaded jewelry. One of my current “hot sellers” at this market is baby hats, and I am down to four left of the forty I brought.

A customer comes over to coo over the hats. I tell her the price and repeat twice that those are the last four hats I have with me and that I have no supplies on me to make others.

Customer: “So, do you have this in pink? There’s a little girl coming to the family soon and we’d like to get her everything pink.”

Me: “Not today, no. Those four hats are the only four I’ve got with me, but I can—”

Customer: *Cutting me off* “Then I suggest you go into the back and look. I’m a paying customer.”

Me: “There is no ‘back.’ These are goods I’ve made by hand, myself. I brought everything I had with me today.”

The customer stares and then picks up my card and thrusts it at me.

Customer: “I’ll call and get you fired, little girl. You wait!”

My phone is in front of me, as it’s how I take card transactions — through an app on it with a card reader. She does, in fact, dial my number.

I actually do answer in front of her.

Me: “[My Name], owner of [My Shop]; how can I help you today?”

I’ve never seen someone of adult age stomp off so quickly. The vendor beside me said that was her favorite moment of the day.


This story is part of our Best Of March 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of March 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of March 2021 roundup!

Being Trilingual Is Such A Burden Sometimes

, , , , | Right | February 12, 2021

I am the somewhat stupid customer here. It’s a Sunday morning and I’m browsing a baked goods stall for breakfast. I’m on this island unexpectedly because there were rough seas and our ship had to divert to a different port, so I’m still adjusting.

Me: “I’d like twelve of the beignets with cheese.”

Merchant: “The beignets. You want twelve for six Euros?”

Me: *Suddenly in Italian* “Yes, for six.”

Merchant: *In French* “Pardon?”

Me: *Laughing, speaking in French* “I’m sorry. I just arrived from Italy and still think in their language.”

Merchant: *Laughing* “I thought you were American.”

Me: “Oh, I am. I’m just very confused today.”