A Tiny Problem With That

, , , | Right | May 19, 2019

(My husband helps his brother-in-law with a shop at the local market. I sometimes drop by with my eight-months-pregnant belly and stand behind the desk, chatting with people. My husband is 21 and  I’m 23, but we both look way younger, while his 40-something brother-in-law is tall with a bigger build.)

Customer: “Oh, how nice! Is it your first?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, my first.”

Customer: “Is that the father?” *pointing at the brother-in-law*

Me: “Oh, no, the one with the black shirt on.”

Customer: “You mean the tiny one? But he is too young!”

(After that, she left, the brother-in-law laughed his a** off, and my husband looked defeated. Now every time he goes to work he won’t shave, so he can look older.)

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Unfiltered Story #151064

, , | Unfiltered | May 19, 2019

(This took place five years ago.)

(I was working till closing that day. It had been pretty normal, as a seafood shop in a landlocked state, we get steady business. By the end of the day, our store is usually empty so we start to clean things up. However, on this particular day, we had a boy scout troop waiting to take a tour of the store and facilities. They were standing near the entrance waiting for us to close. Well about five minutes until closing, a customer walks in. No problem, people who come in this late usually know what they want and we make quick work of them. And this woman, an older lady, was no different.)

(However, this lady was trying to break the system. We sell oysters at the shop and we sell them in pint containers with the natural juices. This lady starts off saying she wants two pounds of oysters but separated in two pint containers. No problem, we do it all the time. I start pinting her order but then she stops me.)

Customer: “Excuse me, but I don’t want that much juice with my oysters. Take some out please.”

(Now this is a problem. We aren’t allowed to separate the oysters from the juice. It would affect the price if we did. I begin to tell her this, but my manager stops me. He casually points towards the boy scouts patiently waiting for us to close. I got the message, we don’t want to cause a scene in front of the kids.)

Me: “Sure thing, ma’am. Just wait one moment please.”

Customer: “Thank you, and go ahead and just put a glove on and strain it that way.”

(Not necessarily the way we should do things, but I shrug and do as she says. I put on a glove and I use my hand as a strainer. The moment I start, this old lady scoffs at me and yells)

Customer: “What do you think you’re doing? I don’t want your dirty hands on my food.”

(This outburst catches the attention of the kids waiting by the door. Behind me, I hear my manager laughing as he puts a hand on my shoulder and takes the oysters from my hands.)

Manager: “I’m sorry about that, ma’am. He should know better.”

(Thinking I have been reprimanded enough, the lady nods and says)

Customer: “That’s fine. But please at least use a lid to strain my oysters please.”

(Nodding, me and my manager grab a lid and start to pour the oysters into a new container. Behind us, we hear the lady scoff again.)

Customer: “Don’t you have a slotted spoon you could do this with?”

(Now both me and my manager are getting annoyed. We have been following her instructions to the T but she turns around and yells at us. At this point, it is ten minutes after closing and the kids are getting antsy. Wanting to just finish this customer, my manager grabs a slotted spoon and does as she asks.)

(Afterwards, we priced the oysters and started to ring her up, but she stops us and shakes her head.)

Customer: “That’s not enough juice. I need more juice.”

(At this point, we see what she was trying to do. She was trying to have more juice added, but she didn’t want to pay for the extra weight. My manager turns to her and says flatly,)

Manager: “I’m sorry ma’am. But you are going to have to pay for the added juice.”

(The woman explodes, saying that she had never had to pay for juice before and she had come here many times getting her juice removed and then added in later. She ranted for maybe a minute about unfair pricing, ect, ect. The boy scouts in the corner are staring at us like deer in the headlights. My manager, noticing this, kindly asks the lady to lower her voice. But she refuses to, going on and on about how we were trying to take advantage of her. After asking for the woman to leave, my manager looks at me and says,)

Manager: “Holy s***. I hope those boy scouts get a merit badge for this.”

Making You Work ½ As Hard

, , , | Right | April 3, 2019

I work at a fish processing plant. People come to us with fish, both privately caught and commercial, and we cut them up and put the parts in vacuum bags. We work on a three-part assembly line: two people cut the fish, four people pack them into bags, and one packs them with two industrial packers. We usually deal with halibut, salmon, and rockfish.

The typical order is around fifty pounds of fish, and we pack them into bags of varying sizes: #½, #1, #1½, and #2, with filets going in larger custom-size bags. The vast majority of orders are #1, and although we can do multi-size orders, it is uncommon. #½ is almost never heard of, and we only ever stock fifty or so bags. Sometimes the customer orders us to clean off the fish with rags, but that slows down the line to a crawl.

One customer comes in with a hundred pounds of salmon, fifty pounds of rockfish, and a full hundred-and-forty-pound halibut.

They want half of the salmon in filets — cleaned with a rag —  twenty-five #1 bags and twenty-five #2 bags, they wanted the rockfish in #2 bags — inconvenient for such a small fish — and they wanted us to filet a hundred-and-forty-pound, six-foot freaking halibut, and put it in two-hundred-eighty #½ bags.

It took us three hours to process one order. The average is thirty minutes.

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The Smell Turned Bad

, , , , | Working | April 3, 2019

(I visit a town that has a street full of vibrant market stalls, each occupied by vendors selling all kinds of things ranging from clothes and jewellery to confectionary and wine. Most of what’s being sold is handmade by the vendors themselves. I love all things scented, and I work for a well-known store that prides itself on its cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics, such as bath bombs and soaps, among other things. I can identify most essential oils by scent and know what they’re all used for. So, I’m delighted when I happen upon a stall that sells handmade bath bombs, incense, scented candles sculpted into cute little shapes, essential oils, etc. It’s been a lovely day so far and I’m in a pretty good mood, so when the vendor acknowledges me I reply with a big smile.)

Me: “Hi! These are all lovely! Did you make these?”

Vendor: “Yep. See anything you like so far?”

Me: “Yeah!” *picking up a couple of honeycomb-scented candles to smell them* “I sure do love my smellies. I work at [Store], so I’m obsessed with anything colourful and scented!”

(The vendor is no longer even looking at me, and immediately cuts me off before I can say anything else, scowling as if I’ve just shot his dog.)

Vendor: “So, what are you doing here, then? [Store] is s***! None of their stuff is natural, anyway. They just stuff their crap full of chemicals. This stuff is natural. What have you come here for?! Why don’t you just go to [Store]?!”

(He accompanied this mini-rant with a very dismissive and somewhat aggressive arm gesture. Stunned by his rudeness, I silently put down the candles I was planning to buy and walked away without another word.)

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That’s What You Get For Pottering Around Farmer’s Markets

, , | Right | January 20, 2019

(I’m the dumb customer in this one. I’m at a farmer’s market looking for some seedlings for a few herbs I’d like to grow. I live in an apartment so I can’t have a proper garden. I also don’t have much of a green thumb, so I approach the nice woman at the stall to ask about growing plants in pots. This is what happens, instead.)

Me: “What do you know about growing pot plants?”

Worker: *wide-eyed stare*

(Luckily, I realized my mistake before things got TOO awkward.)

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