Will Say No To The Next Second, No Second Thoughts

, , , , | Right | January 17, 2020

(I’m stocking refrigerated items in the deli. Our company has a very strict policy of items not being out of refrigeration for more than 20 minutes. A customer comes to the counter; I’m the only one available for the counter at the moment.)

Me: “Ma’am, let me put this cart in the fridge real quick and I’ll be right with you.”

Customer: “Oh, I’ll only be a second!”

Me: *leaves cart and heads to counter* “Okay, what can I get for you?”

Customer: “Uh…. hmm… What’s this?” *points*

(Our deli hot case is glass, with labels clearly describing what the item is and the price.)

Me: “Boneless hot wings.”

Customer: “Hmm… and how much are they?”

Me: “[Price] per pound. I’ll give you a second to decide, but I really need to get this cart in the fridge real quick.”

Customer: “But I’ll only be a second!”

Me: *as I’m pushing the cart* “Yes, ma’am, so will I.”

(To the surprise of nobody, I’m sure, she was in fact not “only a second” after that. I learned my lesson that day.)

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Cubic Confusion

, , , , , , | Related | January 16, 2020

(It’s no secret in my family that I’m very good at mental arithmetic. As a result, I’m frequently used to calculate any number of things going on in their lives under the pretense of “save me from finding the calculator.” Usually, it’s just a minor inconvenience in my day. Then, my dad says the magic words.)

Dad: “So, it measures 7 feet, by 7 feet, by 4 inches. How many cubic feet is that?”

Me: “16 1/3.”

Dad: “No! That’s too small!”

Me: “You said 7 feet, by 7 feet, by 4 inches, right?”

Dad: “Right.”

Me: “And there’s 12 inches to a foot, right?”

Dad: “Right.”

Me: “So, 4 inches is equal to 1/3 of a foot, right?”

Dad: “Right.”

Me: “So, 7, times 7, times 1/3. That’s 16 1/3.”

Dad: “No! You have to convert it to cubic inches first!”

Me: “Really?! You’re making me do it that way?”

Dad: “Yes, that’s how you do it.”

(Groaning and shaking my head, I do this considerably longer calculation.)

Me: “That’s 28,224 cubic inches, so… 16 1/3 cubic feet. Again.”

Dad: “What?! How did you turn 28,000 into 16?!”

(I grab a pencil and paper and walk him through every step of my work. We arrive at 28,224 just fine, and then we get to converting.)

Me: “So now we divide by 1728.”

Dad: “No! There are only 12 inches to a foot!”

Me: “It’s a CUBIC foot, Dad. That’s a cube measuring 12 inches, by 12 inches, by 12 inches. That’s 1728 cubic inches to the cubic foot. Or are you going to tell me that you think the answer is 2352 cubic feet?”

Dad: “You did something wrong!”

(He storms off, right towards the calculator. Meanwhile, I’ve pulled out my phone and found a source that proves there are 1728 cubic inches to a cubic foot, just in case I still need it, which I do. By the end of this encore of a needless conversion, we have, once again, arrived at 16 1/3.)


Me: “Why don’t you show me what I’m calculating?”

(He leads me to the backyard and shows me a big, rectangular hole.)

Dad: “This is for the shed. I dug it out, and I just need to smooth it out. Tomorrow, I’m going to fill it. I need to know if I’ve got enough bags of cement. If it’s 16 1/3, I’d only need one bag, but I’m definitely going to need more like 30.”

(I see one of the bags he has out, and I start reading it to make sure all of his numbers are right. The bag says it’s good for 20 cubic feet of concrete, so by all outward appearances, my math is sound. Then, as I ponder why my dad insists he’s going to need 30, the gears in my head start winding.)

Me: “Dad, you are going to use concrete, right?”

Dad: “Yes!”

Me: *realizing how poorly I phrased my previous question* “Walk me through it. You empty this bag into the… whatever, and then?”

Dad: “Then I add the water until it’s the right consistency.”

Me: “That’s it?”

Dad: “Well, then I pour it, smooth it out, and build the shed.”

Me: *facepalming* “Oh, my God.”

Dad: “What?”

Me: “You don’t know the difference between cement and concrete, and you’ve done work on this house.”

(At least now we knew what the problem was. Now to figure out how many of his fixes around the house have to be redone.)

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Not A Very Rewarding Attitude  

, , , , , , | Working | January 15, 2020

(I have to stop by a local big box electronics store in the middle of the workday to grab some USB drives for our IT department. I typically don’t shop here, but the usual store is several miles out of the way. I quickly grab what I need and go up to the first open register, where the cashier in uniform is wearing a name tag which says, “In Training,” and there is a woman in civvies wearing a “Trainer” name tag.)

Trainee: “Welcome to [Big Box Store]. Did you find everything you need?”

Me: “Yup.”

Trainee: “And did you have our [rewards plan] card with you?”

Me: “Nope, don’t have one.”

Trainee: “Well, sir, would you like to sign up? It’s free and you earn points with every purchase.”

Me: “Not today, I’m in a hurry, thanks.”

Trainee: “It only takes a few minutes to sign you up, sir; are you sure you don’t want it? It costs nothing!”

Me: “Nope, not interested.” 

(Normally, I’d take a harder stance on saying no, but the dude is in training so I figure I’ll let him practice his spiel and let it go after the “three-peat” rule is satisfied.)

Trainee: “But you can use your rewards points to get [Branded Item #1] and [Branded Item #2], in addition to coupons.”

Me: “Seriously, not interested. Just ring me up because I’m in a hurry.”

Trainee: “Okay, sir, no problem let’s get you checked out.”

(As the trainee reaches to start ringing up my stuff, the trainer taps him on the shoulder.)

Trainer: *super condescendingly and more than loud enough for me to hear her* “No, he didn’t sign up for the [rewards plan] card. Let me show you how it’s done.”

(The trainer then steps up to the register to take over the transaction.)

Trainer: “Now, sir, I think maybe he didn’t explain that the plan is free and—”

Me: *cutting her off* “I heard three times. I know about the plan. I’m in a hurry and very clearly not interested. This is now a hard no, which means you stop and ring me out.”

Trainer: “Oh, sir, you really aren’t listening to what I’m telling you. I’m trying to help you! Now—”

Me: *cutting her off again, crescendo-ing my deep voice into a full blown roar* “I understood every d***ed word! Stop insulting my intelligence. I know the plan is free, I know what the points can be used for, and I’m not bloody well interested. And I’ve made it very clear that I am in a hurry and trying to get out of here. Now, either you step aside and let the polite gentleman—” *pointing at trainee* “—ring me up, or I will shout loudly enough for the store manager to come here and take my complaint about your piss-poor service. If you’re going to waste my time and belittle both me and the guy who was actually doing his job right, I might as well make sure my time is being wasted filing a complaint ABOUT YOU!”

Trainer: “Well, you’re a lost cause.” *to trainee* “He’s your problem now.” *walks over to meet a security guard from the entryway, who is now halfway to the register*

Trainee: “I’m really very sorry, sir.”

Me: “Dude, you did your job right. I could have been a jacka** up front, and I would have if you hadn’t stopped after the mandated three attempts. You were fine and following your training; we have no problem.” *actually manages to pay for my three products as the security guard gets to the register*

Security: “Sir, you can’t be in here causing a scene. You need to pay and leave.”

Me: “I just paid. I’d have paid sooner but the idiot behind you—” *pointing at trainer* “—refused to ring me up because I won’t sign up for [rewards plan] card. Also, she was super rude to me and to the guy she’s supposed to be training. If being upset over that is a problem, please call the store manager and pull the recording from the camera there on the wall.”

Security: “Uh… You want me to pull the audio and video? Sir, that will show exactly what happened. If you’re lying, I’ll have you banned.”

Me: “Please, pull it. Watch it with the store manager.” *hands over business card* “Here’s my contact info, so if you need to ban me after what you see and hear, please do so.”

Security: “Okay, sir, I’m going to pull the recording.”

Trainer: “No, not necessary; I think he’s learned his lesson!”

Me: “It is necessary. Tell the store manager I look forward to hearing from him. Now, I have other places to be.”

(I emailed a complaint to corporate and I did hear back from the store manager the next day with an apology for the way I was treated. He offered me a free membership in [rewards plan] and a $50 coupon to win back my business. I told him I was voting with my wallet and taking all future business to the local independent shop, instead. The big box place has since gone out of business. Can’t imagine why that location was underperforming.)

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Short Fry

, , , | Right | January 14, 2020

(I have just ordered a meal at the speaker of a fast food restaurant and was told to drive up to the window. This particular drive-thru is one of those one-window deals. There is only one car in front of me and, from where I’m sitting, the driver looks unhappy. Even with my window down, I can only really catch some of the conversation, as the restaurant is right next to a very busy street. There is a lot of hand movement and finger-pointing from the driver, as well as her holding her bag out of the window and shaking it. Also, after the bag shaking, the driver puts the bag on the seat next to her and rummages in it for almost a minute, while the cashier tries to get her attention. Eventually, a small fry is handed through the window to the driver. She snatches it, yells something, and drives off. I pull up to the window.)

Me: “What was that all about?”

Cashier: *obviously frazzled* “She yelled at me that we shortchanged her on her fries!

Me: “What, you forgot an order?”

Cashier: “No, the number of fries in her large fry!”

Me: “Was she counting them?!”

Cashier: “Yes!”

(I start laughing and get my order, which happens to be a burger.)

Me: “Before I go, how many seeds are on this bun?”

Cashier: “Don’t you dare!”

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Read This And Try Not To Scream

, , , , , | Right | January 14, 2020

(My coworkers and I joke that I’m the ghost of the supermarket, because for some weird reason my voice just doesn’t register with customers. I’m not quiet; my coworkers can hear me fine, but with customers, I’ll usually have to repeat myself three or four times, talk in a much louder and higher-pitched voice that normal, or rely on a coworker to “translate.” In this story, though, I’m recovering from a cold and can’t modulate my voice like usual, and I don’t have a bagger to help. The customer has piled her groceries on the belt in heaps and when the belt starts moving, a head of cauliflower falls off onto the floor.)

Me: “Oh, I think one of your veggies fell. Do you want to grab it?”

Customer #1: “What? Did you say something?”

Me: “Your cabbage– wait, no, it’s a cauliflower. It fell off the belt; it’s on the floor right there. You should probably grab it.”

(The customer stares straight through me and goes back to bagging.)

Me: “Ma’am, one of your groceries fell. Do you want your cauliflower?”

Customer #1: “I have enough bags, thanks.”

Me: “Okay, but do you want to pick up your cauliflower? It fell off the belt.”

(The customer doesn’t seem to hear me. Meanwhile, at the lane across from me, [Customer #2] comes up, finds the cauliflower on the ground, and looks at it, confused.)

Me: *to the second customer* “Oh, that belongs to this customer; if you don’t mind handing it to me…”

([Customer #2] ignores me and picks up the cauliflower, looking at it, perplexed. My coworker, who didn’t see this happen, opens up the lane for her.)

Coworker: “Okay, your total is $15.12. Did you want to get the cauliflower also?”

Customer #2: “It actually isn’t mine. I found it on the floor.”

Me: “It belongs to this customer! They dropped it!”

(The store is started to get busier, and it’s noisy. My coworker can’t hear me because their lane is too far away, and neither customer can hear me because of my strange curse, even though I’m speaking as loud as I physically can, and neither customer is more than four feet away from me.)

Coworker: “Oh, I can put that back for you.”

Customer #2: “Actually, maybe I should buy it. I always forget to get cauliflower.”

Coworker: “Hey, it’s fate.”

Me: *to the first customer* “Ma’am, they are buying your cauliflower right now. Do you want to get a new one?”

Customer #1: “I’m using credit.”

([Customer #2] leaves, happy as a clam with her new cauliflower. I sigh.)

Me: “Do you want your receipt today?”

(No response. Of course. The customer turns to leave.)

Customer #1: “Why haven’t you given me the receipt yet?”

(Cue internal screaming… although I might as well try external, since no one would notice, anyway. When I relayed this story to my boss, he told me to log the cauliflower as “left in the basket” in the forgotten items log, since no one would believe “a customer dropped it and another customer bought it off the floor while I repeatedly told both of them what was happening and they ignored me.”)

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