You’ll Want To Take A Shower After This One

, , , , , , | Working | October 13, 2020

This happened recently at our local grocery store during the health crisis.

This store has been great at protecting staff and customers. You must wear a mask in the store, they sanitize the carts and belts between customers, and the cashiers stand behind plastic barriers.

The other day, I was waiting in line behind another customer. The customer left and I noticed the cashier didn’t wipe down the belt.

Okay, no big deal; we all forget sometimes. I loaded my stuff anyway and moved up to pay.

I noticed the cashier had the sniffles. Umm, okay, maybe it’s allergies. I have them, too.

We got to the last of my stuff. The cashier started pulling on her mask and then kept touching my stuff without using sanitizer. I started getting a little concerned.

She scanned the last of my stuff, and then she pulled her mask down to her chin, coughed into her hand, and then reached over to the belt to move an open bag of grapes that an older man had placed on the belt behind my stuff. Then, with the same hand, she grabbed my receipt and tried to hand it to me.

Yeah, I definitely did not take my receipt that day. I usually don’t sanitize my groceries, but I did that day. I’m sorry about the older guy behind me if the cashier was really sick. I haven’t seen her since.

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A Mountain Of Estúpido

, , , , | Right | September 28, 2020

I grew up on the border and speak Spanish as a result. After graduating from college, I moved to a small mountain tourist town, where I work in the Visitor and Conference Center. Most of our tourists come from Texas and Oklahoma, who want to ski in the winter or escape the heat in the summer.

This conversation happens one afternoon when I’m alone in the office.

Tourist: “What is this mountain range called?”

Me: “The Sangre de Cristo Mountains.”

Tourist: *Angrily* “You know that means ‘Blood of Christ,’ right?”

Me: “Yes, sir, I speak Spanish.”

Tourist: “Well, why don’t you call it by its name?!”

I am not sure if he’s serious.

Me: “I did call them by their name, sir. A Spanish explorer named them.”

The tourist turned red and marched out. His wife still bought a couple of maps, while looking rather amused at the whole thing.

Totally Estupido, Part 13
Totally Estupido, Part 12
Totally Estupido, Part 11
Totally Estupido, Part 10
Totally Estupido, Part 9

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Don’t Offer Her Your Two Cents; She’d Take It

, , , , , , | Working | September 24, 2020

I worked in retail in the late 1980s. One of my coworkers was an unbelievably stingy woman. Amongst the many examples I can give you: she would pay in exact change for anything, would walk a mile in the rain to save two cents on groceries, go to thrift stores or haggle to buy clothes for her children — and always at least a size too small, I noticed — and would wear the same outfit every day until it fell apart or she really needed a shower. Speaking of which, she would use soap from the employee bathroom during breaks instead of buying her own. Here are some memorable instances of her penny-pinching.

When we were being given a raise of $3.50 a day, she asked, “Could you possibly give me this week’s money in advance? I need to buy extra gas.”

My boss asked, “Why?”

She replied that her daughter needed a new Girl Scout uniform. When he said he couldn’t do this, she said, “Fine, I’ll sort it out myself.”

When I saw her daughter delivering Girl Scout cookies, she was wearing a uniform with a massive tear underneath her armpit and dried mud on the hem. I asked her why and she shrugged, saying, “Mom said she can’t afford to sew it up.”

Now, my family wasn’t poor by any stretch of the imagination. True, my coworker worked in retail, but her ex-husband earned more than enough to pay alimony checks. I asked why she hadn’t asked him for more and was told that she didn’t want to spend money on a stamp.

Another example is when we were holding a Christmas celebration. I had brought in a box of chocolates, as everyone was bringing their own food. There was quite a bit leftover, and even a quiche that had been out-of-date; the person who had brought it in had misread the label and threw it in the trash. Guess what happened to the leftover food? That’s right; my coworker took it all home. She said to me, “Why waste going to the grocery when this perfectly good food is enough to feed me for at least a day? Roughly three meals, to be exact.”

I had never heard of anyone who ate crackers, chicken Kiev, or quiche for breakfast, but there you go. She also took half my box of chocolates, in case you’re interested.

But what really took the biscuit didn’t happen at work, specifically. I was carpooling my own kids to soccer practice and had offered to take my coworker’s son, as well; I promised that I would give him a uniform as my own kids had outgrown theirs. I arrived back at the house with its overgrown front yard and saw that my coworker had stapled the curtains together in the front room and duct-taped cardboard over her kids’ window.

When I asked why, she told me, “Why bother getting a blind when this is much cheaper?” or something like that.

My coworker lived in a two-story house with excellent plumbing and heating and in a good area, but she washed laundry in the bathtub, sometimes after her children had been in it, collected bottles and cans that the family used and sold them to a recycling plant — not that that is a bad idea in itself — had oranges on forks as an after-dinner treat, made her daughter give her all of her babysitting money when she grew old enough to go on a regular basis, let a graffiti mark on the ceiling stay there for ten years, gave her son a Barbie backpack for high school because it was going for cheap at the retail and made him keep it for four years, and broke the handle off the freezer door and never got it fixed.

However, she died ten years ago at a relatively young age and left each of her children $70,000. So I guess that’s something.

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The Saga Of The Saucy Salsa Sampler

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 7, 2020

I’d like to make a public service announcement. We have all bought salsa at the store only to be let down when we got home and tried it. But please don’t open the jar at the store, stick your finger in it, sample it, and then try to put it back on the shelf.

Who does that, you ask?

Apparently, some lady at [Major Retailer].

I am shopping when I hear the pop of a jar and turn around to see a finger leaving this lady’s mouth and her tightening the lid of a jar of salsa. Then, I watch as she debates putting it in her cart or back on the shelf — hopefully feeling some moral conflict — but then she turns to the shelf and sets it down.

I hate confrontation because I always feel like I’m a jerk and in the wrong, but I don’t know what happens. It just comes out of my mouth.

Me: “Surely you are not going to not buy that.”

Customer: “Oh, uh… I was just setting it down on the shelf for a second.”

Regardless of whether she was truly just setting it down for a second — but why? — she shouldn’t be taste-testing anything! This is so ridiculous!

Me: “Yeah, okay. I’m pretty sure you went to put it in your cart and then turned around and set it back on the shelf because you decided you didn’t want it. How would you like buying something someone else opened?”

I don’t even mention taste-testing. Eww!

Customer: “I was just setting it there for a second! Just leave me alone and mind your own business!”

Then, she started to curse at me and call me names.


I talked to my sister after the incident, who told me that as much as she would like to confront the lady, she would probably have just watched her and waited until the lady left, and then she would have taken the jar to an employee. That would’ve been wise because then I would have known for sure that no one else would buy the sampled salsa; for all I know, as soon as I left her, she put it back on the shelf.

But hey, at least she had a mask… We are all so safe.

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She Carried The Change Too Far

, , , , , | Right | August 5, 2020

A fifteen-ish-year-old girl comes to the counter with a box of candy.

Me: “All right, that’s going to be $3.75.”

Girl: “All right.” 

She hands me a five-dollar bill, and I give her $1.25 for her change. She gives me a weird look and then walks away to her friend. They talk for a while, and then the girl comes back to the counter.

Girl: “Shouldn’t I have gotten $2.25 back?”

Me: “You got [candy], right?”

Girl: “Yeah.”

Me: “And you gave me a five, right?”

Me: “Yeah, the candy was $3.75, so I gave you the right amount of change.”

Girl: “No, you didn’t. It should have been $2.25.”

Me: “Ma’am, even the register says it is $1.25.”

Girl: “But why?”

Me: “The candy was $3.75, the quarter makes $4, and the dollar makes $5.”

Girl: “Oh.”

She walks away, acting like I’m still wrong and she doesn’t want to deal with it anymore.

Coworker: “Did that just happen?”

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