Read The Smoke Signals

, , , , | Right | June 21, 2021

I work at a famous pretzel place in an outdoor outlet mall. It is Father’s Day weekend and people are crawling all over the mall shopping. Our outlet mall has a no-smoking policy, but people still occasionally walk around the mall smoking in plain sight of mall security.

A man has taken a liking to our storefront and has placed himself against our windows to smoke IN FRONT of a food place. I’m shocked to see such a brazen attempt at a smoke break in front of our shop since many elderly people and children come into our shop and walk around the mall frequently.

I’m currently working with my female area manager, a female coworker, and a male new hire we just got.

Me: “Hey, [Area Manager], I’m pretty sure someone is smoking right outside of our shop.”

Area Manager:Seriously?! That’s a first! I’m going to call security on them.”

She calls security and they come over to talk with the guy. Security leaves him and the man picks up his items and suddenly comes into our shop.

Man: *Angrily* “Thanks for calling the cops on me!”

New Hire: *Happy and energetic* “You’re welcome!”

The area manager also responds, sternly and loudly, drowning out the comment from the new hire.

Area Manager: “You can’t smoke within twenty feet of public areas, buildings, or exits within this mall, sir.”

Man: *Irate and condescending* “Well, there are no signs anywhere telling me that I can’t smoke! And whatever, lady!”

He looks towards the cashier.

Man: “Give me an original pretzel and a cheese dip, to go!”

There’s a sign posted on all of the outlet doors saying that certain activities are prohibited, and guess which one was listed under it? Don’t get mad at us because you can’t read a sign.

Also, bold move to also get a pretzel after you berate us about calling security on you, you crazy customer. Also, round of applause for the new hire’s comment. I almost died laughing during the situation, but I kept it together for the most part over my shock.

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No ID, No Idea, Part 44

, , , , , | Right | May 31, 2021

Several years ago, cashiers at the store I worked at had to check signatures on credit cards and have customers sign receipts. If the card wasn’t signed, we had to check ID. If ID didn’t match, we couldn’t accept the card. One night, a lovely woman was trying to purchase around $500 worth of luxury clothing and then tried to pay with a credit card.

Me: “All right, ma’am, since the card isn’t signed, I just have to check it against your ID, please.”

Customer: “Oh, it’s actually my husband’s card; I use it here all the time.”

Me: “Okay, so the names will not match. Per store policy, we cannot accept this card unless he comes in with his ID. Would you like to use another form of payment? Or I can put this on hold if you’d like to call him in?”

Customer: “Excuse me?!”

Me: “Our store policy is that credit cards must be signed or we have to match the customer’s ID to the card. Since the card is unsigned and your ID will not match, I am not allowed to take this card.”

Customer: “We have the same last name! I use it here all the time!”

Me: “Smith is the most common last name in the United States, ma’am. That doesn’t mean anything. Regardless, the first names do not match. I am unable to accept this card. If other cashiers allowed you to use it in the past, they were not following our policy. I could be fired for doing so on such a large purchase.”

Customer: “I demand to speak to your manager!”

I page our manager and she comes over. The lady tries to say some nonsense about how I’m awful at my job and how outraged she is, but I just hold up the unsigned credit card and her (non-matching) ID.

Manager: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but our policy states that we cannot accept this card as payment. Do you have another card you would like to use today?”

Customer: “This is unacceptable! You both decided to publicly humiliate me by refusing to accept my completely valid card! You can keep all this crap because I’m never shopping here again! I used to spend thousands of my hard-earned money here every year!”

As she is screaming at us, she snatched her cards out of my hands and throws them in her purse. Then, she shoves all of her purchases across my counter and onto the floor. Even though I know better, I reply…

Me: “Well… technically it wasn’t your money.”

The lady roar-screams at me like a wild animal and stomps out of the store. My manager smacks me across the back of my head with her paperwork — which is totally fine; we have that sort of work relationship — when the lady is finally gone.

Manager: “You handled that correctly, but next time, keep your smarta** comments to yourself.”

Worth it.

No ID, No Idea, Part 43
No ID, No Idea, Part 42
No ID, No Idea, Part 41
No ID, No Idea, Part 40
No ID, No Idea, Part 39

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Bless Her Heart, And Ditzy’s, Too

, , , , , | Related | May 22, 2021

I am three years old. We’re dressing up to go to church with my godparents, who are very religious and proper. My father is putting on his dress shoes and doesn’t realize our poodle has done her business inside of one. He puts his foot right in it. I find his absolutely hilarious.

Later, we’re sitting in the church and my godmother is in the pew next to me. Even though the minister is talking, I decide that this is the perfect time to fill her in on the awesome events of the morning.

Me: “Aunt [Godmother]! Ditzy pooped in Daddy’s shoe!”

Godmother: “Shh!”

I think she just doesn’t believe me, so I reply much louder.

Me: “But it’s true! Ditzy pooped in Daddy’s shoe!”

Godmother: “[My Name], hush!

The minister has begun to speak at a higher volume and people are turning to look at our pew. My mother tries in vain to quiet me and my father is laughing. I am getting mad now.

Me: “Ditzy pooped in Daddy’s shoe! She did!”

The minister starts almost shouting to drown me out. I start shouting, too.


My godparents were mortified. My mother was about to crawl under the pew and hide. My father was laughing so hard he could barely breathe. They finally got me calmed down, and at the end of the sermon, the minister came over to congratulate my parents on having a daughter with such fine lungs.

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Not Seeing Eye To Eye, Part 5

, , , , , | Healthy | May 10, 2021

I’m a technician at a local eye clinic. I call back a new patient. I get his history and find out he’s diabetic and uses scleral lenses — the kind that covers the entire eye. Diabetes can wreak havoc on the eyes if not controlled.

Me: “What brings you here?”

Patient: “I’ve had pain in both my eyes the past two weeks.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. I see you wear sclerals. How long have you been using them?”

Patient: “Oh, these are about ten years old. They’re in great shape!”

Me: “Oooookay? How long per day do you wear them?”

Patient: “Oh, I don’t take ‘em out! They’re so comfortable and I forget they’re there!”

My eyes instantly start to hurt for him, but I continue.

Me: “So… how long have these been in your eye?”

Patient: “About two months!”

Me: “So, you haven’t cleaned them or taken them out of your eye in two months?!”

Patient: “Nope. It’s not my contacts that are bothering me, though. My eyes just hurt.”

Me: “Okay… and you’re diabetic, correct? What’s your blood sugar usually run?”

Patient: “I don’t know; I rarely check. Like 400 something?”

I’m almost speechless but I continue.

Me: “Well, we need to take the contacts out so the doctor can look at your eye.”

Patient: “Do we have to? Taking them out will make my eyes hurt more.”

Me: “Yes. Yes, we do.”

The patient takes his lenses out. They are covered with dirt and build-up to where the lens is a milky grey color rather than clear. I look at the patient’s eyes and they are beet red and swollen. Finally, the doctor comes in after I tell him what’s going on.

Doctor: “Let’s take a look.”

After examining the patient, the doctor can see two huge corneal ulcers exacerbated by uncontrolled diabetes from extended lens wear causing the pain. The doctor explains that these are serious and can lead to permanent scarring which can be irreversible.

Doctor: “These are serious. You need to keep your lenses out to let the eyes heal.”

Patient: “No.”

Doctor: “No?”

Patient: “I’m gonna keep wearing my lenses.”

Doctor: “You really shouldn’t. If this infection doesn’t heal, you can be left with scars or could possibly develop into something much worse and lose the eye.”

Patient: “I don’t care. Give me my lenses.”

Doctor: “My tech has them. She’s finishing cleaning them for you.”

Patient: “Why in the h*** would you clean them?! They were fine!”

Doctor: “Sir, I can’t let you wear these in good conscience knowing it’ll make the problem worse.”

Patient: “F*** y’all! I’m going somewhere else where they know what they’re talking about. These contacts didn’t do anything to my eyes!”

He left with his contacts. We thoroughly documented the encounter and went on about our business.

A month later, he came back threatening to sue our company because he claimed we told him he could continue his lens use and never gave him any treatment for his condition — he left before we could — and now he had a pretty significant corneal scar in both eyes and would require a transplant. My doctor simply printed out the exam notes for him and told him he’d love to see him try. Harsh on my doctor’s part maybe, but don’t fight the people trying to help you!

Not Seeing Eye To Eye, Part 4
Not Seeing Eye To Eye, Part 3
Not Seeing Eye To Eye, Part 2
Not Seeing Eye To Eye

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We’re Positive That Was A Bad Choice

, , , , , , , | Learning | May 4, 2021

My school is hybrid with students coming in part-time due to full-time viral yuck. A student emails me that she may have been exposed to viral yuck and wants me to know she’s quarantined. I call her to check in on her.

Me: “So, you went out with friends and one of them tested positive afterward?”

Student: “Yes, ma’am. I didn’t even hang out with her that much.”

Me: “You were in different rooms the whole time?”

Student: “No, but we only got near each other to pass what we were smoking.”

Me: “…”

Student: “What?”

Me: “First of all, why are you telling me that part? Second, you put your mouth on something that had her saliva and breath on it?”

Student: “Well, now that you put it that way, I’m worried.”

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