If Only He Could See His Own Face

, , , , , , | Right | August 26, 2020

My best friend and I work in a large supermarket just outside of town. Inside, there is a pavilion of other shops — shoe store, hairdresser, and optician’s. I am the cashier at the self-service, just by the exit. My best friend is working at the optician’s.

One day, we are parking in the employee car park, WAY on the other side of the building. We are sat together in the car, chatting before our respective shifts. The car is parked, not running, when all of a sudden a loud crunching sound makes up jump. The car goes forward into a bollard and my friend and I get out.

A middle-aged male customer is shouting and screaming.

Customer: “God! Are you b****es blind or something?!”

Friend: “Sir, you are the one that drove into my car.”

Customer: “You need to take your test again, little lady. I can’t believe that some a**hole let you on the road when you can’t even park!”

He goes off about this for a while, repeating that my friend needs to retake her test. Meanwhile, it’s his car in the middle of the road whilst hers is still parked up. It’s very clear who is in the wrong.

Customer: “And for all this to happen in the VIP parking?! I’m going to make a complaint! You’re going to pay for my car, little lady!”

Friend: “You’re the one that hit me! Give me your details and we’ll have our insurance sort it out. Stop threatening me.”

Me: “This isn’t VIP parking; this is the employee lot.”

The guy ignores us both and continues ranting. We both figure that he must have followed another employee through the barrier as you have to swipe a card to enter.

Friend: “This guy is insane. Come on, we’re late for work.”

We both go into the supermarket to start our shifts. An hour later, my friend rushes up to the self-serve and gestures for my attention.

Friend: “You know that insane guy that hit us in the car park?”

Me: “Um, yeah?”

Friend: “He just came into the optician’s!”

Me: “Oh, my God. Why?”

Friend: “He’s been banned from driving because he is blind in one eye. He has no depth perception at all and his vision in his remaining eye isn’t great. He isn’t wearing glasses and he refuses contacts for some reason, so he’s basically blind. He needs an optician to sign off that he is safe to drive again. Apparently, him hitting my car isn’t the first accident he’s caused.”

Me: “He’s banned from driving? But he drove here?”

Friend: “I know! I refused to sign his form. He didn’t recognise me at all. Figures, because he’s almost completely blind.”

Me: “At least you have his details for the insurance claim now.”

Friend: “I’ll do you one better. I phoned the police and let them know. They’re going to be waiting by his car when he finishes shopping.”

I kept an eye on the guy, but he didn’t come to my register. He spent over ten minutes shouting at a young girl on her first day for asking if he had a loyalty card.

I later found out from the security guy that when the guy finally did leave and saw the police, he got in his car and tried to drive away, only to slam into the barrier causing enough damage to the barrier and his car that the supermarket decided to take him to court for the costs. He was arrested for reckless driving, and driving without due care and attention, and driving whilst banned.

My friend, very luckily, had an uninsured driver clause in her policy which paid for the damages, as the guy’s insurance was invalid due to the fact he was banned from driving.

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Making A Spectacle Of Himself

, , | Right | July 1, 2020

I am alone at work while my coworker is on her lunch break. A male customer has been browsing glasses for quite some time. He eventually picks out a pair and approaches me.

Me: “Hello, sir, how can I help?”

Customer: “I’d like these, please.”

Me: “Certainly. Do you have an up-to-date glasses prescription with you?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Okay, so, do we perhaps have one on our records for you, then?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Ah, right then. So, were you looking to book an appointment for a sight test today, instead?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: *Becoming more uncertain* “Did you just want the frame without prescription lenses maybe?”

Customer: “I want a pair of spectacles!”

Me: *Slightly taken aback* “Um… Well, without a prescription, I don’t think we’re able to help you today, I’m afraid.”

The customer sniffs and clenches his fists. For a few seconds, I think he is going to throw his chosen frames at me. Eventually, he just throws them down on the desk in front of me and storms out.

Me: “Have a nice day, then?”

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Crappy Vision Leads To Crappy Situations

, , , , , | Healthy | June 18, 2020

I work at a specialty ophthalmologist clinic. Patients, who are often already visually impaired, often see worse than they usually do right after their appointment, especially if they’ve had their eyes dilated or had treatment.

We have an older patient population, as well, and unfortunate bathroom explosions are prone to happen from time to time, although thankfully they’re usually confined to the bathroom stalls. 

One day, a patient comes to check out with me and is mumbling about needing directions and how they’re not able to see well. I lead them to the elevator — assuming she is leaving after her appointment — and as the doors open, she says, “Is this the toilet?”

“Oh, no, no!” I exclaim and lead her the proper way to the bathrooms, picturing the disaster we could have had on our hands.

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Age Is No Guarantee Of Respect

, , , , , | Working | May 29, 2020

I’ve been working for a local optician since I was thirteen. I started by doing their filing on Saturday mornings and progressed to doing full Saturdays or Sundays, working with customers selecting glasses and doing the pre-screen tests.

Eventually, I’m promoted to Sunday manager when I’m sixteen. This isn’t a big role and I’m mostly given it because often I’m the only permanent staff member working with one or two external contractors. Really, all it means in practice is that I have shop keys and the alarm codes.

This takes place on a Friday when the normal manager and the owner both aren’t around. It isn’t really a problem as we all know our tasks and everything has been fine until closing procedures. The team today includes me, a few others who are in their twenties, and a man in his late fifties who isn’t a manager but took the shop keys from the owner when he left.

Importantly, we all have the same status in the business; the older man has the same training level as I do. The shop closes at 5:00 but we’re paid until 5:30 to finish closing out. It’s currently ten past 5:00 and I’m doing paperwork, not noticing that a lot of others have already left.

Older Man: “Okay, stop what you’re doing. We can finish the last bits tomorrow. A few of us have a train to catch so we need to go.”

I’m doing closing paperwork.

Me: “Oh, it’s okay, [Older Man]. I’ve got my keys so I’ll finish this bit up and I’ll lock up.”

Older Man: “No, we need to go now. I can’t miss my train.”

Me: “No, it’s fine. You can go, and so can anyone else who has a train, because I have keys to lock up.”

Older Man: “No, I need to show you out of the building.”

Me: “Why? I have my own keys and I lock up by myself on Sundays.”

Older Man: “Don’t argue with me!”

Me: “But I don’t have anywhere to be, and if I don’t finish this paperwork, [Owner] will be really angry. We are paid for another twenty minutes, anyway. I’ll finish this and do the last closing out bits, but it won’t take long, so you can go. It’s fine for me to lock up; I do it every weekend.”

Older Man: *Shouting* “I will not be spoken to like that!”

Me: “Like what? I’m saying go get your train; don’t worry about me.”

Older Man: “That’s it! Go and get your coat and bag and get out! I’m not leaving you alone in the building!”

He’s about an inch away from my face and shouting. I’m sixteen and not used to confrontations, I also suffer from social anxiety disorder, so this is a huge situation. I feel my throat starting to tighten, so I wordlessly leave what I was doing and walk upstairs to get my coat.

Older Man: “Go! Faster! You’re making us all wait for you!”

Me: *Crying* “You don’t have to wait for me!”

Older Man: “Go! F****** H***, WHY DON’T YOU LISTEN!”

I grab my bag, accidentally leaving some of my things behind in a panic, and practically run out the door, still crying.

The next day, I’m called into the owner’s office and I expect it to be because of the unfinished paperwork.

Me: “Yes, [Owner]?”

Owner: “I want to speak to you about your behaviour yesterday. [Older Man] said you were really rude to him.”

Me: “What?! No, that’s not what happened! He wanted to leave early because of his train and I told him he could go but I needed to finish things up so I would stay and lock up.”

Owner: “That’s not what I was told, and it doesn’t matter anyway; I won’t have people arguing here. You need to go and apologise.”

Me: “I’m not going to apologise for offering to cover for him while he left early and being shouted at.”

Owner: “I’m telling you to go and apologise. If you don’t, well…”

He trails off but glares at me in a meaningful way.

Me: “No, I’m not going to.”

Owner: “Then I guess you’ve made your decision. Good luck finding another job at your age.”

I walked out of his office and then out of the store without speaking to anyone, upset and very angry but too righteous to ever apologise when I hadn’t done anything wrong. I wrote my resignation letter that night, and then I updated my CV and emailed it to a few rival opticians. 

Thankfully, because I had years of experience and had been trained on everything that didn’t require a degree, from pre-testing to dispensing and fitting glasses despite having the low minimum wage and salary expectations of a teenager, I had a job offer within two days.

I’ve since been back to that optician as it was the cheapest place to get new glasses and the older man came over to say, “No hard feelings, eh?” I blanked him and walked away.

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Phoning In The Excuses

, , , , , , | Healthy | May 3, 2020

I work as a medical receptionist for a retinal specialist. The medical building where our office is located has nineteen floors and each floor has up to five medical offices in it.

Due to the current health crisis, the main door of the building is closed; for the patients to get access, someone has to physically let them in. For the last month, this has been my task. When someone approaches the door, I have to greet them, ask them to step back six feet as required by CDC and WHO, and ask them about their recent travel and health history. 

There are still quite a few of the specialists in the building that need to see their patients in person, but not all of them have enough staff on payroll to have a greeter. I am only authorized to let my own doctor’s patients in after they have passed the screening and check them off my list. I am forbidden from letting anyone else in unless they are an employee that I recognize or has a valid pass. 

A lot of the people stopping by do not feel that they have to be inconvenienced by the rules meant to protect them. 

One of the doctors I don’t work for requires that once their patients arrive, they call their office so one of the staff can come down and collect their patients. I am the one that has to explain this to them. The majority comply but quite a few give me trouble. One particular lady, though, takes the cake. 

Me: “I am sorry, but due to the current crisis, I can only let my own patients in and no one else.”

Lady: “I do not have my phone with me.”

Me: “I am unable to help you since I do not work for your doctor.”


She moves very close to me, less than two feet. I quickly close the door. She starts banging on the glass. I gesture for her to move further for nearly five minutes before she will comply. I look around for the security guard but do not see him.

The lady moves away from the door. I open the door and repeat the rules to her. She screams at me that she does not have her phone with her. I repeat that, in that case, I am unable to help her since I can’t leave my station. 

A few minutes later, as I escort a leaving patient out — both because said patient has mobility issues and to prevent the lady from sneaking in — I spot her staring at her phone.

Me: *Somewhat smugly* “I was under the impression that you did not have your phone with you?”

The lady turned bright red and glared at me.

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