Not So Tender About The Chicken

, , , , , | Right | July 11, 2018

(I work in a very popular grocery store bakery department, which is located right next to the deli. I watch this situation unfold with one of my deli coworkers, who’s a good friend of mine. My coworker only has 15 minutes left for his shift and is currently finishing up frying chicken tenders and placing them on racks to cool off and be packaged later. A customer known for being unreasonable and rude approaches the deli. I’m already feeling bad for my coworker.)

Customer: “Excuse me! Hello?!”

(My coworker turns around immediately after placing some hot chicken on the rack.)

Coworker: “Hello, how can I help—”

Customer: *interrupting in a condescending tone* “Yeah, I need five fresh chicken tenders.”

Coworker: “Absolutely. I have fresh ones still very hot right here. Would you like to wait for them to cool off—”

Customer: “No, I’m in a hurry and need them now; just make sure they are fresh.”

(My coworker is looking annoyed, but since he’s off soon, he goes along with it. He shoots me an annoyed grin from across the deli, and I smile back, wishing I had some popcorn. He begins picking up the still-steaming chicken and placing them in the container carefully, when the customer stops him.)

Customer: “Wait! What are you doing?! I said I wanted them fresh!”

(My coworker jumps and almost drops the container as she screams at him for the whole store to hear.)

Coworker: “Ma’am, these are fresh; they’re still very hot as I said.”

Customer: “No, you’re lying to me! I just saw you make those! They’re not fresh at all!”

(My coworker is starting to look angry now.)

Coworker: “Exactly, ma’am. I just pulled them from the fryer, because I was frying them, since this is fried chicken. So, you witnessed me completing the last step in preparing this chicken, making these the freshest chicken tenders you’re going to get.”

Customer: “No, that is unacceptable. I want to see you make those tenders from scratch. You’re probably lying to me and those tenders have been sitting there for hours. I asked for fresh, and that isn’t fresh!”

(My coworker stares at her in the most blank, unreadable stare as she unloads on him. I feel like I should hide behind my counter because I get a feeling he’s going to blow up on her. Instead, he lets a few seconds go by, and then catches me off guard by displaying the most enthusiastic smile.)

Coworker: “Absolutely, ma’am. Let me go in the back and grab a live chicken to kill for you.”

Customer: “Mhm, you do that.”

(He ends up just taking off his apron and clocking out, leaving the customer standing there, waiting. I go on my break so she won’t go after me next. The manager doesn’t even reprimand him, since the customer is stupid enough to explain exactly how it happened with her complaint.)

Manager: “Ma’am, this is a family store; we’re not going to slaughter a f****** chicken in front of our customers, even if we did have live animals. I’m disturbed you believed him.”

Makes You Want To Soda Scream

, , , , | Right | July 10, 2018

(A customer comes up to my till.)

Customer: “This is for my daughter’s birthday, and I’d really like to hurry and get home.”

Me: *looking at the order he has, there are a few toys and a soda maker* “I see you’re bringing the party with you!”

Customer: “I am! So let’s hurry. I’d like these bagged very specifically.”

Me: “Sure, I’ll scan and you tell me what to bag.”

(The customer began moving the items around a bunch. I’ve seen it before: they start messing with their order to get you to double-scan something so they have a reason to bring items back. I’m positive I didn’t double-scan anything, but an hour later, we received a call saying that I double-charged him and he’d be in for a refund the next day. The thing is, our soda makers are $20, and come with two CO2 cartridges and a glass bottle, all of which are $20 EACH when sold separately. As if by magic, he lost the receipt, demanded a refund for his double-charge, and returned the soda maker without the CO2 cartridges or the bottle because “they smelled weird so I threw them out.” All in all, we paid him $40 to make $60 to $80 on eBay.)

Gibberish In Neutral Becomes Nonsense In Reverse

, , , , | Right | July 6, 2018

(I work in a thrift store. It’s the day before our driver goes out to people’s houses to pick up furniture, for those who don’t have the means to donate them directly. This means that we aren’t taking furniture donations, since we’re going to be massively full tomorrow, anyway. A lady drives up to the donation door with her truck, hauling a trailer with a piece of furniture in it. She has driven past our sandwich board declaring that we can’t take furniture right now, and has walked up to the door, with a sign that says we can’t take furniture, and rung the doorbell. Then she has stood in front of the door for the few seconds it has taken me to get to the door from the sorting table I was working at. I get to the door and take a deep breath to politely decline her item, and she cuts me off before I can get a word out.)

Woman: “So, what will you give me for this?”

Me: “Uh…”

Woman: “You are a retail establishment, correct?”

Me: “We are a non-profit thrift store, ma’am, and we take donations, which we then sell, yes. The money goes to the local animal shelter.”

Woman: “Yeah, yeah. So, how much will you give me for this?”

Me: *gives it a cursory glance* “Nothing.”

Woman: “Excuse me?”

Me: *shrugs at her* “For one thing, we do not buy anything from our donors, ma’am. People donate their things. You know–” *I add, as she looks entirely blank* “–they give them to us for free.”

(She looks blank, like I just started speaking an alien language. Realizing that she is no longer “poetry in motion” but rather “gibberish in neutral,” I try to continue to another point.)

Me: “For another, we’re not accepting any furniture right now, ma’am, so we can’t give you money for it, and we can’t even take it for free right now.”

Woman: *slowly, like the speed of the words are the problem, not the content* “I don’t think you understood what I’m asking. I’m asking you how much money would you give me for this.”

Me: “I cannot give you any money, ma’am. We cannot take furniture right now. We never buy things the way a pawn shop does, and we do not sell items for consignment.”

Woman: “What. Will. YOU! Give. Me. For This.”

Me: “Nothing. I don’t want that item, thanks. Neither does the store. Here’s a list of other businesses in the area. Try them.”

Woman: “I… Well… You… FINE!” *she jumps into her car and drives off*

(There’s a pawn shop about a mile down the road. I’ve been there. It does not have a drive-thru, either.)

Keep Her Away From A Certain Roald Dahl Book

, , , , , , | Related | July 3, 2018

(My aunt and her three-year-old daughter are at a festival when they come across a person dressed like a giant peach. So far, my cousin has been very calm with all the costumes, but this one really freaks her out, enough so that they have to go home because she’s so terrified. The next day…)

Aunt: “We’re going grocery shopping.”

Cousin: *fearfully* “Will there be a peach?”

Aunt: “No, honey, there won’t be a peach.”

(Some time later…)

Aunt: “We’re going out to a restaurant.”

Cousin: “Will there be a peach?”

(This continues for months. My aunt is at her wit’s end, but finally, after this has been going on for a very long time, my cousin is starting to not be afraid of seeing a peach everywhere she goes, and only asks about it every so often. One day:)

Aunt: “We’re going to [Charity Thrift Store].”

Cousin: “Will there be a peach?”

Aunt: “No, sweetie, no peaches.”

(They got to [Charity Thrift Store], and the moment they walked in the door they saw a GIANT stuffed peach with eyes, arms, and legs just sitting on a shelf, staring at them! My cousin freaked out and they left immediately. Her fear was blown back up to huge proportions, and she continued to be terrified of leaving the house for many months after that. The story of how there JUST HAPPENED to be a huge peach at [Charity Thrift Store] is now legendary in our family.)

Selective Homophobia Is Still Homophobia

, , , , | Working | June 28, 2018

(I just got a new job as a cook in a hotel kitchen and am in training on night shift, even though I’ll be working mornings regularly once I’m fully trained. It’s about my fourth day of training. My coworker is Mexican-American and has his phone plugged into the radio, playing music in Spanish in the background. About halfway through the night, he offers to let me plug my phone in instead and pick the music, but jokingly adds “as long as it’s in Spanish.”)

Me: “Oh, yeah. I actually have a few Spanish songs on here.”

(I plug my phone in and pick one of the songs. It’s upbeat, and a little more pop than the hip-hop-sounding stuff he’s been playing all night, but I like it; it really puts some bounce in my step as I move around the kitchen preparing orders. After the second song by the same artist, I look at my coworker and he seems… not angry, but maybe exasperated.)

Me: “Don’t like this song?”

Coworker: “It’s too poppy. This would be like if I was listening to *NSYNC.”

Me: *jokingly* “You mean you don’t listen to *NSYNC?”

Coworker: “Of course not. Bands like that are why I’m homophobic.”

(I stare at him blankly for a minute, trying to decide if he’s joking; he’s not. It should be noted that I’m pretty obviously gay, from my short hair, to my clothing choices, to the rainbow pin on the bag I bring to work every day. The town I live and work in is super liberal, and I even talked about my same-sex fiancée in my interview when it came up, so I really wasn’t anticipating dealing with this sort of thing there.)

Me: “Uh… [Coworker], you do realize I’m gay, right?”

Coworker: “No, it’s okay. I’m only homophobic against gay guys.”

Me: “That’s… That’s really not better.”

(Later that night, he talked about how much harder it is to get a good job because of his brown skin and his accent. You’d think someone who faces discrimination themselves would be the first person to realize why discrimination is never okay! Thankfully, I’m on mornings now and all of my morning coworkers are super accepting.)

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