Their Brain Has Melted

, , , , | Right | May 14, 2018

(I work at a farmers market, where I sell popsicles. It’s mid-July and about 30 degrees Celsius [86 Fahrenheit] outside. An elderly woman buys a lemonade popsicle.)

Customer: “So, will this melt quickly in the sun?”

Me: “Yes, yes it will.”

Customer: “Well then, how am I supposed to eat it before it melts?”

Me: “Very quickly, ma’am.”

Never Really Getting To The Meat Of The Issue

, , , , , , , | Right | April 27, 2018

(I work in a deli. I can’t go a day without needing to point out to customers that we don’t have pepperoni in the counter. One day, this old man takes it to a whole new level.)

Me: “Hi, what can I get you?”

Customer: *looks at the precut meats in the counter* “I want sliced pepperoni.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we don’t have any in the counter. We do have some pre-packaged—”

Customer: *cuts me off before I can finish* “This is not pepperoni.” *as he points at the black forest ham*

Me: “No, that’s black forest ham. We have no pepperoni here; you have to buy the bags.”

Customer: *points at the cooked ham* “What about this? This is not pepperoni?”

Me: “No, sir, that’s cooked ham… and the one beside it is pastrami, and the next one is smoked chicken.”

Customer: *points at another meat* “This is not pepperoni?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but as I said there is absolutely nothing in here that is pepperoni. That’s turkey.”

(This goes on until the customer has pointed at all the meat-shaved bins and our stack of mock chicken, asking if it is all pepperoni.)

Customer: “Oh… What was this one, again?” *pointing at the cooked ham for the third time*

Me: “That’s the cooked ham.”

Customer: “I’ll have 30 cents of that, then.”

(I put one slice on the scale and it comes out to about 50 cents.)

Me: “Is this okay?”

Customer: *yelling at this point* “No! I said 30 cents’ worth! Make the piece smaller!”

(I cut the piece smaller and it comes up to 35 cents; about 10 grams of meat are on the scale at this point.)

Me: “Is this better?”

Customer: *huffs* “Fine. You people here never do things right. I should just shop at [Other Store about a 15-minute walk away].”

(I later told my supervisor, and since I’d only been there a couple of months so far, I wanted to know if stuff like this happened often. He started laughing and saying that this had never happened to him in the past three years he’s worked there.)

Sizing Up The Problem

, , , , , | Right | April 9, 2018

(I work in a coffee shop, and I have this conversation at least 30 times in a day.)

Customer: “Coffee.”

Me: “What size?”

Customer: “Cooooffeeee.”

Me: “Yes, what size?”

Customer: “Cooo-fffff-eeeee, crreeeeeeeeam and sugaaaar.”

Me: “Right, one extra-large with cream and sugar it is.”

Customer: “Wait, no! I wanted a small! I… Oh…”

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 32

, , , , | Right | March 21, 2018

(I work for an company that does auditing for multiple stores around the city. Our current assignment is to make the inventory at a large store. The employees of the store all have bright blue vests, while us auditors all have dark red shirts with the auditing company’s name on them. A middle-aged man walks up to me while I’m scanning items in the toy aisle.)

Customer: “Hi. Could you show me where to find [Plumbing Product]? I can’t seem to find it.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t work here.”

Customer: “What? Of course you do! You’re working right now!”

Me: “Excuse me. I meant to say that I’m not an employee of [Store]. I’m just doing inventory. I’m not familiar with this particular location.”

Customer: “It’s only going to take a minute! Come on, now.”

(At this point he’s about to grab my arm when I move away. I then notice a couple of [Store] employees who have watched the whole thing with great amusement. One of them comes up to us.)

Employee: “Hello, sir. Can I help you with anything?”

Customer: “Yes! This other guy refuses to help me!”

Employee: “I’m sorry, but he doesn’t work for [Store]. He’s just there to do inventory.”

Customer: “What? How do you tell who works for [Store] and who doesn’t?”

(The employee gestures to her blue vest and then to my red shirt, multiple times, hoping the customer will catch on.)

Customer: “So, who’s going to help me?”

(We all had a mental facepalm, and the employee went to help the customer.)

Related:
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 30
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 29
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 28

Pregnant With A New Perspective

, , , , | Healthy | March 21, 2018

(I have been sent to the radiology department within the ER for an urgent chest x-ray. When the technician asks me if it is possible I am pregnant, I have a mental glitch — I have a language-based learning disability — and my brain takes a good 30 seconds to interpret the question. Since I hesitated, the technician turfs me back to Family Medicine for a pregnancy test. I am upset at having to spend longer in the hospital while sick, as well as the effort to walk across the hospital and back. The nurse administering the test is also upset for having her work interrupted for the test.)

Me: “I tried telling him I would have to have the gestation of an elephant to still be pregnant two years after last having sex.”

Nurse: *annoyed, slamming objects as the test is performed* “Yes, you couldn’t even be on ‘I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant’ [reality TV show] by this point.”

Me: “And he’s going to throw me in the back of the line, so I’ll wait all over again. I’m on bed rest. I just want to be — and should be — at home, but we have to go through this! So, I took 30 seconds to answer the question, but I answered it! I don’t know why he just didn’t believe my disability.”

Nurse: *still annoyed* “Belief in your honesty has nothing to do with it. He wouldn’t be allowed to interpret; the policy is that anything other than a ‘quick no’ has to be investigated.”

(I pause for a moment as this sinks in. My tone becomes lower and calmer, and my speech slows as this new perspective hits me.)

Me: “I hadn’t thought of that. That makes sense. While he wouldn’t have any reason to believe I’m lying, he also has no ability to know if I am telling the truth, since my disability isn’t on the test request. He probably gets women who hesitate because they are in denial. This policy may annoy a lot, but probably saves a few zygotes from harm.”

(The nurse stops what she is doing for a moment in thought.)

Nurse: *obviously calmer* “Yeah, the policy probably does save those precious few.”

(We’re silent for the rest of the test, but the tension in the air around us has dissipated. The test is negative, and she signs a slip for me to take back to the x-ray technician. I take it and smile at her.)

Me: “Thank you. And I’m sorry about the interruption. I hope you can get back into your rhythm easily.”

Nurse: “Thanks, and I hope they manage to rush you through, and get you back to bed. Feel better!”

(It is amazing the difference perspective can make! And, while the technician had another patient when I arrived, he took me next, and even defended me when people complained I had jumped the line. [“She waited in line before, so she doesn’t have to wait now!”] I got upset for nothing — except the exhausting trek through the hospital!)

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