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What Happens When You’re A Jerk In A Small Town

, , , , , | Right | November 29, 2022

I was about fifteen and went to a popular chain clothing store — the only one in our small town — after school one day with my mom. This particular store’s uniform was famous for being a red polo shirt and khakis. Unfortunately for me, this was also my school’s uniform. However, we had the distinction of having our school logo and motto emblazoned on the back. While we were shopping, a woman approached us.

Woman: “Excuse me? Where do I find batteries?”

Mom: “Oh, we just passed that. I think aisle four?”

Woman: *Angrily* “I was talking to the employee.”

We both looked around, confused. Finally, I realized she meant me and I laughed.

Me: “No, no, sorry, I don’t work here. But we did just see it; I’m sure it was aisle four.”

Woman: *Even angrier* “Don’t lie! That’s very rude! You clearly work here!”

Mom: “Ma’am, this is my daughter and she is in her school uniform. She does not work here.”

I turned so the lady could see the back of my shirt when my mom said this. It should have been clear at this point that I was not an employee, but the lady wasn’t having any of our “trickery.”


Mom: “SHE DOESNT WORK HERE! We just came from school. It’s on the back of her shirt!”

Woman: “They let them wear whatever they want around here! I’m not falling for this! I’ll have you fired for this!”

Mom: “Listen here, you STUPID—”

I cut her off and politely told the woman I’d be happy to help her. I had noticed we were in an aisle that had one of those phones at the end where you could ring for an employee to come to your location, so I picked it up and asked for a manager to come to our aisle. He arrived in less than a minute, with that woman staring daggers at my smiling face the whole time.

Manager: “Hi, how can I help you ladies today?”

The woman started screaming about what happened and how she wanted me fired.

Manager: *To me* “You go to [Local High School]?”

Me: “Yes, sir.”

Manager: *Sigh* “Every f****** week…”

I burst out laughing and watched as that lady’s face went shock white as she realized (finally!) that I didn’t work there. Mom and I left the aisle and thought that would be the end of it. But it is a small town, so of course, it wasn’t.

I went back to the store three years later to get my first job and the manager remembered me. Apparently, he’d been telling my story for years to new employees as a way to encourage what he called “smart versus good customer service.” He placed me behind the customer service desk, and I had been there about a month when that same lady came up to the desk to be serviced. I could see her staring at me as she waited in line and trying to place me. I watched the color leave her face and the light die in her eyes as she figured it out. When it came to be her turn for service, she let the man behind her go ahead so she could be helped by my coworker. I had to stifle my laughter.

Your Dad’s The Bomb Dot Com!

, , , , , | Related | November 29, 2022

I order a music box as a Christmas gift for my sister. It is a handmade wooden one from an online shop in [Country in Eastern Europe]. It requires a signature for pickup and is being held at the local post office. I ask my dad to drive me as I hate street parking. We are waiting in line inside when my dad starts talking.

Dad: “How come you have to sign for it?”

Me: “I’m not sure. I’m guessing it’s because it’s from overseas or the store did it as a security measure.”

Dad: *Loudly* “What? It’s not like you ordered a bomb.”

The post office cashier gives my dad a dirty look and I shove him.

Me: “Let’s say that from now on post offices go by the same rules as airports: don’t say ‘bomb’ loudly or at all.”

My order ends up coming with a coupon, and my mom decides to order something for her brother for Christmas. We go through the same process where it requires a signature and my mom has my dad drop her off.

Mom: “You stay in the car this time. I don’t need you accidentally causing a scene by asking if I ordered a bomb from overseas.”

Dad: “I never did that.”

My mom glares at him.

Dad: “Okay, I did it one time.”

Mom: “And that was enough.”

Bird Brained, Part 13

, , , , | Right | November 22, 2022

I work at the zoo. I am carrying a chicken to the exercise yard. A man is eagerly following me, waiting to see what animal I have inside the carrier. The chicken is reluctant to leave her carrier at first, and when she finally exits the carrier, I say:

Me: “Good bird!”

Guest: “Why are you calling it a bird if it’s a chicken?”

I didn’t know how to respond without making him sound like a moron.

Bird Brained, Part 12
Bird Brained, Part 11
Bird Brained, Part 10
Bird Brained, Part 9
Bird Brained, Part 8

Sounds Like I’m All Out Of Time

, , , , , , , | Working | November 21, 2022

When I apply to work at a large retailer, I write that my availability is 6:00 am to 10:00 pm Monday through Saturday. I put a big X over Sunday so that I have one guaranteed day to spend relaxing with my family. The woman who will become my manager does my interview.

Manager: “I see you aren’t available on Sunday.”

Me: “Correct.”

Manager: “Any reason for that?”

Me: “Yes.”

Manager: “Which is?”

Me: “I have family commitments.”

Manager: “Every single Sunday?”

Me: “Yes.”

Manager: *Scoffs* “Okay. Not a great start to your career, but that’s your choice.”

Me: *Smiling* “Thank you for understanding.”

She stares at me for a moment, clearly wondering if she should say what she is thinking, but she doesn’t. I’m hired on and begin my illustrious career as a minimum-wage cashier.

The holidays are coming up, and [Manager] approaches me as I’m about to clock out for lunch.

Manager: “[My Name], we need to discuss your availability.”

Me: “What about it?”

Manager: “We don’t have enough people for Sunday evening for the next few weeks. If you’ll open your availability—”

Me: “No, thank you. I am not available.”

I swipe my ID to clock out.

Manager: “You can’t only work when you want!”

Me: “I’m on my lunch, actually. Thank you for respecting my unpaid time.”

I walk away.

The next shift, she approaches again with an availability form. It has my name at the top and “OPEN” written on every day. Given that this is a twenty-four-hour store, this means I could work any time day or night.

Manager: “Here. I filled it out for you. Just sign.”

Me: “No.”

Manager: “You are the only one in this whole store who will not work Sundays!”

Me: “How can you not have enough people when it’s everyone except me?”

Manager: “I don’t have time for this. You need to step up or go home.”

Me: “Okay.”

I dropped my work vest and badge on the floor and walked out. [Manager] called me several times over the next few weeks to try to get me to come back, though she offered no incentive or apology. I found another job before the calls stopped.

With Customers Like This, Nothing Is A Cakewalk

, , , , , | Right | November 21, 2022

When I was in college, I worked part-time in a very popular local bakery as a clerk. One of my favorite jobs was retrieving custom-decorated cakes for customers, as it allowed me to see the work of our extraordinary decorators.

One very busy Saturday morning, a woman came in to pick up a cake and I was the clerk available to take her ticket. This woman was your classic middle-aged short-bobbed soccer mom archetype, but since this bakery catered to the suburbs of a sizeable city, we got plenty of customers who looked like that and caused no issues. This customer seemed impatient, but I did not consider it a red flag at the time since she clearly had a party to get this cake to.

I took the customer’s name and headed into the back to find her cake, and what I found was a huge, gorgeous round cake for a baby’s baptism. The top and sides were covered in creamy off-white frosting roses which had been finished with a coating of edible shimmer spray (basically a very classy glitter) that made rainbows dance over the cake when I moved it through the light. In the center of the cake was a lovely little sugar cross, about four inches tall and two inches wide, and the cake’s dedication was perfectly spaced around the curve of the cake top.

I was so awed by this masterpiece of cake-decorating artistry that I paused to show it to every single coworker I encountered on my way back up to the counter. I held the cake with as much care as I would show to an infant, fearful of doing the slightest damage to it in transit. I reached the counter and set the cake in front of the customer, beaming.

The customer looked down at this beautiful, delicate, shimmering creation and SNEERED.

Customer: “I thought the cross would be bigger.”

I felt the smile slide straight off my face. For a moment, I wondered if I had misheard. Surely she couldn’t be criticizing this cake, of all cakes?

Me: “Sorry?”

Customer: “The sugar cross. I wanted it to be big enough to cover the whole cake, and I wanted the writing to be on the cross.”

I was speechless. All my customer service poise had completely abandoned me, and I just stood there gaping at this woman in utter shock.

Customer: “Just get me your manager.”

Dazed, I left the counter and sent my manager out to deal with the situation. I stayed in the back for a bit, quietly ranting to my coworkers about the experience.

After a few minutes, the manager headed past my little gossip group into the back area and returned with our chief decorator. After several more minutes, the decorator tromped back, clearly fuming.

Me: “So, what happened?”

Decorator: “She decided to take it, eventually. I don’t know what she expected us to do. I remember that order. We explained repeatedly that we don’t make the sugar crosses in-house and that the ones we get from our supplier would be too small to write on!”