They’re Stored In Order Of Lives Left

| USA | Right | May 2, 2017

(I volunteer with a small cat rescue. Because we have no brick-and-mortar location for adoptions, we place our cats in adoption centers in several chain pet stores. There are spaces for five cats in this store, but there are times when not every space is full, depending on who is ready for adoption. Every Wednesday night, I go in to clean the cages and play with the cats, as a supplement to the care they get from the store employees. Tonight, an employee and friend of mine has stopped in to update me on a food situation, and we get to talking about the kinds of crazy customers a person encounters in a pet store.)

Employee: “I had this one guy… he came in when we only had a few cats in the adoption center. I talked to him about who we had here at the time, but nothing was really matching with the kind of cat he was looking for. I was about to tell him how you guys have a website and other locations, because they always seem surprised that you have more cats in other places, and not just the few they see here. But I never got that far… He asked if we had more cats in the back.”

(I start to laugh.)

Me: “Are you serious?”

Employee: “Yes! Can you imagine? Pallets of cats, all stacked up!”

(After years of retail, I thought I’d heard all of the “magical back” stories, but I guess not!)

I Don’t Drink But Give It A Few Customers…

| NH, USA | Right | April 26, 2017

(I have just clocked out and am ready to go home; however, the cashier who is usually at the front isn’t there for some reason, most likely putting away some returns or in the back room. I have also taken off my nametag at this point.)

Customer: “Hey, can you check me out?”

Me: “Uh, I guess… I just clocked out, but I don’t know where my other coworker is… It’s okay; it’ll only take a second.”

(As I’m ringing up his purchase, I call for my coworker over the loudspeaker, but she is nowhere to be found. I assume she’s in the back room where it is almost impossible to hear the intercom.)

Me: “Huh, weird. I wonder where she is? Anyways, your total is $27.99.”

Customer: “She’s probably out smoking crack behind the store.”

Me: *unable to comprehend what I just heard* “Uh… no?”

Customer: “No? Maybe smoking a joint, then?”

(I look at him to see if he’s joking, but he seems completely serious.)

Me: “Uh… probably not. She’s probably in the back room and can’t hear me.”

(I finish the transaction quickly and start to head out the door.)

Customer: “And where are YOU going?”

Me: “I told you I already clocked out, so I’m going home.”

Customer: “Yeah, go home and drink away your problems, you f****** alcoholic!”

Me: “Sir, what makes you assume I drink, or that my coworker does drugs?”

Customer: “That’s what all of you ingrates spend your money on! If you just went to college, you’d have a real job and wouldn’t have to drink or do drugs!”

Me: “Uh… I’m actually a student at [College]. This job is so I can pay for my food, cable bill, and my art supplies. Also, I’ve never drank in my life.”

Customer: “Liar!”

Me: *giving up* “Whatever. Have a nice night.” *goes to leave*

Customer: “Why are you so rude?”

Me: “Trust me, if I knew that you would be accusing me and my coworkers of drinking and doing drugs, I would have just left you at the counter.”

Registering The Bad Ones At The Register

| TN, USA | Working | April 10, 2017

(I am a supporting manager at my store. We hire a new cashier who seems like a good worker, if a tad lazy. However, over a period of several weeks, we start to notice money going missing from the registers. One busy Saturday, I cover the new cashier’s register while she goes on her lunch break. During the rush, her thirty minute break stretches out to forty five minutes. This is not a first-time occurrence.)

Me: *to my coworkers* “Does anyone know where [Cashier] is? She’s been gone forty five minutes, and we really need more coverage at the registers…”

(I notice an older woman standing near the clock-in office who glares at me, but I’m too busy at the registers to pay her any attention. Eventually, the new cashier returns without an excuse for being late. The next day, my boss pulls me aside and asks if I can attend a meeting with the cashier. I am currently the only female manager, and it is considered good protocol to have a “witness” around for a one-on-one conversation between a female employee and a male manager. I agree, and the three of us sit down in the manager’s office.)

Boss: “[Cashier], we just wanted to touch base with you over a couple of things. Earlier today, I noticed you and your mom go into the bathroom with a [Store] bag full of something. Would you mind just letting us know what that was about?”

(I’m surprised, but I stay quiet.)

Cashier: “Oh, yeah, my pants got stained, and my mom brought me a fresh set during my break.”

Boss: “Okay, I see. And speaking of your breaks, we just wanted to remind you that your lunch breaks are meant to be for thirty minutes only. That’s thirty minutes when you’re not on the clock, NOT thirty minutes in the break room. Any time you’re not working, that’s part of your break. See what I mean?”

Me: *piping up* “The thing is, especially during rush periods, we really need all the hands we can get, which means we really need you back on the clock after your thirty minutes are up.”

Cashier: “Okay, I understand.”

(We depart, and I assume the problem is solved. However, a few hours later, an older woman storms up to me, the same woman who had been standing near the office yesterday.)

Me: “Can I help you?”

Woman: *viciously* “I just want you to know that my daughter is NOT a thief!”

Me: *blank, bewildered stare*

Woman: “My daughter would never steal from anyone! I was just bringing her new pants! She’s a good employee, and you’re lucky to have her! How dare you assume she’d be a thief!”

Me: “I… never said she was…?”

Woman: “And just so you know, she was NOT gone forty five minutes! She is very responsible!” *storms away*

(A little dazed and annoyed, I resumed working. I later found out that the cashier sent her mother to fuss not only at me, but also at my boss, and even at another employee who had nothing to do with it! A few weeks later, my boss ended up firing her for repeatedly failing to show up for her shifts. So much for being “responsible.” As for the registers, they stopped missing money as soon as she was gone.)


Don’t Be A Hay-ter

| VA, USA | Right | April 7, 2017

(A customer called me over to talk to me about prices for small mammal bedding/hay.)

Customer: “How much is this one?”

Me: *I look at the price tags and can’t find the right barcode* “I’m sorry; I can’t find the price right now. I can take it to the register and scan it there.”

Customer: “So it isn’t $5.99?”

Me: “No.” *I look at the barcodes for that stack of hay, since we have several types in one stack* “It looks like the $5.99 is this one.” *I point to the same type of hay, without the carrots*

Customer: “Well, it should be $5.99, since the price tag is right there.”

Me: “Since we don’t have enough space on the shelf, we have to combine types. Based on [another type and size of hay], I’d say this one will be around $9.99.”

Customer: “You should still give it to me for $5.99.”

Me: “I’m sorry. The only times we can take money off for wrong pricing is if there is an actual slap tag–” *price sticker* –on the product that is the wrong price, since that means it is the employee’s, not the customer’s fault. However, we can’t discount products because either their price tags are missing on the shelf, or another price is underneath them, because a lot of times, either the price tag falls off, or, as I have found, kids will come in and move the tags.”

Customer: “That’s still false advertising. Which one is $5.99?”

(I show her a smaller pack of hay, without carrots. She scoffs and takes it.)

Customer: “You should still give me the bigger one for $5.99.”

Me: “I’m sorry. I’m not able to. I will be sure to reprint this price tag so that it won’t confuse other customers. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.”

(Customer gave me a dirty look and stomped off to the register.)

This Diet Should Bug You More

| IL, USA | Right | April 4, 2017

(I work in the back of the store with the animals and answer questions that customers have about their pets. Part of my job is catching crickets (small or large) for customers to feed to their reptiles. I had just finished talking to them about some of the other animals that we carry as a little bit of chit chat before asking what I could help them with.)

Customer #1: “Yes, I would like…” *she pauses to think for a moment* “…six large crickets, please.”

Customer #2: “Oh, are you getting those for [Lizard]?”

Customer #1: “Yeah, I figure I’m getting treats for all the other animals, I shouldn’t leave him out.” *she then turns to me* “Hey, at what age are bearded dragons too old for crickets?”

(I look at her dumbstruck for a moment but quickly recover and inform her as quickly and thoroughly as I can that they are omnivores which means they NEED both meat and plant matter throughout their entire lives.)

Customer #1: “Oh. Well, what happens when they don’t get crickets?”

Me: “Well, if they don’t receive any sort of insects with their diet they won’t be as healthy because they’re lacking the majority of the protein that they should be eating.”

Customer #1: “Well, he must not be very healthy then, because he hasn’t had crickets in like… six months.”

Customer #2: “Uhh… did you want to get him more than those six then?”

Me: “It might not be a bad idea, just so you have some on hand and can help him start getting the protein levels up.”

Customer #1: “Nah, I think he’ll be fine.”

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