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A collection of stories curated from different subreddits, adapted for NAR.

Thanks For Piling On The Stress

, , , | Right | CREDIT: PokeMom95 | June 15, 2021

When I was seventeen, I was working in a large chain grocery store as a cashier. I’m autistic and cry when I’m super stressed or frustrated. I can’t control it or hold it back; it just happens.

This one fateful day, it was nearing a holiday and the store was extremely busy. I’d been helping customers at our busiest register for a few hours. Most of the customers either helped me bag their items or insisted on bagging them all themselves. Some customers have a particular way they like their things bagged, and who am I to argue?

About halfway through my shift, along came a couple with two carts overflowing with groceries. I already knew this wasn’t going to be a quick transaction. And with no bagger available to help bag, that would mean I’d have to stop scanning to bag items. I started scanning their items and placing them in the bagging area. After one cart was empty and I had the majority scanned, the bagging area was piled high with groceries, and the man stood there watching me while his wife unloaded the other cart. He didn’t help bag and didn’t put any bags I did pack into his cart; he just watched me.

Because of how busy the store was, I was trapped in my register and could not put the bags into the cart myself.

Eventually, I didn’t have much room to put anything, so I had to stand on my toes to try and reach a spot to put things. At one point, I had to very lightly toss a loaf of bread onto the top of the pile. This apparently was the wrong choice.

Man: “Excuse me, but why are you throwing my groceries? I’m paying good money for this s***. I don’t need you breaking it all.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, sir. I didn’t realize I’d thrown it. I’ll be more careful. Again, I apologize.”

I started to try and be extra careful with his groceries while I scanned. The pile kept growing and growing, and he still did not bag anything. I placed another item on the pile and it caused a small landslide of groceries.


I hit the button for my manager and she appeared within minutes.

Manager: “What’s going on, [My Name]?”

Man: “This little b**** is throwing my items!”

I’m not sure what happened after this, as I started crying. My manager told me to go to the bathroom and clean myself up and come back when I felt better. I did just that and was gone for about a half-hour before I was able to calm down.

No Toilet Paper But Plenty Of Bulls***

, , , | Right | CREDIT: the_Heeter | June 15, 2021

I work at a sort of small grocery store with just ten aisles and a produce section. We have no stock tonight thanks to our trucks all being delayed or rerouted. I’m mopping in our canned goods section. A woman comes up to me in a huff.

Customer: *Rudely* “Hey! I’ve been looking all over the store for toilet paper, and I can’t find any.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we are completely out of toilet paper. If you really need it, you can check at [Store #1] or [Store #2] to see if they have any.”

Customer: “I already went there; they didn’t have any. They said you did, so where is it on the shelves?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but they must have told you wrong. We don’t have any and haven’t for a day or two.”

Customer: *Scoffs* “Impossible! Go and check the back. I’ll wait right here.”

So, I smile and plod to the back to be greeted with the empty room where our stock pallets normally are. I wait a couple of seconds and then turn around and go back to the customer.

Customer: “Well, where is it? I need [Brand] in twenty-four packs.”

Me: “Again, ma’am, I’m sorry, but we don’t have any toilet paper. I don’t know when we will get more in. Our trucks are being delayed, and furthermore, much of our product is on backorder.”

Customer: “Well, I still need [Brand], so…”

I stand there, smiling awkwardly, wanting her to just leave.

Customer: “You’re not going to go get it?”

Me: “I just said we don’t have any. I’m sorry, ma’am, but you’ll have to come back another time.”

Customer: “You can’t be serious! This is the only day I have to shop!”

Me: “Sorry, but we just don’t have any mo—”

Customer: *Cutting me off* “Stop giving me that excuse! Where is it?”

Me: “Fine. It’s a few sections over, middle shelf on the left. Good luck.”

Customer: “Finally, thank you! I’ll just get it myself.”

She then walked away as I went back to cleaning my section. For a moment, there was silence, then an exasperated gasp, and then quick footsteps approaching me. I braced myself, and as she rounded the corner, I strained to wear my best smile.

Customer: “I can’t believe you, telling me wrong! I’ll just take my business elsewhere!”

She then stormed out of the building, and I haven’t seen her since, thank goodness.

Time To Implement An A**hole Tax

, , , | Right | CREDIT: LOL_Murica | June 14, 2021

I manage a restaurant. I’m in the dining room when I see a guest berating a server. As I approach, I can see the guest holding a menu and yelling about how “this is overpriced” and “I could buy this at the supermarket for half the price,” etc. The kicker is when she says to the server:

Guest:You should be ashamed for trying to gouge customers during [the health crisis]!”

I walk over, send the server away and, for the first, most exhilarating time in my life, order the guest to sit down and wait.

Me: “I’ll be right back.”

I went to the kitchen, grabbed my stack of invoices, and went back to the table. I’d love to say that I was able to go item for item with a dish and show how I arrived at the price but, sadly, the guest picked up her bag and left when I asked if she had a calculator. Her visibly embarrassed husband apologized, handed me ten bucks — they hadn’t even ordered yet — and followed her out the door.

Moral of the story: you servers might not be able to be a**holes, but there’s a room full of people in the back who would be happy to do it for you. Respect to you guys, who have the patience of mothers of twelve.

The Word “Gallon” Has No Meaning Anymore

, , , | Right | CREDIT: Mika112799 | June 14, 2021

A customer comes up to the register holding a gas can.

Me: “Hello.”

Customer: “How much gas will a two-gallon gas jug hold?”

Me: “Two gallons.”

Customer: “No, I mean, how many gallons will a two-gallon gas jug actually hold?”

I respond with a blank stare for a moment.

Me: “A two-gallon gas jug will hold two gallons of gas.”

Customer: “Well, I didn’t know! I’m just trying to help out a friend.”

Me: “So, you want to get two gallons of gas in a gas jug? Okay! What pump are you on?”

Customer: “No! Listen to me! I want to get as much gas as I can. And I have a two-gallon gas jug. I want to put as much gas in it as it’ll hold!”

I stare blankly at her again, and I guess it dawns on her what I said.

Customer: “Oh!” *Laughs* “I get it now. A two-gallon gas jug… two gallons… I’ve really been answering my own question with my question, haven’t I? And you just repeated what I was telling you.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. What pump would you like for me to put it on for you?”

Customer: “The pump I’m parked on.”

Me: “Which pump are you on?”

Customer: “I dunno. It’s the one that I parked at.”

Me: *Frustrated* “Okay. Which vehicle is yours?”

Customer: “The white one.”

Me: “Which white one, ma’am? There are three white cars out there on pumps.”

Customer: “Well, the white one that is mine.”

Me: “Would you mind looking out the door and telling me which white vehicle is yours?”

Customer: *Looks out the door* “Oh!” *Laughs* “I see what you mean! I’m the one all the way on the far end!”

Me: “Okay. So, you want two gallons of gas on pump four? That’ll be $4.34.”

Customer: “$4.34?! For two gallons of gas? Why so high?!”

Me: “Gas is $2.17 a gallon. $2.17 times two is $4.34.”

This was my very first transaction after taking over the register this afternoon.

If You Wouldn’t Say It To Their Face, Don’t Say It Near Their Ears

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: fuzzyone06 | June 13, 2021

In 2008, I was a young, intrepid stock person at a big box all-purpose store. I had a working knowledge of where pretty much everything was in the store because I was all over the place, but the grocery department had its own stock team specifically, so I wasn’t as knowledgeable there.

I am of Lebanese descent, and I was working in south Florida at the time. For those that don’t know, south Florida has a significant Cuban population, but not so much Middle Eastern folks. I got confused for Cuban all the time because I had the darker skin tone similar to a lot of Cuban folks. I also speak fluent English, Arabic, and French, but I was born and raised in the Midwest, so my accent gives no indication that I might be of Middle Eastern heritage.

On this fine afternoon, I was wheeling an empty tub back to the stock room after having emptied out one department over. Walking through the main aisle next to grocery, I heard an “EXCUSE ME!” It was not rude but definitely not polite, either. I turned to find a woman in a really fancy hijab and jewelry standing there with her husband.

Me: “How can I help you, miss?”

Customer: “I’m looking for [specific item] but I can’t find it.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m not as familiar with the grocery section so I’m not sure where that is. Let me grab one of my colleagues for you. One moment.”

I could see one of the other customer service guys in the grocery section, so I radioed him to come over and help her out.

Me: “He’ll be with you shortly, miss.”

Customer: *Tersely* “Thank you, but I’m in a hurry. I thought you worked here and knew your store.”

Me: “I’m sorry, miss, I don’t really work in this section. [Colleague] is coming right down the aisle now.”

Customer: *To her husband, in Arabic* “They always get these stupid kids to work in these places, but they don’t know how to do their job. This fatso doesn’t know his head from his a**.”

The husband gave the woman a look, probably because he saw my expression turn from my customer service smile to a frown. I was having an internal debate about what to do next when her husband spoke.

Customer’s Husband: *In Arabic* “Stop talking. I think he understood what you said.”

Customer: *In Arabic* “Of course he didn’t. He’s an idiot. He doesn’t know his hands from his feet.”

It’s an Arabic idiom that doesn’t translate well.

Me: *In Arabic* “Actually, I understood every word you said. I don’t appreciate being called fat and stupid. An older lady like you should know better than to insult people trying to help you. Worse, you wear your hijab like a hypocrite, pretending to be devout, yet you abuse your perceived social lessers? You should have some respect for yourself.”

The woman looked like she had been hit by a truck. Her olive skin turned ghost white, and she sputtered at me.

Customer: “You… you speak Arabic?”

Me: *In Arabic* “Obviously, I do. Maybe next time you’ll think before you insult people who help you when you think they can’t understand.”

The woman grabbed her husband’s arm and dragged him out of the store, completely mortified. I could hear her husband yelling at her in Arabic that he’d warned her not to be a b**** all the time, especially when she doesn’t know who understands her. I wasn’t personally that offended, but I won’t deny that it was satisfying to scare some sense into her.

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