| CT, USA | Working | December 6, 2013

(I’m the owner of a yarn shop. We’re open Tuesday through Sunday, and closed on Mondays.)

Employee: “Hey, Boss. I have a question. I’d really like to work on Mondays.”

Me: “Sorry, but we’re closed Mondays. So, that won’t work.”

Employee: “Well, since I’m willing to work Mondays, I think I should get paid for Mondays.”

Me: “I’m sorry? We’re not open so no-one works and so no-one gets paid, right?”

Employee: *irritated* “No, I want to work. If you won’t let me that’s your problem. I think I should get paid for any day I’m available to work.”

Me: “Seriously, no. Now can we go back to actually working, since it’s Tuesday and you’re getting paid?”

Employee: “But I don’t understand why you won’t pay me for Mondays?”

(She never did let it go. Eventually we fired her.)

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Pola-Roid Rage

| Wasilla, AK, USA | Right | December 6, 2013

(I work the returns counter at a retail store. We have a customer that comes in every couple of months and returns several packs of Polaroid film, each worth about $20. She never has a receipt and always has the same excuse that she bought too much for the occasion. We suspect she is stealing them from another store in the area, and returning them at our store. Our loss prevention team doesn’t have enough on her to deny the returns. The electronics department implements a policy that we are not allowed to return Polaroid film without a receipt if it doesn’t have one of our security tags on it. Sure enough, the customer comes back in after this policy is in place. None of the boxes she brings in have our security tags on them.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. I’m not able to return these without a receipt.”

Customer: “But I’ve returned these here before. Why can’t I now?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. They changed our return policy. We are no longer allowed to return this type of film without a receipt if it doesn’t have our security tag on it.”

Customer: “Well, I know I bought it here. I want my money back.”

Me: “Again, I’m sorry, ma’am. These do not have our security tag on them. I cannot do a return without a receipt. Could you have purchased them from [other store in the area]?”

Customer: “NO! I bought them here. If I can’t return them here I just won’t shop here anymore!”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, ma’am, but I have to follow our return policy.”

(The customer walks off with her film, huffing as she goes. After about 10 minutes the customer’s husband storms up to my counter.)

Customer’s Husband: “You calling my wife a thief?!”

Me: “Excuse me, sir?”

Customer’s Husband: “My wife was just up here trying to return film. She said you told her she couldn’t return it because it was stolen!”

Me: “No, sir. I explained to her that I couldn’t return the film without a receipt because they don’t have our security tags on them. Then I asked if she might have purchased them from [other store in the area]. I never accused her of stealing.”

Customer’s Husband: *shouting* “I’ve never seen this ‘security tag’ you’re talking about. You’re lying to me!”

(The customer’s husband storms off towards the electronics department, shouting.)

Customer’s Husband: “I’m going to prove you’re a liar. Then I’m gonna kick your a**!”

(I run after him to try to warn the department manager of what’s about to happen. When the husband gets into the department he starts pulling 35mm film packs off the shelf shouting.)

Customer’s Husband: “I don’t see no security tag!”

(He then threw the packages over the shelf. The manager of the department was dodging packs of film as he was trying to get to the customer. I reached him first. I grabbed a Polaroid film pack off the shelf and showed the man the security tag on the back that I had been referring to all along. The man stopped mid-throw and mid-shout, looked at me for a moment and then walked away without saying a word. We never saw either of them again in our store.)

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They’d Like To Look At The Kid(nap) Menu, Part 2

| Edison, NJ, USA | Working | December 6, 2013

(My eight-year-old friend and her stepfather go out shopping. She is white Asian, and her stepfather is African-American.)

Cashier: “Hey, thanks for shopping at [Name].”

(The cashier sees my friend playing with an action figure.)

Cashier: “Like going out with your friend?”

Friend: “Yeah. He’s my stepfather!”

Cashier: *confused* “Really?”

Friend: “Yeah!” *to stepfather* “Can I get a lolly now?”

Stepfather: “Sure, darling.”

Cashier: “Could you just stay for a sec? I need to check some stuff on your purchase.”

(They wait a few seconds while the cashier pushes a button. A manager comes along.)

Manager: “What seems to be the problem?”

Cashier: “This man seems to be with this girl and she says she’s related to him. I think he’s abducting her.”

(My friend’s stepfather is horrified. The manager looks closely at him.)

Manager: “Are you related to this child?”

Stepfather: “I’m her stepfather. Look, I can call her mother—”

Cashier: “That won’t be necessary.”

(The cashier starts speaking into the radio.)

Cashier: “Security, close the main doors.”

Manager: “Listen, [Cashier]. This is stupid. Just because a black person is with someone who isn’t black doesn’t mean it’s criminal.”

Cashier: “Well, I’ve already pressed the 911 button, so they’re on their way.”

Stepfather: “Please, I haven’t done anything wrong. She REALLY is my stepdaughter!” *to the manager* “I swear, I’m telling the truth.”

Manager: “I understand, sir.” *to cashier* “Just please call them off.”

Cashier: “I called 911, remember? I can’t call them off.”

(When police arrive, they question my friend and her stepfather. The policeman asks my friend questions like her stepfather’s first name, birth date, and their address. After a call comes that the information is checked out with my friend’s mother at her home, the policeman looks at the manager.)

Policeman: “Well, this is accurate. She’s eight years old; a little kid wouldn’t know a strange adult’s date of birth. Plus, we don’t have any issues of missing children her age in the state. So, I think that he hasn’t done anything.”

Stepfather: *to cashier* “I TOLD you! You just have to go ahead and don’t let anyone get a word in!”

Manager: *to Cashier* “I’ll be seeing you round back.”

(Even twelve years later my friend has never gone back in the store, even though the cashier was fired.)

They’d Like To Look At The Kid(nap) Menu

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High Five Low Point

| MD, USA | Right | December 5, 2013

(A customer has come in to pick up some parts they ordered. They provided part numbers and quantities. He is looking through the items. The manufacturer sells some of their small parts in package quantities only, and we always let customers know when they have to buy a whole package.)

Customer: “These five are individually packaged?”

Me: “Yes. You ordered five.”

Customer: “No. It’s supposed to be a pack of five.”

Me: “So you needed twenty-five?”

Customer: “I only need one, but they’re supposed to be $2 for a pack of five.”

Me: “Well, since we can buy them individually, we sell them individually. They’re $2 each.”

Customer: “But I don’t want five. I only need one. I only want to buy one if they’re individually packaged.”

Me: “That’s fine.”

(I take the others back and finish up the transaction. The customer intently looks over the receipt after I give it to him.)

Customer: *in a mildly upset voice* “You charged me shipping and handling.”

Me: “Yes. You ordered things we don’t keep in stock and we were charged to have them shipped in for you.”

Customer: “Look, I don’t want to be that a**-hole customer and stand here and argue like a jack-a**. I just want to have a conversation.”

Me: “Ok.”

(I wait for him to keep talking.)

Customer: “I just want to have a conversation.”

Me: “Ok.”

(Again, I wait for him to keep talking.)

Customer: “Instead of getting all upset.”

Me: “Ok.”

(I still wait for him to keep talking.)

Customer: “You charged me shipping and handling for something I didn’t even want. The one part was supposed to be $2 for a whole pack.”

Me: “Well, you called me with the part numbers you wanted. Right?”

Customer: “Yeah…”

Me: “And you also told me the amount of each you wanted. Right?”

Customer: “Yeah…”

Me: “The pricing and availability on what you wanted was looked up before they were ordered. You were told the pricing, on each, and package quantities. I told you what the prices would be plus tax and shipping. We don’t know the exact shipping amount until the items arrive. I gave you the option of paying more for shipping to get them here faster, which you declined, because you said you weren’t in a hurry.”

Customer: “I wasn’t told there would be shipping. The guy I talked to didn’t say anything about it. Nobody said anything about additional shipping and handling.”

Me: “You talked to me. When I gave you the prices I told you they would be plus tax AND shipping. You told me to go ahead with the order using the slower, cheaper, shipping option. I was also able to combine your order with an order of parts we normally stock, so you were only charged for part of the total shipping.”

Customer: “Uh, oh, well… um. Thanks for having a conversation with me.”

(The customer takes a couple of steps away, then suddenly switches to a perturbed huff.)

Customer: “I’m going to keep the extra shipping charges in mind the next time I need to find someplace to order parts.”

Me: “You do that, and I’ll be keeping in mind your reluctance to pay for what you ordered and the shipping you approved.”

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Tastefully Talking Turkey

| Minneapolis, MN, USA | Right | December 4, 2013

(I am in line waiting to be checked out for some items. The customer ahead of me has paid for his merchandise. As he takes his change he strikes up a conversation between himself and the young female clerk.)

Customer: “I was wondering, are you going to be open on Thanksgiving? I know some stores are starting to do that.”

Clerk: *sighs* “Yes, sir. We’re open until 8 pm.”

Customer: “Well, that’s certainly some bull-s*** right there!”

Clerk: *laughing* “I’m not allowed to comment, sir.”

Customer: “Well, I am. Please tell your boss you got some resoundingly negative feedback from a customer over that. And, while you’re at it, tell him the same customer gave you a resoundingly POSITIVE feedback on your service. You’re a very nice young lady. I hope you prosper in life.”

(The customer then walks out, leaving the clerk and I to look at each other in mutual confusion.)

Clerk: “Well, that apparently just happened.”

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