Life Is Stranger Than Fiction, Part 5

, , , , , , | Right | July 29, 2021

I work at a bookstore. We have a usual customer who is extremely odd. One of the things he’s done is lick the books, but we’ve never actually caught him. We recently installed CCTV cameras to prevent theft, as we have other customers who try to steal our merchandise. With the health crisis going on, we’re really cracking down on people being sanitary and wearing masks. One day, I see the usual customer come in and head straight to the religious section. I follow him discreetly to see if he’ll lick the books again. Sure enough, he picks up a Bible, takes off his mask, and licks the inside cover.

Me: “Excuse me, sir. Please don’t lick the books.”

Customer: “But do you know how much fiction is in this d*** book?! Thousands of years of hatred and wars because a bunch of losers believed some guy who lived ten thousand years ago!”

Me: “Sir, that is completely your opinion, but it’s for sanitary reasons, especially in these times. Now, I have to ask you to purchase the book.”

He started ripping pages out and throwing them everywhere, and I called for security. They came quickly, and he started throwing other merchandise off of the shelves and licking some of it. About half the books in that section were damaged, and he had two options: pay and leave for good, or we’d call the police.

He didn’t like those options. He left, but not before spitting on a book about female serial killers.

We wound up damaging out over a dozen books. We sent the tape to the police, and he was arrested for destruction of property.

Related:
Life Is Stranger Than Fiction, Part 4
Life Is Stranger Than Fiction, Part 3
Life Is Stranger Than Fiction, Part 2
Life Is Stranger Than Fiction

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That’s Going To Be A Big Dirty NEIGH To That Return

, , , , , | Right | July 26, 2021

A customer comes in with a small digital thermometer, the kind that generally goes under the armpit or in your mouth. As such, they’re designed to be resistant to fluids, although they’re not entirely waterproof because, hey, they are cheap.

Customer: “I bought this a few days ago and took a couple of readings, and now it’s stopped working. I think maybe it’s the battery. Can I have a refund or an exchange?”

Coworker: “Let’s have a look and see if we can change the battery first.”

My coworker opens the battery case of the thermometer and finds it rather brown inside. As she’s new and unsure of what to do, she asks my opinion.

I take note of the brown and then notice that the outside of the thermometer is damp.

Me: “It looks wet. Could it be water damage?”

My coworker tilts the thermometer to try to see the battery better, and suddenly, about two teaspoons of very brown, very murky water run out of the battery compartment and onto our bench.

Customer: “Oh, no, it’s not water damage. I mean, I did wash it, but it was broken before that. I used it on my horse because he’s sick and I didn’t think you’d want to handle it unless I washed it first.”

Yep. We now had horse poo water on our bench and on my coworker’s hands. From the condition of the battery compartment, I strongly suspect that this may not have been the first time the customer had washed the thermometer.

Despite my misgivings, my manager gave the customer the exchange anyway. My coworker disposed of the used thermometer and scrubbed the bench and her hands very thoroughly.

Ah, the joys of working retail.

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Cat Poop: It’s What’s For Dinner

, , , , , , | Healthy | July 22, 2021

My cat’s name is Dinner; my boyfriend, who is Vietnamese American, named him. He hasn’t been feeling well (the cat), and the vet told me to bring in a fecal sample.

They are still doing business by car, so when I pull up and the vet tech comes out, I hand over the bag of poop.

Me: “This is for Dinner.”

Vet Tech: *Stammering* “Thank you?”

Then, I come to my senses.

Me: *Laughing* “It’s a sample from my cat, Dinner. The vet needs it.”

She was so professional and so polite, in spite of her “WTF” face.

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She Is Everyone’s Number One Problem

, , , , , , | Right | July 14, 2021

My pub shift is uneventful, until a colleague notes that a female patron is unable to hold her head up and has had a bit too much to drink. Unfortunately, she did not come in to purchase her own drinks, but instead is benefiting from the generosity of the regulars. My colleague and I resolve to not serve her and provide ice water to her table.

An hour passes, and I watch her waddle through the bar, searching for the toilets. I direct her to the door, open the door, and allow her inside to do her business. At this point, I spy a regular easing a handbag over the draft pumps, trying to throw it behind the bar. I ask the regular what’s happening, and his response is simply, “I’m not dealing with that.”

Confused, I watch as the drunk patron returns from the bathroom, sodden. She’s wearing a jumpsuit, and the oblivious woman has not managed to get it off in time before wetting herself. Upon seeing that the regular has left her belongings behind the bar, she proceeds to collapse on the floor and wail. The regular was her date and has abandoned her.

At this point, it’s a little after 6:00 pm and our restaurant tables are beginning to arrive. I phone my manager who asks me to move the woman to the staff-only area so that she can have her breakdown in peace.

Unfortunately, when asked, this woman can’t remember her own address, nor her daughter’s phone number, nor where she put her own phone. Every detail she provides is then immediately corrected, and after a while, it becomes apparent that the sodden woman does not want help.

Finally, a consistent detail emerges. She lives in the next town over, fifteen miles away. She can’t remember her address, though. I phone a taxi and explain the woman’s state. I offer her my spare uniform to wear, knowing I’ll never see it again.

This phone call to the taxi is the most difficult one in my life, as the woman keeps interrupting me to say things like, “I’m not confused. I’m fine. I don’t need a taxi. I’ll drive!” 

The taxi service is reluctant, but as we are a pub and give them a lot of business, they agree to drop her off at her town’s train station. I pay for the taxi on the phone and tell the woman to wait in the staff room until the taxi arrives.

A few minutes later, I go to collect the woman, only to find that she has vanished. The people in the garden say she sprinted away into the night, soaked in her own pee. I manage to get a refund for the taxi but get thoroughly chewed out for wasting their time.

I think that I have heard the end of the tale of this woman, until the end of my shift at about two in the morning: I walk home, only to find that the police have taken up the high street and the local doctors’ office has been broken into.

It turns out that this woman is a doctor and broke into her place of work to sleep in her office. Why she didn’t use her keys, we’ll never know.

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You Signed Up For Interesting Projects – Not Projectiles

, , , , | Right | July 9, 2021

I work in a hotel with themed rooms, including a fancy bunk room for the kids.

A hotel guest who knew their kid was feeling sick put them in the top bunk and let them projectile vomit everywhere. I had to get maintenance and management in to help me dismantle the beds completely to clean and sanitize them, all while I’m about four-and-a-half months pregnant.

I love my job and the people I work with but man that was not what I signed up for!

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