PAIN! The New Fragrance

, , , , , , | Right | April 12, 2019

(I work at a small clothing boutique that also sells small gift items. One of our best sellers is key chain pepper spray canisters that are bedazzled. I get many stupid questions about them such as, “Does this actually work?” “Have you tried it before?” “Well, WHY haven’t you tried it?!”.)

Customer: “These little canisters are so cute! I wish they had perfume in it, though.”

Me: “Oh, yeah, that would be cool. It’s always smart to carry pepper spray, though!”

Customer: “Yeah, but I wish it was perfume. Do you have any with perfume, instead?”

Me: “Um… no. Unfortunately not.”

Customer: “Well, can I buy an empty canister from you so I can fill it myself?”

Me: “Oh, we don’t make it here. We are sent all of our items already packaged. I don’t have any empty ones.”

Customer: “Ugh, fine. I’ll just empty it at home and refill it with perfume. My daughter loves spraying my perfume, so I can give her this so she has her own! She just loves sparkles!”  

Me: “I strongly advise you not to do that. You shouldn’t mess around with pepper spray canisters. You also don’t want to take the chance of not getting it all out resulting in your daughter hurting herself.”

Customer: “You don’t know what you’re talking about! You need to learn about your products more! I’m buying this for my daughter right now so she can have a matching perfume with me!”

There… Are… No… Lights!

, , , | Right | April 2, 2019

(It’s rare but we do get power outages at pools. I work at an indoor pool with no windows, so it is pitch black when that happens. Our policy is to clear the pool immediately until we get word that we can let people back in. Most people get out quickly and follow our flashlights. On this one occasion, a coworker is shining his flashlight so people can see where to go and approaches a patron in the lanes. Since she is elderly, he assumes she might want to go back to the changing room.)

Coworker: “Miss, I can walk with you to the changing rooms if you—“

Patron: “I have just a few more minutes.”

Coworker: “Pardon?”

Patron: “I have to finish my workout, just give me a few more minutes.”

Coworker: “Excuse me, miss, but the lights are all out and we don’t know when the emergency lights will come on. We have to evacuate the pool now. It’s unsafe for you to work out where we can’t see you.”

Patron: “Well, you’re standing here now. You shine the flashlight and I’ll keep going.”

Coworker: “No! Lady, get out! I have to double check other areas to see if everyone is okay.”

Patron: “Then leave me here.”

Coworker: “Look. Get out now or I will have to let the boss know that you refused to adhere to a safety protocol and you could get banned.”

Patron: “But I need my workout.”


(Just then, one of the emergency lights turns on right above her, as luck would have it.)

Patron: “Now there is a light, so I can stay.”

Coworker: “Okay, for the last time, we’ve cleared the pool, and you have ten seconds to get out before I have you banned for life. One… Two… Three…”

(And that is the story on how my eighteen-year-old coworker had to use the 1-2-3 countdown on a grown-a** woman. She didn’t get banned, but she got a severe talking-to by the higher-ups. However, she did get kicked out for a while when she kept trying to work out in the changing rooms well after close.)

Smoking Will Kill You

, , , , , , | Right | March 30, 2019

(So far, the refund of a faulty petrol-powered hedge trimmer has been going normally. The item has been deemed faulty by an expert, and the customer has his receipt and has been pleasant throughout. However, there is a problem: for legal reasons we cannot accept the hedge trimmer until the petrol has been drained out it. This has to be done by the customer offsite and into a fuel can for safety reasons. I explain this to the customer, and he appears to understand and walks off. I’m just serving the next customer when, out of the corner of my eye, I witness this customer pouring petrol into a PAPER CUP, which is in turn balanced precariously on top of the cigarette bin at the entrance to the store.)

Me: “Stop! Stop! For the love of God stop!”

Customer: “Why? What am I doing?”

Me: “I said for you to empty that offsite into an appropriate container! And look what it’s on!”

(The customer begins to slowly read the words, “Please extinguish your cigarette here.”)

Customer: “Oh. I didn’t realise what you meant.”

(After this, we now make sure that customers take such items away before serving the next customer.)

A Rags To Rashes Story

, , , , | Healthy | March 12, 2019

My dad likes to share this story of when he worked in a science lab.

There were massive security protocols in place for everything, but one day, a pile of what looked like rags was left in a high-traffic area. People were basically forced to step on the rags to walk through. Nobody seemed to be paying attention to them, or be concerned that they were just lying there.

My dad saw them when he arrived for the day and was finally the one who followed protocol and called it in.

Apparently, the response was something to behold. The lab was shut down. Nobody in the entire lab facility was allowed to leave until they went through thorough decontamination; since it was a high-traffic area, basically everyone had to be considered “exposed” to… whatever it was. Their clothes and shoes were confiscated. People in Hazmat suits came, collected the rags, shut down the wing for decontamination, and left everyone sitting around for hours, unable to do anything or leave.

At the end of the day, an all-clear was given: “We’ve determined that there’s no contamination or exposure from the rags. However, if anyone develops a fungus-like infection or rash, please report it immediately.”

My dad commented, “That’s so comforting to hear.”

The entire staff got to be dragged in for a refresher on safety protocols and “why we don’t just walk through a potential contamination hazard.”

Not Watching The Projectiles Is Actually Even Less Safe

, , , | Right | March 1, 2019

(I work in an open-air museum. During the summer, we always have a visit from a British living history society, who bring reconstructions of Roman artillery pieces with them, which they actually use for demonstrations. However, most people don’t seem to understand how dangerous these things can be if used incorrectly. Every day, when doing such a demonstration, we have to get all visitors to the safe side of the field where the demonstration is being held. And every day, we have the same discussion with at least one person:)

Me: “Would you all go to the far side of the field, please? Just for your own safety!”

Visitor: “Oh, I’m not going to watch the demonstration.”

Me: “You don’t need to watch it. You just have to get out of this area, because otherwise you might get killed by a projectile.”

(Not to mention all the indignant faces people make when you tell them to get out of the danger zone.)