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This Mother And Son Are Hardly A Well-Matched Pair

, , , , | Related | August 29, 2020

When I was a stroppy teenager, still not financially independent of my parents, my mother used to accompany me on my shopping trips for clothes. This was consistently one of the most acutely embarrassing experiences of my life because she never understood men, particularly teenage boys.

It was bad enough that every time we were buying trousers for me, she would announce in a strident voice that “he’s rather big in the bot,” but the stupidest ever was shoe shopping.

My mother found one of the ugliest shoes I’d ever seen and decided she was going to buy it for me. She thrust it at a young man who was not much older than me — this was a Saturday, and in those days, practically the entire staff of a shop in our town was school students earning their pocket money — demanding that he find the other one.

The poor guy was already overwhelmed by being one of a very few people in a heaving shop, he was being run ragged, and he was not having a good time of it. He rushed off to find the matching shoe, and when he came back I could see that, while similar in shape and colour, the details were different; the trim was different, the treads were different, etc.

Me: “It’s the wrong shoe.”

Mother: “It’s perfectly adequate; stop fussing.” *To the worker* “We’ll have these, then.”

Me: “But they don’t match; they’re not the same shoe!”

Mother: “They’re close enough, you silly boy. Stop making a fuss and upsetting the staff.”

By this time, the shop worker has noticed that yes, indeed, perhaps the shoes don’t actually match, so he really shouldn’t be selling them as a pair. Overwhelmed as he is, he thrusts the shoes in the direction of a colleague, who happens to be female.

My mother crows in her posh, overbearing Karen voice.

Mother: “Oh, don’t go giving them to a silly girl. Just sell me the shoes!”

Fortunately, the girl is on top of her game and competent, and she asks ME which is the shoe I want.

Me: “I don’t really like either of them, but this one was the one we were getting.”

Female Worker: “Don’t worry; it gets better.”

And she twirled off to go and get the proper mate for the shoe.

I wondered at the time what she meant when she said, “It gets better,” but I got my head round it a few years later, when I finally was able to do my own shopping.

When You Remember That Staff Are Human, Too

, , | Right | June 4, 2020

On my way to the store’s computers to type in an order — during a very packed Sunday — I come across a customer complaining loudly to my manager.

Customer: “Your employees are so lazy. I’ve been here for an hour and all they do is fiddle around those computers! This is unacceptable!”

In our store, salesmen have to type in the customers’ orders so the guys in the back can bring in what the customers want. Everyone is busy typing in multiple orders from multiple customers.

Manager: “Do not worry. An available salesman should be with you very soon.”

Me: *Right on cue* “Good afternoon! I will attend you!”

Customer: “About time! I can’t believe it took you so long. Y’all should be fired.”

The customer rants and raves without even following me to the display area, while hurling more insults at my coworkers. I am losing my patience as I am already stressed out as it is.


The customer freezes in place and looks at me with a shocked face as if no one has talked to her like that before. After a couple of seconds of recovering:

Customer: “Don’t use that tone with me! I am a customer! I’m going to pay you with my money! I’m not trying to beg for gifts or anything!”

Realizing my mistake but still visibly angry, I give out what may seem like a very sarcastic smile and tone.

Me: “I apologize. Now, as I said… I will attend you.”

Customer: “You know what? I don’t want anything anymore! This store can go to h***.”

The customer stormed out angrily, my manager complimented me for getting rid of her — she was a known bad regular — and I went back to work.

Later, I found out that she came back with her husband, but not one of my coworkers wanted to take her order. One did eventually, but then, it turned out that we had run out of stock for what she wanted!

You Might Have To Use More Than Ten Percent Of Your Brain Cells

, , , , , , | Working | June 2, 2020

My partner bought a pair of new walking boots but they’re a bit on the small size so I take them — with the receipt — back to the shop to get them swapped for the next size up.

Clerk: “Yes, that’s no problem but there might be some extra to pay.”

I try to remember if they were on sale.

Clerk: “Because you used an armed forces discount on these and the trainers you bought, there’ll be a lower amount of discount on just these.”

I must look blank because she continues to try and explain.

Clerk: “See here, you bought these at £42 and a pair of trainers at £35, so you got a £7.70 armed forces discount. Because you’re only returning the boots, it’ll be less discount so you might have to pay more than £42.”

I realise that trying to explain that 10% is always going to be 10% is probably a waste of my time, oxygen, and patience.

Me: “That’s fine. Just ring it up and see how it comes out.”

The clerk rings up the exchange.

Clerk: “Oh… it came out the same.”

I smiled, took the receipt, and left before my remaining brain cells could commit suicide. The kicker is that I actually have mild dyscalculia and struggle with basic maths, but even I know that 10% is, in fact, always 10%.

If You Walk A Mile In His Shoes… You’ll Be Braindead

, , | Right | June 1, 2020

My friend and I are out shopping together. We stop in the shoe department of one store as they are having a buy-one-get-one-half-price sale on all shoes.

A male and female customer near us are also browsing shoes.

Female Customer: *To the male customer* “What do you suppose that means?”

She points at the large sale signs everywhere. The male customer frowns and considers for several seconds.

Male Customer: “Well, I think it means if you buy one shoe—”

He holds up one shoe from a pair.

Male Customer: “—you only pay half price for the other.”

He held up the other shoe from the same pair. My friend and I just facepalmed.

Sadly, This Conversation Is As Common As An Old Shoe

, , , | Right | May 20, 2020

Me: “Can I help you find something?”

Customer: “I’m looking for shoes for my child. He’s nine years old.”

Me: “Do you know what size he is?”

Customer: “No. What size should I get?”

Me: “There is no average, since children all grow at different rates. Have you brought your child with you? We could measure his feet.”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “So, what size shoes should I get?”

This conversation happens almost every day.