Checkout This Idiot!

, , , , | Right | November 17, 2017

(I’m in the self-checkout area at one of the few stores in town, starting to ring up my purchases. I see a woman at another station who seems not to understand what she’s doing, despite looking at most thirty.)

Scanner: “Please place the item in the bagging area. Please place the item in the bagging area.”

(She just stands there, holding her box of cereal, stomping her feet, and glaring toward the clerk station.  The clerk sees her, comes over, and gives a brief explanation to the impatient woman.  After tapping the “not bagging this item” button, the clerk returns to her post and the woman puts her box back into her cart amongst her unscanned items. I turn back to my groceries, when…)

Scanner: “Please place the item in the bagging area. Please place the item in the bagging area.”

(This woman made the poor clerk walk back over to hit the same button for every single item scanned, and was still glaring and scanning as I paid and left. I purchased more than twice as many items as she did, but finished a lot quicker.)

Tell Her Where You Can Stuff That Penguin

, , , , , | Friendly | November 15, 2017

(I am a bystander to this lovely scene in December. Christmas is fast approaching and, as such, most shops have put out tempting displays near the checkouts to fool us all into buying things we neither need nor want. I am waiting in line with my trolley when a man and his daughter join the line behind me. The daughter, about eight years old, spies the stuffed penguin toys.)

Daughter: “Oh, look, Daddy! Penguins!”

Dad: “Yes, they’re very nice.”

Daughter: “Can I have one?”

Dad: “No.”

Daughter: “But they’re so sweet! Please?”

Dad: “I said no.”

Daughter: “Pleeease? I’ll look after it!”

Dad: “You already have a bear in the trolley. You don’t need another toy. You can either put the bear back and have the penguin, or keep the bear on its own.”

Daughter: “But I want both of them! I’ll take care of them!”

Dad: *seriously annoyed now* “I said no. Pick one now or you don’t get either.”

Daughter: “But Dad! I’ll take really good care of them both!” *begins annoying whiny tactics of attrition, including deliberate sobbing*

(At this point, a middle-aged woman has joined the next queue over. To my horror, she leans over and says:)

Interfering Woman: “Oh, that penguin needs to go to a good home, doesn’t he?”

Daughter: “Yes!” *sensing an ally, her tears immediately dry up*

Dad: *gritting his teeth* “I’m sure all these penguins will go to a good home. Our home’s a bit full, isn’t it, [Daughter]? What with all the toys you already have?”

Interfering Woman: *talking to daughter* “Oh, but this penguin would be much happier with you, wouldn’t it?”

Daughter: “Yes!”

Interfering Woman: “Don’t listen to Daddy; he’s being mean! I bet Mr. Penguin would love to come home with you!”

Dad: *somehow barely keeping his temper* “She has lots of toys already.”

Interfering Woman: “But she wants this one! Don’t you? Daddies are so mean, aren’t they?”

(Around this point I had reached the cashier, and I paid for my groceries as swiftly as possible, and got the h*** out of there. A tense silence had befallen everyone within hearing distance who wasn’t directly involved. I sometimes remember the whole scene, and try to think of ways I could’ve shut that woman up without causing a violent ruckus, but I’m at a loss. As a parent, I would’ve bought a penguin, put both the penguin and the bear in the charity box on the way out, and given my daughter a hearty talking to when we got home. She really was the most whiny child of her age I’ve ever heard. As a bystander, I honestly couldn’t think of anything sensible to do.)

This Conversation Is Revolving Nowhere

, , , | Right | November 15, 2017

(I work as a cashier in a supermarket. We’re just about to close, and I am counting the money in the cash registers in order to close them. A customer approaches me.)

Me: “Hi, how may I help you?”

Customer: “Hi. I was just wondering: does your revolving door always go that way around?”

Me: *surprised* “I haven’t really noticed, to be honest, but I sup—”

Customer: “It’s the wrong way, you see.”

Me: “Excuse me, the wrong way?”

Customer: “Yes, it goes the wrong way around. Can’t you see?”

Me: “I’m not quite sure that I know what you mean by ‘the wrong way around?’”

Customer: “You see, the door goes the other way around in every other store.”

Me: “Well, I’m sure there’s a reas—”

Customer: “It is supposed to go the other way around so that you walk around the same way as in a roundabout.”

Me: “Uh… I guess you could say that it goes clockwise, too?”

Customer: “Yes, and that’s wrong.”

Me: “I’m sure there’s a good reason if it’s not like in every other store as you say.”

(I pause and think for a second.)

Me: “Ah, I know. See, if it goes this way around, people exiting won’t have to cross paths with people entering.”

Customer: “I’m sure it goes the other way around in your other store in [Town].”

Me: “Well, I wouldn’t know, but they probably also have their reas–“

(The man calls to his wife, who has been browsing flowers near the entrance.)

Customer: “[Wife], didn’t you notice that the door—”

Wife: “—goes the wrong way around. Yes, I noticed that, too!”

Me: “Uh… Is there anything I can do for you? Because if not, I really need to get back to counting.”

Wife: “No, it’s fine, my dear.”

(The couple proceeds to talk about this literally two meters away from me, rather loudly, as if they are trying to convince me or something. This makes it hard for me to keep the right count. After a couple of minutes, they just leave the store without looking at anything in particular or buying anything. My coworker, who overheard everything, comes to help me close the store.)

Coworker: “I wonder what he wanted you to do about it. Make it go the other way around, just like that?”

Scar Issue

, , , , | Right | November 15, 2017

(I have a particularly nasty scar on my neck where I had several lymph nodes removed for a biopsy two years ago. I’m proud of this scar, because those lymph nodes determined I was in an early stage of cancer and got me the treatment I needed before it could metastasize. I hear all manner of comments on this scar, but this is by far the most outrageous.)

Customer: “What’d you do there?” *gestures on his own neck*

Me: “Oh, it’s a biopsy scar.”

Customer: “That looks terrible. You know, one time I had a scar like that right behind my ear. I went into a great plastic surgeon and he fixed it all up right there in his office.”

Me: “Awesome.”

Customer: “I could give you his name. It’s a shame; you’re such a pretty girl. You shouldn’t have to live with that for the rest of your life.”

Me: “No, thank you.”

Customer: “Really. It’s pretty simple.”

Me: “Sir, with all due respect, I am very proud of this scar. I believe scars tell stories, and this is the best one I’ve got. For the record, I asked for this scar to look the way it does. I think it’s beautiful, so I’ll say again: I’m really not interested.”

(He took his groceries and left, but I see him all the time, and after this incident, he’s avoided my line AND making eye contact.)

That Went From Zero To Ten Super Fast

, , , , , , | Working | November 14, 2017

(I’m waiting in a line to be served. The current customer has a young daughter with her who has been playing silently with a number book. The cashier takes notice. She is an elderly lady.)

Cashier: “Oh, are you learning you count?”

Girl: “Yep!”

Cashier: “Can you count to ten yet?”

Girl: *innocently* “Sure! Can you?”

(The cashier’s face turns sour.)

Cashier: “F*** you!”

(Everyone gasps, including the girl and her mother. Before anyone can react though, the little girl slaps her.)

Girl: “Naughty!”

(Then, chaos breaks loose as the cashier tries to climb over the counter while the mother scolds her daughter. The cashier then starts shouting for a manager and they all head for the store’s exit. The remaining line moves to another checkout and is seen to. As I leave the store, I still hear the cashier shouting, with a manager shouting over her.)

Manager: “WHAT DO YOU EXPECT ME TO DO? PROSECUTE A TODDLER?”

(I imagine the mother probably got in trouble, but hopefully the repercussions weren’t too severe.)

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