Getting A Red Flag Here

| Doncaster, England, UK | Right | September 28, 2016

(Less than a week ago my store had a new till opening system installed. After years of cashiers having to call out to customers which tills were opening, we now have a panel of buttons to press that makes the opening till’s number light up green instead of red. This is accompanied by an overly-polite automated message for customers over a P.A. system.)

Customer: *gesturing to the green, lit-up till number at the end of his transaction* “This is all very modern isn’t it?”

(I agree and say how it’ll hopefully make things a bit easier for the customers when we’re opening and closing tills.)

Customer: “So what does it mean then? Red and green?”

Me: *deadpan* “Red means closed and green means open.”

Customer: “Oh, right. Thank you.” *walks away from till to leave store*

Colleague On Till Behind Mine: “I REALLY hope he didn’t drive here today!”

The Strongest Generation

| The Netherlands | Right | September 23, 2016

(I am 16 years old and helping my grandpa shop in the supermarket near closing time. My grandpa survived the Second World War. He survived being captured by Germans, at 16 years old, and lived through forced labor, starvation, and the eventual fighting to liberate the Netherlands, at 21 years old. As an older man, 82 at the time, he is still quite fit, tall, and strong.)

Grandpa: “[My Name], can you go and get some ham and cheese for me? I’ll get the bread so we can make some grilled cheese and ham sandwiches for lunch tomorrow.”

Me: “Awesome! I’m on it, gramps!”

(I make my way to the aisle that contains the ham and cheese and find only one package each of ham and the cheese left. I luck out, as it’s near closing time. I pick them both up and turn around only to find myself surrounded by three guys. )

Me: “Can I help you?”

Customer #1: “Yeah, you can actually. You can start by giving us your ham and cheese.” *makes a grabbing motion*

Me: “What? No! Why would I give this to you? I obviously intend to buy this.”

Customer #2: “Shut up! Just give us the d*** ham and cheese.”

Customer #3: “We could always just kick your a** and take it from you?”

(At this point I’m absolutely astounded. Not only am I being “robbed” in the middle of a supermarket, but they don’t want my money; they want the darn ham and cheese. Before I could even say another thing, a soft but deep voice speaks to them.)

Grandpa: “I ask you kindly to leave my grandson alone.”

(All three “customers” turn around in sync and see my grandpa standing there, smiling at them.)

Customer #2: “Or what? You’ll give us an ear full and scold us?”

Customer #1: “F*** off, old man.”

(At this point the first guy grabs my arm and is trying to take away the groceries. When this happens, my grandpa leaves his cart and walks straight past the first two guys. He grabs the guy by his shoulder, then his wrist, and pulls it back in one fluent motion. The guy screeches in pain as he gets slammed into the nearby doors.)

Grandpa: “I’ll ask again. Leave my grandson alone.” *turns to the other two* “I suggest you move away or I’ll break this guys arm.” *pulls it a little*

Customer #1: “Ow, ow, ow! Stop it! You’re bending my arm too far!”

Worker: “What’s going on here?!”

Customer #2: “F*** this. Let’s get the h*** out of here.”

Customer #3: “Let’s go, man.”

Worker: *through a wall phone* “Hello, boss? Yeah, I’ve got some hooligans here who seem to be attacking some of our customers. Can you call the cops?”

Customer #2: “I’m out!”

(Grandpa lets go of Customer #1 and they all make a run for it.)

Customer #1: “F*** you guys!”

(All three then bolt towards the main exit.)

Worker: *obviously concerned* “Are you guys okay?!”

Me: “I’m good, just a little surprised by my grandpa’s quick moves.”

Grandpa: “Hey! I might be old, but that doesn’t mean I’m slow! Besides, they were bullying my grandson.”

Me: “More like robbing me… for ham and cheese of all things!”

Worker: “Are you serious? They weren’t after your money… they were after your groceries?”

(I nod.)

Worker: “That’s insane! They are in a supermarket, for god’s sake!”

Grandpa: “The stupidity of people will never cease to amaze me.”

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Will Be In The Desk Job Forever

| Lancaster, PA, USA | Working | September 21, 2016

(I studied Spanish for five years in school, but I am by no means fluent. One day while working the service desk, I get a Spanish-speaking customer. I decide to practice a little by chatting with him in the language. I want to be a writer, so I tell him this.)

Me: “Quiero ser escritorio.”

(As I say this, I make a writing gesture in the air. The customer smiles and seems to understand. We finish his transaction, and he goes on his way. A few minutes later, I realize that I should have said quiero ser escritor. What I did say actually meant I want to be a desk. I’m sure the customer understood me anyway, but it was embarrassing nonetheless!)

I’m Sure The Dog Will Say Thank You

| Scotland, UK | Related | September 21, 2016

(I am serving a mother and her little girl at checkouts. They only have two bottles of baby shampoo. It’s a sunny day, so everyone is wearing summer clothes, the little girl’s being brightly coloured.)

Me: “That’s a pretty dress.”

(The girl just smiles.)

Mother: “What do you say?”

Girl: “We’re giving our dog a bath!”

Tread Lightly

| QLD, Australia | Friendly | September 16, 2016

(I’m working a split shift, and have decided to grab a few groceries and then head the gym for a workout before heading back to work. Though I’m on a diet, I spot my favourite chocolate on a half price and I figure I’ll grab a couple as treats after a big workout. As I put my hand out, I hear a voice behind me:)

Man: “You’ll have to spend a long time on the treadmill to work that off, love!”

(I turn around, thinking it would be someone I know from the gym making a joke, but it’s an old man that I’ve never met before, leering at me. I remember I’m in my work uniform so I can’t tell him exactly what I think.)

Me: “Well, that is the plan.”

(I walked away. Luckily I can let this sort of comment roll off my back, but what if he says it to some poor teenager whose self esteem is already non-existent?)

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