No Point Crying Over Spilled Powder

| Leiden, The Netherlands | Right | July 7, 2017

(I’m am stocking shelves at the dairy section.)

Customer: “Hi, I want to buy this.” *shows a carton of soya milk* “But how do I drink this?”

Me: “Pardon me?”

Customer: “Yeah, because this is soya powder. Do I need to add water to it?”

Me: “Uh, no, it is already liquid. You can drink it straight from the carton.”

Customer: *shakes carton* “No! It is a powder. What do I add to it?”

Me: *grabs another carton and shakes it* “It is liquid milk. Do you hear it? I drink it sometimes and it is already milk.”

Customer: “It is made of plants, right? So it is a powder! You don’t understand!”

A Complete Basket Case

| Bedworth, England, UK | Right | July 6, 2017

(I work in a small supermarket. Just lately we have had a few shoplifters. In some cases they have filled our baskets and run out of the doors, resulting in us having no baskets left.)

Customer: “Where are the baskets?”

Me: “Sorry, we haven’t gotten any. They have all been stolen.”

Customer: “Are they behind the till?”

Me: “No, they have all been stolen.”

Customer: “Oh, someone else is using them?”

Me: “No, they have all been stolen.”

Customer: “You’re joking!”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “So where are they?”

Me: “They have all been stolen.”

Customer: “So you don’t have any, then?”

Me: *mentally banging head against wall* “No.”

Far Right Doesn’t Make You Right

| Scotland, UK | Working | July 6, 2017

(This occurs the week after the Brexit result. It’s around five am and I’ve woken up from having a migraine. I don’t have any painkillers in my flat so I decide to go to a local superstore which is open 24 hours. As I only intend it to be a quick visit, I just slip on whatever is nearest to me: basically, the t-shirt I wore the day before, some tracksuit bottoms, a winter jacket, and beanie. I also rarely shave, so at this point I do look quite rough. As I enter the store I am blocked by a security guard.)

Guard: “The booze is off limits.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Guard: “The booze is off limits, not that you could afford it.” *leans close and sniffs* “Smells like you’ve had enough already.”

Me: “Actually I just came for some painkillers. I don’t drink.”

(I try to move around him but he pushes me. The force is enough to make me lose my balance.)

Guard: *laughing* “So pissed you can’t even stand up.”

Me: *getting up* “Look, I only came in here for one thing: a box of paracetamol. I wouldn’t even be able to get alcohol because it’s past midnight. So can I please—”

Guard: “We don’t serve people like you in here.”

Me: “People like me?”

Guard: “Muslim… homeless. It’s all the same. Now get out before I phone the police.”

Me: “Fine, I’ve had enough.”

(I make my way out of the store with the guard following. The guard decides to yell at me that “I’ll be the first to go” once we leave the EU. I get in my car and drive past the front of the store lowering my window. The guard has just realised I’m driving a Merc and is looking quite sheepish.)

Me: “You work at [Store I own, next door] sometimes, don’t you?”

Guard: “What of it?”

Me: “I’ll be re-evaluating my contract with your firm. I don’t want bigots like you working for me.”

(I drove off making a note to contact the superstore as well in the morning. I haven’t seen the guard since. I know this is quite mild in contrast to what has occurred in the wake of the referendum result, but it has only spurred me to fight this wave of discrimination further. To all of you who think the EU referendum or the US Election has given you the right to let your bigoted attitudes out: It hasn’t.)

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Very Jelly Strange

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Right | July 5, 2017

(I am a shift supervisor at a popular chain of supermarkets here in Australia. The store I work at is open six am to midnight, seven days a week. One night, it is just after midnight, we have finished closing the store and are leaving for the day. As I am locking the doors, a car pulls up behind me. A woman, possibly in her late 50s, exits the car.)

Woman: “I’m going to need you to open the doors; I’m in a hurry and am in desperate need for some items.”

Me: “I’m sorry, we close at midnight; however, we reopen at six am if that’s any help.”

Woman: “I need these items now! It’s very important! Just open the store and I’ll be ten seconds!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t do that. It’s against company policy.”

Woman: “I am a paying customer, and you don’t want me to go to your competition to do my shopping! I am in a hurry. Now open up!”

Me: “With respect, we don’t want you to take your business elsewhere; however, I can’t open the shop for anyone outside of hours.”

Woman: “So, you are really going to make me wait?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we don’t open until six am!”

(I get into my car and drive off. The woman appears to just sit in the parking lot. Anyway, as it is flu season, I had drawn the short straw and have to be back at five am for the open. On the plus side, I get double time pay; on the down side, as I pull up to work just before five am, the lady is still sitting in the same place as when I left.)

Woman: “Well, it’s about time! I need these items and I need them now!”

Me: “Have you been here all night?”

Woman: “Yes! Just in case you came to your senses and decided to let me in! Now open the store!”

Me: “I am sorry; we don’t open until six am!”

Woman: “Then why are you here?”

Me: “We have a lot of work to do before the store is opened!”

(At six am I open the doors; the woman bursts into the store, and begins running around. I am also manning the checkouts as the checkout operator is running late due to car trouble. The woman runs up to my register and throws down several items, or more specifically, two bags of jelly beans, one roll of masking tape, and one banana.)

Woman: “Next time a customer is in desperate need of items, you do not have the right to go home! You open the shop and you allow the customer to purchase the items they are in a hurry for!”

(She ran out of the shop and drove away very quickly, I guess she had very pressing plans that required jelly beans, masking tape, and a banana.)

Senile Selling Point

| West Yorkshire, England, UK | Working | July 4, 2017

(My grandmother has advanced dementia at this time. I’m a teenager. I’m taking her round the supermarket, collecting food (which I or my mother will later cook for her). We have to get the exact same food every time, or she won’t eat it. We go to the fish counter and I wait for a bit, just in case she’s able to communicate on her own today. After several minutes of her staring at nothing in particular – not seeming aware of where she is – I point to the salmon.)

Me: “Would you like some salmon today?”

Grandmother: “…”

Shop Assistant: *glares at me, then looks at my grandmother* “What would you like today?”

Grandmother: *stares at food, then at me, then starts playing with some toys in a bag*

Me: “Would you like the salmon? That’s the one you usually get. It’s on the list, see?” *shows her the list, which she stares at for a while without recognition* “Let’s get some salmon, okay?”

Shop Assistant: *annoyed* “She can decide for herself!”

Me: *to Grandmother* “How about the salmon? It’s this pink fish here.” *points* “Would you like this one for your dinner?” *Grandmother looks at the fish*

Shop Assistant: *angry* “You kids need to start treating your elders with some respect. She can decide for herself. She doesn’t need you bullying her into getting something she doesn’t want.”

Me: *ignoring him so that I don’t get into an argument and agitate her* “This fish here. This one is for your dinner.”

Grandmother: *stares at the fish a bit longer, then slowly nods*

(The assistant glared at me, wrapped the fish, and attempted to hand it to my grandmother. She didn’t take it. He wouldn’t give it to me and just put it on the counter before storming off. This happened every time! Early on, I tried to explain she was senile, but he didn’t believe me…)

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