Real America Doesn’t Want Him

, , | Right | October 23, 2019

(I work for a national call center that assists people in signing up for help paying for health insurance. Because individuals who have documented membership in federally-recognized Native American tribes might qualify for additional help, we always have to ask about that. Normally, the answer is no and we move on, but there’s always those special callers.)

Me: “Okay, that’s great! Are you or anyone in your household Native American or Alaska Native?”

Caller: “H*** no! I’m a real American! How dare you?!” 

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. That question wasn’t meant to offend you. I do have to remind you that those of Native American heritage were on this continent before it was colonized by other countries, so they are real Americans and hold citizenship status just as you or I do. Many of them live 100% to 400% below the poverty line and so are in need of additional help.”

Caller: “That’s racism! I deserve extra help, too! I’m a real American!” 

Me: “Again, I’m sorry if I’ve offended you, Sir, but I’m going to have to ask you to lower your voice. I want to help you, but I can’t do that if you’re yelling. Let’s move on to the next question, since the answer to this one is no.”

Caller: “Fine! Get on with it and don’t ask me any more stupid questions.”

(Sadly, this wasn’t the first or likely the last caller who responded in a similar way. It turned out this caller made way too much money to get financial aid — double our income limit — and he ended the call by calling me a bra-burning pinko commie and demanded I explain why a hardworking American can’t get help. Per our call center rules, I calmly advised him that kind of language is inappropriate and unnecessary. He responded with even more offensive language, so I hung up and reported the telephone number as one needing to be blocked.)

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Unfiltered Story #173048

, , , | Unfiltered | October 23, 2019

(I’ve been working at a popular retail store for a few months. This day in particular I was helping to train a new girl on the register. Its late at night about 30 minutes before we close. I hear my trainee call me over to her register where two men are waiting.)
Trainee: “They want to return these shoes, but they still have the security tag on them.”
Me: “Sir you want to return these shoes? Then why do they still have the security tag?”
(The gentlemen do not speak much English and after much confusion they tell me that the shoes they were returning, he put them back on the shelf.)
Me: “Sir you put the shoes on the self?”
(He nods his head)
Me: “I’m sorry sir, but we have to have the merchandise before we can return an item.”
Customer: “So you need shoes?”
Me: ” Yes sir, we have to have the shoes.”
Customer: ” I go get shoes?”
Me: “Yes sir, we have to scan the shoes in order to do a return.”
(I take the new shoes off the counter while the customer goes to look for the shoes, at this point we are closing in 10 minutes. After 20 minutes go by, the man finally returns with no shoes.)
Customer: “I can’t find my shoes.”
Me: “Okay sir, I’m sorry but we cannot exchange them then.”
Customer: “I don’t get the shoes?”
Me: (At this point being tired and ready to go home, I’m very frustrated.) “No, you do not get the shoes, you cannot do a return.”
Customer: “I come tomorrow to look?”
Me: “Fine, you can come tomorrow and look.”
(Finally the customers leave and I turn to my trainee.)
Me: “What the hell just happened.”

Expressing Herself At The Express Lane

, , , , , | Right | October 23, 2019

(I’m at a natural grocery store chain which specializes in all-natural foods and vitamins and such. I get water here once a week, because it’s the only one in town that offers .25 a gallon for refills. I’m in line behind a woman who jumped from a regular lane to the quick — under ten items — lane with considerably more than ten items just as I was approaching there with my six gallons of refill. The quick lanes at this particular store are two side-by-side registers with just enough counter space between them for a handful of items to be loaded up for checkout.)

Me: “You have a lot more than ten items there.”

(The woman hesitates about a half-a-heartbeat before continuing to unload her items onto the counter, completely ignoring me. She overflows the available space and has to wait while the checker clears room before she can finish unloading. I’m not in too much of a hurry, so I let it pass. The checker is pleasant, and starts checking her mound of stuff out, bagging quickly to get her order done.)

Customer: “Those are only supposed to be [price] per pound.”

(The checker takes the potatoes and checks them. The store doesn’t use tags on produce very often, usually only on the organics. She verifies that she entered the code for the correct potato type and not a similar one.)

Customer: “No, that’s still wrong.”

(The checker calls over someone to do a price check, sets them aside, and continues checking the woman out while she eyeballs the screen to make sure everything else rings up “right.” The other employee comes back and verifies the brand, and tells her the price per pound; more than the woman claimed.)

Checker: “So, this appears to be right. Do you still want them?”

(The woman nods. The checkout completes, and the woman pays.)

Customer: “I’m going to tell your manager you were rude to me.” *flounces off*

Me: *rolling my basket past* “Six gallons of water refill.”

Checker: “[Price].”

Me: *pays cash* “And I’m going to go tell your manager exactly how rude that woman was to you, and how nice you were in the whole time.”

(I walk down the line of registers to the far end where the woman is waiting as the store manager completes a refund and patiently wait behind the woman. We eye each other for a time, and after a few moments, she grabs her basket and starts to walk off. She gets a few steps away before turning on me.)

Customer: *to me* “You’re a mean man, you know that?”

Me: *as blandly as I can manage* “I guess so.”

(The woman travels all the way down to the quick check-out and stops to say something to the checker again, and heads out the door. While I wait a few more minutes for the manager to finish, the man in line behind me comes down and says she berated the checker for being rude.)

Other Customer: “She was nothing but nice to her.”

Me: “I know, and apparently, I’m mean for sticking up for the checker. I’m going to make sure her manager knows, too.”

(He smiled and headed out. I let the store manager know what happened, just in case the woman called later. She appreciated that I had done so.)

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The Danish Regular

, , , , , | Right | October 22, 2019

(I work in a grocery store in a small town. We have an older regular customer who always comes in and stays until closing, always with a large order and several special requests. I get off early and run into her while shopping, waiting for a ride from a coworker.)

Me: “Hey, [Regular]! How are you tonight?”

Regular Customer: “Hi, [My Name]. I’m pretty good. Do you remember those danishes I got last time? They were so good! I wonder if I have time to find them. Probably not.”

Me: “I can go look for them for you. I have time.”

(I go and find them, and then find the customer again.)

Me: “Here they are!”

Regular Customer: “Oh, good!”

(I continue to shop with her, helping her reach things off shelves and find things in the store. I agree to help her to her car when she’s done. I then split off to buy my own stuff, and I go back to the register she is at to see if she or my coworker would like any more help.)

Coworker: “Everything is on the same order, right?”

Regular Customer: “Yes, but this first part has to be separate. It goes somewhere else.”

(My coworker starts on her order, making sure to keep everything separate. I go to get a second cart and start loading the first part of her order.)

Coworker: “How many cokes do you have?”

Regular Customer: “Eight.”

(We count the cases of pop. She has seven.) 

Me: “You only have seven. This week’s coupon is four for $12. You want me to get another? They’re right in front of the check-stand.”

Regular Customer: “I have eight.” 

(We count again and we get seven again.)

Coworker: “No, you only have seven.”

Regular Customer: “That gal lied to me. [My Name], can you get me another, please? You know which one I want.”

(I get the extra Coke for her. By this point, the store has been closed for fifteen minutes and my coworkers should have clocked off by now. I notice the coworker giving me a ride is almost done.) 

Me: *to my coworker* “You can wait out back for me. I’m gonna help [Regular].”

Regular Customer: “[My Name], do you have a ride?”

Me: “Oh, [Coworker] is giving me a ride.”

Regular Customer: “Don’t you live far? I don’t want you walking. I can give you a ride.”

Me: “No, but thank you. I’m getting a ride from [Coworker].”

Regular Customer: “Are you sure? I don’t want you walking.”

Me: “No, I’m okay. But thank you.”

(My coworker helping her finishes her order. The customer doesn’t understand that she only has one order, thinking she has three, instead. She then writes three separate checks rather than one. I gather her last few things when my manager gives me the keys to the front door. By this point, the store has been closed for 25 minutes and everyone is ready to go home.)

Manager: *quietly so the customer can’t hear* “Get her out of here and lock the door when you’re done.”

(I help the customer to her car. She can’t find her keys, when they’re in her hand, and she has very specific instructions on where everything needs to go. She even counts the cases of pop again.)

Regular Customer: “I have eight. I thought I had nine.”

Me: “No. The coupon was four for $12, so you got eight. Any more would have been regular price. Remember? You had seven, so I got you another to equal eight.” 

Regular Customer: “I thought I had nine. Oh, well. I hope they charged me right.”

(It is now almost forty minutes after the store has closed and my manager comes out to get the keys from me.)

Manager: “Sorry, [My Name], but I have to lock the doors before I clock off. You’ll have to walk around the building.”

Me: “That’s okay. I’m almost done. Have a good night.”

(I finish loading the customer’s car. She insists on giving me two of the danishes she bought and a pack of chips. We normally don’t accept things like this while working, but I decide that since the customer is a regular and I’m helping her as a friend, not an employee, I can take them.) 

Regular Customer: *for what feels like the hundredth time* “[My Name], do you have a ride home?”

Me: “Yes. [Coworker] is around back. I’m gonna walk back there to meet her.”

Regular Customer: “Let me give you a ride.”

Me: “I’m fine.”

Regular Customer: “No, get in. I don’t want you out by the creeps.”

(I give in. She then insists on waiting until I get into my coworker’s car before leaving.)

Coworker: “God! That woman drives me nuts!”

Me: “Want a Danish from her?”

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A Proof Vacuum

, , , , | Right | October 22, 2019

(The store opens at noon. At 11:25, a customer starts banging and pulling on the door. This conversation takes place with him yelling through the door.)

Customer: “Why is the f****** door locked?”

Me: “Because we don’t open until noon.”

Customer: “Then why do you get to be in there?”

Me: “Because I work here.”

Customer: “Prove it.”

(I walk away and go back to vacuuming. After a minute, I look up and he is still there. I point to the vacuum.)

Me: “Proof?”

Customer: “Yeah…”

(The customer walks away.)

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