National Shame

, , , , , | Legal | January 15, 2019

(A drunk man has entered our store and asked a few customers for money.)

Manager: “You can’t do that here; you need to leave.”

Man: “But I lost my wallet and I just need some bus fare. Can you give me some?”

(He walks over to stand in front of the manager where there are shelves and our registers between him and her. He’s so drunk he leans against the shelves.)

Manager: “No, I want you to leave now.”

Man: *on his way out* “Some b****** stole my wallet and I just need a little money to get home.”

(He approaches a few passersby outside the store.)

Manager: “That’s it. I’m calling the police”

(She rings the police and as I’m serving I hear her say that the man threatened staff and customers, and she hangs up the phone.)

Manager: “That will get them here quicker”

(By the time the police arrive, the guy has moved on. I leave the manager to talk to them while I keep serving, but can hear the conversation.)

Policeman: “Can you tell us what happened?”

Manager: “A drunk man came in and wanted money.”

Policeman: “He tried to rob you?”

Manager: “No, he asked customers for money for bus fare, and he asked me, too, because he lost his wallet.”

Policeman: “You specifically said he threatened people. What did he do?”

Manager: “He asked customers for money.”

Policeman: “But did he actually threaten anyone?”

Manager: “Uh, no.”

Policeman: “Well, why did you say he did? You know, you could be in trouble for making false accusations.”

Manager: “Oh… I’m [Nationality] and couldn’t think of the right words in English at the time because I was upset; I meant to say I felt threatened.”

(It was not the first time I’d heard her lying to save her own skin, but this time she realised that she could have been in big trouble, and on the occasions that I’ve heard her calling the police, she’s never tried that one again. She had come to Australia as a small child and had spoken English with an Australian accent for over thirty years.)

These Christmas Miracles Are Predictably Beautiful

, , , , , , | Hopeless | January 11, 2019

(When I am seven and a half months pregnant, my husband passes away suddenly of an undiagnosed heart condition. I have no other family, just some close friends. Things have been tough emotionally and financially. Christmas Eve, I’m buying just essentials — nappies, formula, bread, etc. — but nothing you would class as festive. While waiting in a very long line at the checkout, my six-month-old daughter starts to fuss. A guy in his 50s is behind me and starts making funny faces, causing my daughter to stop crying and laugh, instead. As we get near to the belt, he turns to the lady behind him and says he forgot something and asks if he can run to grab it. She agrees to hold his spot in line. He comes back with a gift card and a box of chocolates in addition to the groceries already in his basket. Once I’m ready to pay, he steps forward.)

Gentleman: “Wait. Please add my things and put $100 on the gift card. I’ll pay for it.”

Me: “Thank you, sir, but that’s okay.”

Gentleman: “Please, I’d like to. Call it an early Christmas present.”

(The cashier rings up his things, as well. The total comes close to $250, with my stuff close to $100. I’m now in tears.)

Me: “Thank you so much. I’ve had a really hard year and this means everything to me. I don’t know how to thank you.”

(He takes out the box of chocolates and gift card and hands them to me, as well.)

Gentleman: “The world could do with more kindness. Not enough people care about others. Take these and enjoy your Christmas with your gorgeous daughter. Things will get better. Merry Christmas, and I hope 2019 is a better year for you.”

(Before I could say anything else, he walked away. Not only was I in tears, but so were the cashier and the lady behind me in line. I was really speechless as I’d heard about things like this but had never witnessed it, let alone had it happen to me. To the gentleman who did this, I really hope you’re reading this. Thank you for your generosity. You made an extremely difficult time of year and a really crappy year so much better. I hope, in times to come, I will be in a position to pay it forward.)

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, Mom

, , , , , | Related | January 4, 2019

(Four years ago, my now-husband proposed to me, and obviously, I accepted. To celebrate, we decide to have a small, casual engagement party at the park near my house. My parents are divorced and do not get along well. To try to prevent any disasters, I approach both of them individually well before the day of the party. I go to my dad first, and after giving the date, time, and venue, I then say:)

Me: “Now, feel free to bring [Girlfriend] along, but I’m warning you, Mum’s going to be there, and she might be bringing [On-And-Off Boyfriend], too. So, this is just me telling you — and to let [Girlfriend] know as well if she’s coming — to please be on your best behaviour. No fighting with each other during my engagement party. Okay?”

Dad: “Of course, of course. No need to worry. We’ll be on our best behaviour.”

(A day or two later, I approach my mum and give her the same speech practically word-for-word. Her response:)

Mum: *instantly defensive* “WHAT? Why do you feel the need to tell me that? What makes you think I’m not going to be on my best behaviour? Huh?”

Me: “I’m just saying, I don’t want there to be any trouble between you and Dad or [Girlfriend] or whoever. I don’t want anyone fighting on my engagement party, that’s all.”

Mum: “But why do you need to tell me that? What did you think I was going to do? You always make me out to be such a bad person for no reason. I bet you didn’t give your dad this ‘warning’! You’re already ready to accuse me of doing something before I’ve even done it! Shame on you!”

Me: “I did tell Dad. I told him the exact same thing I told you.”

Mum: “Well, of course you have to tell him, because you need to tell [Girlfriend] to behave. But I’m your mother. How dare you act like I’m going to start something with them?”

Me: “You do realise that the way you’re going ballistic right now, just from me asking you to be civil because Dad will be there, is hardly reassuring, don’t you?”

Mum: “Well, of course, because now I’m angry. You brought out my bad side! I can’t believe this!”

Me: *tired of this nonsense already* “You know what, I said what I needed to say, and those are the rules for attending my engagement party. If you don’t like the rules, you don’t have to come. The end.”

Mum: “Well, fine! Maybe I won’t come, then!”

Me: “Okay.”

(My mum sulked for a few days afterward, and my nanna tried to get me to apologise for “offending” her, but I refused. Eventually, she did end up coming to the party, with her on-and-off boyfriend. She never brought up our bizarre argument or her threat, and from what I can tell she ultimately decided to pretend it never happened. My dad also attended the party, but his girlfriend opted not to. Thankfully there was no further drama.)

Lack Of Register Does Not Register, Part 11

, , , , , | Right | December 31, 2018

(It is the rush before New Year. I have just started my shift, sitting on a crate behind the bustling registers. I begin to fold some PJs back into their packages that have been pulled apart over Christmas. A customer comes out of the queue for the registers, items in hand, and speaks directly to me with a stern look.)

Customer: “EXCUSE ME!”

Me: *brightly looking up from my folding* “Yes? How can I help you? Do you have a question?”

Customer: “You can help me by putting this through; I want to buy this!” *shoving her items towards me*

 (I take a moment to look at the queue and back at this lady. I have two coworkers running our two registers at full pace, and I know full well that every other register in the store is much the same.)

Me: “Ah, unfortunately, as you can see, there are only two registers here. I have no way of ringing that up for you, unfortunately. You shall have to wait in line for my lovely coworkers to serve you.”

(Shocked and dismayed her cunning plan had failed, she huffed and returned to the back of the queue. I sat back down to fold, a little dumbfounded, as I obviously didn’t have a register, and this was well before the times when we could ring through customers on a tablet. Did she think we had a secret register out the back or one I could pull out of my a**, but chose not to so that those queues could go on forever?)

Lack Of Register Does Not Register, Part 10
Lack Of Register Does Not Register, Part 9
Lack Of Register Does Not Register, Part 8

Not Going To Let That (Mud)Slide

, , , , , , | Right | December 31, 2018

(It is New Year’s Eve. A teenage boy comes up to the register with a few packs of vodka mudshakes.)

Teen: “Just these, thanks.”

Me: “Have you got your ID?”

Teen: “Oh, yeah, it’s just in my car.”

Me: “Sure. I’ll keep these up here while you go and get it.”

Teen: “I don’t want to trouble you.”

Me: “It’s no trouble at all.”

(He wanders around near the entrance for a bit, where I see him talk to a bunch of other teenage boys. He then comes back in.)

Teen: “It looks like someone’s broken into my car and stolen everything, including my ID.”

Me: “Oh, my goodness! You should call the police.”

Teen: “Yeah, I’ll drive straight down to the station from here. So, how much for these?”

Me: “I still need to see your ID.”

Teen: “But someone stole it.”

Me: “I know, and you should call the police right now.”

Teen: “I’m thirty, you know.”

Me: “And as soon as you prove that, you can buy your… mudshakes.”

Teen: “Mudshakes. Right.”

(He leaves the store and goes back to talking with his group of friends. A second teenage boy then walks into the store and stands in one of the wine aisles, pulling faces and scratching his head. He grabs a few random bottles, and then approaches.)

Teen #2: “I would like to purchase these fine wines for my sophisticated dinner party with my work friends tonight.”

 Me: “ID, please.”

(He hands over his learner’s permit, revealing that he is 17.)

Teen #2: “They got my year of birth wrong; I’m really 23.”

Me: “I strongly doubt that.”

Teen #2: “Can I at least buy the mudshakes? They’re basically just chocolate milkshakes.”

Me: “No.”

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