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Not Exactly Snowed Under With Customers

, , , , | Working | November 21, 2016

(It’s Valentine’s Day 2014 and a massive blizzard has struck, with snow coming down and the streets becoming increasingly dangerous. I’m supposed to work from one pm to close, but my manager gives me a call around noon.)

Manager: “The roads are pretty slick and there aren’t many customers in, so don’t bother coming in right now. I’m sure corporate is going to let us close early because of the snow, but I’ll give you a call around four to let you know.”

Me: “Sure thing. I’ll be ready if you need me. Stay safe.”

(At four, my manager calls again.)

Manager: *annoyed* “So, despite the storm, every other store in the plaza closing early, and us having virtually no customers for the past three hours, corporate is insisting we stay open. I’m really sorry. Could you come in at five so I can have a dinner break? It’s going to be just the two of us tonight. I told [Coworker] to stay home, but I need another person, and you live much closer than she does.”

Me: “I understand. It sucks, but what can you do? I’ll be in in an hour.”

(I leave early due to the slick roads, but even though I only live 15 minutes away, it takes at least twice that time to get there. For the next four hours, my manager and I putter around an empty store, only having two customers the whole night. After we officially close, I’m leaning on the counter while my manager counts the registers. We haven’t even made $100 for the whole day.)

Manager: “So, think it was worth corporate dragging you in here?”

Me: “I work barely more than minimum wage, and they paid me more for four hours work than we made in that time. The only two customers we had were heading out to celebrate Valentine’s Day and were only here because her dress ripped. Add in your salary, heat, and electricity, and I’m pretty sure they would have been better off setting a bag of cash on fire.”

Manager: “At least you got paid?”

Me: “Not enough to cover my funeral if I die getting home.”

Manager: “Yeah, I know. Considering corporate HQ is in New Jersey, you’d think they’d understand that no one in their right mind shops for clothes during a New England blizzard.”

(That winter ending up being one of the worst, with over a foot of snow coming down every week. Thankfully, corporate wised up and let us close, but I’ll never forget their initial idiocy.)


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A Very Cold Comment

, , , , | Right | May 3, 2016

(I have been working at a popular hardware store for about a year now. I’ve been loving it so far, especially when we have the garden center open. I always opt to be the cashier outside, since it’s usually much livelier out there and less stuffy than inside. For the winter, the garden associates built a small shack around the register, which makes the cold bearable. With the start of a new year, and having already had some pleasantly warm days, the shack is taken down. However, just recently we’ve been hit by a cold snap. Even huddling next to my meager heater, I’m losing feeling in my fingers and toes, and constant wind gusts make it impossible to retain any sort of heat from the heater. Nevertheless, I’m doing all that I can to cheerfully help customers.)

Me: *teeth chattering* “Hi there! You guys set to check out?”

Husband: *with wife in tow* “Sure are; it’s freezing out here! I hope they’re paying you extra.”

Me: *laughing* “Oh, I wish, but I’m actually happy with being out here. Even if cold, the air is fresh, and I don’t get to hear the same songs over and over.”

Husband: “Haha! Well, they should pay you more anyway. You have to be half-frozen by now!”

(Before I can jokingly interject, the wife speaks up.)

Wife: “Oh, I’m sure she’s fine. She’s young, she’s got a big coat on and her own heater, plus she’s not small like our daughter. More insulated.”

(The husband’s mouth snaps shut. My joke vanishes, and I’m not sure what to say. I am just slightly overweight and have long struggled with my weight, but I am by no means fat. I do have wide shoulders, being an active swimmer, which gives me an odd body shape, so I figure that’s why she made such an assumption. I usually brush off these comments, but nevertheless, this one certainly dampened my spirit. I continue ringing them out in meek silence, while the wife keeps going, unaware that she is basically insulting me.)

Wife: “In the arctic, those seals get by just fine because of blubber. The cold can’t get to them. It’s a great insulator. They don’t even need a heater.”

(I finish ringing up their items, and the husband proceeds to pay. He mouths, “I’m so sorry,” and I smile meekly.)

Me: *handing him the receipt* “H-have a good one.”

Husband: “You, too… Sorry. Try to stay warm.”

Wife: “Oh, she’ll be f—”

(The husband grabbed her around the shoulders and started marching away.)


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The Storm After The Calm, Part 2

, , , , , | Right | March 7, 2016

(Friday, we were closed due to a blizzard. We open back up at our normal time on Saturday since the roads are finally clear. I am running the register when an older gentleman walks up.)

Me: “Hi, sir! How are you?” *rings up his items*

Customer: “Honestly, I’m pissed off!”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry.”

Customer: “Yeah, you should be. You all were closed yesterday!”

Me: “Well, sir, it was due to bad weather.”

Customer: “I really needed this stuff. I waited outside for 20 minutes but you never opened!”

(I look over in his bag and noticed all he bought was a soda and a large can of tomato juice.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. Next time, we will risk our employees’ lives on icy roads just so you can get one can of tomato juice! I mean, who cares if someone wrecks and dies?!”

Customer: “Well… never mind!”

(He paid for his stuff and ran out the door… forgetting to grab his oh-so-important merchandise!)


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His Knowledge Of Science Blows

, , , , | Right | April 20, 2015

(Due to the weather, I am calling people who had pre-registered to come to watch the Geminid Meteor Shower at the nature center. One of the gentlemen tries to be optimistic about it.)

Gentleman: “What if we got enough people together and had them blow all at once to get rid of the clouds?”

Me: “Well, I’d hate to have someone pass out from all the blowing.”

Weathering Demanding Customers

, , , , | Right | February 4, 2015

(I work in a large supermarket in a tourist-y area. The last few years there has been almost persistent snow cover on the mountains from November through February. This December, however, has been really mild with temperatures consistently in the high single figures or low double figures. I am approached as I am stacking some shelves.)

Customer: “WHERE’S THE SNOW?!”

Me: “Erm… excuse me, sorry? Snow? I don’t follow.”

Customer: “You know! SNOW! I was promised there’d be snow!”

Me: *thinking he must mean a product* “Can you describe it? I can show you our seasonal aisle if you want to browse for tree decorations and ornaments.”

Customer: “No! I want ACTUAL snow. Like, falling from the sky. They said it would be the coldest winter on record. I booked a holiday here especially!”

Me: “Erm… sorry that the weather’s mild. I don’t know what you want me to do about it, though?”

Customer: “Tell me why there’s no snow!”

Me: “Well, the wind is coming from the south-west, instead of the north. I guess it’s warmer where it came from than where it’s going and keeping our temperatures mild.”

Customer: *walks off* “THERE’S NO SNOW!”

(I was left there standing and wondering what had just happened.)