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Thigh-sing Up The Situation

, , , , , , , , | Working | March 22, 2023

My boss (a middle-aged woman) and our younger coworker (late teens or early twenties) are filling the meat fridges. Our range of chicken includes chicken thighs in small and large packets. The small packet is out of stock on the shelf.

Customer: *To my boss* “Excuse me. Do you have small thighs?”

Boss: *Taking a second* “Well, I used to when I was younger.”

Coworker: *Dying of laughter*

To this day, it is one of several inside jokes that we regularly use.

This Was, And Still Is, Evil

, , , , , , | Working | March 17, 2023

We have a new coworker who recently moved to Canada from France. French is their first language but they’re perfectly confident in English. It is near Christmas and we are stocking those small novelty books that act as good stocking stuffers.

French Coworker: *Going through inventory* “Oh! What is this word?”

She points to the word “quirk” in the title “Quirks Of The English Language.” I explain what it means and she nods solemnly.

French Coworker: “Yes! English has so many… quirks! It’s a very difficult language to get right!”

She opens it up and reads one of the lines out loud.

French Coworker: “Before was was was, was was is.”

She then looks at me accusingly.

French Coworker: “This is evil!”

An older gentleman has been browsing nearby, and he chimes in:

Customer: “Before was was was, was was is. When is is is, was was yet will be will be will be.”

French Coworker:You’re evil!”

Guess what she got for her Secret Santa gift?

Some Things Really Shouldn’t Be Rushed

, , , , , , | Working | March 17, 2023

An office colleague used to sit facing me, about a metre away, so I’d often hear both sides of her phone conversations.

One day, she answered a call from a French man whose English was weak. He wanted one of the managers. However, the managers wanted us to introduce callers before putting them through.

(Names have been changed.)

Caller: “I want talk John Smith.”

Colleague: “Canahskhooscawingpleas?”

My colleague spoke Estuary English — rapidly. In plain English, she was really saying, “Can I ask who’s calling, please?”

Caller: *Pausing* “John Smith.”

Colleague: *Very rapidly* “Nouhmeanineedyawnamefawcanputyathrough.”

Translation: “No, I mean I need your name before I can put you through.”

Caller: “I want talk John Smith.”

My colleague paused again, and I could sense she was frustrated and baffled as to why this caller couldn’t understand. She got partway through her next Estuary sentence when I’d had enough and waved her down.

Me: *To my colleague* “WHAT. IS. YOUR. NAME.”

My colleague fortunately immediately twigged what the problem was and how to get the caller to understand.

She spoke to the caller again, this time enunciating clearly and slowly.

Colleague: “WHAT. IS. YOUR. NAME.”

Caller: “Jean Dupond.”

My colleague gave me a quick thumbs-up and a wry smile before putting Jean Dupond on hold. Then, she connected to John Smith, the manager.

Colleague: “Shaw Doopaw coming through for you.”

Manager: *Pausing* “Oh, yes, put him through, thanks.”

In fairness to my colleague, she was no idiot. She’d work very fast and get a whole lot done. It was just that sometimes she couldn’t seem to slow down. It was a pity when she left.

I Speak Like This Not To Mock, But So You Understand: Shut Up

, , , , , | Right | March 16, 2023

I’m working the box office at a movie theater on a busy Saturday, and it’s in the middle of a massive rush. Naturally, I’ve been dealing with a lot of people, and not all of them have been pleasant. A woman storms up to me, furious. She is foreign and is shrieking in broken English.

Customer: *Shrieking* “My seat filthy! Filthy! I demand clean service!”

Me: “I apologize, ma’am. Let me see if I can find the usher to come and check your seat.”

Customer: *Continuing to shriek at full volume* “No! You, stupid! You clean now! Or I get you fired! Clean seat now!”

I glance over to a manager and ask her to cover my register while I follow the woman.

Customer: *Growling as we walk* “Shameful service! Need clean! No clean! Should be fired!”

We eventually get to her auditorium, and she points to her seat. There are several people around staring at us. Clearly, they’re not exactly thrilled about the lady who has been freaking out. I’m confused.

Me: “Uh, ma’am… are you sure this is the right seat?”

Customer: *Bellowing* “YES!”

I lean in and take a closer look. There’s… literally nothing wrong with the seat whatsoever that I can see. It looks completely and utterly spotless.

Me: “Ma’am… this seat is clean. I’m not seeing how it’s ‘filthy’.”

Customer: “LOOK, STUPID!”

She points her finger at a very specific random spot on the seat. I literally put my face RIGHT next to her finger, only a few inches away from the fake leather that her rear end is about to be sitting on.

There is a single… teeny… tiny… minuscule… near-invisible speck of something. It’s probably just a piece of popcorn. When I say small, I mean it. This thing is a fraction of a millimeter — so small that I literally could not see it until I literally had my eye about an inch away. And it’s so small that any reasonable person would not see it, which is probably why the usher didn’t get it off.


Annoyed that I’ve been called “stupid” three times over something that not a single rational person would even notice, let alone become violently angry about, I sigh. I stand up, look her right in the eyes, lift up my hand, and smack the seat very hard where the speck is in a sweeping motion, making sure to be as loud as I can be, while not breaking eye contact.

Me: *Bluntly* “Stupid has cleaned. Customer sit now and no complain again about fake issue. I go. Don’t follow. Buh-bye.”

Immediately, several of the people around us start chuckling and giggling while she stands there, flabbergasted. I turn and walk away.

Customer: “FIRED!”

A female customer sitting near her speaks up.

Customer #2: “Oh, shut the f*** up, b****!”

I hear more giggles and chuckles behind me.

Customer: *Obnoxiously loud and exaggerated* “Hmph!”

I didn’t even bother to turn around and see what happened.

A little while later, one of the other customers walked up to me and told me that everyone was joking about how I dealt with it. Evidently, the woman was being a huge fuss before she came and got me, and they were all deeply amused by seeing an employee who wasn’t gonna put up with her drama over a complete non-issue.

Admittedly, the fact I had just put in my two-week notice might have been a contributing factor.

A Rose By Any Other Price

, , , , , | Right | March 16, 2023

This happened a few years ago to a coworker of mine. The customer had a thick accent, like Russian or something. We don’t have anyone in the store who could translate for this person to explain to them about the price.

Customer: “Excuse me.”

Coworker: “Yes, ma’am, how can I help you?”

Customer: “Yesterday, the roses were buy-one-get-one-free.”

Coworker: “Yes, that’s correct.”

Customer: “But today they are $12.99 a piece.”

Coworker: “Yes.”

Customer: “No, you don’t understand. Yesterday, they were buy-one-get-one-free.”

Coworker: “Yes.”

Customer: “But today they are $12.99 a piece.”

Coworker: “Yes, that’s right.”

Customer: “No, you don’t understand. Yesterday they were buy-one-get-one-free.”

Coworker: “…Uh-huh.”

Customer: “But today they are $12.99 a piece!”

Coworker: “That’s correct.”

Customer: “No, you don’t understand—”

Coworker: “Ma’am. Yes, yesterday, they were buy-one-get-one-free. It’s a new week, so the sale is over and they are now $12.99 a piece.”

Customer: “…No, you don’t understand.”

This went on for a while. The customer did not buy any roses.