Explaining Ellen

| Working | November 7, 2012

Why You Never Stereo-Type

, | Fredericton, NB, Canada | Working | November 7, 2012

(I have just gotten out of the hospital after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It’s a huge change for me as I now have to take insulin injections and watch what I eat. The cashier at the fast food restaurant is a girl in her late twenties.)

Cashier: “Hi, what can I get for you?”

Me: “Actually, can I see a menu with the nutrition information on it, please?”

Cashier: *rolls her eyes and sighs* “Here ya go…”

Me: “Thank you…okay, I’ll have a grilled chicken salad, please.”

Cashier: “And I suppose you want LIGHT dressing?”

Me: “Yes, please.”

Cashier: “And I SUPPOSE you want a DIET Coke?”

Me: “Yes, thank you.”

Cashier: “You teenage girls are all the same, doing crash diets and having self esteem issues. It’s getting old. ”

Me: “Wow… well, thanks for your concern, but I just got out of the hospital.” *show her my hospital bracelet* “I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and now take lots of injections and check my blood sugar when I eat. That means I have to eat the right amount of carbs.”

Cashier: *turns red* “Well, I didn’t mean you. But you know how teenage girls are!” *gives me my receipt and bolts to the kitchen*

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All Or (Mostly) Nothing

| Dundee, IL, USA | Working | November 7, 2012

(I am shopping at a local department store with a coupon for 50% off a purchase over $100. I had picked up two pairs of boots totaling $80 and a few random items to get my total over the $100 mark. As a broke college student, $50 is a good deal, but $100 is a little much for one trip!)

Cashier: “Alright, your total is $101.92.”

Me: “Great, here’s my coupon!”

Cashier: “Unfortunately, the boots you bought don’t count towards your discount. Neither do those earrings. The only thing that does is these socks.”

Me: “Excuse me? I thought it took 50% off my total.”

Cashier: “Well, if you read this fine print, it tells you what you can and can’t use it for.”

Me: *reading out loud* “Cannot be used on Extreme Value items, housewares, jewelry, perfume, cosmetics…”

(The list goes on and on for a while, excluding pretty much anything except two or three brands of clothing.)

Me: “That’s a pretty long list. What can I use the coupon on?”

Cashier: *brightly* “Pretty much anything in the store!”

Not Always Working: Official Windows 8 App

Windows 8 | Working | November 6, 2012

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Don’t Get Frisky With Customers

| USA | Working | November 6, 2012

(We’ve just hired a new manager who is really racist. He tells me to follow around anybody who isn’t white to make sure they aren’t ‘up to anything’, and has actually tried to have some people frisked before they leave if they don’t buy anything.)

Manager: *to a young African American female* “What are YOU doing here?”

Customer #1: “Um… I… I needed new clothes for work. I don’t want to have my old clothes taken in, so I was just going to buy a few new outfits.”

Manager: “This isn’t [discount retailer]. You’re in the wrong spot.”

Customer #1: “Excuse me?! I have every right to shop here. I came here because I like the clothes I saw in the catalog.”

Manager: “Look, girl, this shop is for people who can afford it. Now, go tell the loss prevention guy I said to check you for stolen items and get out.”

(Another customer has overheard the conversation and speaks up.)

Customer #2: *to the young woman* “You don’t have to do that.”

Manager: “Yes she does! I said so!”

Customer #2: “Oh, no she doesn’t. State law requires that in order to be detained or checked for stolen property you must actually CATCH somebody taking something. You didn’t even let her touch anything before you started traumatizing her.”

Manager: “Look, I know you women like to think you’re smart—”

Customer #2: “I’m going to stop you right there. Because if you finish that sentence, I guarantee you you’ll wish you hadn’t. Now, get me the number of your corporate offices, and your boss.”

Manager: *shocked, blank stare*

Customer #2: “That wasn’t an idle request. Now, please.”

Manager: “No! I don’t have to give you that information!”

Customer #2: *pulls out her phone* “Oh, look… I have [store manager’s name]’s number right here.”

Manager: “YOU CAN’T CALL HER! Don’t you dare!”

Customer #2: “I’ll do what I please. Making a phone call isn’t illegal.” *to the young woman* “I’m going to give the store manager a call. I strongly advise you file a complaint with her, and call the corporate offices. I would also write to local news media, if I were you.”

Customer #1: “Thank you, I will.”

Manager: *waves the loss prevention guy over* “Frisk both of them!”

Customer #2: “Sweet pea, if you lay so much as a fingernail on either of us, believe me I will make your life a living hell.”

(In the end, the manager and loss prevention guy—who was just as racist as the manager—got fired. The store manager came in personally to talk to both customers. I got the chance to apologize to the first customer later too, but she said she was just glad somebody did something and stepped in to help her. Even though he didn’t work there for long, I had never seen that manager get so uncomfortable so fast!)

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