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  • Too Early For Proper English
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    Category: At The Checkout

    Finally Grasped The Weighty Concept

    | MI, USA | At The Checkout, Employees, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

    (I’m still unloading the cart when I notice something the bagger’s doing.)

    Me: “Excuse, me, I don’t think you should put the flimsy plastic clamshell of blueberries in the same bag as the 10 pound sack of potatoes.”

    Bagger: *cheerfully* “That’s okay. They’ll both fit.”

    Me: “No, the heavy potatoes will smash the blueberries.”

    (The bagger was speechless, with a look of complete shock, like that had never occurred to him before.)

    Too Early For Proper English

    | Shippensburg, PA, USA | At The Checkout, Employees, Food & Drink, Language & Words

    (In my first semester of college, I have an eight am class clear on the other side of campus. I am not once on time. One particularly bad morning I am walking to class, for my eight am midterm, at around 8:35. I stop in at my usual coffee spot on the way with my usual elderly coffee lady.)

    Me: *apparently speaking in what I assume is poor German for no apparent reason other than fatigue* “Ich möchte eine tasse kaffe, bitte.” *German for: I would like a cup of coffee, please*

    Coffee Lady: “Eine große oder kleine?” *German for: Large or small?*

    Me: *very much confused* “Did I ask for coffee in German?”

    Coffee Lady: “Yes.”

    Me: “Oh. Uh, große, bitte.” *German: A large cup, please*

    Coffee Lady: “Coffee’s on me. You’re going to miss your test.”

    (I run to class. As it turns out she is from Germany and was just as surprised as I was that I ordered in German! After my midterm I came back and chatted with her and we have been friends ever since! And she’s bought more than a few cups of joe for me!)

    I’ll Have An Explanation On The Side

    , | Sydney, NSW, Australia | At The Checkout, Employees, Food & Drink, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (After a long day at work I decide I’m too tired to make dinner and opt for getting food from a well-known fast-food drive-thru on my way home.)

    Server: *over drive-thru speaker* “Hi, what can I get you?”

    Me: “Hi, could I get [Burger] as a small meal?”

    (The screen comes up with my order, saying ‘large meal.’)

    Me: “Oh, sorry, but I wanted a small meal, not a large.”

    (Screen changes to ‘medium meal’ and I decide that’s good enough.)

    Server: “What sides do you want?”

    Me: “Um… fries?”

    Server: “Which two sides do you want?”

    Me: “Um… well… fries and I take [Soda-pop] as the drink.”

    Server: “Yes, but which two sides do you want?”

    (I have no idea what he’s talking about and frantically start scanning the menus around me for a clue.)

    Server: “… Hello? What two sides do you want?”

    Me: “Ah, sorry, but what can I choose from?”

    (Silence…)

    Me: “Um, sorry? What options do I have?”

    Server: “What do you want for your two sides?”

    Me: “What can I choose from?”

    (Silence…)

    Server: “Please pull forward to pay.”

    (I am really confused at this point, pull forward, pay, and get my food soon after. When I open it up at home I look inside and see that I did get a mini cheeseburger and a box of popcorn chicken as sides. Only then do I vaguely remember an ad I had seen weeks ago about how you can create your own meal with your own sides. But why couldn’t that server just explain it to me?!)

    Joke Is Older Than He Is

    | Birmingham, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

    (I’m a woman in her mid-forties, proud to look my age.)

    Me: “Just this bottle of wine, thanks.”

    Cashier: *looking at me quizzically* “Can I see some ID, please?”

    Me: *flattered and smiling* “Here you go!”

    Cashier: “Just kidding! You’re old!”

    Needs That Coffee More Than You Do

    | Vancouver Island, BC, Canada | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (My stepdad is a vegetarian, but when he goes out of town for work he stops at a well-known burger chain for coffee. Nothing else, just coffee. As most people may know, these chains often have their employees ‘upsell’ certain products.)

    Worker: “Hi, how can I help you?”

    Stepdad: “Medium coffee, please. Two cream, one sugar.”

    Worker: “And would you like to try our home-brewed coffee today?”

    (Pause.)

    Stepdad: “Long day?”

    Worker: “I’ve been here since 10…”


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