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    Category: Employees

    Middle East Meets Far East

    | New York City, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Employees, Language & Words

    (I pop into a liquor store on my way home. I’m a white female. The cashier behind the register is from Iran, second-generation. He has always been very polite and friendly towards me, and he speaks with a heavy accent. I grab my purchases and get in line behind an older Korean customer.)

    Customer: “Only this, please.”

    Cashier: “What?”

    Customer: *very clearly and slowly* “Only this, please.”

    Cashier: “I don’t understand you. Do you speak English?”

    Customer: “Yes, I speak very well. Please, may I pay?”

    Cashier: *to me* “Do you speak Asian?”

    Me: *completely baffled* “Uh, I think he said he’s ready to pay. He doesn’t need anything else.”

    Cashier: “Okay. Fine.”

    (He rings up the gentleman who leaves without making eye contact with anyone, clearly upset or embarrassed.)

    Cashier: *ringing me up* “Those people need to learn our language, right? He’s lucky you know Chinese!”

    (I was so shocked I haven’t been back to that particular store.)

    Needs To Go Off-Script

    | NC, USA | Employees, Health & Body, Lazy/Unhelpful

    (I’m back at Student Health with my second miserable sinus infection of the semester.)

    Nurse: “Well, it sounds like you’ve just got something in your sinuses. I’ll go have them write a prescription and fix you right up!”

    Me: “What exactly are they prescribing?”

    Nurse: “Oh, just [antibiotic] and a decongestant.”

    Me: “I literally finished a course of that three days ago, for the same problem. It should be in my file.”

    (The nurse just stares at me like she’s waiting for me to say I’m joking, and then whips around and walks out of the room. Twenty minutes later, she comes back and presses a prescription paper into my hand and hurries me out of the building. I drive to the little pharmacy closer to campus.)

    Pharmacist #1: “Hi, what can I do for you?”

    Me: “I need this filled.”

    (We do the routine confirming my insurance, and I sit and wait for a few minutes before being called to the pick-up counter.)

    Pharmacist #2: “I’m sorry, but where in the world did you get this script?”

    Me: “From Student Health, less than an hour ago. Why?”

    Pharmacist #2: “We’re pretty small; we don’t carry as much as [Chain Pharmacy] does. Sorry, but you need to take this to them.”

    (I drive across town to the [Chain Pharmacy], explain what the first pharmacy had told me, repeat the insurance checking and settle down to wait, but I’m almost immediately called up.)

    Pharmacist #3: “Okay, so I’ve never had this problem before. The medicine they prescribed could only be referring to [Well-Known Brand], which hasn’t been available for nearly a decade and there’s no way your insurance will cover it. I can try to find all the different things that are in it, but they might not be in the right proportions and could get expensive.”

    Me: “Sorry, I’ve been sick for a while. Let’s see what it all adds up to, and then see what I should pay for?”

    (A minute later, she returns looking triumphant, holding a bottle.)

    Pharmacist #3: “We had some of the [Well-Known Brand] in the back, and it looks to have one full dose left. I’ll just charge it as [Other Well-Known Brand]. That’ll be $12.”

    (After all that fuss, turned out I had mono and the prescription was useless!)

    Biking Over To Weirdtown

    | Madison, WI, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre/Silly, Employees

    (I’ve had a pretty rough day so far. In order to cheer myself up, I ride my bike to a gas station to buy some snacks.)

    Station Attendant: “I am sorry, ma’am, but I am afraid that your vehicle emission level is too low. You would have to leave and come back in a vehicle with higher emissions.”

    Me: *confused* “Seriously?”

    Station Attendant: “No, just joking. By the way, my vehicle would not have enough emissions, as well.”

    Me: “You ride a bike, too? Cool!”

    (Later, as I am checking out:)

    Station Attendant: “Now press the green button. Now enter your PIN. Now, put your thumb on the fingerprint scanner.”

    Me: *confused* “What scanner?” *then I realize he is joking again*

    Station Attendant: “Now, stare right here into the retinal scanner. By the way, you should wait a couple minutes before leaving the store, because you were just blinded by the laser.”

    (This was a somewhat weird, but really funny encounter with a customer service rep. Thank you, attendant guy, for making my day a little brighter!)

    My Number One Joke

    , | CT, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Employees

    (I’m stationed at the front door as a greeter, and I also answer questions about our deals and policies and such. Our bathroom is in an odd place, and a lot of people ask me where they are. Towards the middle of a nine-hour shift, I decide to have some fun with people.)

    Guest #1: “Excuse me, could you tell me where your bathroom is?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but that information is confidential.”

    Guest #2: “Is there a bathroom I can use?”

    Me: “We do have a bathroom but you’re not allowed to use it. Everyone else can but not you, sorry.”

    (Everyone I did this to was amused, and I of course always directed them to the bathroom.)

    Adding A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi

    | MA, USA | Employees, Food & Drink

    Me: “I’d like a medium vanilla coffee, please.”

    Clerk: “I’m sorry, we don’t have vanilla. We only have hazelnut, pumpkin spice, and French vanilla.”

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