Talking Eurotrash

| Belgium | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Employees, Money

(After winning €50 on a lottery scratch card, I go to the newsagent’s to cash it in and buy a new €10 ticket.)

Me: “Hi, I’d like a [€10 ticket], please. And could you also pay out this one?”

(The cashier hands me a new ticket, takes my winning ticket, and looks at it in a rather annoyed way.)

Cashier: *in a quite pedantic tone* “You know, you really should scratch it more thoroughly so the QR code is completely uncovered; otherwise it’s too much work for me.”

Me: *surprised* “Oh, since when has the system changed? I thought all you needed was the 4-digit number in the corner, so I always make sure that’s fully visible.”

Cashier: *annoyed* “Yeah, well, they changed the system earlier this week and they came to install this stupid new computer terminal, without as much as a word of warning. So yeah, now we need to scan the QR code on each ticket.”

Me: “Okay, that’s good to know; I’ll bear it in mind for next time.”

(The cashier scans my winning ticket’s QR code, and the message “winning ticket: €50” pops up on the terminal’s screen.)

Cashier: *hesitates, looks at the winning ticket, then at the new ticket he’d just handed me, and then starts typing numbers into the cash register* “Right, minus the €10 for your new ticket, I owe you €28.”

Me: “Ehm, no… that would be €40. I won €50, the new ticket costs €10.

Cashier: *now obviously annoyed* “No, I don’t think so! It says €28 on the cash register. The register is always right!” *tries to hand me €28*

Me: “I’m quite sure it’s €40. Could you check my winning ticket again?”

Cashier: “No, I won’t! I never buy lottery tickets! I don’t know how any of that works! My register says your change is €28 so that’s what you’re getting! The register doesn’t make mistakes!” *slams down the money on the counter*

(At this moment, the next customer in line, who had clearly seen the “winning ticket: €50” message on the terminal’s screen, decides to speak up on my behalf:)

Customer: *to the cashier* “I’m sure this gentleman is right. I just saw him win €50!”

Cashier:  “Stay out of this!” *turns back to me* “Right, if money is obviously sooooo important to you, here’s your stinking two euros!”

(He grabs four 50ct coins from the till and slams them down on the counter, bringing the total change to €30.)

Me: *doing my best to remain icy calm* “Actually, you still owe me €10.”

Cashier: “Oh, really!? You know what?” *taking two €5 notes from the till, and throwing them on the counter* “Take it all! Take MY money! I hope you’re happy now! In fact, why don’t you go spend MY money right now? Buy a burger, why don’t you… and choke on it!”

Me: *walking to the exit with my €40* “Thanks for the tip, and pleasure doing business with you.”

(Although somehow I doubt I’ll go back there…)


Now Serving Vanilla, Strawberry, And Pig’s Blood

, | USA | Bosses & Owners, Health & Body, Lazy/Unhelpful

(I hit my head in the cooler on the big cooling unit while stocking the beverages. My head starts bleeding profusely. I run into the bathroom to try to stop it, but blood keeps pouring down my face like a scene out of Carrie.)

Coworker: “Are you okay?”

Me: “No. Dan you call my husband to come get me? And call [Boss] to have him come cover my shift.”

Coworker: “I’ll be right back.” *calls people* “[Boss] says he doesn’t want to come back in because he already worked today. Your husband is on his way.”

Me: *still bleeding* “What does he mean he doesn’t want to come in? It’s his job! I can’t keep working like this!” *points to head wound*

Coworker: “I have a line out front. Do you need anything?”

Me: “No, I’ll just wait in here until my husband comes.”

(My husband arrives with another family member to drive my car home. As I am exiting the building, the phone rings. Out of reflex I answer it; it’s the boss.)

Boss: “Hey, [My Name], [Coworker] says you’re going home because you hurt yourself?”

Me: “Yes, I hit my head and I’m bleeding. My husband is here; I’m going home.”

Boss: “Well, we can’t leave just one person working…”

Me: “I don’t know what to tell you, [Boss], but it’s up to you to figure out. I’m going home.”

Boss: “Well… can you stay? I already worked today. I don’t feel like coming back in.”

Me: “Can I STAY?! I’m bleeding profusely from a head wound and I look like Carrie at the prom. If you want me to make sandwiches and scoop ice cream and bleed all over the food, you can take that up with the health department yourself. But I’m going home.”

Boss: “Well… can you call [Different Coworker]? I really don’t feel like coming in.”

Me: “She already worked today, too. She’s not going to want to come in. It isn’t my job to find coverage for my shift when I get hurt at work. I’m going home. Goodbye.” *hangs up*


Doesn’t Have Military Intelligence

| Honolulu, HI, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Employees

(It’s later in the night and I decide to run to the nearby convenience store to grab a beer. As I get to the register I wrestle my military ID out of my wallet and hand it to the cashier. She looks at it a moment, then looks at me. I’m a 25 year-old female, only about 5’4″ and although my hair is shorter in the picture, it’s still recognizably me.)

Cashier: “I can’t accept this. It needs to be American government-issued ID.”

(I, as well as the two men behind me, am taken aback.)

Me: “It is government issued. It’s a military ID. My birthdate is on the back.”

(The cashier turns the card over, then hands the card back to me.)

Cashier: “No, it’s military; it needs to be government issued.”

Me: “It IS government issued. Look, UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.”

(The two men behind me are offended just as much as I am. One of them is an older man; the other is younger, closer to my age. They come up to the counter and pull out their military IDs.)

Other Customer: “I served my country in Desert Storm and my son here just got back from Afghanistan. I don’t know what this young lady has been through but GOD D*** IT, she JUST WANTS A BEER!”

(By this time the shift manager, an older man, has heard the ruckus and has come out from the stockroom.)

Manager: “Is there a problem here?”

Cashier: “This young lady is trying to purchase alcohol with this ‘military issued ID.’ Should I call the cops?” *the cashier rolls her eyes and picks up the phone*

Manager: “No, this is military. It’s valid.” *looks at the cashier bewildered*

Cashier: “No, it’s military, not government issue.”

Manager: “Are you kidding me? Get out of here. Go stock the milkshake machine.”

(The manager shoo’d the cashier away and the three of us made our purchases without another word.)

Manager: “Thank you for your service… I’m so sorry…”

(The manager sighed as we left.)


His Heart Is All Plastic

| Quebec, QC, Canada | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Employees

(I am heading to a motorcycle driver’s ed class and I am parched. I enter a local convenience store I’ve never been to before that is two doors down from the driving class, in an exterior mall. I know I have no money on me, only plastic, but I do notice the credit cards stamps/stickers on the window shop and also notice the PIN pad on the counter when I get in. I grab a medium water bottle in the fridge at the back, open in up and take a big gulp, and head to the counter to pay for it. The clerk, who in hindsight I assume is the owner, scans it and declares my total.)

Me: “With Visa, please.”

Clerk: “You can’t. Cash or debit please.”

Me: “What? But you have credit card stickers on your window pane.”

Clerk: “Yes, but you’re not buying more than 10$.”

Me: “I didn’t see the warning. Where is it advertised?” *looking around for a sign*

Clerk: “I don’t have one.”

Me: “Then how was I supposed to know? Besides, I don’t have anything else.”

Clerk: “Tough luck. Go put your bottle back.”

Me: “But I already drank from it.”

Clerk: “Not my problem. You either buy more stuff or you pay cash. I won’t make any money on that bottle of water if you pay with a credit card.”

Me: “Wrong! It is clearly your problem. You are advertising credits cards on your window pane. I would have understood if your PIN pad was not working, but that’s not the case since the previous customer just paid with it. Just ring me up.”

(At this point there is a lot of back and forth about the fact I just want to pay for a bottle and him not having any of it. A small line is forming up.)

Clerk: “If you don’t pay I will call the police and—”

Me: “I AM PAYING! You’re refusing it the method you’re advertising you accept, and I don’t have any other way of paying you.”

Clerk: “You leave me no choice…”

Me: “Perfect, then. Call them. For your information I will attend a driver’s ed at [School] two doors down. Send the cops there; my name is [My Name].”

(The clerk/owner has a smug face of superiority as he sidestepped toward the back office to make the call. I take the opportunity to pull up my phone and take pictures of the counter to be a step ahead. I have gauged he is not an entirely stupid guy.)

Guy Behind Me: “What are you doing?”

Me: “The whole exchange feels like he was trying to extort me. I’m not taking any chances.”

Guy Behind Me: “So?”

Me: “I have a feeling he will print a d*** sign when I’m gone.”

(I left and the cops did show up during class. As we go back into the store and brand new 8.5×11 printed piece of paper stating the under 10$ appeared. I know vengeance is petty, but at that exact moment, it was the best feeling ever when the smug face disappeared as I showed the pictures to the cops. I promptly paid with my credit card in front of the cops and they stayed with the owner to have a chat with him. I have no clue if what he was doing was legal or not, but the cops clearly took my side with the disingenuousness of the clerk/owner.)


Inconvenience Store

| ID, USA | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners, Rude & Risque

(My family and I are coming back from a retreat in the Sawtooths, and we stop at a tiny town for a break. There’s only one store, so I usher the little kids inside to grab drinks. The store is basically a glorified motor home, with a single cooler with beer and sodas, and a counter with Idaho souvenirs. The place smells like the owner has been chain smoking in there all day, which already makes the kids uncomfortable. The store owner, an old guy with a scraggly beard and tobacco-stained teeth, doesn’t say a word to us as we grab our overpriced drinks, and when I go up to the register he sighs as if we’re horribly inconveniencing him.)

Owner: “Will that be all?”

Me: “Is there a bathroom in here that we can use?”

Owner: *condescendingly* “Noooo. We just s*** out in the yard.”

(Once the kids did their business we got out of there as fast as we could.)

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