Rolling It Over And Over Again

| Tullahoma, TN, USA | At The Checkout, Employees, Extra Stupid, Math & Science

(I had to run into the local convenience store to buy rolls for dinner. The only rolls available were frozen rolls, where you could buy 5 packages for $20. I bring them up to the cashier.)

Cashier: *tries to scan the barcode but it doesn’t work* “Um, they are 5 for $20, so, um…” *looks at her fingers trying to calculate* “Here, let me try typing the SKU in.”

(She tries, but it doesn’t work.)

Cashier: “Hmm. So… it’s 5 for $20…”

Me: *finally fed up* “Well, if it is 5 for $20, then one package is $4, isn’t it?”

Cashier: “Oh, is it?!”

Your Collection Is Purely Symbolic

| PA, USA | Coworkers

(I work at a 24 hour pharmacy/convenience store. We use scanner guns, or ‘symbols,’ to locate items, determine inventory, etc. Our store has five symbols, and while I’m very careful not to leave mine unattended, as my manager has told me not to many times in the past, some of the other employees are a bit blasé about it. One day I’m taken off register to start hanging sale signs. I notice the girl who has replaced me on register left her symbol on a stock cart in an aisle, so I pick it up and put it on my sign cart, not wanting to leave it unattended. I see another abandoned cart with a symbol, this one belonging to my supervisor who had gone up ten or fifteen minutes earlier to help a customer. I do the same with this one, as I figured he would be a while and he could just grab it back from me later. I see yet ANOTHER symbol left in a crate of stock that a coworker had been working on before her shift ended. I grab that one, too, and finish up my signs. I head up front to throw away some trash, and bump into my supervisor. At this point I have four of the five symbols our store has on my cart.)

Supervisor: *looks at the symbols, then at me* “Wha…?”

Me: “I’ve been collecting.”

Acting Your Age

| Australia | Criminal/Illegal, Job Seekers

(I am looking for a job around my town, armed with printouts of my CV doing an old school “door knock.” I’m not having much luck; however, most places have been nice and are kind enough to take my resumé in the hopes that “something may come up.” I’m down to my last resumé when I try the local newsagency. An older woman is behind the counter.)

Me: “Hi, I was wondering if—”

Worker: *rudely interrupting* “We’re not hiring and if you give us that resume I see in your hand it’s just going to go straight into the bin!”

Me: *a tad shocked, but hastily put on a smile* “Okay, thanks anyway!”

(I turn away to exit the shop thinking I probably dodged a bullet there anyway, when I hear her call me back.)

Worker: “Hang on! How old are you, by the way?”

(I smile, as I know exactly what she is doing. In my country, workers are paid a minimum wage not just by industry, but by age as well. A 15-year-old working in a newsagency, for example, would have to be paid at least $12-14 an hour under the retail award rate, but a 21-year-old would have to be paid at least $20-23 an hour. For this reason a lot of employers don’t like hiring older people, and often turn them away for their younger, much cheaper-to-hire counterparts. Despite this, it is still illegal to discriminate against age and it is illegal to ask any prospective employees their age or date of birth. I am in my early 20s, therefore “expensive” to hire, but I look much younger then my age, with people always thinking I’m in my mid teens. She probably thinks I’m only around 16-17 years old. It is perfectly acceptable to decline answering a question about age, as I do here.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t feel comfortable answering that.”

Worker: “Look, it’s ok to admit your age. I’m not going to judge. Just tell me, then I might be able to have a look at your resume and see if we have something.”

Me: “I’m not going to tell you my age. I don’t have to and I don’t want to. Thank you for maybe considering my resume if I’m a certain age, but I’m going to have to decline. Thanks again.”

(I go to leave, when I hear an angry outburst behind me.)

Worker: “FINE! I wouldn’t even want to accept some pathetic high school drop-out anyway! There’s too many of you in this god-**** town and the reason why is because all you teenagers are the same: f****** lazy little f***s!”

(Angry, I march up to the counter.)

Me: “First off, I’m in my early 20s. Secondly, I am no high school drop-out. I have been working since I was legally able to at 15 all while finishing school and probably far more capable then you are. For starters, I actually know how to treat people, including job-hunters that could also be customers in the store. I couldn’t care less if you offered me $100 dollars an hour for this job. I would hate to work alongside a vile co-worker such as yourself, and if you are the manager I have a lot more self-respect then to take orders from you. I think I’ve done the right thing to decline your offer. Now, thank you for time. You’ve shown me what kind of worker you are and should avoid. Have a nice day.”

An Exacting Complication

| BC, Canada | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money

(I and two of my friends are at a convenience store buying drinks. My friends drink is 2.73 including tax. He hands the cashier exactly 2.73. But the cashier doesn’t take it.)

Friend: “Here you go.”

Cashier: “This isn’t enough.”

Friend: “What do you mean. You said it was 2.73 and I gave you 2.73 exactly.”

Cashier: “Exact change isn’t enough.”

Friend: “What the h*** are you on about. I gave you the exact money. Why can’t I have this drink if I gave the exact change?”

Cashier: “Fine, I’ll cover it this time.”

Friend: *confused face*

Cashier: “Go. Before I change my mind about helping you.”

(My friend was muttering about the cashier all the way back to his house.)

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…)

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