Has The Mental Capacity Of A Cupcake

| Long Beach, CA, USA | Food & Drink, Ignoring & Inattentive

(I’m the customer in this story. My daughter’s first birthday is coming up in a week, so I decide to go to a popular chain grocery store to order a custom birthday cake for her to smash up. I go online and find a photo on a photographer’s website of another baby eating the cake that I want made and print it out to take with me, to help avoid confusion. The cake is iced to look like a giant cupcake. At the store, my husband, baby daughter, and I go to the bakery counter together.)

Employee: “Hi, can I help you with something?”

Me: “Yes, I’d like to order a custom birthday cake for my daughter’s first birthday, please.”

Employee: *sigh* “Sure, I can help you with that.”

Me: *hands employee the picture* “I’d like the cake in this photo, please.”

Employee: *glances at photo* “Okay. What’s your name?”

Me: “It’s [My Name].”

Employee: “And your phone number?”

Me: “It’s [phone number].”

Employee: “What size cake do you want?”

Me: *glancing pointedly at the photo* “Um, eight-inch round?”

Employee: “Uh huh. Flavor?”

Me: “Vanilla.”

Employee: “Whipped cream or butter-cream frosting?”

Me: “Whipped cream.”

Employee: “What color do you want the frosting?”

Me: *again looking pointedly at the photo* “Red on the bottom, blue on top?”

Employee: “Um, okay. So we’re doing a photo cake?”

Me: *pointing at the photo of the child that’s obviously not mine eating cake* “I don’t want the photo on the cake; I want the cake in the photo.”

Employee: “What?”

Me: “I don’t want a photo cake. I want the cake that looks like a cupcake that the kid is eating.”

Employee: “I don’t understand.”

Me: *taking a deep breath* “I want an eight-inch round cake, vanilla cake, whipped cream icing, iced to look like the cake the child is eating in this picture. Red icing on the bottom for the muffin tin, blue on top. It should look like a cupcake.”

Employee: “Um, okay?”

(I spent the next 10 minutes explaining over and over what I wanted. I ended up cutting out the picture of just the cake and showing it to her that way. I think she finally got it, but we’ll see what I pick up next week!)


Surviving On $1.24

| WY, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Politics

(This occurs just after the 2016 Presidential election, when disappointment and tensions are high on the losing side.)

Cashier: “Hi there, how’re you doing today?”

Me: “Oh, pretty well, how about you?”

Cashier: “Oh, you know, surviving.”

Me: “Yeah, sometimes that’s all you can do.”

Cashier: “Sometimes it’d be nice to do something besides just survive, you know?”

Me: *after a pause* “I almost made a political comment, but that might not be a good idea.”

Cashier: *quietly* “I think I know the comment you were going to make, and I know how you feel.” *louder* “Okay, your total is $25.24 today.”

Me: “Crap, I only have $24 in bills; I’m going to have to give you some change.”

Cashier: “Here, let me fix that.” *knocks $1.24 off the bill*


Cashier: “I’m sure there was something in there that should be on sale.”

(I don’t know if it was just because the store was so busy and he didn’t want to wait for me to count coins, or if it was political commiseration, but it made my night!)


Her Stress Is Ballooning

| New London, NH, USA | At The Checkout, Employees

(My boyfriend and I walk through the checkout line with a package of balloons.)

Cashier: *very friendly* “Will that be all today?”

Me: “Actually, could we get a couple of these inflated?”

Cashier: *suddenly distraught* “You want me to inflate all of them?!”

Me: “Uh, no, just five or so…”

Cashier: *sighing and visibly annoyed* “Okay, fine. But this is going to take a while.”

(She proceeds to inflate five balloons and tie strings onto them, sighing throughout the whole thing. Note that it is about three pm on a weekday. There are only a few other customers in the store, and several other registers open. At one point another customer gets in line behind us.)

Cashier: *very loudly and obviously annoyed, to the other customer* “I’m sorry but you’re going to have to go around. I have to inflate all of these balloons. It’s going to take a long time.”

(This happens one more time after this, and neither of the other customers seemed to be in any kind of hurry. She finishes the balloons and hands them to us. The whole process took about three minutes.)

Cashier: “Will THAT be all today?”

Me: “Uh… yup. That’s all.”

(She rang us up, I paid, and we left. Neither my boyfriend nor I could understand why inflating five balloons was so stressful!)


Exhaustion Loves Company

| London, ON, Canada | Employees, Language & Words

(I work at a grocery store, and I’ve only been there for about two months now. I’m still considered new, since the other women and men that work there have been working there for at least two years. It is probably important to note that I’ve had a long day at school, it’s about eight pm, I’ve been working since I got home from school and walked to work, and I’m exhausted. Customer #1 walks up to my till, and says hello.)

Customer #1: “Hello! Are you new?”

Me: “Little bit, ma’am. I’ve been here for about two months!”

Customer #1: “Well, this must be the first time I’ve seen you, then. I usually can remember a face!”

Me: *laughs, and begins to ring through Customer #1, bagging items as quickly as possible*

(I finish ringing her items through as Customer #2 arrives at my till.)

Me: “All right, what will it be today? Cash? Debit? Credit?”

Customer #1: “Oh! Debit!”

Me: “All right… Have a good day!” *pauses, confused* “I mean, go ahead! Did I just—”

(Customer #1 and Customer #2 laugh.)

Customer #1: “You must really be tired!” *finishes paying*

Me: “Yes, ma’am, long day! Would you like your receipt?”

Customer #1: *chuckles* “Yes, please!”

Me: “All right, here you are. Have a good day!”

Customer #1: “Yes, hello!”

(Pause, before Customer #2 laughs.)

Customer #2: “Guess we’re all exhausted, aren’t we?”


Wasn’t Born In The Pumpkin Patch

| MA, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Employees, Food & Drink

(It’s fall, time for pumpkin and pumpkin spice everything. I run to the store to get canned pumpkin, and I’m having trouble finding it. I look in three aisles I think it might be in, as well as at the ends of some aisles in case it’s in a special pumpkin display. No luck, so I’m getting frustrated. This store always has excellent customer service, so an employee stops to help.)

Employee: “Can I help you find something?”

Me: *speaking very fast, I’m so frazzled by now* “Yes, please! I’m looking for canned pumpkin. I’ve looked with baking, canned vegetables, and canned fruit, but I can’t find it.”

Employee: “What is it you’re looking for?”

Me: *speaking at a normal pace* “Canned pumpkin.”

Employee: “Can… what?”

Me: “Pumpkin.”

Employee: “Can you spell that?” *he pulls out what looks like his phone, or a hand-held computer, to try to look it up*

(I spell it, he types in “pumping.”)

Employee: “I don’t know…”

Me: “Like just a can of pumpkin. For pumpkin pie.”

Employee: “I don’t know what that is.”

(All of a sudden, I see it up the top shelf.)

Me: “Oh! There it is! Thank god. Thanks for your help.”

(As I rush away, he goes over to look at this mystery item he’d never heard of. Not sure how he’s gotten through life never hearing about pumpkin, in this pumpkin/pumpkin-spiced obsessed society! I appreciate his efforts to try to help me!)

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