But You Expressly Said So

| Millbrae, CA, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre/Silly, Employees

(I finish putting all my stuff on the conveyor belt at the express lane and the lady behind me starts putting her stuff behind me.)

Cashier: “Please make sure you have 15 or less items because this is the express lane.”

(We both start counting to make sure we have less than 15 items. Then the cashier adds:)

Cashier: “I don’t really care if you have more than 15 items but it’s the other customers; they’re the ones that complain.”

Scored Politeness Points

| Germany | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Food & Drink

(While shopping for groceries, I notice an advertisement at the corner of an aisle, saying ‘Buy four Coffee Product, get a free cloth bag!’ Since I like to use cloth bags for my groceries and mine recently tore, I decide to take advantage of the offer. The store also has a promotion going on where you receive ‘loyalty points’ – actually little stickers – for every 5€ spent. Once you have collected 25 points, you can turn them in for one of several rewards. I have just gotten in line when another cashier calls me over. Her till is a bit hidden by a shelf, so I don’t notice her at first.)

Me: “Oh, hey! Sorry for overlooking you. You were quite well hidden there.”

Cashier: “Of course, I was actively hiding after all.” *laughs* “Just kidding.”

Me: *also laughing* “Don’t worry, I’ll be good.”

(She scans my groceries and tells me the final price. I notice there’s no mention of a bag and cautiously inquire:)

Me: “Can I ask a question? I saw an advertisement in the store that one gets a free bag with the purchase of four [Coffee Product]. Is that offer still good?”

Cashier: “Oh, dear, wait a moment.” *she checks under her till, then turns to her neighbouring cashier* “Do you still have any bags left from the [Coffee Product] promotion?”

Other Cashier: “No, sorry. I ran out, too.”

(They ask the third cashier currently working, but it turns out the whole store has been out of those bags for at least one day. I must have looked crestfallen, since the cashier apologises several times. While I’m really a bit sad about missing out on the bags, and likely wouldn’t have bought that much [Coffee Product] otherwise, I see no use in complaining about something that wasn’t her fault.)

Me: “Ah, don’t worry. it’s okay! At least I don’t have to buy coffee again until next year.”

Cashier: “I’m still sorry about this. The store manager should really have taken down the sign.”

(She makes a call for the manager, then hands me about twenty loyalty points, the equivalent of a 100€ purchase.)

Cashier: “Here’s a little something to make up for it.”

(I thanked her sincerely and bagged my groceries. With those points I’ll soon be able to get a cake-pan my significant other has been eyeing, right in time for Christmas!)

Plasma Charged

| UT, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Bosses & Owners

(A few days prior to this, I had donated plasma. It’s similar to donating blood, but sometimes things go wrong when they return your cells to you, causing bruises. In my case, I have a hematoma that is close to three inches across due to a problem with the machine. Heading into the grocery store, in short sleeves due to the warm weather, I tromp around just picking up a few things I needed. As I’m doing this, I notice that a particular employee in a shirt and tie is following me around. Turning to look at him, I smile and greet him before heading off. I’ve picked up a couple sodas, some snacks, and noodles, when I turn to head up front. Picking a cashier, I start to check out, but notice that the girl’s taking a good bit longer than usual, trying to figure out prices and what not. It dawns on me then, based on my own prior experience in retail, that she’s stalling me. A few moments later, a pair of police officers enter the store, and talk to the man I saw earlier before turning and walking in my direction.)

Officer #1: “Sir, could we speak with you?”

Me: “Is something wrong?”

Officer #1: “We just need to speak with you, outside.”

Me: “Okay, let me pay for—“

Officer #1: “No, you need to come outside, sir.”

Me: “Going to explain to me why, or just be vague about it, Sergeant?”

Officer #1: “We don’t want to cause a scene here…”

Me: “No one is making a scene. I’m here shopping, about to pay, and wondering why the h*** you’ve been called.”

Manager: *the guy in the suit* “We don’t want your kind here! You need to leave.” *turning to the officers* “Make this leave!”

Me: “Woah, now, MY kind? What the h*** is that supposed to mean?”

Manager: *pointing at the bruise* “Addicts like you!”

(Looking to my arm, I chuckle and then hold up the card I was about to pay with. It’s a Visa card that the plasma places give you when you donate. They pay you for donations.)

Me: “Addict? Try plasma donor. However, if you don’t want me here, I’m certain that the officers will agree that if I pay, and then leave, that there’s no wrongdoing.”

(At this point the manager reaches out, grabbing my arm and pulling before giving me a hard shove, hard enough to knock over some displays as I stumble. Picking myself up, I look to the officers.)

Me: “You witnessed it. I was just assaulted. I wish to press charges.”

(The officers look to me, then back to the manager, reaching out to take him into custody. All the while he’s screaming about how they’re taking an addict’s side and not the right person. He was still yelling as I left, my bags in hand. Outside, the second officer noted that it probably would be a good idea if I avoided that store in future. Especially after plasma donations.)

Animal Retraction

| OR, USA | Family & Kids, Pets & Animals

(I work as a cashier in a grocery store. I’m always in check stand #1 so I have a particularly good view of the entrances. It is common for people to bring animals into the store (usually dogs, but occasionally cats or even a rat!) even though the store includes food preparation areas, and therefore non-service animals are not allowed by law. When I see someone with an animal that doesn’t look like a service animal, I page my manager to let her handle the situation. I’m known among my coworkers for my accuracy and observation skills. Until this happens…)

Me: “I just saw a woman come in and it looks like she had some sort of animal in her jacket.”

Manager: “Uh oh.”

Me: “It was all wrapped up and had some sort of yellow hat covering its head. I couldn’t tell what it was. Maybe a cat?”

Manager: “Okay, I’ll go check it out. Thanks.”

(Several minutes pass and then my manager comes back smiling.)

Manager: “Was the woman with the animal that you saw with another woman?”


Manager: “That was a baby in her jacket.”

Me: *blinks* “Well, in my defense it looked brown and furry.”

Manager: *laughs* “Okay, well, I won’t tell her what you said about her baby.”

And A Happy Nude Year!

| ON, Canada | Holidays, Language & Words

(I have been working long shifts for the past 12 days because of the Christmas rush, and I’m a little burned out. The lady I am serving has just bought a box of chicken breasts.)

Me: “Here’s your bag, and here’s your receipt. Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy your breasts!”

(The customer gives me a scandalized stare before hurrying out.)

Coworker: “I think you should go work in the back for a while…”

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