Monday, 9 August 2010

Customer of the Day #16

I was selling tickets the other day and a woman came up with a voucher she wanted to use. I had a quick look and noticed it was for another cinema.

Me: I'm sorry, this is for (Cinema A) and we're (Cinema B), it won't work in our system.

Customer: Oh... but aren't you (Cinema C)?

Me: No... but it wouldn't help if we were. This voucher is for (Cinema A).

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Freudian slip of the day

"Can I have two tickets to Princess of Percy?"

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Short changed - SA edition

I am serving a middle aged couple who have only bought a few small things.

Me: Would you like a bag for these?

Customer: Yes, of course. (she sees me scanning the bag) What are you doing that for? Don't you provide bags?

Me: We have a law in South Australia that says we can't give bags out for free anymore. These are just 15 cents, but I could leave it out if you like.

Customer: huffily No, we need it. How long has this been going on?

Me: Um, about a year and half?

Customer's husband: It sort of puts you off coming to South Australia doesn't it?

Me: quite pleasantly Well it does mean we don't have so many plastic bags in our streets.

Customer:Well, I come from Melbourne and we don't have any plastic bags on our streets.


I'm sorry? Did you say 'Melbourne' in the same sentence as 'no plastic bags'? Had I been a bit quicker witted, I could have told them that by returning two bottles or cans to the recycling plant they would make their money back plus a 25% bonus - another thing they don't have in Melbourne - but, oh well.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010


The best discovery I made at work this week:
Finding the lunch I left from my last shift, still in the fridge the next day

The worst discovery I made at work this week:
I have to wear bunny ears from now until Easter is over

Monday, 22 March 2010

Can I 'ave spam instead then? #7

Lately all I've been getting in my spam folder is ads for viagra. If I had a penis and it was having trouble getting up, then this would be very handy - I might even be tempted to buy it from someone who can't spell "drugstore" correctly. (If I was getting desperate.)

So, it came as a nice surprise to hear from...
Kate Cohen

on the very optimistic and equally inclusive topic that is:
Diplomas for everybody!

So me

I just told my Mum about how I was so tired the other night that, with very little memory of what had happened in the lead up, I woke up and found myself lying on the bathroom mat, fully clothed.
Her response: "Oh, that is so you."

I'm not quite sure how I should take that. Does this mean my mother thinks it's normal for me to pass out in the middle of the floor? Or does she just think I'm so zen that I can discard the artificial comforts of this mortal coil so easily?

Up until now I would have thought it was, kind of, not me. But now my whole perception of self has been thrown in to doubt.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

I see someone else has cottened on to this idea...

Further to that, I think this one has got to be a new favourite:

Short changed... literally, this time

As I may have mentioned in previous posts about the supermarket, we tend to attract... dubious types. The kind of people you tend to cross the street to avoid are the kinds of people I have serve on a regular basis (with a smile, of course).

Anyway, I had one of those the other day and his shopping came to $6.50*. I told him the price and he put $5.50 down on the counter so I told him he still needed another dollar.**

Begrudgingly, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a handful of 5 cent coins and dropped them on the counter for me to count out. After I'd counted a dollar's worth, I pushed the rest back to him saying "You can keep the rest."

Then he left without taking the rest of the money, so I called out "Don't you want your change?"***

He came back and stood next to me (not on the customer side of the checkout - he invaded my personal, staff only space!) and, while breathing down my neck, carefully counted out the change. The he dropped it all on the counter again, tapped me on the shoulder and said "There's a tip," and walked away!

WTF was that all about?

* Unsurprisingly, these people never buy large amounts of stuff. What is surprising is the kind of stuff they buy. eg: One sausage and 4 packets of batteries over a series of trips within about 10 minutes of each other.

** This may sound harsh but this job has taken away most of my sympathy for such people (along with my faith in humanity).

*** See? I'm not a total bitch.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Tips and tricks to pick up checkout chicks

As we all know, in this modern, fast paced world there is precious little time to pick up in bars, clubs and and cruises. More to the point, when attempting to pick up a girl in one of these places, they have the frustrating ability to be able to move away when you get too annoying. Enter retail workers. Not only are they paid to be nice to you for the time your purchases take to scan, they also are not allowed to move away unless you actually a pull a knife out. What better place to play The Game?

So, just a few tips on how to melt your checkout chick's butter:

1. Be over the age of consent - or at least look like you are over the age of consent by doing something about your pimples, pulling your pants up so they cover your boxers and buying something other than packets of chips and bottles of soft drink.

2. Don't be so over the age of consent that you have now entered the realm of "creepy old man".

3. For the love of God, do not attempt to be suave by reading her name tag and then addressing her by that name as often as you can. It's creepy, it makes her uncomfortable, it's unfair because you're not wearing a name tag and it might also be wrong because she borrowed one from a friend after leaving hers at home.

Once you have these basics down pat, you're pretty much set. Essentially, the best way to pick up someone in a supermarket is to not be the kind of person who tries to pick up someone in a supermarket. Bit of a catch-22 there- but what can you do?

Friday, 19 February 2010

To do list

At the cinema we often send people vouchers and things to their emails which they print off and bring in when they buy their tickets. In itself, this is not all that amazing. But when I was sorting through them at the end of my shift, I noticed one of them had a To Do list on the back.

It read:

Clean Fridge

I love Australia. Where else do people write 'Beer' at the top of their To Do list?

Friday, 12 February 2010

Supermarket scandal

Or rather, the lack of one. I am super excited ladies and gents because yesterday (my first day back at work) I served a blind person and a deaf person at my checkout (at different times, of course) and I wasn't accidentally insensitive to either of them! Snaps for me!

Also for the first time, I got to use my second language at work. My boss was so impressed when I said in my interview that I spoke Italian and she said it would be good because of all the tourists etc. who come into our supermarket. So it was good to finally be able to use it. (I'd been starting to think I'd have been better off learning Chinese)

Anyway, there was this guy with an Italian accent, I asked if he was from Italy and he was, so we chatted in Italian. But, it turns out he's been in Australia for 40 years! He asked me how long I'd been here
"19 years."
"And how old are you?"

So, here's a question, who should be welcoming whom?

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Home again

I wonder what the opposite of culture shock is? Because I think I've had it.

When I arrived in Oman (I suppose because it was my second visit) things did not seem at all strange and the fact that I was suddenly surrounded by men in long white robes put me at ease, rather than on edge like it did on my first trip. So, there was that, first of all - I went to another country and felt quite comfortable. But then, when I got back home, I couldn't get out of that Middle Eastern mindset.

It's summer time here and we're in a bit of a heat wave but I felt I was being horribly inappropriate for going out in jeans and a tank top. What's up with that? This is Australia and I'm an Australian - we invented ugg boots for crying out loud!

But, yeah, after the first two days of fighting with my newly acquired super-modesty, I think I'm finally getting over it. I spent this morning rediscovering T-shirts. I'm even considering going up to the shops in my knee length skirt.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

I've gone native

Well, I've worked out how to get the cars to stop beeping at you. Wear just as much clothing as the local girls. It didn't take a lot of working out, I suppose. But I was sort of resistant to the idea. I've tried to do everything but head scarf to see if that would cut it - it didn't. It's all or nothing here, it seems.

But I tell you, now that I have started, I don't think I can go back. Now when I leave the house I get hijabed up and the results are: no constant beeps from cars and better service in shops. Everybody wins! Also, I'm rather enjoying the challenge of keeping with the "local look" it's sort of like playing culturally sensitive dress-ups.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Things I notice in the Middle East

You know how sometimes if you're wearing a short skirt and walking by the side of the road, you might get beeped by passing cars? Well, it's the same sort of thing here but you'll get it for a wearing a T-shirt. (Not a tight T-shirt either, I felt I was fairly modestly dressed all round.)

The other thing is that, despite the fact Australia is a Western nation and has a free-trade agreement with the USA, it is a lot easier to find various American processed foods here than in Aus. Which strikes me as entirely unfair. I have had stock up on pop-tarts while I'm here because Mum and I share them as a guilty pleasure while watching old episodes of Gilmore Girls.

If you don't know what pop-tarts are (I'll confess I know about them mainly because of Gilmore Girls) this is an example:

Sweet sugary goodness without an ounce of health in sight.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Can I 'ave spam instead then? #6

A little bit of jetspam to tide you over:

Linda Rodrigues: We Offer═ Our Customers Only Legal Soft.

The only logical conclusion I can draw from this is that they are selling soft toys which most certainly do not contain any drugs. At all. Either that or they put a pile of random words together hoping it would attract someone's attention.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Heading out

Just thought I'd let you all know that I'm off to the Middle East again. So... no more customer stories for a while. But I'll post and let you know what it's like (this time I will actually post, not just say that I will but never get around to it.)

Bye for now!

Monday, 18 January 2010

Short changed... again

This prize goes to the woman who just wouldn't leave!

You know how when a shop is about to shut there'll be an voice over the PA telling you it's now or never if you want to buy that tin of corn you've been holding for the past ten minutes. Then there'll be another one telling the shop has actually closed now and you really need to be getting home to your ferns. (I would have said family, but I suspect that a lot of single people shop in my supermarket.)

Anyway, this woman waited until after the shop had closed to come to my checkout with a small basket of goods. This seemed okay to me, after all, she didn't have a trolley. But she had picked a whole lot of things she was sure were on special (most of them weren't) and so each item I scanned she wanted a price check on. That means that for each one I had to call someone over the PA to go and look at the prices on the aisle because I can't leave the checkout.

With every item that turned out not to be on special she would say "Oh, well I don't want that then, can I just leave it here with you?"
Sure you can, that just means that I'm left with a basket full of stuff from all over the shop to put back.

But, the really excellent part is that when she was finally done, she looked around the store and said, "Oh, am I the last one out?"

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Can I 'ave spam instead then? #5

This is not flotspam or jetspam... it's just plain weird. Weird with a capital 'creepy' in fact.

First weird thing about this piece of spam is that it says I've sent it to myself. The second weird thing is the subject line: Come to me my sweet kitty, I'm waiting for you!


Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Sure sign you've been at work too long...

You close your eyes when you see customers approaching, hoping they either won't notice you or will disappear. When you open your eyes and see them patiently waiting you find yourself incredibly disappointed that your plan didn't work.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Crazy anecdotes #2

There's a long and complicated story behind this one which might sound a bit like me bitching. So I'm leaving it out for now. Suffice to say that I had been called into work (at the cinema) at the last minute because they were very busy and drastically understaffed.

You remember Zia*? Well she had three of us folding up cardboard boxes (not really the most important thing to do in the circumstances) for the rubbish collection and... I can only assume we weren't doing it the way she wanted or something because all of a sudden she says, "I swear all you girls think about is sex and drink!"

I don't think anyone had mentioned either of those things all day. Perhaps she can tell from our silence?

*If not, here's where I first mentioned her:
(Yeah, I'm not so good at making links. But you all know how to copy and paste.)

Can I 'ave spam instead then? #4

So, it's been a while... my bad. But this means that my flotspam and jetspam have built up into a nice little pile I can share with you all. What luck!

First the flotspam*: *."FORCE MEN STUFF.".* ( what?)

Garrett Simpson: This watch will underline your refine taste.


Then the jetspam:

Roy Newsome: We will call you back. (Thanks, Roy. Now I don't have to read the email you sent me because I know I'll be getting a call from you soon.) [re 11] Fertilize your male tree (I'm tempted to think this is some sort of innuendo, but if that's the case then they have it the wrong way around. Bit of a puzzle really.)

Darwin Potts: A Submariner SS watch really has the wings. Shop more and pay less here (Good. I'm tired of submarine watches that don't fly.)


*Don't ask me how I sort out the flotspam from the jetspam. It's a very long and complex process which is totally not me just throwing things into two neat piles to make the blog post look a bit nicer.

Customer of the day #15

"Can you tell me what Sherlock Holmes is about?"