Thursday, October 11, 2007

More Dumb Customer Adventures.

I seem to be having a week of it. First I end up sitting near the 'seedophobe' at Applebees, and today I end up behind the worlds most annoying (yet funny) little old lady at the Dollar General.

Let me set the scene:

Sunny and I have been grocery shopping, stopped at Jack in the Box on the way home and then stopped into Dollar General for dog food. We have groceries rapidly defrosting the car, and trying to keep Sunny focussed when there's Christmas merchandise in the vicinity is like trying to herd cats.

Basically I want to get home before my Mahi Mahi defrosts.

Se we go up to the checkout line (me carrying a rather heavy bag of dog food on my shoulder), when a Little Foreign Lady (henceforth known as the LFL) reaches the checkout.

Let me describe this lady. She looks middle-eastern, she's about four feet tall and wearing one of those head-dress things. Her cart is simply jam-packed with kids clothes. She pulls out a T-Shirt...

and it begins...

"How much is this?"

"That's five dollars."

"I don't want it."

The cashier sighs and puts it on the counter behind her.

"How much is this one?"

"That's also five dollars."

"I don't want it."

(This repeats for at least ten different items, then she changes it up a bit.)

"How much is this one?"


"Is it for boy or girl?"

"It's for boys."

"Too small, don't want it."

I look over to where all these clothes are coming from, and I see a sign that has everything clearly marked. I thought for a second that the LFL might be having problems not being able to read English, but it's a tag sale. Each item of clothing has a colored tag, and the sign simply has the color next to the price. So apparently, decoding this devious cypher was to much trouble for the LFL, so she just decided to grab everything she was interested in and go through them one by one with the cashier.

"Is this for boy or girl?"


"Oh good, how much is it?"


"I don't want it."

Despite the fact I really wanted to get home, at this point I'm trying not to laugh because the cashier is getting more and more irritated. There's a stack of clothes behind her and so far, out of about 30 different shirts, the LFL's bought about two. This has taken at least 15 minutes so far and the line's getting long. Everyone's staring daggers at the LFL.

"How much is this one."

"Five dollars."

This time the cashier just drops the item behind her before waiting for the "I don't want it." By this time, and I'm not exaggerating in the slightest, there's a full blown mound of clothing behind the cashier.

After standing behind the LFL for at least 20 minutes, another employee comes over and opens the other register. We walk round and pay for our dog food and the other items we'd bought. Suddenly Sunny whispers in my ear:

"Make sure you ask how much everything is and then say you don't want it."

I just lost it and cracked up.

We lost track of the LFL then, but as we were putting our stuff in the car, we see her outside, looking at floral dresses. (Dollar General sometimes puts sale items outside the store.) As I'm fastening my seatbelt, the cashier comes out of the door and in a very irate voice, says to the LFL:

"Ma'am, I can't hold the line forever you know."

The LFL looks at the cashier like she's walked into her house on Christmas morning and pissed on her kids. I mean she looks really put out. Then she pulls a dress off the rack and says:

"How much is this?"

"That's five dollars."

"I don't want it."

I couldn't believe it. After holding up the line for half an hour, once she'd gone through every item in her cart, she'd gone outside to look for more. the cashier had already rung up the three T-shirts she'd bought, so she had to finish that sale before helping anyone else.

So the cashier is standing there in disbelief, and the LFL just puts the dress back on the rack and continues browsing. At this point I closed the car door, so I didn't hear the exchange, but the next thing I know the cashier grabs a dress out of the LFL's hands and stamps back into the store, followed by the LFL who just strolls along, looking all put-out.

The funniest thing is, I know that when the LFL gets home, she's going to tell her family how rude and unhelpful the Dollar General staff is, and how they're probably racist.

I mean, after all, she spent at least nine dollars in there, and all the cashier had to do was spend half an hour going through every item of clothing in the store, and will have to reshelf the sixty or so different items she decided she didn't want.

No wonder we immigrants get such a bad rap.

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