Retail: Garden of the Surreal

Whereas in the hospitality industry I found customers irritating and frustrating, in retail I find that my reaction is one of bizzare wonderment.  Each day my retail megastore is a potential new experience, a look into a dream-washed world of strangeness.  I present these exchanges without further comment:


Two customers, young men, trying to ironically use the credit card machine in Spanish.  They fail.

“I should have been able to do that.  I took Spanish I for four years.”


Customer at check out: “What is this?”

Me: “Bwuh?”

C:  “What is this?”

Me:  “It’s a clock.”

C: “No, I mean, how does it hang on the wall?”

Me, looking at package, reading the directions: “It says it comes with hooks, so probably with those.”

C:  “Oh.  I don’t want that.  How about this?” (Holds cup holder for car.)  “Do you think this will fit in my car?”

Me:  “What?”

C:  “Do you think it will fit in my car?  I have a stick shift.”

Me:  “Well, every car is different, you know?  I drive a station wagon, and it’s pretty big, but I still don’t think there’s enough room up front for that.”

C:  “A station wagon?  What kind?”

Me:  “A Ford Escort.”

C:  “Me too!  What do you mean you think it won’t fit?”

Me:  “Well, there’s the stick and the emergency break and everything…”

C:  “No, not there!  In the back seats!”

Me:  “Oh, yeah, sure, it’ll fit there.”


Customer, really old, writing a check: “What day is it today?”

Me:  “March 6th.”

C: “What’s the ammount?”

Me:  “$75.52”

Customer writes the date on the check as “6-75-52.”  She finishes writing it and looks at it, and then at me:  “Wait, what day is it?”

Me:  “March 6th.”

C:  “But then… wait, this can’t be right.”

One thought on “Retail: Garden of the Surreal

  1. craigb1968 says:

    a state of Grace.

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