And this is the thanks? Nah. I hope she chokes on her turkey.

As a cashier, what is the boldest thing you ever said to a customer knowing that you might get fired afterwards?

answered by Amy DeLuca, studied at University of Pittsburgh *

I won’t get fired, because this happened a few days ago and we are so desperately short staffed that they can’t afford to fire me—also since the pandemic and the labor shortage my boss has become…a lot more laid back about employees being irritated with customers.

Let me start from the beginning.

I work part time in a little diner to pay off the last remaining months of my school loans. I actually paid them off months ago but like I said, short staffed. I don’t have the heart to leave and they know their time with me is limited.

We do pre-packed Thanksgiving meals that feed 10–12 people. They are packed up cold. All you do is pop ‘em in the oven. They are extraordinarily popular. We sell like 300 of them, all to be picked up the day before thanksgiving.

This woman calls to ask me about these meals. This is not unusual but she has a lot of questions. The line at my register is building. Two other phone lines are ringing. There are six to-go order waiting to be packed up and a delivery driver here to pick up some that aren’t even started because I’m stuck on the phone. Still, I keep answering only for her to say she now wants turkey dinners for today and has about 40 questions about the two we have on the regular menu.

I grit my teeth. She has called me on a cell phone. I know because I can hear the car turn signal of her car. A cell phone that is actually a $1,200 computer she could have looked up all this information on with our website. So now I’m annoyed.

But I keep answering—about the number of sides, the cranberry sauce, our hours, what sides we even carry, the price differences—then she asks me how much turkey in the big meal vs the smaller one. I explain to her it isn’t done by slice but by weight and tell her the weights. She complains about the amount of the small turkey saying it would be like one slice.

To clarify: it is not. It is a decent amount of food and nobody has ever sent it back to the kitchen to complain about portions in the three years I’ve been there.

Through this whole thing, she is also talking to her husband. She’s asking him questions about what sides he wants, how much turkey, does he even want to order food—I’m now more irritated. These are things she should have asked him before she called me.

There is an even larger line at my register. I can’t check people out because phone lady has a half completed order on my screen that I’m trying to get her to finish and put in.

Then this gem happened:

Phone lady: I told you six times, Harold. I’m ordering dinner from— (pause) —what’s your establishment called again?

I repeat the name of the restaurant she has been on the phone with for 15 minutes by now. The shift coming in to start has already walked in, put their uniforms on, clocked in, and been assigned tasks by the time we get to this point. That’s how long I’ve been on the phone.

Phone lady continues talking to her husband. The guy at the front of the line starts huffing and getting annoyed. He throws his money down and glares at me.

My blood is positively boiling by now. Everyone knows restaurants are short staffed. Even if you didn’t, this is extraordinarily rude of her to keep me on the phone and other customers waiting while she talks to her husband about whether cousin Martin is bringing green bean casserole or coleslaw.

So finally I’m like, “Lady, is there anything else you want to actually order because if not, I’m hanging up the phone.”

She loses her temper. Calls me rude, tells me my attitude needs adjusted, asks my full name. I spelled it for her, because by now I’m on a roll. I’m like go ahead. Call corporate. Call the governor, Karen, I don’t care. I didn’t say those things, but I thought them.

Instead, I explained to her calmly that I have a line of people waiting to check out, orders to put together, and three phone lines ringing while she talks about green bean casserole for a week from now and that if she doesn’t need anything else, I really have to go.

She yells at me that I need more patience. I hang up on her.

I walked over to my boss, handed her my clock out card, and told her the woman’s name and how she was going to complain about me. I told her the full story. The whole thing.

Her response was to shrug.

Because we’re too short for her to care and because a year ago, the people who came in couldn’t survive without us and we’re so grateful to have a place they could pick food up from during the peak of the virus. Now they throw menus at us, call us names, and make unreasonable, absurd demands with no respect or recognition for what we went through or are going through.

I worked the whole pandemic. I didn’t get a break. I didn’t get fancy payouts from unemployment or the state. I worked my ass off so that a year later everyone could forget that restaurant workers stayed at work and put our lives at risk so you could have some normalcy during a horrifyingly scary period of time.

And this is the thanks? Nah. I hope she chokes on her turkey.

QUORA * Irrelevant cuss words removed / replaced . .

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