What Does It Mean?

It was mid-afternoon and the store wasn’t all that busy. John stood at the customer service desk doing nothing. I’m not sure how the male cashiers manage it, but they do. They actually stand at the Angerdesk their entire shift and do as little as possible.

But I digress.

A customer, a man in his mid-forties, came to the check out counter, to ask a favor. “My son is roaming around here somewhere and we need to go. Would you page him for me?”

“Sure,” John said. “What’s his name?”


As John picked up the phone to page the young man, the customer turned around and started yelling his son’s name. “CEDRIC! CEDRIC!”

John stood stock still, telephone in hand . Didn’t this guy just ask him to page his son? 

Out of nowhere, the son showed up. The man thanked John and left.

John, on the other hand, was pretty sure he had just crossed over into the Twilight Zone.

It’s close encounters like this that suck every bit of humanity out of a retail employee. You’re left to wonder if anybody has even the least bit of sanity.

Here’s another example. A woman told John she wanted to buy some paper towels. John pointed to the plethora of paper towels for the woman to choose from. There was a huge sign that had the price listed.

She picked out the MM brand, which had the barcode on it; no actual price tag. “I want these paper towels but I want it to have a price tag on it.”

“Oh,” John said, a bit stumped.

“Yes,” she said. “If it has the price tag on it, it’s lucky.” Well, that was the last thing John expected to hear. “Just when you think you’ve heard it all,” he says, “Somebody manages to up the ante.”

John, to his credit, kept his cool and walked over to the ticket machine and printed a price tag for the paper towels.

In the meantime, the woman was trying to run her credit card and complaining it wouldn’t work. John, who is not usually at a loss for words, kept a tight lip.

Can you blame him?