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Author Topic: Memorable Customers  (Read 1240 times)
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« on: August 19, 2014, 11:44:19 AM »

Anyone have any memories of particularly colorful or interesting customers who shopped at your Ames store?

I remember one fellow in particular.  I won't mention his name.  He was from Canada.
Our store was about 30 miles from the border, and we were frequently shopped by Canadians.

Very pleasant fellow who was in his early 60's and usually shopped on Sundays with his wife.
Both of them always came very well-dressed.  She wore a dress and hat, he always wore a suit
and tie with a flower in his lapel.  Always smiling, polite, and thoroughly complimentary to our
store and to our employees.

One day he was in the store picking-up a layaway.  He was very outspoken and opinionated, and
had made it quite clear that he was not a fan of Mr. Mulroney's government back home.  So he
engaged me in a conversation as we were boxing-up his layaway for him.

"You know what I like about your country, young man?  Do you know what I admire about the
United States of America?"

"No, sir, Mr. XXXXX, what is that?"

"It's that when you elect a President who screws-up and does a lousy job and is
ruining the country, one of you has the guts to pick-up a gun and go and shoot him!"

My jaw dropped open almost to the floor.  My employees all froze in their places.
They flashed me panicky looks.  " want us to call someone boss?" could be
read on their faces.  I stood there dumbfounded waiting for the Mounties to rappel down
out of the ceiling and grab this guy.

We packed up his layaway and sent him on his way.  So pleasant, so polite...
and a total raving nutcase!  Who would have known?

I still have his business card someplace.  He was General Manager of a television station
on that side of the border.  Editorials on his station must have really been something!!!    Shocked
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2014, 02:01:39 PM »

Now I never worked at AMES, I have worked in retail since 2001. In that time I've come across a lot of memorable customers. Maybe enough to write a book. LOL.

From October 2006 until March 2008 I worked at Price Chopper Supermarket as a cashier. In 2007 in addition to working 2 or 3 daytime shifts, I started working the overnight shift one or two nights a week.

One night I rang out an elderly gentleman. (I've rung him out during the day shift a couple times too). So after I rang up and bagged all his groceries he paid. As he was walking away from the register on his way out of the store very loudly several times he said "I'm broke, I'm broke." A couple of the guys who were stocking the shelves came from the aisles to see who was making all the noise.

Then there was a woman who I finished ringing out about 12:15AM. She needed asked for an escort to her car in the parking lot, stating she was afraid of being mugged. So I had to page one of the guys stocking the shelves to escort her to her car.

One Friday Night around 3AM I had a hooker and her pimp coming through the line.

And 2 other times there was this guy who came though the line wearing jeans and a half T-Shirt. He had these huge muscular arms. (probably a roids user) and a big beer gut. (beer gut or six pack, I don't know why any man would wear a half T-Shirt. Now a woman in a half T-Shirt on the other hand  :P ) - There is nothing wrong with a guy wanting to show off his beer gut. (In my opinion anyway). Just don't do it by wearing a half T-Shirt. LOL. If I want to show off mine I wear a button down shirt unbuttoned.  Grin

I've had some other memorable customers at the other stores I've worked at, but I'll save them for another time.
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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2014, 12:29:37 PM »

I briefly worked stocking shelves in a unionized Shop n' Save store in the 1980's.
The main thing I remember about that job was the union going to bat and forcing the company
to rehire employees who absolutely deserved to get fired.   Like a cashier who blew-up in anger
at an old lady customer with a long string of expletives.  She was back on the job in a couple of

We had a lot of older, grumbly customers who always pitched a fit whenever a price went up.
Baked beans went up a nickel?  Must be that damned Reagan's fault!

The store adopted a dress code at one point because too many of the young female employees were
wearing stuff to work that was too tight/too low-cut or otherwise deemed inappropriate.  (I was 20 years
old and sure did not care personally!)

The dress code had to be gender-neutral so they adopted the following.  Black pants or slacks, white shirt or blouse, black tie.

You ever try to find a plain black necktie?  Aside from funeral parlors in the Soviet Union they were virtually

The morning the new dress code took effect there were guys out on the curb with their old neckties, spray
painting them with black paint!

Ames 4 Lyfer!

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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2014, 05:57:57 PM »

Just working at a grocery store for the summer provided me with a couple of interesting stories.

There was an African-American gentleman who looked to be in his early '30s who went through the line with another couple.  He paid for a drink separately, and as he came through the line, I noticed that he was holding a, shall we say, "doobie" in between his fingers.  I rang him up, he paid, and he left.  Sure hope he enjoyed that drink.

Another customer who would come through my line every once in a while was an elderly woman who I internally referred to as "The Cat Lady".  Although I have no evidence to prove that she was a cat owner, she gave off that sort of vibe...well-dressed but in dowdy clothes (and always with a fancy hat on), grey-haired, rather frail looking, and prim.  She was never exactly rude, but when something did not rang up at the sale price it was supposed to, she knew.  And although she wouldn't get mad or anything, she would clearly be displeased by this terrible state of affairs at Register Number Whatever.

I always got the feeling that she could sic a dozen or so trained attack cats on me if I did not give her the sale price that she wanted.  So I did (with a head cashier's aid), and all was well.

Proud to have been a member of this forum for 10 years.  Let's make it 10 more!
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2014, 06:58:13 AM »

He paid for a drink separately, and as he came through the line, I noticed that he was holding a, shall we say, "doobie" in between his fingers.

What, you didn't try to upsell him on a bag of Doritos?
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