From zablyzibly: Butchers and their inside jokes...
I work in the deli department at a grocery store and have plenty of stories to share.
It was a little after 5pm and we were slammed as people were just getting off of work and picking up food for dinner. My coworker was getting some broccoli cheddar salad for a customer. Just as he's about to scoop it into the container, the customer stops him.
Customer: Wait. Before you scoop that up, can you cut all the broccoli into tiny pieces?
The salad looks sort of like this.
Customer: Yes. And make it quick, I'm in a hurry.
So my coworker had to fill the salad container, pick out the broccoli, dice it, and then return it to the salad. The customer then had the audacity to complain about the service being slow. It's certainly the strangest request that I've heard so far.
I worked at a grocery store at a full service meat counter - this means if you wanted any type of meat (steaks, chicken, fish, etc - not deli meats) you had to get it from me behind a counter. This place was also in a fairly rich neighborhood, so we had plenty of entitled customers.
So that you can understand how our system for reservations works during the holidays: we had a series of massive boards that we printed large graph paper on - we made a chart out of the graphs and set aside so many orders for specific cuts - for example, Orders 1-125 were the orders we would hold for filet mignon, orders 126-150 for lamb roasts, etc. When a person came in, we would write their order down on a small sheet of paper with their name, order, and their order number. If they called, we made sure they wrote down their order number before we hung up - it is imperative to come in with that number, otherwise we waste time scanning over 1,000 orders for your name that may or may not be there. When you pick your order up, we black out the square with a sharpie.
Thanksgiving had the same boards go up on the wall, but instead of orders 1-125 being filet mignon, they would be for fresh turkeys weighing between 12-14 lbs, then 126-150 would be 14-16 lbs, etc. One thing to point out is that we have never had a single year where we get all the turkeys we ordered the sizes we ordered them in. If we ordered:
*100 10-12 lb turkeys
*50 12-14 lb turkeys
*20 16-18 lb turkeys
we would receive
*75 10-12 lb turkeys
*40 12-14 lb turkeys
*30 16-18 lb turkeys
*25 18-20 lb turkeys
Now most people accepted the fact that we didn't have the size they ordered when they waited until the Wednesday before to pick it up - we would offer them a larger turkey for the price of the size they ordered or they would settle for a smaller turkey. Sometimes there were some complaints to managers, but we all knew there was nothing we could do.
This one lady (Lovely Lady, heavy sarcasm here) came in around noon on Wednesday looking to pick up her 14-16 lb turkey. Her order said she wanted 16 pounds - at this point we had no more turkeys left near 16 pounds - I could offer her one around 17 pounds at no extra charge, or she could get a smaller one closer to 14.5-15 pounds. After a lot of fussing about it, Lovely Lady finally settled for the smaller turkey. I would be grateful for this later on.
Now our instructions for bringing out the turkeys has always been the same and we all try to enforce it when we see someone taking the easy way out. We are to take the turkey to the counter, make sure the customer is okay with their size, bring it around the counter and place it into their carts for them - we were not allowed to hand them over the counter as the boxes would usually give way.
I bring the woman her turkey, place it in her cart, and walk back behind the counter. After some careful examination of the turkey accompanied by long and loud sighs, she goes on her way.
Fast forward to 4:30, we are preparing to close early at 5 for the holiday - all of our closing procedures are done ahead of time to make sure we can get out the second the clock hits 5, but there is still a steady flow of customers who "forgot you guys close early today!" (Even though we explain this when they take their order)... To be fair, they forgot, rather than complained that they were never told...
I'm helping a regular, this lovely octogenarian woman, with her turkey - she wanted the smallest turkey we had, so I scoured our meat cooler from top to bottom to find the absolute smallest we had. She is fine with the size of the turkey and I bring it over to her cart and lay it in for her.
As I turn to go back around the counter, I am suddenly hit and stumble onto one knee. I look around and I see a turkey on the ground next to me. Looking up, I see the face of Lovely Lady from earlier flipping me off.
Lovely Lady: "Take that turkey and shove it up your ass! You ruined my Thanksgiving dinner!"
And she ran off, leaving her cart in the middle of the aisle. I never saw the woman again, and everyone behind the counter started laughing when they saw me get hit by the bird. (Lots of puns were thrown around.)
She had stayed in the store for four and a half hours on Thanksgiving with a defrosted turkey (we don't keep them frozen at that size), just so she could throw it at me hours later... I mean, obviously ruined dinner by keeping the turkey she wanted in the cooler! Because, you know, we always do that.
Entitled customers are firm believers in the fact that I am a supervillain! I've even been working on my evil laugh - you don't get into the Evil League of Evil if you don't have a memorable laugh!
I guess I could have called the police for battery, but honestly I just laughed it off. I was just so confused when it happened - I mean, who gets so mad they throw a turkey? I like to think you either laugh or cry in retail, I prefer the fun one.
When you work in a deli department, sometimes you are expected to carry large party orders out for your customers. Not all of these orders can fit in a standard shopping cart and sometimes even a flat cart can't be found to assist in making the moment of the order easier. So, old fashioned grunt work with yourself carrying out in your arms is all you have, especially when your customer refuses to help.
Now, I'm not a weak little flower. I grew up on a farm. I can totally hold my own. Unless you're the one customer who believes that a woman is just not worth your time.
Now, this party order was rather large. I don't know if it was for a funeral or some other function; didn't matter to me. I helped build the platters, box them, and when Sexist Customer came to pick them up, I was going to help him.
I greeted him, got the order sheet to ring him up, and then took his payment. Up to that point, everything was going great! That's when it happened. I grabbed part of his order, about 50lbs worth, and headed to where he was standing.
SC: Oh...no. No, no. Why aren't all of my platters here? Is there someone else who can do this? A man can carry out them all. Get me a man.
I'm looking at this guy like he's sprouted six heads.
SC: Ah, no. I need you to put those down and get me a man who is strong. Can you do that, hun?
In my head I'm screaming at him: Rule one, don't call me "hun", and especially don't do it when you're being condescending to me. Two, go fuck yourself and your crazy ideas on gender roles.
I'm just smiling and nod. I page him a man to come assist with the party trays. On the paging system, I specifically requested that a man come to the deli. Not surprising that my ASM (who I adored) came right over and asked me why I needed a man. I introduce him to SC, and step back to watch the men work.
Now, I love my ASM, and I respect him a lot, but the poor guy couldn't even lift up the first stack of boxed platters that I had originally been holding. The epic look of defeat and sadness in SC's eyes was glorious - I would have licked the tears from his eyes and then sang of their deliciousness!
But, I didn't gloat. I politely offered to help again and SC nodded and sighed with a slight inflection of disgust. I picked up the original boxes I had started with, and my ASM carried out the rest, and complained about how heavy they were the whole time. I know he was joking, but it was great seeing SC get more and more frustrated that a man who he requested to help, was not what he expected.
After we loaded up the SC's car, I thanked him for his order and wished him a good day. He just grunts and retreats into his car.
My ASM started laughing and then says, "What a sore loser! I think you scared him."
I laughed. Who knows. Maybe I did. But, I don't really care. I was there to do my job. Hopefully SC doesn't continue his regime of manliness. He may have to be dethroned.
A boy in the Bronx got a beating he did not expect. A woman chased him, slapped him and ultimately gave him a bloody nose in a bodega.
Trying to teach a youngster some manners should not deteriorate into a police investigation, but that is what happened to the 5th grader who was struck repeatedly by another customer.
Ten-year-old Mohammed Almontsire relived the August 19th attack.
"She slapped me two times, I punched one time," Mohammed said.
"Indescribable for a father to see your son chased and beat up," said Ibrahim Almontsire.
The slaps and punch occurred inside the family's deli on East 206th Street in the Bronx. Mohammed went in to pick up a bag he had left earlier, He says the lady ordered him to say thank you.
"I told the lady it's none of her own biz, she said she has better grandsons that respect her and have better manners," Mohammed says.
It got worse from here. WABC-TV in New York says the woman decided to teach him manners - with her hands and fist.
"The way she punches him around, he was very helpless," Ibrahim adds.
Mohammed said the woman also called him 'bad words'.
Police are looking for the older woman who was captured on the security cameras terrorizing the helpless boy.
The owner says that he did not recognize the woman as one of his regular customers. A person of interest who was with the suspect is described as approximately 25 to 30-years-old, last seen wearing a hat, a black t-shirt with a design on the front and a black t-shirt.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime