Clerks. We see them, some of us daily. Some of us know a clerk. Or you have at least seen the movie Clerks. Over the past several months, I’ve had interactions with clerks I would like to share. This is not an indictment of all clerks. Some of you may even be clerks. This post is not about you. It’s about the other clerks. You know, the ones who make you look bad. Those clerks. Please post your own clerk stories in the comment section.
Clerk Story Number One:
I went to the Oreck store to buy vacuum bags. As it happens, they come in their own bag. The following conversation is almost verbatim.
Clerk: Would you like me to put your bags in a bag?
Me: Sure. While you’re at it, can you give me change for my change? (I hand her a quarter)
Clerk: Sure. (She hands me two dimes and a nickle)
Me: Could you also give me a receipt for my receipt?
Clerk: Absolutely. (She then writes up another receipt)
As she hands it to me she asks, “Are you an English professor?”
(At the time I was a stay at home dad, but had delivered mail for 16 years)
Me: That’s the number two guess when people try and guess what I do, right behind garbage collector and right ahead of astronaut.
Clerk: I knew it!
I walked out with my bags in a bag, my change for my change and my receipt for my receipt.
Clerk Story Number Two:
I went to Office Depot to buy an ink jet cartridge. As I was walking out of the store a clerk chased me down.
Clerk: Sir, you forgot this. (He tries to hand me a power cord from a laptop)
Me: It’s not mine.
Clerk: It goes with your purchase.
Me: (I hand him the ink jet cartridge) Where does it plug in?
Clerk: Didn’t you just buy a laptop?
Clerk: Are you sure?
Me: You’re asking me if I just bought a laptop, then walked out of the store forgetting I had just bought one?
Clerk: Yeah, I guess.
Me: One of us is wrong, guess which one.
Clerk: I guess we’ll just keep it then. (He turns around shaking his head and goes back in the store.)
Clerk Story Number Three:
I went to the Kroger Pharmacy to pick up a prescription for my wife on the 9th of the month. I told the clerk I had a pickup and gave the clerk my name.
Clerk: We weren’t able to fill it because you’re out of refills.
Me: When was the last time it was filled.
Clerk: On the 9th of this month.
Me: What’s today?
Clerk: The 9th.
Me: What does this suggest to you?
Clerk: That you’re out of refills.
Me: Could I speak to the pharmacist please?
Clerk: Sure (She goes to get the pharmacist, I tell him I’m here to pick up a prescription and give him my name, he goes over to the bin and gets me the prescription.
Clerk: Huh. I thought they were out of refills.
Clerk Story Number Four:
I have Twin girls and I had the Kroger bakery make the girls a cake. I stopped by and picked it up and was on the way to the checkout lane when one of the clerks who knows the Twins and I well, asked me who the cake was for.
Me: The Twins.
Clerk: Both of them?
Me: No, only the good one. I’m making the other one wait a month and won’t let her have any presents until then.
Clerk: That’ll teach her!
Just so clerks who are reading this know I’m not picking on them, us regular folks are not much better. I was at a community event and they had a blood donor booth. I give blood regularly and decided to donate while there. When I was finished, I was standing next to the snack table, gauze around my arm, wearing an “I Just Gave Blood” sticker, when a man walked up.
Man: Did you just give blood?
Me: Nope. I just got some.
Man: Good for you! (He nods and walks off.)
I didn’t have time to ask if he worked as a clerk.
Please share any clerk stories you may have. And for the record, I’m a recovering clerk.