(What you are about to read are true confessions from various former, and occasionally current employees in the industrial giant known as the hospitality industry. All names have been changed, as have most locations. What remains true are the stories of employees; the good, bad, ugly, heartwarming, heartbreaking, scary, action-packed and unique stories that only that industry could bring.)

 

I was a bagger at a location of a very popular grocery store when I was 17. Yes, I was somewhat of a constant slacker in my younger days as a teenager, but who wasn’t? Since it was a grocery store, it was only ridiculously busy during weekends and holidays. As much as I absolutely hated those busy times, the slow times couldn’t have been more fun. My co-workers and I spent much longer goofing off and pretending to stock groceries than actually being productive in any sense.

 

Easily the best and worst part of any retail or hospitality job, especially working in a grocery store, were the customers. By day, the customers would be pretty tame and mundane compared to the mixed bag of people that would come in during the nighttime. It was similar to a zombie movie where the zombies would become so much crazier and hostile at nighttime. Just, you know, with customers instead of walkers. Sorry, I’m a huge Walking Dead fan.

 

Honestly though, the customers were on every side of the spectrum with how friendly or hostile they were. Once, for no apparent reason, a middle-aged customer began to ramble on about how him and his wife used to smoke weed out of an eight-way bong. Not only was that very generous of him, I personally found that to be a very cute activity for a middle-aged couple to partake in.

 

Probably the craziest and most off putting nighttime customer interaction happened on the same day I was chewed out by my overly sensitive manager for using bad language in front of customers. Along with that, I wasn’t following the dress code in any way. Still, I went to work like nothing happened.

 

Towards the end of a rather mundane shift apart from the initial chewing out, a couple about in their late 30’s came to the register I was bagging at.

 

Coming up to the register, the woman in the couple in the couple already looked pissed off about something. I didn’t ask what was bothering her mostly because I didn’t care, but also because it was none of my business. I saw they had wedding rings but no children with them so I don’t know why she was so mad.

 

(MLB Shop)

Luckily, the guy was wearing a New York Yankees shirt. Because my father was from Long Island, I grew up on the Yankees. Since this particular grocery store was huge on “making lasting impressions with customers”, I tried to strike up any conversation with this dude about the Yankees.

 

The conversation was very brief and only lasted a few seconds before a very rude interruption.

 

“Are you hitting on him?!” his wife yelled.

 

For some reason, this man’s very angry wife was accusing me of hitting on him based on the seconds-long conversation I had with him.

 

Also, I’m a heterosexual male. I very pro-LGBT and gay rights, but I myself am straight.

 

The lady could’ve stopped it there. But no, she wanted to continue this insane exchange. She then went up to the very same manager who chewed me out earlier that day and proceeded to tell him that I, a 17-year-old male teenager, was hitting on her husband. Now, given the amount of girls I flirted with there, even the manager knew I was straight.

 

As he looked over at the developing situation, I tried to non-verbally tell him that I had no idea what was happening and he seemed to understand.

 

The whole exchange was surreal and they left soon after. And no, I didn’t get in any sort of trouble for the whole “that kid is hitting on my husband” situation. Just, the whole exchange was like something out of Curb Your Enthusiasm or something.

 

Do you have your own stories of working in the hospitality industry? If so, Tweet me at @CaptainKasoff because I’d love to have a feature about it.