[Image Description: Background is several triangles in a circle like a pie alternating from true red, scarlet and black. A robin is sitting on his perch looking to the right.
Top Text: “WISH CUSTOMER ‘HAPPY HOLIDAYS’”
Bottom Text: “GETS INTO RELIGIOUS ARGUMENT WITH YOU AT REGISTER”]
Former Grocery Store Robin here again.
So last year about 2 weeks before Christmas I was working as a cashier. And of course it’s the holiday season, so among the standard greeting and parting lines, our managers like us to wish our customers a happy holiday.
Now let me just say that some of the other cashiers say “Merry Christmas” outright, but I prefer “Happy Holidays” because there are plenty of people who shop at my store who don’t celebrate Christmas for a multitude of reasons and “Happy Holidays” is the best way to avoid that awkward “I don’t celebrate Christmas” moment. (Note - there are plenty of people who don’t celebrate ANY winter holidays, but management told us to say SOMETHING so I chose what I thought was the least controversial option.)
Of course something had to go wrong.
So this elderly woman gets in my line with her middle-aged son and she’s all pleasant and smiling and when I finished ringing her up and handed her her receipt I thanked her for shopping with us and I wished her a very happy holidays.
And she just stopped.
Her smile fell, and she glared at me, and she proceeded to spend the next 10 minutes yelling at me, about how it’s “Merry Christmas” and not “Happy Holidays” and how “there is no other holiday, because it’s Jesus’s birthday and that’s the only holiday ANYBODY should be celebrating” and “show some respect” and “you must be a satan worshiper” and “I can’t believe I got in the devil’s line”.
Meanwhile her son is looking at me apologetically but is making no move to stop her and I’m over here with a long ass line full of holiday shoppers and I’m about ready to punch this old bat.
Anyway, she finally calmed down and then tried to RETURN her $200+ purchase and by that point I’d had enough of her so I called my manager over and she dealt with the return at the register behind me, where THERE ENTIRE TIME I could here this lady going on about “devil worship”.
So then after that whole debacle my manager comes over and offers to take over for me on register while I go take a break. Before I can walk away, she starts ringing up the next customer in line (who only had one item) and she tells me that I should just say “Merry Christmas” from now on. Right after she said this to me, she handed the current customer his receipt and wished him a Merry Christmas.
“I don’t celebrate Christmas.”