I work for a supermarket in the Fresh Fish department. I actually enjoy the job, most of the time that is, but everyone has horror stories. This was an amusing thing that happened shortly after I started the job.
So we had a sale on Whole Salmon at £4 a kilogram (around $2.50 for a pound, give or take for Americans). It was an incredibly good sale, and whenever the sale is on the department is absolutely rammed with customers. I don’t really mind as the day goes quicker and our sales go through the roof. The vast majority of customers don’t want the Salmon whole as it is, and ask for it filleting, which we are happy to offer and do for them even if it takes a bit longer. I was just about to go for my lunch, but as we had a lot of orders for whole salmon that needed filleting I decided I would stay for longer and help my colleagues get through it. In comes a customer who looks absolutely bewildered, lets call him AB.
Me: Hello Sir, how may I help you today?
AB: The whole salmon, how much is it?
Me: It is on special offer at £4 per kilogramme.
AB: No, how much are THEY?!? I don’t work in kilogrammes. (Despite the fact that the retail sector has been using metric weights for over 30 years and the man didn’t look older than his 50s)
Me: Well it works out at under £2 per pound and they are each individually priced as you can see, they range from between £10 to £16 each depending on which one you want sir.
AB: Give me that one!
Me: Okay sir how would you like it? As it is whole or filleted?
AB: I would like it filleting… quickly please!
Me: I’ll try get through it as soon as I can sir, it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. Would you like me to pin bone it?
AB: I SAID FILLETING THANK YOU!!!
Me: No problem, I’ll have it ready for you as soon as possible.
The customer was being irate, but as it was a hot day I didn’t really think much of it as everyone seems to get more aggravated when the sun comes out. I quickly filleted the fish, not bothering to pin bone it as he stated he just wanted it filleting, bagged it up and left it in the back up chiller for when he came back to pick it up. He comes back, I gave it to him and he seemed happy enough. I didn’t think more of it and went for my lunch.
As I came back to the department after my lunch I barely had my apron on when he came rushing back to the department.
AB: There are bones in my fish!
ME: Well yes, you said you didn’t want it pin boning.
AB: CAN YOU REMOVE THEM! I’M NOT EATING MY FISH WITH BLOODY BONES.
ME: Sure thing, but in future when asked if you want it pin boning please reply yes.
AB: (muttering under his breath) …ohh, right.
So I pin bone the fish, but I notice it all crumbled up to the bottom of the bag and it is incredibly wet. My colleague is speaking to the absolutely bewildered customer, and he suddenly bursts out laughing. I’m not really listening to the conversation, but I finish pin-boning the fish and give it back to him and he looks rather embarrassed but thanks me really nicely, like a total mood change.
So I ask my colleague what they were talking about. Supposedly the customer had gone to the customer bathroom after he paid for his shopping, and dropped the salmon in the actual toilet by accident, and he ran the salmon fillets under the water in the sink to clean it as if that would magically get rid of all the bacteria.
This man had just dropped his salmon in the toilet, without telling me, and expected me to handle it again and use a clean surface to de-bone it. Cross contamination nightmare! Me and my colleague had a good chuckle as he got what he deserved.
And that is how I ended up spending the next hour disinfecting the hell out one of our work areas.
How these people manage in daily life is beyond me haha.