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    Category: Extra Stupid

    This site is full of Customers; their stupid and moronic exploits that make us laugh. But these gems contained within are for those special cases, the extra stupid, the ones that make you wonder how they have survived this long!

    Capitalizing On The Situation

    | Sydney, NSW, Australia | Extra Stupid, Language & Words

    (I work as a freelance editor. A regular client sends me a file to edit. I’m almost sure the client is dyslexic, because every sentence has a spelling or grammar error, and there’s never any consistency. Sometimes he will hyphenate phrases, other times he won’t. He often forgets to use proper punctuation and seems to randomly capitalise words.)

    Me: “Okay, I sent you that document back.”

    Client: “Sweet, got it.”

    Me: “Let me know if there’s anything wrong or you have questions.”

    (Often clients ask why whole sentences have been deleted or I’ve changed a word they really wanted to keep, even though it doesn’t mean what they think.)

    Client: “Um, you’ve changed the layout! I don’t want it like this!”

    Me: “How do you mean? I didn’t touch the layout.”

    Client: “It’s showing me two pages!”

    Me: “It was a two-page document.”

    Client: “No, it’s showing me two pages at once. Here, let me send you a screen shot.”

    (They send me a screen shot of the document.)

    Me: “Oh, it’s just displaying it as two up. Two pages side-by-side. I turned that on because I have a large monitor and it’s easier to work with two pages at once. You can turn it off by clicking on the percentage in the bottom left on the screen and selecting ‘one up.’”

    Client: “I can’t see it.”

    Me: “It’s just in the bottom left of the window, down the bottom next to the word count.”

    Client: “Oh, got it. That’s better.” *they pause* “What are all these dots and triangles everywhere?”

    Me: “Those show where I made changes. You asked me to track changes so you could see what amendments I’d made.”

    Client: “How do I get rid of them?”

    (I explain that they can either accept all the changes or do them manually, one-by-one. They accept all changes because there are too many to do one-by-one.)

    Client: “You’ve changed the formatting too.”

    Me: “Yes, it needed to make sense. You put paragraphs in the wrong places, and a good document doesn’t use all capitals because it tends to make people tense.”

    Client: “But it’s a marketing technique!”

    Me: “I’m an editor, not a marketing agent.”

    Client: “Put all the capitals back in.”

    Me: “With all due respect, you should have told me not to change them before you gave me the document. You said you wanted editing; I gave you editing. Next time tell me.”

    (I want to keep the client’s business. Even though he is a bit stingy, he does pay and it’s a good semi-reliable trickle if I need a bit of cash quickly.)

    Client: “You’ve also changed the capitals on some words that were meant to have capital letters.”

    Me: “I assure you, it is improper English to put those phrases in capitals. They’re not place names, product names, names of people, titles, or anything that needs capitals.”

    Client: “But it’s—”

    Me: “A marketing technique?”

    Client: “Yes.”

    Me: “Again, you should have told me not to change those.”

    Client: “You weren’t meant to change the capitals. You were only meant to edit the text.”

    Me: “That’s what an editor does. They make the text conform to English standards.”

    Client: “Well, don’t do it in future.”

    Me: “…okay.”

    Client: “I’ll fix it this time, but make sure you leave those things the way they are in future.”

    Me: “What if you capitalise one word in one sentence, but don’t capitalise it in another sentence.”

    Client: “How do you mean?”

    Me: “Well, in this part you capitalise the letter ‘A’. And in this other sentence, you don’t, but all the words around it are capitalised.”

    Client: “Well of course you fix it then.”

    Me: “So you want me to make sure the document uses consistently bad English?”

    Client: “It’s marketing. It’s not bad English.”

    Me: “So do I capitalise the second one, or put the first one in lower case?”

    Client: “You. Oh. Er. Um. How about you just leave that to me?”

    Me: “Sounds like a plan.”

    Foiled His Plans

    | OH, USA | Extra Stupid, Geography, Math & Science

    Customer: “I need some paint for my trailer.”

    Me: “Okay. What material is it made from? I’m assuming metal?”

    Customer: “No. It’s aluminum.”

    Me: “Aluminum is a kind of metal, sir.”

    Customer: “No, it isn’t! Aluminum doesn’t come from underground!”

    Needs To Return Up The River

    | IN, USA | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid

    Customer: “Hi. I’d like to exchange this book for this other one, please.”

    Me: “I’m happy to help. Was there a problem with the book you’re returning?”

    Customer: “No. It just wasn’t the right one.”

    Me: “All right. Do you have your receipt?”

    Customer: “No. I bought it online.”

    Me: “Oh, I see. May I have your name, please?”

    (The customer tells me her name and I pull up our store’s order records on the computer.)

    Me: “I’m sorry; I don’t see anything on our records under your name. Did you order the book on someone else’s account, perhaps?”

    Customer: “No. I definitely ordered it myself.”

    Me: “Hmm…”

    (I try everything I can think of to find a record of the transaction. After about five minutes of fruitless searching, the customer pipes up.)

    Customer: “Does it make a difference that I ordered it on Amazon?”

    Me: “…I’m sorry. What?”

    Customer: “I bought this on Amazon. I was kinda hoping you could just take this one that I got and give me this book off your shelves.”

    Me: “…No, ma’am. It doesn’t work like that.”

    Customer: “Why not? I come in with a book, I leave with a book. You lose a book and gain a book. It all works out in the end.”

    Me: “Ma’am, you have to actually buy a book from us to return it to us.”

    Customer: “Oh, really?”

    Cut This One Down To Size

    | Auckland, New Zealand | Extra Stupid, Language & Words

    (I work in a clothing store with the basic sizes, S, M, and L.)

    Me: “Can I help you with anything today?”

    Customer: “Yes, I’m wanting a plain top for my dad in ‘men’s.’”

    Me: “Certainly. What size were you looking for?”

    Customer: “Men’s.”

    Me: “Um, what size?”

    Customer: “Men’s!”

    Me: “Were you looking for a medium, by any chance?”

    Customer: “MEN’S! MEN’S! WHY DO I HAVE TO REPEAT MYSELF!?”

    (I head out the back and grab a medium anyway.)

    Me: “We have a ‘M’ here for you.”

    Customer: “SEE! That wasn’t so hard was it!?”

    Needs To Go Back To Square One

    | Rochester, NY, USA | Extra Stupid, Home Improvement, Math & Science

    Customer: “I’m looking for a square tablecloth. I need 52 by 52, but it doesn’t fit.”

    Me: “Hmm, well what’s the size of the table?”

    Customer: “Well, it’s 52 by 104.”

    Me: “So you’re looking for an oblong tablecloth?”

    Customer: “I could have sworn it was a square.”


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