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  • A Caffeinated Christmas Miracle
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  • Category: History

    Customers who don’t remember history are not only doomed to repeat it, but in some of these stories, to completely rewrite it!

    Never Listened In Or Outside Church

    | London, England, UK | History, Tourists/Travel

    (I work as a tour guide on an open top bus tour around London. My job is to tell tourists about the history of the city, and the landmarks that we pass.)

    Me: “… and as we continue along Fleet Street we’ll see one of the great landmarks of London coming into view, the wonderful dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral. St. Paul’s Cathedral is our next stop. St. Paul’s Cathedral was built after the great fire of London of 1666. St. Paul’s Cathedral stands 365 feet from the ground to the tip of the golden cross at the top of the dome, one foot for every day of the year.”

    Lady On The Bus: “What’s this building here?”

    Me: *pointing at St. Paul’s Cathedral* “This one?”

    Lady On The Bus: “Yes.”

    Me: *sighing* “The Sealife Aquarium.”

    Lady On The Bus: “The Sealife Aquarium?”

    Me: *shrugging* “Yeah, why not?”

    Lady On The Bus: “Thank you.”

    (She writes ‘Sealife Aquarium’ carefully on the bus tour map, next to the little picture of ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL, underneath the words ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL that are printed next to it.)

    Me: “Pleasure. Welcome aboard those joining us here at St. Paul’s Cathedral…”

    A Vast Ocean Of Ignorance

    | Newport, KY, USA | Extra Stupid, History, Pets & Animals

    (I’m an aquarium employee. As I’m standing in the coral reef tunnel, a few high school age kids walk up near me, looking up at the fish.)

    Me: “Good afternoon, guys! Enjoying the aquarium?”

    Teen #1: “Yeah…” *to his friends, pointing at the tank* “Hey, check out the puffer fish!”

    Teen #2: “Oh, cool!” *to me* “Does it ever puff up?”

    Me: “It’s pretty used to people, and there are no predators in there, so it wouldn’t puff itself up unless maybe a diver were to startle or threaten it in the tank.”

    Teen #1: “Can you startle it and make it puff up for us?”

    Me: *wondering how or why I would even do that* “No…”

    Teen #2: *suddenly forgetting the puffer and pointing instead at the cownose stingrays in the tank* “Hey! Isn’t that what killed Davy Crockett?”

    Teen #1, Teen #3, & Me: “What?!”

    Teen #2: “Isn’t that what killed Davy Crockett?”

    Me: “Uh… no. I’m pretty certain he died at the Alamo in the 19th century…” *thinks for a bit* “Did you mean Steve Irwin?”

    Teen #2: “Yeah! Same thing.”

    Me: “Not really…”

    Talking Like Crazy (Horse)

    | SC, USA | Extra Stupid, History

    (I work for a store that specializes in items made by different Native American tribes. A teenage girl comes in and starts looking around. She takes a few moments before turning to her friend and saying:)

    Customer: “I wish all the Native Americans weren’t dead. It’s sad that they’re all gone.”

    (I look over to my coworker, who happens to be Native American. My manager looks at my coworker.)

    Manager: *to my coworker* “Why don’t you go introduce yourself?”

    (The girl looked like she saw a ghost!)

    Unable To Think Independently

    | Ireland | Geography, History, Tourists/Travel

    (Years ago, I worked in an Internet cafe. We have an American tourist come in and check his email. His email doesn’t have a traditional webmail service. You have to connect through a special program and chose your location.)

    Customer: “I can’t connect. It’s not showing my mail.”

    Me: “I see what it is. You chose to use the UK access number.”

    Customer: “But I’m in the UK.”

    Me: “No, this is Ireland.”

    Customer: “But Ireland is part of the UK.”

    Me: “No, only the north is.”

    Customer: “But you all speak English.”

    Me: “Yes, but we are still a different country. It’s listed under the Republic of Ireland in the drop down menu.”

    Customer: “But that is part of the UK. People here are British right?”

    Me: “No. In America you had a war of independence in 1775 right?”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    Me: “So did we, in 1921. If we’re British, so are you.”

    The War On Terrorizing Customers

    | East Sussex, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bizarre, History

    (I, like many other Brits, like to wear a remembrance poppy through October and November. I work in an in-store bakery, inside a larger supermarket, where adornments are not usually permitted in case they fall off into our raw products. I have bought a remembrance poppy from the British Legion. I laminate the paper part to make it wipe-clean, and glue the stem to a safety pin, so it’s not likely to fall off my uniform. My manager gives me the go-ahead to wear it, and I am chuffed. Most customers who see it compliment me on work-proofing my poppy and being so keen to support the charity, however…)

    Customer: “Excuse me. What is THAT?!”

    Me: “What, sir?”

    Customer: That… that atrocity next to your name badge!”

    Me: “Sir, it’s a Remembrance Poppy, a charity symbol. To honour our war-dead and injured veterans.”

    Customer: “I know what it is, you blithering idiot! What have you done to it?”

    Me: “Sir, I customised it a little bit so it would be safe for me to wear in my work environment. Nobody else seems to mind. In fact, the poppy seller at the front of the store was telling me he wishes they’d make laminated or plastic poppies anyway.”

    Customer: “You’re defiling a religious symbol! You should be sued!”

    Me: “It has nothing to do with religion! It’s the emblem of a charity and a national symbol of remembrance. Plenty of people from all religions and countries lose their lives in the tragedy of warfare. I lost a friend in Afghanistan several years ago. Furthermore, once I have bought and paid for the poppy, it is my property to do with as I wish. Laminating it was not intended to be disrespectful, but rather the opposite.”

    Customer: “But—”          

    Me: “Can I ask you, sir, would you have reprimanded me for NOT wearing a poppy at all? I am quite young, after all. You might blame me and my generation for not caring about our veterans.”

    Customer: “Well, you young people can be quite disrespectful. I don’t approve of the means, but I guess I understand the motive.”

    Me: “So, can I actually help you, today, sir?”

    Customer: “Just think before you defile a religious symbol next time!” *walks away*

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