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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!

    Didn’t Rock Her History Lessons

    | Crowsnest Pass, AB, Canada | Extra Stupid, Geography, History, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

    (I am currently serving a couple. We are the first restaurant that tourists heading west come to after passing through the largest rock slide in Canadian history.)

    Man: “That rock slide thing was incredible. Do you know anything about it?”

    Me: “Actually, yes I know quite a bit. The mountain fell one morning in 1903; 82 million tonnes of rock fell on the sleeping mining town below and killed almost 90 people. The town remains buried. There is an interpretive center where you can learn more if you would like.”

    Woman: “That’s okay dear; I do have one question though.”

    Me: “Sure, if I know the answer I would be happy to tell you something about the area.”

    Woman: “How did they make the rocks jump and miss the highway?”

    Me: “Um… well they didn’t. The slide happened in 1903. They put the highway in after, ma’am.”

    Woman: “Well I don’t understand; how did they do that?”

    (Thankfully at this point, I have to go and deal with some other customers. I can still hear her asking her husband as they leave, to explain it one more time.)

    Has No Propensity For History

    | Gettysburg, PA, USA | Extra Stupid, History, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

    (I’m working behind the register counter that has glass display cases of knives, wallets, etc. Some are engraved with CSA—Confederate States of America, and USA—for the Union.)

    Customer: *running up to the counter* “Oooh! Knives! Wait, what does ‘CSA’ mean?”

    Me: “It stands for ‘Confederate States of America.’ Did you want to have a look?”

    Customer: “No, I don’t want to buy. But, the Confederate states are the North, right?!”

    Me: “No, not at all… ”

    Customer: “Oh, oh well. But you know what’s strange? All these battles happened in national parks!”

    Me: “Uh…”

    Customer: “I guess that just made it easier to hide behind the monuments!”

    Me: “I have to get back to work; have a nice day.”

    (I get back to folding and stocking while the customer walks out with the smuggest look on their face, like they just gave me a history lesson.)

    She Has An Anachronic Case

    | New Zealand | Health & Body, History, Top

    (My mother is a schoolteacher. To celebrate the end of school, she and the other teachers have a party, of which the theme is anachronisms. My mother wears, among other things, a Greek toga and a top hat. During the party, she hurts her leg and phones me to help her get to the hospital. We finally get to see a doctor at two o’clock in the morning.)

    Doctor: “So, er… What’s the problem?”

    Mum: “I hurt my leg during a party.”

    (She shows him where it hurts, and the doctor feels around for a while.)

    Doctor: “How exactly did you do this?”

    Mum: “Well, the music came on, and I was so excited to start dancing that I jumped up, and suddenly my muscle went pop!”

    Doctor: “This is probably the most interesting accident we’ve had for a while. Will you take off your socks, please, so I can see better?”

    (My mother pulls them off to reveal her blackened toes, which she had coloured in before the party.)

    Doctor: “What’s that?”

    Mum: “Oh, don’t mind that. It’s just the bubonic plague.”

    (Later, as I am sitting in the waiting room while my mum has her leg bandaged, I hear the doctor saying she’d made his night!)

    They Don’t Know Jack

    | London, England UK | Extra Stupid, History, Movies & TV

    (While working at an artefact exhibit for the RMS Titanic, I am standing by a list of all passengers and crew on board. The list is broken down by class and survived or lost. )

    Customer: “This list is wrong. I can’t seem to find Rose’s or Jack’s name.”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “Rose DeWitt-Bukater, and Jack Dawson. I looked everywhere in the list, and they’re not there.”

    Me: “No, they wouldn’t be.”

    Customer: “Well that’s stupid. Rose should be in the first class list, and Jack should be in the third class. This is wrong.”

    Me: “Because they’re not real.”

    Customer: “No, I’m pretty sure they were.”

    Me: “And I’m definitely sure they were not.”

    Customer: “Well in the movie—”

    Me: “In the MOVIE, Rose gives them a fake name and tells them she’s in third class. She would be listed as Rose Dawson if she existed. And Jack won his ticket in the first ten minutes of the movie, so his name would have not been on a record anywhere, which the movie pointed out in the first five minutes. And it’s a movie.”

    Customer: “Next you’re going to tell me the Heart Of The Ocean is fake too!”

    Me: “Yes, I am.”

    Customer: “Then what did I spend £20 on? What a waste of money!”

    History Is Never Old News

    | Barrington, RI, USA | History, Technology, Top

    (I am working in the print department of an office-supply store. An older customer comes in with a folder of very old newspaper articles.)

    Customer: “Hello, young lady. I was just wondering if you could make some copies of these articles for me. They are getting old and I would like to preserve them.”

    Me: “Of course!”

    Customer: “Thank you very much. If you don’t mind, I’m going to go look around while you do this.”

    (I agree, and he hands me the articles. I can see that it is an article about a man who was killed during World War Two. In one of the articles, it shows a picture of the deceased man holding a baby. As the customer has requested, I make copies of the articles that are beginning to fray, rip, and yellow. After making the copies, I quickly laminate them in order to keep them really preserved. The customer comes back.)

    Me: “So you know, sir, I noticed that the articles you had were starting to rip, and I assumed that was why you were making the copies. When I finished the copies, I laminated them for you.”

    Customer: “I appreciate that young lady, but I can’t afford the lamination.”

    Me: “I like history, and I think historical documents are very important to keep. The lamination is free of charge!”

    (The customer begins to cry.)

    Me: “Sir, are you alright?”

    Customer: “Yes, yes. Do you see this baby in this picture? This was me when I was just a few days old. This was the only time my father ever held me before he died. This is all I have to remember him by, and you just helped me to keep them preserved so I can keep his memory alive. Miss, please… can I give you a hug?”

    Me: “Of course!”

    (He gives me the warmest hug I have ever experienced.)

    Customer: “Thank you, miss. You have no idea how happy you just made an old man.”

    (I am also crying, due to the joy I gave this customer by taking two seconds to laminate his articles. After pulling away from him, I notice that my manager is also beginning to cry.)

    Manager: “Sir, these copies are on the store. Have a nice day, and come see us if you ever need anything else.”

    (The customer leaves with a huge smile on his face, and my manager and I are both cheery for the rest of the day. When I arrive at work the next day, I find a small bouquet of flowers sitting on my desk with a note from the customer.)

    Note From The Customer: “I picked these flowers for you from my garden. They aren’t much, but I was hoping I could brighten your day as much as you brightened mine.”

    (I still have that note, along with one of the flowers that I kept and pressed in a scrap book. I will never forget that man, and the father he never knew.)

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