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    Category: Math & Science

    Everyone needs basic math and science skills to survive. However, these customers were definitely sleeping their way through class!

    A Penny Saved Is A Penny Spurned

    | Freeport, ME, USA | At The Checkout, Math & Science, Money

    (I’m shopping in a store where they are currently running the following sale: Buy 1 item, get 10% off; Buy 2 items, get 20% off; and so on… all the way up to 50%. I’m buying two expensive items and realize that if I buy three cheap items as well, my total will be less then with the two items alone. I go up to the register and am second in line; the cashier is explaining the sale to a middle-aged customer.)

    Cashier #1: “If you buy three more items you can get 50% off. Why don’t you take a look at some of our cheaper items such as—”

    Customer: “Stop it right there! I only want these! That’s it!”

    Cashier #1: “Okay, but I would just like to mention that we have a sale—”

    Customer: “I told you no! If you say anything else, I’m just going to walk out and not buy anything!”

    Cashier #2: *to me* “I can help you right over here!”  

    (I go over to the other register when the customer turns to me.)

    Customer: “Don’t you hate all these add-ons? They’re always trying to get you to buy more!”

    Me: “Yes, that does happen sometimes, but the deal they’re having right now is great.”

    Customer: *under her breath* “Sucker…”

    (I ignore her comment. Almost simultaneously, both cashiers read out our respective totals.)

    Cashier #1: *to the customer* “Your total is $40.”

    Cashier #2: *to me* “Your total is $30.”

    Customer: “Wait a second!  What makes her so special?  How come I can’t get a discount?”

    Me: “Seriously?”

    Cashier #2: “Ma’am, she bought five items, so she gets 50% off of her total.”

    Cashier #1: “Yes, and since you only bought two items, your discount is 20%.”

    Customer: “Then how can I get 50% like her?”

    (The cashiers and I are grinning at each other and trying very hard not to laugh.)

    Cashier #1: “As I was trying to say before, if you buy three additional items, you will get 50% off of your total purchase.”

    Customer: “That makes absolutely no sense to me. Buy more… but less? That’s not mathematically possible!”

    (By this point I’ve paid for my things and start to walk away.)

    Customer: “I don’t know what witchcraft this is, but I don’t want any part of it! I’ll just pay for what I have!”

    Education Is Bacon For Granted

    | Virginia, USA | Extra Stupid, Math & Science, Pets & Animals

    (We are a college bookstore that sells fetal pigs that biology students must purchase and dissect for their labs. Students usually come in knowing whether they must purchase a male or female pig.)

    Student: “Hi, I need to buy a fetal pig.”

    Me: “No problem. Male or female?”

    Student: “What’s the difference?”

    Some Things Just Don’t Add Up, Part 8

    | Somerville, MA, USA | Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Math & Science, Money

    Customer: “Can I get two pounds of potato salad? The one on sale.”

    Me: “Sure thing!”

    (At our store, the salad containers come in three sizes. The largest one holds roughly two pounds of salad. I fill the large container for the her and it weighs slightly over two pounds. I print out the price label.)

    Customer: “Wait a second, you are ripping me off!”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Customer: “How the h*** can it be over 6 dollars? It’s on sale!”

    Me: “Ma’am, the salad is $2.99 a pound on sale. It’s slightly over two pounds, so that’s why it’s more than six dollars. Would you like me to take some salad out?”

    Customer: “Bulls***! It’s only $2.99 a pound. That’s just over two dollars a pound. How can it be that much?”

    Me: “Ma’am, ma’am… please, hear me out. It’s $2.99, right? That’s almost $3. If you add 3 and 3 together…”

    Customer: “Do I look stupid to you? You add $2.99 and $2.99…”

    (Suddenly, there is a look of realization in her eyes. She takes the salad from the counter and briskly turns away without saying another word.)

    Related:
    Some Things Just Don’t Add Up, Part 7
    Some Things Just Don’t Add Up, Part 6
    Some Things Just Don’t Add Up, Part 5
    Some Things Just Don’t Add Up, Part 4
    Some Things Just Don’t Add Up, Part 3
    Some Things Just Don’t Add Up, Part 2
    Some Things Just Don’t Add Up

    Paying Fool Price

    | NY, USA | Extra Stupid, Math & Science, Money

    Me: “…and your total comes to $10.28.”

    Customer: “No, it doesn’t. I bought two shirts.”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am, but today is a buy 1, get 1 free sale on all women’s apparel.”

    Customer: “Is this some sort of scheme? Because I’m not gonna pay unless I pay for both! I ain’t falling for no scheme!”

    Me: “Miss, I can assure you that today is a a buy 1, get 1 free sale.”

    Customer: *throws down a $20 and a $1 and storms out of the store*

    Water You, Dense

    , | Michigan, USA | Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Math & Science, Top

    (I’m working the front counter. A customer comes inside carrying one of our large cups of soda. She pushes past several other customers who are waiting in line and slams the cup down onto the counter.)

    Customer: “I just came through the drive-thru and they f***ed up my order yet again! It’s not that hard, so I don’t know why you idiots can’t handle it.”

    Me: “Sorry about that. What were you missing?”

    Customer: “Nothing! It’s my drink! I ordered a large Diet Coke with the ice on the bottom.”

    (She rips the lid off of the cup. As one would expect from any soda currently obeying the laws of physics, the ice is floating on the top.)

    Customer: “What does that look like to you?!”

    Me: “Well, it looks like the ice is floating on the top.”

    Customer: “Exactly! You’re going to dump this out and remake it, with the ice on the bottom this time!”

    Me: “I’m not sure that’s possible. Ice floats, ma’am. I can’t make it stay on the bottom of the cup.”

    Customer: “What are you talking about? Just put the ice in the bottom of the cup.”

    Me: “But when I fill it with soda, the ice is going to float up to the top anyway. It’s just how it works.”

    Customer: “You don’t know what you’re talking about. Just make it work.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, maybe I’m just not understanding you. If you could just show me over at the self-serve drink station, I can tell everyone else how to do it properly next time.”

    (The customer storms over to the station and empties her cup. She proceeds to fill the cup with ice, casting me smug looks over her shoulder, and then dispenses soda into the cup. When it is full, she looks down at the cup in disbelief. The customer dumps out her soda and makes another attempt. After three or four tries, she finally caps the cup again and walks out of the store, avoiding eye contact with me.)


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