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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!

    Finally Sees Cents

    | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Math & Science, Money, Theme Of The Month

    (The price of the fuel has gone up, from $0.537 cents per litre, to $0.539 cents per litre. We always change the outside signs BEFORE we change the price on the pump. A customer pulls up just as the price is changing. She fills her car with fuel and pays. She turns to leave, then looks at her receipt. She returns to the counter.)

    Customer: “Um, excuse me, but you have ripped me off. You have charged me the wrong price.”

    Me: I’m sorry? Let me take a look at the receipt.

    (I look at the receipt, and it clearly shows the price as being $0.539 cents per litre. She had purchased 25 litres.)

    Customer: “See, it’s the wrong price. You are rip-off merchants. You have stolen my money!”

    Me: “Ma’am, the price is correct, I’m unsure as to what you are referring.”

    Customer: “When I drove in, the pump said 53.7 and then you charge me 53.9 cents a litre! That’s extortion!”

    Me: “Well, actually the signs outside clearly indicate the price, and the pumps had just changed as you pulled up.”

    Customer: “So you admit it! You have ripped me off! I want to see the manager!”

    Me: “I am the manager, ma’am. For the inconvenience, I shall refund you the difference.”

    (I hand her the five cents.)

    Customer: “Seriously? I’m not stupid you know! It’s a lot more than just five cents!”

    Me: “Well, ma’am, you purchased 25 litres yes?”

    Customer: “Yes!”

    Me: “The price went from 53.7 CENTS a litre to 53.9 CENTS a litre?”

    Customer: “Yes!”

    Me: “So 25 multiplied by .2 of a cent equates to 5 cents.”

    (Red faced and obviously extremely mortified, the customer raced out of the store without so much as a ‘sorry!’)

    Summing Up Bad Parenting

    | USA | Extra Stupid, Family & Kids, Math & Science

    (I work at a small water park where it’s $5 for adults and $4 for kids. I’m working as the cashier at the ticket booth when a mom and her daughter walk up. The daughter can’t be more than seven or eight years old.)

    Me: “For the two of you it’s going to be $9.”

    Daughter: *with a HUGE smile on her face* “That’s $5 for mom and $4 for me!”

    Me: “Yes. You’re right! Good math!”

    Mom: *hands over the $9 in cash* “No, honey! It’s eight dollars! Four for me, and four for you. That’s eight, ugh!”

    (The mom storms in, mumbling something under her breath, while the girl’s smile vanishes.)

    Trying To Use Yards Is Too Much Of A Feet For Some

    | Gladstone, MO, USA | Crazy Requests, Home Improvement, Math & Science

    (I am picking up some fabric at a large craft store. I am waiting in line to have it cut. A very loud customer cuts in front of everyone to ask about a bolt of fabric she’s carrying.)

    Customer #1: “How much is this fabric?”

    Employee: “It’s $9.99 per yard, ma’am.”

    Customer #1: “I don’t want to know how much per yard. I want to know how much per foot!”

    Employee: “That would be a third of a yard. So, it would be $3.33.”

    Customer #1: “No! Not one third of a yard! ONE FOOT! How much per foot does it cost?!”

    (Another customer in line decides to interject.)

    Customer #2: “One third of a yard is a foot. Three feet make one yard. So it’s $3.33 per foot.”

    Customer #1: “Who asked you!? You don’t even work here! What do you f****** know?!”

    Employee: “Ma’am, please watch your language. Also, [Customer #2] is correct. Now if you’ll please take a number, I’ll help you when it’s your turn.”

    (Customer #1 throws the bolt of fabric on the counter.)

    Customer #1: “I’ll need two five-foot pieces for my curtains. Exactly five foot. I measured twice!”

    Employee: “Ma’am, you need to take a number. All of these people were here before you.”

    (All the other customers agree that the employee should just go ahead and help the customer so that she will leave.)

    Employee: “Okay. You want three and one third yards in two pieces. So, that would be one yard and .65 of a yard.”

    (The employee mumbles to herself as she tries to figure out how much the last .65 would be.)

    Customer #1: “No! I’m not paying for yards! I f****** want two pieces of fabric, five-feet long each! Why is that so hard for you to understand!?”

    Customer #2: “Because, you stupid cow, fabric is sold by the yard, not by the foot! So her measurements are by the yard. That’s how she has to price it. By the way, if your windows are exactly 5 ft tall, how are you going to hem them and run a curtain rod through them?”

    Customer: “I’m not going to sew them. Not that it’s any of your f****** business! I’m going to cut holes in them and run those little plastic rings through the holes.”

    (Sure enough, the customer has two packs of white plastic SHOWER rings in her cart, and a long pressure SHOWER rod.)

    Customer #2: “Those are for a shower curtains! But, sure; you do that. I’m sure it will look freaking spectacular with your ghetto neon purple curtains.”

    (The employee starts unrolling the fabric and measures out the pieces. Then she folds it up and prints the label which she then pins to the fabric.)

    Customer #1: “ARGH! You’ve just f****** ruined it! Now it has a pinhole in it! I’m not paying for that! You cut me two new pieces and don’t put no d*** pins in it!”

    (At this, yet another customer feels the need to interject.)

    Customer #3: “Oh, my god, lady! There won’t be any holes in it! That’s fleece! They always put a pin in the label to hold it on there!”

    (The customer storms off, taking the fabric with her. As I’m as seamstress for a local renaissance festival, I’m in this store quite a lot. I witness the customer in there again three days later. She is complaining to a manager about the width of the fabric for her curtains, which now have holes cut in the top and those little shower rings put through.)

    Customer #1: “This fabric is not wide enough! She cut it the wrong way!”

    Manager: “Ma’am, first off we do not do returns on cut fabric unless it was not cut to your measurements. And second, that fabric was not cut in width, it was cut in length. It comes 45 inches wide on the bolt.”

    Customer #1: “Well, I don’t want it 45 inches wide. I want it wider! So it will hang right on the walls.”

    Manager: “Ma’am, as I’ve said, it only comes in 45 inches wide. I can’t help you with that. It was already cut, AND you’ve cut holes in it.”

    Customer #1: “No, no. The woman cut it sideways! I watched her do it! She just didn’t know what she was doing. She didn’t even know how to do feet, she wanted to do it in yards.”

    Me: *to the manager* “Miss, I saw the whole thing the other day. The employee definitely cut it properly, and exactly how this customer wanted it. And, yes, she measured it in feet after the customer insisted she do so.”

    Customer #1: “No one is f****** talking to you, b****!”

    Manager: “Ma’am, I’m going to have to ask you to leave. Please do not come back to this store. Ever!”

    Customer #1: “You’re f****** right, I’m not coming back! You pieces of s*** don’t know how to cut s*** properly!”

    (Customer #1 throws the fabric in the trash on the way out the door, while mumbling about employees with their head up their a**. The manager pulls the fabric out of the trash.)

    Manager: “Does anyone want three yards of neon purple fleece fabric with shower curtain rings!?”

    Please Turn Down The Gravity

    | Washington, DC, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Math & Science

    (I work as a courtesy clerk and bag boy at a grocery store. My state has recently started charging people for store-provided paper or plastic bags. Whenever possible, I try to fit all the customers’ items into the reusable bags that they give me. In this case, the customer only hands me one reusable canvas bag. I have just finished packing it as full as it will go, when the customer’s wife joins us at the register.)

    Customer’s Wife: “Oh, that bag is way too heavy. Neither of us will be able to lift it.”

    Me: “I’m sorry about that. Would you like me to get another bag and re-pack these items for you?”

    Customer’s Wife: “Yes, please.”

    (The customer’s wife hands me another reusable canvas bag. I finish bagging their groceries, distributing the items as evenly as I can between the two bags. I then put the bags into their shopping cart, to make room on the counter so that I can start bagging the next person’s items.)

    Customer’s Wife: “Oh, no. These bags are still too heavy. We still won’t be able to lift them.”

    Me: “I’m so sorry about that. I can get you some of the paper bags that the store provides, and help you re-bag your items again.”

    Customer’s Wife: “No, no. I don’t think we need any more bags. We just need these bags to be less heavy!”

    High Five Low Point

    | MD, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Math & Science, Money

    (A customer has come in to pick up some parts they ordered. They provided part numbers and quantities. He is looking through the items. The manufacturer sells some of their small parts in package quantities only, and we always let customers know when they have to buy a whole package.)

    Customer: “These five are individually packaged?”

    Me: “Yes. You ordered five.”

    Customer: “No. It’s supposed to be a pack of five.”

    Me: “So you needed twenty-five?”

    Customer: “I only need one, but they’re supposed to be $2 for a pack of five.”

    Me: “Well, since we can buy them individually, we sell them individually. They’re $2 each.”

    Customer: “But I don’t want five. I only need one. I only want to buy one if they’re individually packaged.”

    Me: “That’s fine.”

    (I take the others back and finish up the transaction. The customer intently looks over the receipt after I give it to him.)

    Customer: *in a mildly upset voice* “You charged me shipping and handling.”

    Me: “Yes. You ordered things we don’t keep in stock and we were charged to have them shipped in for you.”

    Customer: “Look, I don’t want to be that a**-hole customer and stand here and argue like a jack-a**. I just want to have a conversation.”

    Me: “Ok.”

    (I wait for him to keep talking.)

    Customer: “I just want to have a conversation.”

    Me: “Ok.”

    (Again, I wait for him to keep talking.)

    Customer: “Instead of getting all upset.”

    Me: “Ok.”

    (I still wait for him to keep talking.)

    Customer: “You charged me shipping and handling for something I didn’t even want. The one part was supposed to be $2 for a whole pack.”

    Me: “Well, you called me with the part numbers you wanted. Right?”

    Customer: “Yeah…”

    Me: “And you also told me the amount of each you wanted. Right?”

    Customer: “Yeah…”

    Me: “The pricing and availability on what you wanted was looked up before they were ordered. You were told the pricing, on each, and package quantities. I told you what the prices would be plus tax and shipping. We don’t know the exact shipping amount until the items arrive. I gave you the option of paying more for shipping to get them here faster, which you declined, because you said you weren’t in a hurry.”

    Customer: “I wasn’t told there would be shipping. The guy I talked to didn’t say anything about it. Nobody said anything about additional shipping and handling.”

    Me: “You talked to me. When I gave you the prices I told you they would be plus tax AND shipping. You told me to go ahead with the order using the slower, cheaper, shipping option. I was also able to combine your order with an order of parts we normally stock, so you were only charged for part of the total shipping.”

    Customer: “Uh, oh, well… um. Thanks for having a conversation with me.”

    (The customer takes a couple of steps away, then suddenly switches to a perturbed huff.)

    Customer: “I’m going to keep the extra shipping charges in mind the next time I need to find someplace to order parts.”

    Me: “You do that, and I’ll be keeping in mind your reluctance to pay for what you ordered and the shipping you approved.”


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