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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!

    Time Waits For No Chinaman

    | TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Math & Science, Time

    (An older customer approaches my cash register.)

    Customer: “Did you know that all the reality TV shows you watch today are 35 years old?”

    (I look up to see if he was joking as some people with odd senses of humor come in my store. He isn’t.)

    Customer: “Yeah! Five years ago I created a virus that turned all the TV transponder clocks back 50 years to 2008. At my old house, I received a TV station from China that was all in English and they said that the year was 2100. If you believe that the year is actually 2014 you are sadly mistaken.”

    (I am still speechless. I don’t know if I should mention the inconsistencies in the time that it actually is or is not, so I just ring up his purchases. After the customer leaves, the next customer approaches.)

    Next Customer: “It is kind of a scary thought that that man is allowed to operate a motor vehicle!”

    Me: “Yeah. I figured I shouldn’t tell him that I have actually lived in China and we pretty much agree on what year it is.”

    (The man’s purchases: two Neil Diamond cassette tapes easily over 30 years old. Maybe he was stocking up for the next time he releases the virus again!)

    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 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.”

    I Am More Than The Sum

    | UK | At The Checkout, Math & Science, School

    (I’m working a register during the busy Christmas season. I’m coming towards the end of a 12-hour shift when a man comes to my till.)

    Me: “Okay, sir. That will be [price].”

    Customer: “Can I pay part with cash and the rest on my card?”

    Me: “Yes, that’s fine. I’ll have to process the card first, so how much do you have in cash?”

    Customer: “[Amount].”

    Me: “Okay. That’ll be…”

    (I try to work out how much remains after subtracting his cash from the price, but my brain is just fried and I can’t think.)

    Me: “That’ll be… erm…”

    Customer: *sighs angrily* “It’ll be [other amount] on my card!”

    Me: “Right you are, sir. Sorry about that. It’s been a long day.”

    Customer: *mumbles about me being an idiot*

    (Once the customer has paid, he goes to leave. Suddenly, he turns back to me.)

    Customer: “You know, you are useless. Can’t even do simple calculations without needing a calculator. No wonder you’re working in a shop!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I’m coming to the end of a long shift of overtime, due to the busy season. Plus I’m a little tired after being up all night studying for my post grad molecular and microbiology final tomorrow. I hope you’ll understand.”

    (The customer went red and shut his mouth quickly. He ran off without so much as an apology!)

    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!’)

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