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  • Always Time For A Rhyme
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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!

    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.”

    He Must Be A Theorist

    | USA | Extra Stupid, Math & Science, Technology

    (I support the scientists in a large research building. I get a call from one of them.)

    Caller: “I need help removing my extended absence greeting from my voice mail.”

    Me: “Okay, to do that you need to login to your voicemail and select option 4.”

    Caller: “How do you do that?”

    Me: “You press 4.”

    Caller: “I don’t know how to do that. Can I get an onsite visit?”

    Me: “We can’t generate an onsite visit for this issue; however, if you go to our intranet site there is a chart with all the menu options.”

    Caller: “That’s too complicated.”

    Me: “…you’re a scientist with several Ph.D.’s.”

    Not Part Of The 99 Per Cent

    | Glendale, AZ, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Math & Science, Money

    (I’m currently working the front checkout and a man walks up to purchase his items, I scan all the items and bag them.)

    Me: “That will be $19.86.”

    Customer: “That’s way too much. You must have scanned it wrong.”

    Me: “No, everything is there.”

    (I then show him the screen so he can see.)

    Customer: “That can’t be right. If that is $5.00, and that is $3.00—”

    Me: “But it isn’t. They are $5.99 and $3.99—”

    Customer: “Hold on! Let me show you.”

    (The customer gets a pen and paper from my checkout and starts adding it up.)

    Customer: “See, $5.00 plus $3.00 plus $7.00 equals $15.00. It’s showing up wrong.”

    Me: “But it is $5.99, $3.99 and $7.99. It makes a difference.”

    (By now, several other customers are waiting, so I pull out a calculator to show him.)

    Me: “$5.99 plus $3.99 plus $7.99 plus sales tax comes out to $19.86.”

    Customer: “Well, you NEVER mentioned SALES TAX!”

    (The customer pays for the items and leaves. I begin helping the next customer in line.)

    Next Customer: “Well, that was dumb.”

    Retail Access Memory

    | Foley, AL, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Math & Science

    (I have an excellent memory. I work at a tool store and have memorized every model number. When customers walk up to the counter, I type in the numbers and give them the total before they put the items down. )

    Me: “That’ll be [total].”

    Customer: “How did you do that? You didn’t scan anything.”

    Coworker: “He’s ‘Rain Man.’ He has everything in this store memorized.”

    (The customer grabs a random saw blade from a nearby stack.)

    Customer: “What about this?”

    (I rattle off the price, UPC, and price with tax.)

    Customer: “Ha! That isn’t the model number.”

    Coworker: “Look at the barcode.”

    (The customer reads the 12-digit number, and is dumbfounded.)

    Me: “To be fair those things never scan. It’s one of the UPCs I have memorized.”

    Customer: “So… want to go Vegas?”

    (I’m now a network engineer and shock my coworkers constantly with how I have the entire network’s IP and subnets memorized. I earned the nickname ‘Rain Man’ again.)

    Quantifying Stupidity

    | Ann Arbor, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Math & Science

    (We have several self-checkout machines at our store, which I am in charge of. For certain produce, the machine will ask for a quantity.)

    Customer: “EXCUSE ME, MISS!”

    Me: “Yes?”

    Customer: “The machine isn’t working!”

    (I walk over and notice the machine is asking for a quantity. It says ‘enter the quantity’ both aloud and is also displayed on the screen.)

    Me: “Oh, it just wants to know the quantity.”

    (The customer stares at me blankly.)

    Me: “How many do you have?”

    Customer: “Ohhh!”

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