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    Category: Musical Mayhem

    Music Stores, Concerts, Orchestra’s, none are safe from the stupidity of our very wrong customers, examples such as those searching for live recordings of Beethoven himself, to others who believe listening to Taylor Swift means you’re musically talented.

    Finally Singing To The Same Tune

    | NM, USA | Geography, Home Improvement, Musical Mayhem, Top

    (I’m a piano tuner in a sparsely populated area in the rural west. The phone rings.)

    Me: “Hello, [Name] piano service.”

    Caller: “Do you tune pianos?”

    Me: “Yes I do. I also do all kinds of repairs, as well as complete restorations. The only thing I don’t do is moving.”

    Caller: “Great! What’s the total cost for a tuning?”

    Me: “I need some more information to give you a price. Do you know how long since it’s been tuned?”

    Caller: “Well, we live on a ranch on long way from nowhere, and it’s been here since before 1900, so for sure at least that long. Our family has never spoken to a piano tuner before.”

    Me: “Wow! That’s a really long time! I’m honored! So, do all the keys go up and down, and does each key make a sound?”

    Caller: “Yes, we checked, and it actually doesn’t sound that bad. Out of tune of course but everything works.”

    Me: “Great! You mentioned being on a ranch. How far from [city I'm in] are you?”

    Caller: “We’re 25 miles outside of [town of 500 people, 200 miles away] on a gravel road that goes through a mountain pass. Well, actually, you have to cross the entire mountain range to get here. We own an entire valley.”

    (I look up their location on Google maps, calculate the driving fee, and give them a price for a service package.)

    Caller: “That’s a very fair price! Sold! But you don’t do the moving? Is there a mover you usually recommend?”

    Me: “Yes, I have a favorite mover. Wait. ‘The’ moving? I’m not sure I follow. Oh, you’re moving it somewhere else before I tune it? I could contact my mover, tell them your location, and get a price, and get back to you.”

    Caller: “Wait, what? Now I’m confused. We like your price on the tuning, but now we need to add the costs of the moves to know the total price?”

    Me: “Moves? You’re moving it more than once? Am I tuning it, then it gets moved, and I tune it again? Is this all at once, or separate jobs? Now I’m lost!”

    Caller: “Do you actually do this very often? We’d think you’d have the procedures and costs all worked out by now.”

    Me: “I’m so sorry, but I’m not following you at all. Let’s start over. Where is it getting moved TO?”

    Caller: “How would we know that? Are you being a smart-a**?”

    Me: “What?”

    Caller: “Where do you live?”

    Me: “Why would you need to know that? Are you threatening me?”

    Caller: “We DON’T need to know! And of COURSE we’re not threatening you! But YOU asked where it was getting moved to. For Christ’s sake!”

    Me: *lightbulb goes off* “You want to move the piano to where I am?”

    Caller: “Of course! How else are you going to tune it?”

    (I am in stunned silence. In my entire career, no one has ever thought they had to deliver the piano to ME to have it tuned, and then have it moved back to their house.)

    Caller: “Hello? Are you there?”

    Me: “Yes. I’m here. I see the misunderstanding now. Piano tuners always drive to where the piano is, no matter how far away, and tune the piano where it’s at. The piano does not have to be brought to me. Pianos are NEVER brought TO the tuner. Tuners always go TO the piano. The price I gave you includes me driving all the way out there to your ranch and back home, staying at a motel if I have to, gas, tax, the work I’ll do, everything is included. There’s no need for a mover at all.”

    (There is a prolonged silence before they continue.)

    Caller: “We’re really not as stupid as you probably think we are right now. Really. No one here has the slightest idea what a piano tuner does, or how they do it, or what it costs. We’ve just been raising cattle for five generations out here, see, and… oh Christ.”

    (I hear several people in the background start to laugh. I can’t help it and start laughing too. We’re all choking on laughter over the phone for at least a minute.)

    Caller: “That’s a h*** of a long drive, so how about we get the guesthouse ready so you can stay overnight? Is cash okay? Do you like steak? What would you like for breakfast? If you like fishing we have miles of private streams. Bring a friend if you want; nothing but room up here!”

    (I end up with more value in free-range gourmet steaks and wild trout packed in a huge ice chest, than my entire tuning package fee!)

    Nothing Like A Spoon To Stir Things Up

    | Manchester, NH, USA | Musical Mayhem, Rude & Risque, Top

    (An older gentleman enters the store with a young woman who might be his granddaughter. She pauses at a display near the door, while he approaches me. I’m standing next to one of our speaker displays, which is blasting a hit country-pop song.)

    Me: “Hi, welcome to [Store]!”

    Customer: “Hello there!”

    Me: *noticing he’s studying the speakers* “Are you interested in—”

    Customer: *deadpan* “This would be great spooning music.”

    (I’m completely shocked by this, and I don’t know how to respond. Before I can say anything, he pulls a pair of table spoons out of his shirt pocket and begins to play along with the music!)

    Customer: “Yeah! See? This is great!”

    (He calls over his granddaughter, and she pulls out a pair of spoons and starts to play, too! They have a five-minute jam session at the front of the store, and then spend 20 minutes happily chatting with my coworkers and me before making their purchases and leaving. It makes my day!)

    Singing To A Different Scripted Tune

    | UK | Musical Mayhem

    (I ring up my phone network provider to get my mobile phone contract renegotiated. Thanks to regulations in the UK, call center staff are told they must repeat themselves over and over again so the consumer understands what they’re signing up to. I get a little bored after hearing the same script for the fifth time.)

    Employee: “So, you understand that you’ll be getting 600 minutes—”

    Me: “DAAAAHHH DAH DAH DAH DAH DAH DAH, DAAAAAH DAH DAH DAH DAH DAH DAH, DAAAAAHHHH DAH DAH DAH DAH DAH DAH!”

    Employee: “1 gig of data—”

    Me: “DAAAAH DAH DAH DAH DAH DAH DAH!”

    Employee: “You have the right to—”

    Me: “DUUUH DUUUUH DUUUH DUUUUH!”

    Employee: “Contact us at any time if—”

    Me: “Do you ever feel like you’re repeating yourself? I’m sure I’ve heard this 12 times already.”

    Employee: “You have no idea.”

    Me: “Okay, I’ll just keep singing then.”

    Bird Brained, Part 8

    | Reading, England, UK | Crazy Requests, Musical Mayhem, Pets & Animals

    (I work in a small natural remedies shop. A customer comes in just as we are opening. We open early in the morning; birds are literally still singing outside. The customer browses around for a while, looking increasingly more irritated until stalking up to the counter.)

    Customer: “Excuse me?! Aren’t you going to do anything about those d*** birds? They won’t shut up.”

    Me: “Well, I’m sorry ma’am, but we can’t really do much about the birds; they’re out there singing every morning. Maybe you could come back a little later?”

    Customer: “I can’t come back later; I’ve got s*** to do today! Can’t you put on some music or something?”

    Me: *bemused* “Okay, I’ll see what’s behind the counter.”

    (I go to look through the store’s CDs, and try not to laugh.)

    Customer: *stomps foot* “Well?!”

    Me: “I’m sorry; it’s all sounds of nature type stuff.”

    Customer: “So put it on!”

    Me: “Ma’am, it’s bird noises.”

    Customer: *stares intently* “Put it on.”

    (She continues her shopping in peace and condescendingly asks me ‘isn’t that much better now?’ to the twin cacophony of singing birds in the background. Since then she’s come back every week at the same time, and I make sure I have the sounds of nature on hand when she does.)

    Related:
    Early Bird Brained
    Bird Brained
    Bird Brained, Part 2
    Bird Brained, Part 3
    Bird Brained, Part 4
    Bird Brained, Part 5
    Bird Brained, Part 6
    Bird Brained, Part 7

    You Can’t Stop The Music

    | USA | Musical Mayhem, Top, Wild & Unruly

    (I am 12 years old. A few years ago, my dad died. He was the main breadwinner of the house, so my mom is now supporting the family. As money is tight, I occasionally take my violin out and perform for tips to get a bit more. I have arrangements with a local convenience store, so they allow me to play right out front. I am playing, when a customer from the store storms up to me.)

    Customer: “What the f*** do you think you’re doing?”

    Me: “Um… I’m busking, sir.”

    Customer: “Cut that s*** out! There are people who need that money out there, unlike you!”

    Me: “Dude, I do need thi—”

    (The customer then grabs my violin, and smashes it repeatedly against the ground, the wood splintering until it’s a pile of demolished wood. I am on the verge of tears, before the employee who works in the store comes outside.)

    Employee: “What the f*** do you think you’re doing?”

    Customer: “This little s*** is stealing from people who really need money! He should be punished!”

    (The employee calls back into the store.)

    Employee: “Hey, call the cops!”

    (The customer shoves the employee to the ground, and kicks him in the ribs. A small crowd has gathered around us, when a tall man wearing a long black trench coat walks up.)

    Tall Man: “Hey, a**-hat! Pick on someone your own size!”

    (The two began to fight, throwing some punches around. Unfortunately, the customer who broke my violin knocks the wind out of the tall man. I have had enough, and I snap. I have been sitting, cradling the stem of my violin, but now I stand up.)

    Me: “Hey f***-face!”

    (The customer turns around, just in time to get a violin neck to the crotch. He collapses, not even making a sound. The cops arrive and arrest him. Later on, he is forced to pay a fine, and damages. I get a brand spanking new violin, and keep on busking. My family’s income is now stable, and everything’s fine, but I still cherish the memory of the tall man who came to my rescue. I never got his name, but thank you.)

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