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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    Category: Religion

    There’s nothing worse than a stupid customer than a stupid customer with a cause. If these people had a maker he would likely have filed them under ‘rejects’.

    On A Preaching (Hard) Drive

    , | UT, USA | Religion, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (This occurs in northern Utah in a city where the majority religion is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a.k.a.: “Mormons”), to which I belong, but this is a big enough city that Christian churches were quite common. A couple approaches me about buying a computer.)

    Me: “So, what do you need the computer to do for you?”

    Customer: “I need to make some presentations.”

    Me: “What kind? Business proposals? Slide shows? Videos?”

    Customer: “Well, I’m a preacher, and I need something to make presentations and project them onto the wall for my congregation so they can have some visual aids during my sermons.”

    Me: “Got it. Let me show you a few things.”

    (We discussed specs, capabilities, accessories, security software, productivity software, and we’re just getting to the service contract options when the conversation takes an abrupt turn.)

    Customer: “I just need to be sure it’s going to last a while. I have a small congregation right now, and we don’t have a lot of money. You see, I used to go to [Non-Denominational Christian Church] west of [City], but I didn’t like the pastor there, always lording over the people with what he thought was his authority and power. So I did some studying and started my own church.”

    Me: “…I see. And you want to make sure the people coming to worship with you understand the important parts of your sermons.”

    Customer: “Yes. PowerPoint will help.”

    Me: “I’m sure it could. Now—”

    Customer: “Do you have a church?”

    Me: “Well, I don’t HAVE a church, but I go to one.”

    Customer’s Wife: “Oh, good. It’s always nice to meet another Christian.”

    Customer: “What church do you go to?”

    (I state my religion and mention which building in town I usually attend services. I’m about to steer him back to the service contract conversation when his whole posture changes. His face turns a little red, his back stiffens, his hands curl as if about to form fists, and his eyes widen.)

    Customer: “You’re Mormon! Oh, Heaven help you! I preach the apostolic gospel of Paul as is written in The Bible. I left [Non-Denominational Christian Church] because [Pastor] refused to preach that gospel. Jesus declared that anyone who should preach anything other than the gospel of Paul will be cursed! That’s why I only preach from The Bible, and I only preach the apostolic gospel of Paul. You Mormons don’t even believe in The Bible!”

    Me: “Actually, we do, but I try not to discuss my religion at work. Now, would you be interest—”

    Customer: “No, you DON’T! You don’t even believe in Jesus! If you don’t give up your wickedness and become Christian and be saved, your soul will be destined for Hell. It is my duty, as a Christian and as a preacher and as a follower of Paul, to save your SOUL!”

    Me: “I’m quite happy with my faith, thank you. Now, if you’ll look at this flyer, you’ll see we have a variety of pricing options for the service contracts, if you want to get one, and—”

    Customer: “Here! Take my card! Come to my church! Save yourself! Let me save you!”

    (His wife clears her throat and interrupts to tell me which service contract they might be interested in but that they need some time to think about the whole purchase. She thanks me for my time and turns to go.)

    Customer: “It’s not too late! We meet in my living room every Sunday at 10:00 and every Wednesday at 7:00. Please come! Uh… Do you have a spec sheet for that second model?”

    (I send him on his way. I notice a few other customers staring at me and at the two customers as if we are some gory train-wreck spectacle. I turn to the one who has been waiting the longest.)

    Me: “Sir, are you here to save souls or to save money on a computer?”

    A Rested Development

    | Rapid City, SD, USA | Hotels & Lodging, Religion, Theme Of The Month

    (A guest due to check out comes to the front desk to extend her stay. It is a Sunday. I am not a Christian.)

    Guest: “Yes, I’d like to extend my stay one more night.”

    Me: “Okay, I just need your key cards, and I can re-make them for tonight.”

    Guest: “You know, we wanted to leave today, but it’s Sunday. It’s the Lord’s Day, the day of rest, so we’re doing as he commands.”

    Me: *blinking at this woman while rapidly coming up with a politically correct and professional answer* “There is no such thing as a day of rest in hospitality.”

    (The guest didn’t say another word while I took care of her reservation for another ‘day of rest.’)

    Assumptions Are The Devil

    | MO, USA | Bad Behavior, Religion, Theme Of The Month

    (I work in a sandwich shop. I’m working the front counter and taking an order from a couple in their 60s or 70s.)

    Customer: “What’s that you’re wearing?” *she points to my the Egyptian ankh I wear as a necklace*

    Me: “It’s an ankh. It’s an Egyptian symbol of life.”

    (Customer talks quietly to her husband for a moment then turns back to me.)

    Customer: “Do you think it gives you special powers?”

    Me: “No, I just like the symbol and life.”

    (Customer confers with her husband again then asks, deadly serious.)

    Customer: “So, do you worship the devil?”

    Me: “No. I also don’t insult people just because I don’t understand them.”

    Thankful For Diwali

    | Edmonton, AB, Canada | Crazy Requests, Religion, Theme Of The Month

    (I work customer service for a large Canadian grocery retailer. This exchange takes place just around Thanksgiving, when we had signs for Diwali and Halloween as well.)

    Customer: “Excuse me! What are these signs?”

    (She gestures to the purple signs above a display of flower which read ‘Happy Diwali’.)

    Me: “Those are signs for Diwali. It’s the Indian Festival of Lights, celebrated by a billion-plus people worldwide.”

    Customer: “Take it down.”

    Me: “…I’m sorry?”

    Customer: “Take it down. I don’t like it. How racist.”

    Me: “I assure you the holiday is not racist, as everyone is invited to participate if they would like to, and the deals we have for the holiday are applicable to all customers.”

    Customer: “But I don’t get to participate! I don’t like it. I want you to take it down.”

    Me: “Well, do you celebrate Thanksgiving?”

    Customer: “Yes. But these people are—”

    Me: “—These people may not celebrate Thanksgiving, or Halloween, or Christmas, and we are an equal opportunity employer, so we accommodate several cultures and their respective traditions. As well as Diwali, we market for Chinese New Year’s and Eid.

    Customer: “You must take this sign down, or I will be calling head office.”

    Me: “You can get their number at the customer service desk. Head office sent us these signs. They also wished their Indian employees a Happy Diwali. If you have any other questions, I’ll be happy to help; otherwise, I’m afraid we cannot continue this discussion.”

    Customer: “Fine! I’ll call them! I’ll be sure to give them your name, too!”

    Me: “That’s quite all right with me. My name is [distinctly North Indian name] and I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving. Happy Diwali, as well! “

    Tat Settles That

    | NC, USA | Religion, Theme Of The Month

    (I am standing in line behind a little old lady. I am covered in tattoos.)

    Cashier: “Your total is $8. Will that be cash or credit?”

    Little Old Lady: “I don’t have a credit card! And I only have $5 in cash!”

    Me: “Excuse me, ma’am, I have a few dollars you can borrow.” *holds out cash*

    Little Old Lady: *turns around and sees me* “NO! I WILL NOT TAKE MONEY FROM A DEVIL WORSHIPER LIKE YOU! And look! You are buying cigarettes! Your generation will ruin us!” *storms out without paying*

    Cashier: *to me* “She was buying tobacco and cigarettes!”

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