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  • Category: School

    Making Universal University Assumptions

    | USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, School

    (I am in college and working full-time as the receptionist for a car repair shop to pay my way. Because I don’t always have customers calling or coming in, the management allows me to bring my homework with me, provided I can put it down immediately when someone phones or comes in. I am 21 and look very young for my age. One older customer walks in and looks down at the book on the desk while I’m pulling her file.)

    Customer: “Does your teacher know you’re skipping class?”

    Me: “Well… this is just my homework. Now, about your car—”

    Customer: “What? High schools don’t have class at night. Is it even legal for you to be here?”

    Me: “Actually, I’m in college. I’m 21; I just look a lot younger than I am.”

    Customer: “Do not lie to me, young lady. You should be ashamed of yourself. Skipping class and lying. Does your manager know this?”

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I’m not in high school. And I’m working on my schoolwork here, so I’m obviously not trying to ditch schoolwork. Now, if I can get you to sign these papers here, we’ll get the estimator to come and—”

    Customer: “Nonsense! You’re just trying to get out of responsibility, and now that I’ve caught you, you’re trying to distract me by talking about my car! You young people dropping out of school is what is causing the economy issues we’re having!”

    (I quietly flip over the book to show her the cover, which lists the state university name, as well as a college-level class name.)

    Customer: “What forms did you need me to fill out?”

    Regrade The Service

    | NY, USA | Bad Behavior, Rude & Risque, School

    (I’m a high school student, and I work at my dad’s sports grill. I am bussing a table when I recognize an old middle school teacher. His friend then decides to strike up a conversation.)

    Friend: “Hey, cutie, can I buy you a drink?”

    Me: “Unfortunately, drinking on the job is prohibited. Also, I’m underage.”

    Friend: “Well.” *winks* “You don’t look underage.”

    Teacher: “I had her in eighth grade… three years ago.”

    Friend: *shrinking and turning red* “Oh…”

    Me: “Yeah…”

    Differing Degrees Of Snobbery

    | Memphis, TN, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, School

    (I’m a cashier at a small, high-end grocery store. One day, towards the end of my shift, a middle aged man and a girl, around 11 or 12, walk up. Note that I appear around five years younger than I actually am and took the cashier job out of necessity.)

    Me: “That’ll be $25.62, sir.”

    Customer: *ignoring the other customers waiting behind him* “Are you in school?”

    Me: “I… excuse me?”

    Customer: “Are. You. In. School?”

    Me: “Well, no, I already—”

    Customer: *talking to the girl* “See, this is why you gotta study hard! I don’t want you working some crap job because you didn’t go to college.”

    Me: “Um, sir? That’ll be $25.62.”

    Customer: *slams $30 into my hand*

    (I get his change and hand it to him along with his receipt. As the next person in line starts putting their items onto the counter, he stands in place and starts counting his change.)

    Customer: “You shorted me.”

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. How much did I give you?”

    Customer: “This is why you have to work a crap job like this! Because you can’t even count right!”

    Me: “Sir, I need to see how much I gave you so I can give you the right amount.”

    Customer: “You gave me $4.38.”

    Me: “…that’s right. It should be on your receipt.”

    Customer: “No, I need a five.”

    (I print out another copy of his receipt and show him that his change was correct. He stands there and argues with me, so I call over the manager to talk to him. The conversation takes a while, so when my next customers are done, I stroll over.)

    Manager: “I don’t know how else to tell you… that IS the amount you’re owed.”

    Customer: “No, it’s basic math! Can’t anyone here do basic math?”

    Me: “Here.” *I pull out my phone and show him on its calculator* “It all adds up to $30.”

    Customer: “What do you know?! You didn’t even go to school!”

    Manager: “I thought you went to [Well Known Private College]?”

    Me: “I did. I have a bachelor’s from there.”

    Customer: *stunned* “What? How? You’re a kid.”

    Me: “I’m 25, sir.”

    Customer: “Why didn’t you say so! I guess it’s okay, then.”

    (He and the girl finally exit.)

    Manager: “…that’s the kind of man who gives his credit card number to a prince of Nigeria.”

    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 15

    | Canberra, ACT, Australia | Extra Stupid, School

    (I am a PhD student. It is 7 pm on Friday night, and everyone is down at the pub, except for me. I have just come back from an experiment. To my great surprise one of my coworkers is still at her desk.)

    Me: “Oh, you’re still here.”

    Coworker: “I’m about to go. A guy called your phone just now, looking for Mr. ‘No-One-Who-Works-In-Our-Office.’”

    Me: “Huh. Must have got the wrong number.”

    Coworker: *suddenly looking pained* “I tried to tell him that. But it was really weird. He said he would call back in a few minutes, though. I think you better wait to speak to him. Anyway, I’m off. See you Monday!”

    (I get on with some paperwork. About 20 minutes later, the call comes.)

    Me: “Hello, this is room [Room Name]. You’re speaking to—”

    Caller: “Hello. Please pass me on to Mr [Name].”

    (I don’t recognize the name.)

    Me: “Ah, it is you! You called before. I’m afraid you got the wrong number—”

    Caller: “This is about my son. I want Mr. [Name] to send me the financial statements for his enrollment. It is a very urgent matter and I want them immediately.”

    Me: “Yes, I’m afraid you have the wrong number. There’s no person by that name in this office. I think my colleague was trying to tell you before—”

    Caller: “So, he is out? In that case, I will give you my son’s name and student number and you will tell Mr [Name] to telephone me as soon as he returns. My son’s name is—”

    Me: “I’m afraid I can’t do that for you. I have never heard of that person, so I wouldn’t be able to pass anything on to him. It sounds to me like you want to get admin or accounts or someone like that.”

    Caller: “That’s right. I am calling international accounts.”

    Me: “Erm, I’m afraid you’re not. This is one of the PhD offices. You have the wrong number. Actually, hang on, let me find the right number for you—”

    (I pull up the university search page to find the right number for him. I am quite new myself and know that it can be a confusing system, especially since it sounds like English is not the caller’s first language. Before I can get it for him, however, he starts shouting.)

    Caller: “How can I have the wrong number? HOW? I cannot understand how this can happen.”

    Me: “Maybe you wrote it down wrong? Or pressed the wrong button? I don’t know how because, well, I’m not you. But I’m trying to get the right one for you.”  

    Caller: “Mr [Name] told me to call this number. How can he tell me the wrong number? What sort of institution is this? It is completely unprofessional! This is how things are run in this country. Every time I call it is like this, some excuse to waste my time. I called only two minutes ago and was speaking to Mr [Name], and he told me to call this number back. He wouldn’t give me the wrong number. You are just trying to slack off work! You are lying so you don’t have to help me!”

    Me: “Erm, I don’t know what to say to you except that you definitely have it wrong somehow. There are only six people in this office and he’s not one of them. And you didn’t call this office two minutes ago because I was here and the phone didn’t ring. Unless you mean about 20 minutes ago, in which case you would have called [Coworker], who is a girl and is definitely not the guy you’re looking for. It sounds to me like you simply got the wrong number somehow. I’m sure he wouldn’t have given it to you deliberately, but maybe he made a mistake. It’s pretty easy to do.”

    Caller: “So, are refusing to help me?”

    Me: “I’m not sure that I can, really. But I’ve been trying to find the right number through the university website for you so—”

    Caller: “I don’t want to call again. You will write down my son’s name like I told you and find out about his accounts for me.”

    Me: “I beg your pardon?”

    Caller: “Write down his name and find out the information I want. Then call me back straight away as this is a very urgent matter. I will give you my phone number. I don’t want to call back here again. I am overseas and it is too expensive and have been wasting too much of my time and money already!”

    Me: “But they’re closed. It’s 7:30 on a Friday night! And—”

    Caller: “So do it on Monday morning! But do it first thing and call me as soon as possible.”

    Me: “And I don’t even work in accounts!”

    Caller: “What?”

    Me: “I don’t work there. There I do not work. Work there, I do not. I am a student. I am not responsible for helping you find out about your son. They don’t pay my wages. I don’t work in accounts! This is not an accounts office!”

    Caller: “You… don’t work for accounts?”

    Me: *relieved* “Yes! That’s what I’ve been trying to say!”

    Caller: “THEN WHY HAVE YOU BEEN WASTING MY TIME?!”

    (He hangs up. Another coworker walks in to find me still gaping at the receiver.)

    Coworker #2: “You look like you need a drink.”

    Me: “You have no idea.”

    Related:
    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 14
    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 13
    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 12

    Think They Are The Masters Race

    | FL, USA | Bigotry, Extra Stupid, School

    (I work in a call center for a large insurance company. My desk partner has just gotten a call from an extremely irate man. He is trying to find anything he can use to insult her. She is Filipino, but she was born in the US. She has no accent to speak of and a very American name.)

    Customer: “Are you even in America? Where are you located?”

    Coworker: “I’m in our Florida office, sir.”

    Customer: “Well at least you’re not some dot-head.”

    Coworker: “I’m sorry?”

    Customer: “Yeah, well, even if you ain’t foreign, you’re obviously an idiot working in a call center. I don’t have time to talk to some uneducated girl.”

    Coworker: “Actually, sir, in addition to having a license to process insurance policies, I have a Master’s degree. So unless you have a Doctorate, I’m certain I’ve had more education than you, and I’m more than qualified to help you.”

    Customer: “Oh… uh…”

    (He didn’t have much to say after that, and I just sat there cackling.)

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