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  • This Round He Lost (In Translation), Part 4
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    Category: Technology

    The realm of Technical Support is there to provide expert assistance to those who are not so tech-savvy. Although they still expect you to know what a computer is, and how to turn it on, and to know that you can’t ‘fix the internet’ because it isn’t pretty enough. You have been warned…

    Making You Feel Washed Out

    | Maple Ridge, BC, Canada | Extra Stupid, Technology, Transportation

    (A customer has purchased a car wash.)

    Customer: “I’ve never done this here before. What do I do now?”

    Me: “Oh, it’s very simple. Just pull around to the entrance over there, and punch this code here into the keypad there. Then the red light will go green. Just drive in slowly until it turns red. It’ll wash your car, and when it goes green again you can go. Make sure you’ve rolled all the windows up before you go in.”

    Customer: “Wait, I go in on the… red?

    Me: “No, it’s just like a traffic light. Stop on the red, go on the green.”

    Customer: “So, I go in when it goes…?”

    Me: “When it turns green, yes. Just like a traffic light. Red means stop, green means go.”

    Customer: “What do I do when it’s red?”

    Me: “You stop. The brushes move around you, and when it’s done, the light will go green again, and you can go.”

    Customer: “So I stop on the red, and go on the green? No, wait, that’s not right…”

    Me: “No, that’s right. It’s JUST like a traffic light. When it turns green you drive in; when it turns red you stop.”

    Customer: “So, I… go in when it’s green?”

    Me: “Yup! Green means go. They both start with G’s, so it’s easy to remember.”

    Customer: “Oh, okay! So green means go. Okay! But then red means…?”

    Me: “Red means stop. Just like a traffic light.”

    (The customer goes, clutching her code and repeating ‘Green means go, red means stop’ under her breath. Sure enough, she runs into trouble, and we have to go out and help her. The worst part is that SHE DROVE HERE.)

    Price-Rise Of The Machines

    | OH, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Technology

    (We recently had a coupon printer installed that gives out coupons to customers. It says “Please take your coupon” whenever it prints.)

    Coupon printer: “Please take your coupon.”


    Me: “But… don’t you want your coupon? It’s good for 50 cents off a granola bar.”

    Customer: “I would rather pay full price than do anything a robot tell me to!”

    Grand Theft Innocence, Part 4

    | Overland Park, KS, USA | Family & Kids, Technology, Underaged

    (I am a customer browsing at a local game store, I witness an exchange between a mother and her young son, who appears to be about eight years old. The son is trying to get his mother to buy him a copy of ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’.)

    Son: “Mom, can we get this?”

    Mother: “I’m not getting you that game.”

    Son: “Pleeeaase?”

    Mother: “No, it’s too graphic.”

    Son: “It’s only 30 bucks!”

    Mother: “Is there violence?”

    Employee & I: “Yep.”

    Mother: “Is there shooting?”

    Employee & I: “Yep.”

    Mother: “Is there blood?”

    Employee & I: “Yep.”

    Mother: “Then I’m not getting it for you.”

    Son: “But I want it!”

    Mother: “No, because you’re going to go to Uncle and tell him about how I got you Call of Duty: Black Ops, and then I’m going to be in trouble.”

    Son: “I can just have Uncle turn the sound off the TV so I won’t hear any bad words.”

    Mother: “What does that have to do with anything? Honey, it’s not the bad words I’m worried about, it’s the violence and shooting and blood!”

    Son: “I swear I won’t tell Uncle!”

    Mother: “No, I’m not getting you that game!”

    Son: *sees ‘Grand Theft Auto IV’* “Can we get this?”

    Mother: “That doesn’t look like the one we have at the house. Sure, I’ll get that for you…”

    Grand Theft Innocence, Part 3
    Grand Theft Innocence, Part 2
    Grand Theft Innocence

    Technically They Should Be Embarrassed

    | Italy | Bigotry, Technology, Transportation

    (I’m a woman in her 20s, and I look quite young. A group of men in their 30s have come in, having booked a minivan for a trip to the Czech Republic.)

    Me: “…and here’s your rental agreement. It states that the car is a diesel, but please check yourself at the gas station, because the computer-provided data about the cars have been known to be wrong.”

    Customer: “Do you think I’m stupid? I’m a grown-up man for God’s sake!”

    Me: “Certainly not, but such mistakes happen more often you’d like to think. I’m only saying this to avoid you having to pay for any damages, or simply having a broken car in the middle of your trip.”

    Customer: “Well, you’re a girl, so I’m not surprised you don’t know that the type of fuel the car requires is written on the gas refilling hole. I’m not surprised you know nothing about cars; it’s a man thing and requires some technical knowledge.

    Me: “Okay then. Have a nice trip and be safe!”

    (The customers go out to the parking lot. I can see them fidgeting with the remote, and have some trouble just opening the car. Once inside, I see them pushing various buttons on the radio and still not driving out of the parking lot. After several minutes, the customer I’ve spoken with comes back in.)

    Me: “Is everything okay?”

    Customer: “…I can’t find the handbrake.”

    Lack of Register Does Not Register, Part 2

    | Flemington, NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I am a cashier at a retail store, keeping an eye on the self-checkout area. I am not supposed to ring up customers on the machines, only assist whenever there’s a problem. A woman comes up to me with a few items.)

    Customer: “Hi, you need to ring me up.”

    Me: “This is the self-checkout. The ladies over there would be happy to take you if you don’t want to use the machines.”

    Customer: “This is self-checkout?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Oh, I hate these self-check things. Can’t you just ring me up at that register there?”

    (She points at a computer monitor, lying on the floor near the garbage cans, with a large crack easily visible across the screen. I think she’s joking but realize she’s serious.)

    Me: “Um. No, I can’t, sorry. If you don’t want to use the self-checkout, the cashiers right behind us can—”

    Customer: “Why can’t you ring me up at that register?!”

    Me: “Well, because that’s not a register, ma’am.”

    Customer: “You don’t call that thing over there a register?”

    Me: “Nope, I call that a broken computer monitor.”

    Customer: “What’s the difference?”

    Lack of Register Does Not Register

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