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    Category: Time

    Doesn’t Live In The Real World

    | USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Time

    (I’m the manager of a watch store in a mall. I am taking care of some display work when a couple walks up to my kiosk.)

    Me: “Hi there! Is there anything I can help you find today?”

    Customer: “Hey. No, thanks. I think we’re just looking.”

    Me: “Okay, sounds good. Just let me know if you have any questions.”

    (I go back to my display work and the couple wanders around the booth. As they come closer to me I notice the man is looking confused. I’m about to ask him if there’s something I can clear up for him when he speaks up.)

    Customer: “Are any of these watches real?”

    Me: “I… What?”

    Customer: “These watches you’re selling. Are any of them real?”

    Me: “Yes, sir. All of my watches are 100% authentic time pieces.”

    (Meanwhile, his wife is snickering.)

    Customer: “No, I mean are any of these real gold?”

    Me: “I’m afraid not, sir. Seeing as I am in a kiosk in the middle of a mall, I do not have the security systems in place for me to sell genuine gold watches, which often start at several thousands of dollars.”

    Customer: “Oh, but what about this one right here? It looks like it would be a real gold watch.”

    Me: “No, sir. That watch is gold colored plating over base metal, mostly nickel. It runs $39.95.”

    Customer: “Oh. But are those real diamonds on it?”

    Me: “… No. I think they’re glass or plastic.”

    Customer: “You sure you don’t have anything real in the back?

    Me: “I’m a kiosk, sir. I don’t have a ‘back.’”

    Customer’s Wife: *outright laughing now* “I am so sorry. You have been so patient!”

    (She drags him away. A manager at the next store who has observed this and is in hysterics.)

    Me: “I give up. Are you hiring?”

    Very Slow To Register

    | NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Time

    (I’m heading to the only open checkout lane of a supermarket. A man in his mid-thirties, visibly in a rush and carrying only a single carton of milk, gets there only a moment after a little old lady carrying a basket with only two items in it.)

    Old Lady: “Don’t worry, young man. I’ll be done very quickly.”

    Man: *fidgeting* “No problem. Take your time.”

    (The cashier rings up both items. The old lady whips out a coupon.)

    Cashier: “I’m sorry, but this coupon is for a different brand of this item.”

    Lady: “Oh, dear. Can you send somebody to switch it out for me?”

    (It’s a few minutes before a stock-boy shows up with the correct brand. The man is getting more and more antsy and frustrated as he watches the cashier void the previous item and ring up the new one.)

    Cashier: “That’ll be [new total].”

    Old Lady: “Oh, dear. I almost forgot. I have another coupon here.”

    (It’s a manufacturer’s coupon. It doesn’t go through and takes a manager to come and help the cashier ring it in. By now the man’s face is turning red and he’s practically gnawing on his wallet out of frustration from waiting.)

    Cashier: “I’m so sorry, sir. We’re almost done.”

    Man: “Yep, no problem.”

    Cashier: *to old lady* “Okay, the total is [newest total].”

    Old Lady: *looking through her purse* “Oh, dear…” (A moment later she produces a checkbook.)

    Old Lady: “Who do I make it out to?”

    Man: *screaming* “God d*** it!”

    (With that, he hurls the carton of milk at a wall, where it explodes and sends milk cascading all over the wall and the front of the store.  The man storms out leaving a stream of profanity in his wake. We all watch this in stunned silence. A few moments later the old lady pulls her hand out of her pocket.)

    Old Lady: “Oh, never mind. Here’s a $5 bill. Had it all along! Silly me…”

    Needs To Give That Caller A High-Five

    | Hampshire, England, UK | Awesome Customers, Time

    (It’s about 4:45 pm. We have a strict rule about not taking yourself off the phone until 5 pm exactly. People still do, but it’s a gamble. The earlier you take yourself off, the more likely you are to get in trouble, but the longer you stay logged on as your coworkers log off, the more likely you are to get a call. Sure enough, my phone rings, but most calls are only 10 minutes to resolve so I don’t mind.)

    Me: “[Company] customer services. [Name] speaking. How can I help?”

    Customer: “Hi there. I was hoping you could tell me [very basic bit of information that's on his documents].”

    Me: “Of course!”

    (I answer.)

    Customer: “Excellent. Now, am I correct in thinking your offices close at 5 pm?”

    Me: “Yes, sir. That’s correct.”

    Customer: “Ah, I see. Now, tell me, honestly. Are you one of these companies that hang up on customers as soon as the clock strikes 5, or do you stay logged in until the last second to take calls?”

    Me: “Honestly? We’re a company of over 600 employees. I can’t speak for each individual. I can assure you, though, that I have never met a manager in this place who would tolerate someone hanging up on a customer to go home on time, and it’s certainly not something I would do.”

    Customer: “That’s good, dear. So, I was wondering if you could tell me…”

    (The customer then basically strikes up a conversation with me. Every few minutes, he asks me what the time is. As soon as the clock hits 5 pm, he bids me farewell and hangs up. He had phoned a 25p per minute phone number so he could help a random stranger get home on time.)

    Time Waits For No Chinaman

    | TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Math & Science, Time

    (An older customer approaches my cash register.)

    Customer: “Did you know that all the reality TV shows you watch today are 35 years old?”

    (I look up to see if he was joking as some people with odd senses of humor come in my store. He isn’t.)

    Customer: “Yeah! Five years ago I created a virus that turned all the TV transponder clocks back 50 years to 2008. At my old house, I received a TV station from China that was all in English and they said that the year was 2100. If you believe that the year is actually 2014 you are sadly mistaken.”

    (I am still speechless. I don’t know if I should mention the inconsistencies in the time that it actually is or is not, so I just ring up his purchases. After the customer leaves, the next customer approaches.)

    Next Customer: “It is kind of a scary thought that that man is allowed to operate a motor vehicle!”

    Me: “Yeah. I figured I shouldn’t tell him that I have actually lived in China and we pretty much agree on what year it is.”

    (The man’s purchases: two Neil Diamond cassette tapes easily over 30 years old. Maybe he was stocking up for the next time he releases the virus again!)

    Quick To Find Fault With Being Quick To Finding Fault

    | Manchester, England, UK | Bizarre, Time

    Me: “Hello. IT Help Desk. [My Name] speaking. How can I help?”

    Caller: “Yes. I logged a job the other day. It’s been resolved already, so I’d just like to close it.”

    (I proceed to take the reference number. I load the job up, thinking this will be a quick and easy call.)

    Me: “Okay. That’s all sorted for you. Is there anything else I can do for you today?”

    Caller: “Yes. I’d just like to ask. When I phoned the other day and logged this fault, someone came and fixed it five minutes later.”

    Me: “Well I’m… glad to hear that?”

    Caller: “No, but—why, when I wasted all that time trying to get through to you, did no one tell me it had already been logged?”

    Me: “Unfortunately, ma’am, we have a dozen staff taking hundreds of calls from thousands of users. If you tell us there’s a fault to log we can only take your word for it.”

    (This clearly wasn’t the right answer. The user gets more and more agitated.)

    Caller: “Yes, but, don’t you keep track of these things? Can’t you keep track of all these jobs? Why couldn’t someone have told me?”

    Me: “Ma’am, if you’d told us you didn’t know whether or not it was logged, we could’ve investigated. We could have spent time trying to ascertain if a call had already been made to us regarding the issue. We certainly couldn’t do that as a routine matter for every call we receive.”

    Caller: “I just don’t understand why the person I spoke to didn’t know! My time is very valuable. I’m a very busy person. I wasted a lot of time on that call!”

    (This goes back and forth for a while. We’re reaching the 10 minute mark.)

    Me: “I can only apologise again that we were unaware your fault had already been logged before you called. However, with all due respect, you didn’t know either. It is your printer. Also, even if we had told you, your complaint was about the length of time it took you to get through. It was time you would’ve wasted whether or not we logged your duplicate call. Finally, ma’am, your complaint is that you wasted your valuable time speaking to IT unnecessarily. Yet you’ve been going around in circles about this with me for 10 minutes now. I’m sorry, but I don’t know how else to answer your question. I am happy to hear that we were able to resolve your issue so quickly, though.”

    Caller: *click*

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