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Copy That, Not

| Pennsylvania, USA | Extra Stupid, Top

(I am showing a guy how to use the copier.)

Me: “Lift the lid from the front.”

Patron: *ignores me and keeps trying the side*

Me: “The front.”

Patron: *ignores*

(I reach over and lift it for him.)

Me: “That’s the front. Do you want me to make your copy for you?”

Patron: *ignores me again* “So, I put it like this?” *flops the thing down diagonal on the glass*

Me: “Which side do you want to copy?”

Patron: *silence*

Me: “Which side–”

Patron: “So, it’s a dime?”

Me: “Which–”

Patron: “A dime?”

Me: “Wait a sec. Which side do you want to copy?”

(A minute or two later.)

Me: “Press copy and press start.”

Patron: *stares at the machine*

Me: “Copy is the first button on the screen.”

Patron: *stares*

Me: “Just press copy.”

Patron: “Now?”

Me: “Yes. Okay, now press start. It’s the giant green button.”

Patron: *stares at the screen*

Me: “On the right, in the keypad.”

Patron: *stares*

Me: “On the right.”

Patron: *stares*

Me: “The right. It’s the only green one.”

Patron: *stares*

(I reach over and point.)

Me: “Press this button.”

Patron: “Now?”

Hopefully, This Experience Sinks In

| CA, USA | Top

(Note: I’m a lifeguard at a large waterpark. A guest approaches my station.)

Guest: “Being a lifeguard is soooo easy! I mean really, you just sit there all day and whistle at people.”

Me: “Excuse me, but I need to watch the water. I can’t really talk right now.”

Guest: “Ugh, you’re kidding me, right?! You’re not doing anything!”

(At this point, a coworker—also a lifeguard—speaks up.)

Coworker: “Listen, we get paid minimum wage to save lives. We are out here all day, everyday making sure people like you don’t drown. This job is hard because, honestly, we have to save people like you, okay?”

Guest: *defeated* “Oh. Sorry.”

(The guest slinks away. I found out that later in the day he had to be rescued.)

Who Needs Learnin’ When You Can Be Sun Burnin’, Part 2

| Livingston, NJ, USA | Family & Kids, Top

(I am helping a mother and her teenage son go through his summer reading list to find a book that will meet his requirement. I usually do this by working with the kid to find one that they’re genuinely interested in reading, but in this case, the mother keeps interrupting.)

Customer: “My god, look at how long all these books are!”

Me: *to the son* “You said you like mysteries, right? And Then There Were None is on your son’s reading list. I think you’d like it.”

Customer: *looking at the book* “It’s almost four hundred pages! How do you expect him to finish that thing?”

Me: “Well, he does have the whole summer.”

Customer: “Absolutely not! How can they expect him to read that much? It’s insane!”

Customer’s Son: *reading the back cover* “Mom, this actually sounds really good. There are ten people on an island and they start dying one by one.”

Customer: “Honey, you shouldn’t have to read that much. You’ll waste your whole summer! We want a book that’s under a hundred pages.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but none of these books are going to be under a hundred pages. I think the shortest one is about two hundred.”

Customer: “This is so ridiculous. How can they do this to him? Let’s pick a book from that rack over there. Those look much more manageable.”

Me: “Ma’am, that display is required reading for the local elementary school.”

Customer: “I don’t care what it is. We’re picking from there.”

Me: “None of those are on the reading list. Your son is going into tenth grade.”

Customer: “Well, these look like the books I would want to read. If I ever wanted to read, that is.”

Customer’s Son: “I think we should just get the one he recommended. It sounds awesome!”

Customer: “Forget it. You know what? We’re gonna drive by the school so I can complain to the principal. It’s ridiculous for them to expect you to read during the summer! That’s crazy!”

Who Needs Learnin’ When You Can Be Sun Burnin’

Detached From (Digital) Reality

, | Beltsville, MD, USA | Technology, Top

(I work for an online retail store. When customers send orders to addresses different from their card, we e-mail them a Word document form. This form requires they fill it out and e-mail it back to us.)

Customer: “I don’t understand. I’ve sent this form to you several times now.”

Me: “Sir, I saw your e-mail, but the form wasn’t attached to it.”

Customer: “Attached? How do you do that?”

Me: “What program or e-mail provider do you use?”

Customer: “I don’t know. I just write e-mails.”

Me: “Well, is your e-mail through Outlook, or is it something in a browser, like AOL, Yahoo, or Gmail?

Customer: “Yahoo.”

Me: “Okay. Well, you need to look for—”

Customer: “Hold up! I don’t even have my e-mail open. Why do I need to do this? I used your program and sent you the file.”

Me: “What program, sir?”

Customer: “Microsoft Office. And now it’s opening a bunch of files! 1, 2, 3, 4…20!”

Me: “Did you click on our file a bunch of times?”

Customer: “No! I just clicked on what you sent me! Your program is really stupid.”

Me: “Sir, that’s not our program. We sent you a document. The program to open it is someone else’s.”

Customer: “Well, your ‘document’ has a virus! There are 20 things on my screen now!”

Me: “It’s not a virus, sir. Just close those windows down, and we’ll start from scratch…”

Customer: *a few minutes later* “There. I filled out the form. You should have it.”

Me: “Sir, did you save it and attach it to the e-mail?”

Customer: “What do you mean? I filled it out! You should have it.”

Me: “You have to save it and attach it to the e-mail.”

Customer: “That’s stupid! Your program should just send it to you!”

Me: “Sir, again, that’s not our program. That is just a Word document that you save your information in.”

Customer: “You should use a program that just lets you fill it out and it sends the information.”

Me: “Sorry, our documents don’t do that.”

Customer: “This is ridiculously complicated. I’m about to cancel my order!”

Me: “If you wish to do that sir, it’s up to you.”

Customer: “I mean, how do you run your business? I have a Master’s in Computer Science! If I can’t figure this out, who could?!”

Whine Isn’t Gonna Get You Your Wine

| Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, UK | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Top

(I look young for my age and see no point in getting aggressive when asked for ID. However, the picture is old and has been refused before, so I try to get by without it. Alcohol is generally cheaper in Northern Ireland and I’m originally from a border town. This happens on a trip “up North” with friends from “the South”, AKA the Republic of Ireland.)

Cashier: *before scanning a bottle of wine in my basket* “Have you any ID?”

Me: “It’s out in the car somewhere, but I am 23.”

My Friend: “I can vouch for her. She is of age.”

Cashier: “Sorry, but I can’t let her without seeing ID. It’s store policy.”

My Friend: “Okay, then, I’ll pay for it.”

Cashier: “Can’t do that either. I’m sorry, but I’m just doing my job.”

Me: “It’s fine, really. It happens all the time. I’ll just get the groceries.”

Cashier: “I’m really sorry. Just we get a lot of young ones in trying to buy drinks.”

Me: “I know. I’m from [town just over the border]. We used to come up here all the time when we were younger.”

Cashier: “I feel terrible. Most people get angry, but you’re being so nice!”

Me: “It happens all the time; don’t worry! There’s no point getting angry; it’s your job to ask.”

(I go out to the car, get my passport, and make sure to go back through her lane.)

Me: “Back again! The picture’s old, but it is me, I promise!”

Cashier: *checks picture and DOB* “I’ll tell you now, when you’re my age, you’ll appreciate being asked! Thanks a million! It’s great to not be shouted at for once!”