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    Still Staying Strong

    | Long Island, NY, USA |

    (My area was hit hard by Sandy. Way too many of my friends and family have lost their homes and/or personal belongings. None of us, including myself, even have gas in our tanks or electricity. It is two days after the storm. Nevertheless, I am on the phone with a customer.)

    Customer: *over the phone* “Excuse me, but I tried to get a refund over the phone for products I purchased on Sunday, and you guys never answered.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, we’ve been closed for a couple days because of the storm. We will try our best to get to you as soon as we possibly can.”

    Customer: “So, when did you reopen? You’re there now, aren’t you? Why did you not contact me?”

    Me: “We reopened today, but our manager is unfortunately draining water from our other store right now, so he will be unable to contact you until early tomorrow.”

    Customer: “But I emailed you Sunday night! I want you to refund me my money!”

    Me: “Have you returned the products to the store Sunday or today?”

    Customer: “Are you kidding?! I don’t have gas to come there with the products.”

    Me: “Unfortunately, I cannot refund you until I physically have the products and a manager here, and since unfortunately he is busy due to the hurricane, it will be a few days until I can help you.”

    Customer: *starts cursing me out* “How dare you not be open the last few days? Do you know what it’s been like for me?! I haven’t had electricity for the last 24 hours! I only got it back today! And you won’t return my products for me?! And you talk too fast, slow down! Tell me your name right now! I’m going to get you fired! This is ridiculous! I lost my power!”

    (I hung up the phone right in her face. Normally, I’m not so rude, but I had no patience that day. I have taken off of work every day since to volunteer at shelters for free, meeting the most humble people who have lost their entire homes and everything they own, and they are still so polite and grateful. I love NY so much. Stay strong, beautiful people!)

    Editor’s note: Although this story tells the lighter side of things, the devastation caused by Sandy is very serious. Click here to visit FEMA’s dedicated Sandy page and learn how you can donate and volunteer.

    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 12

    | Toronto, ON, Canada |

    (I am at the local library, checking out Bram Stoker’s Dracula. A teenage girl barges up to the desk with the entire Twilight collection in her arms.)

    Me: “Hey, I was checking—”

    Girl: *completely ignoring me* “I would like to check these out!”

    Librarian: “Please wait in line, miss.”

    Girl: “Are you refusing me service?”

    Librarian: “No, ma’am. How can I help you?”

    Girl: “I really love these books! This is, like, the fifth time I’ve read them!”

    Librarian: “Perhaps I could interest you in other vampire related materials?”

    Girl: “Oh, my god! There’s more?”

    (I’m really angry at this point and interject, since the girl is oblivious to the fact she cut in front of me.)

    Me: “Yes, there are. However, no other book that has anything to do with vampires is as loaded with useless Mary Sues as that mountain of garbage you oh so adore.”

    Girl: *completely clueless* “What do you mean? These books are great!”

    Me: *points at cover of Dracula’* “This guy is a vampire.”

    Girl: “No he’s not! He’s way too ugly!”

    Me: “Yes, he is a vampire. Vampires, as they should be, are hideous predators that only seek to feed on humanity. The so called vegetarianism’ that is present in Twilight offers no sustenance to a vampire. Also, when they go out in the daylight, they burn, not take a bath in a vat of rhinestones.”

    Librarian: “He does have a point there.”

    Girl: “That’s disgusting! Who would want a vampire like that?”

    (She storms out of the library with the Magnum Opus of snowflakes in her book bag.)

    Related:
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 11
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 10
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 9
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 8
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 7
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 6
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 5
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 4
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 3
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 2
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy

    A Time Sheet To Every Purpose

    | MN, USA |

    (I work at a large grocery store in the bakery department in a town that gets a lot of tourists. I am leaving the bathroom when I am met by a customer.)

    Customer: “Oh, good. You are here to clean the bathrooms. They really need to be done.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I don’t clean the bathrooms. If you would like, I could get someone from maintenance to clean them for you.”

    Customer: “No. You work here in this store. You clean the bathrooms.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. I work in the bakery department. I don’t clean the bathrooms, but I can get someone who does it to clean them for you.”

    Customer: “No, you should. You work here. You clean them.”

    Me: “Ma’am, what do you do for work?”

    Customer: “I’m an accountant.” *looks rather proud of herself*

    Me: “Do you clean the bathrooms there?”

    Customer: *scoffs and walks off in a huff*

    A Storm Of Protest

    | Seattle, WA, USA |

    (I work at a call center for a large online distributor of high-end lighting.)

    Me: “Thanks for calling [company], this is [name]. How can I help you today?”

    Customer: “Hi, I was wondering where my shipment was.”

    Me: “Okay, if you give me your order number, I can check on that for you.”

    Customer: “I don’t have my d*** order number! Can’t you just look it up by my name?”

    Me: “Unfortunately, since we have customers all over the country, I can’t look you up by just your name. I can try your email address, however.”

    Customer: “Oh, okay! It’s [email].”

    Me: “Okay, give me just a moment to pull that up.”

    Customer: “Thanks. I’m really frustrated because this d*** thing was supposed to arrive yesterday and it’s still not here yet.”

    (I pull up her order. The tracking information for her shipment says that it is being delayed because of the hurricane. I check her information: she is located in New York, a few miles outside of New York City.)

    Me: “I’m sorry for the delay in shipment, but it seems that delivery to your area is on hold because of the hurricane.”

    Customer: “What? The hurricane was last night. Is my furniture coming today?”

    Me: “Unfortunately, the shipping company is going to have a hard time getting to your area because of the hurricane.”

    Customer: “What the f***?! How is that my problem? I paid for the d*** furniture, and I want it to be delivered on time!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but have you seen the news for your area?”

    Customer: “Well, duh! Everyone’s talking about the d*** hurricane!”

    Me: “Well, ma’am, would you want to be out driving right now?”

    Customer: “Of course not! It’s awful out there!”

    Me: “But you expect the delivery company to be able to get to you?”

    Customer: *silence*

    Me: “They will be out for delivery as soon as everything is cleaned up.”

    Customer: *click*

    Editor’s note: Although this story tells the lighter side of things, the devastation caused by Sandy is very serious. Click here to visit FEMA’s dedicated Sandy page and learn how you can donate and volunteer.

    Age Before Snooty

    | MA, USA |

    (I am dealing with a bratty 15-year-old girl, who’s dissatisfied with her caricature that my coworker drew of her. She’s obnoxiously making a big scene in front of a crowd.)

    Me: “We can have another artist redraw it for you if you’d like.”

    Girl: “Whatever! You are all just jealous because you’re old!”

    Me: “Well, you’ll be our age someday.”

    Girl: “Not if I die young!”

    Me: *placidly* “We can only hope.”


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