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    Extreme Foreign Interests

    | England, UK | At The Checkout, Geography, Language & Words

    (I suffered from a speech disorder as a child, and while I speak perfectly now, I have a slight twang in my voice. I’m on the checkout when a smartly-dressed customer approaches the till.)

    Me: “Hello! How are you today?”

    Customer: “…where are you from?”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “Where. Are. You. From?”

    Me: “Um, I’m local, if that’s what you mean.”

    Customer: “No, where were you born?”

    Me: “In [local hospital].”

    Customer: *sighs* “Where are your parents from?”

    Me: “They’re from [local town] and [local city].”

    Customer: *getting irate* “I just want you to tell me where you’re from! Explain your accent!”

    Me: “Oh! My accent! Yes, there’s an explanation for that; see when I was a kid—”

    Customer: “I don’t want to hear your life story! Why are you ashamed of your heritage? You are probably bringing shame to your family by denying them! I get that there are racists here, but you don’t need to deny who you are! I won’t judge you!”

    Me: “Sir, I don’t know what you want me to say.”

    Customer: “Tell me your parents were born in a different country!”

    Me: “Um… they were born in [other country]?”

    Customer: “Yes! See how easy that is? Why couldn’t you have just said that in the first place?!”

    (He grabs his bags and marches off. I turn to the next customer.)

    Me: “Afternoon!”

    Customer #2: “That was a lie, right?”

    Me: “Yep. How can I help you today?”

    How To Calm Upset Customers



    Common Sense Abhors A Vacuum

    | Vancouver, BC, Canada | Bizarre, Language & Words

    Customer: *whispering* “Faaaaaaahkew…”

    (I am slightly ticked off by this. I didn’t say or do anything to the customer for him to say ‘F*** you’ unprovoked.)

    Me: “What!? Say that again?!”

    Customer: *whispering* “Vhaaaaaaaaaakeeew…”

    Me: “Wait, are you asking where the vacuum cleaners are?”

    Customer: *nods*

    Me: “Right this way.”

    (Sometimes, you have to be patient with customers.)

    Socket To Him

    , | IA, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I take calls from customers about billing and any cable troubleshooting.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Cable Company]; how can I help you?”

    Customer: “Your cable has blown up my TV! All I have is a black screen. The TV won’t even turn on. Your equipment is cheap, and you’re a bad cable company!”

    Me: “Sir, let me see if I can help you.”

    Customer: “I don’t think so; you are all stupid!”

    Me: “I don’t see any outage reported in your area. Can you tell if your cable box has any lights on it?”

    Customer: “Yes, it has a red and yellow one. But you have blown up my f****** TV! You’ll have to pay for it.”

    Me: “Sir, can I have you pick up the remote and push the TV button, and then the power button?”

    (Note: If the TV is just turned off, this will turn it on.)

    Customer: “Nothing, I still have a black screen. This is a new TV. I spent good money on it!”

    Me: “I understand, sir. Let’s start with simple things and work our way up so maybe we won’t have to send a tech out.”

    Customer: “You’ll have to pay for my TV; that’s what you’ll do!”

    Me: “Are there any kind of lights or buttons lit up on your TV?”

    Customer: “No, you blew it up.”

    Me: “Can I have you just check to make sure it is still plugged in?”

    Customer: “I never unplugged it; of course it’s plugged in. But if it will make you happy…”

    (He sets the phone down and I hear him swearing in the background and the TV come on.)

    Customer: “Forget it. I’ll… fix it myself.” *click*

    They Are Gnat Worth The Trouble

    | Massapequa, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Money

    (I am working in a women’s clothing store. When an item is marked down, we put a red line through the barcode of the tag attached to the piece of clothing. A customer and her daughter in her 20s bring up a dress.)

    Customer: “Hi, we found this on the sale rack.”

    (I scan it. It comes up full price. Confused, I check the tag; there is a black line through the barcode, instead of a red one. Someone must have marked it down by accident, realized their mistake, and tried to correct it by drawing a black line over the red one, instead of just printing out a new tag for the dress. And then someone else misunderstood the black line and put it on the sale rack anyway.)

    Me: “Ah. Okay, so I’m afraid this is actually full price—”

    (The two customers’ eyes flash, and I know I’m in trouble.)

    Customer: “But this was on the sale rack.”

    Me: “I know. I’m so sorry for the confusion. I think what happened is, someone accidentally marked this down, but realized their mistake.” *I show her the tag* “See, we usually put a red line through it; this is black. It came up full price when I scanned it.”

    Customer: “Well, that’s false advertising!”

    Me: “No, no, it’s not. It was just a mistake someone else made when they put it back. I’m sorry about that.”

    (The customer and her daughter exchange a look.)

    Customer: “Well, it’s really your attitude that’s the problem.”

    Me: *flabbergasted* “What attitude? I’m just explaining what happened.”

    (The daughter laughs condescendingly.)

    Daughter: “Come on. We don’t have time for—” *she gestures at me with a flick of her wrist* “—this little gnat.”

    Me: “I was just—”

    (Another customer at the other register chimes in.)

    Other Customer: “It’s not you.”

    (We all look over. The other customer is looking through her pocketbook for her wallet, but it’s clear she’s talking to me.)

    Other Customer: “It’s not you.”

    (My customer and her daughter shut up. They leave the dress on the counter and walk away. My manager walks up, and I wonder if I’m in trouble.)

    Manager: “What was THAT all about?”

    Other Customer: “It wasn’t you. Seriously, they were really mean.”

    Manager: “Ah, okay. That’s what it sounded like. Don’t let them get to you.”

    (To the other customer, thanks for putting in the good word for me! It made me feel less like a gnat!)

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