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    The Engendered Confusion, Part 2

    | St. Paul, MN, USA | Bigotry, Family & Kids, Wild & Unruly

    (I’m in my hometown, babysitting my three-month-old nephew while my brother gets some much-needed sleep. I live on campus nearby, but because I look much younger than I am people tend to assume I’m still in high school. I’m picking up some groceries with my nephew when an older woman grabs my arm.)

    Older Woman: “You ought be be ashamed of yourself! How dare you!”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Older Woman: “Parading your little b*****d around like it’s no big deal to get pregnant and drop out!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I didn’t drop out. I—”

    Older Woman: “Don’t you lie to me, you stupid b****! I’ll have you thrown out of the store!”

    (My nephew begins to cry.)

    Older Woman: “See, look at what an incompetent mother you are! You’re just letting him cry without—”

    Me: “Listen, lady: I don’t know what your problem is, but making my nephew cry because you’re screaming at me is not okay. Even if he was my kid, do you really think it’s okay to yell at a stranger because they may or may not have made a choice you disagree with?”

    (As I say this, I can see the store manager, a close family friend, approach to see what the fuss is about.)

    Older Woman: “I can’t believe you! I’m going to get the manager and he’s going to teach you about respecting your elders, and maybe he’ll teach you to keep your legs closed!”

    Manager: “Don’t bother. You…” *points at her* “…get out of my store, NOW.”

    Older Woman: “I am a paying customer! You cannot—”

    Manager: “I can and I will, and unless you want the police to get involved, you’ll leave now.”

    Older Woman: “This little b****—”

    Manager: “—first of all, is a GUY, and second of all, is on the honor roll at [University], and third, is my son’s best friend and grandson’s babysitter.”

    (At this, the older woman turns red and leaves without buying anything. My nephew stops crying almost immediately.)

    Me: “Thanks, Mr. [Name].”

    Manager: “No problem, kiddo.” *grins* “It was kinda fun getting to yell at her. I’ve just got one question.”

    Me: “Yeah?”

    Manager: “Did she seriously think you were a teenage mother?”

    Me: *shrugs* “Some people…”

    Related:
    The Engendered Confusion

    Rage Against The Machine

    | Tempe, AZ, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. My name is [Name]. May I please get the phone number associated with the account you are calling about?”

    Caller: *enters phone number without saying anything*

    Me: “…I’m sorry; I need you to tell me the phone number, please.”

    Caller: *again enters the phone number without saying anything*

    Me: “…Hello. This is a live person, not the automated system. I need you to actually tell me the phone number, not enter it on the phone, please.”

    Caller: *to someone in the background* “It’s not working! Just hang up and we’ll try again.”

    Me: “Hello. I can hear you. I’m a live person, if you—”

    Caller: *click*

    Loss Prevention

    LP-MEME

    Best Left To His Own Company

    | Raleigh, NC, USA | Bizarre, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (A customer is trying to return a computer he has had for over six months.)

    Me: “Sorry, you can’t return it now, but we may be able to fix it. What’s wrong with it?”

    Customer: “It doesn’t get online anymore.”

    (I start working on the computer, and find the antivirus has expired and locked down the browser. This is a sneaky trick some antivirus software does to get you to renew.)

    Me: “I removed your expired AV. Your browser is working. You will need new AV.”

    Customer: “Awesome, that’s great. Hey do you have those cameras that go up high?”

    Me: “…Cameras that go up high?”

    Customer: “Yeah, like those.”

    (He points to the store’s security cameras.)

    Me: “Oh, security cameras? No, we don’t sell anything like that.”

    Customer: “But [Other Store] sells them.”

    Me: “Yes, sir, but we are a different company.”

    (As I answer him, the customer looks very strange; it’s as if he is no longer all there mentally. He begins muttering to himself.)

    Customer: “Different company? Diff-erent company… Different comp-any…”

    (The customer picks up his computer and walks off, all the while continuing to mutter and stare directly into the lights in the ceiling. After he leaves, my coworker speaks up.)

    Coworker: “…What just happened?”

    The Warranty Comes Warranted

    | Leicester, England, UK | Technology

    (A young customer comes wandering in during lunchtime, fiddling with the laptops on display.)

    Me: “Ma’am, can I help you?”

    Customer: “Oh, yes, please. I’d like to buy a laptop.”

    Me: “Certainly. What would you be using it for?”

    Customer: “Facebook, Skype, iTunes, and Civilisation IV. And typing, I guess.”

    (I show her a sturdy Dell.)

    Customer: “Excellent, I’ll take it. Does it come with a warranty?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am, Dell offers a standard one-year warranty.”

    Customer: “Uhm, would it be possible to get a… longer warranty?”

    Me: “We offer an additional three year full warranty for [amount] more.”

    Customer: “Does it cover… like… EVERYTHING? Like, maybe, falling down stairs, getting rolled over by suitcases, accidental cups of coffee?”

    Me: *trying not to laugh* “Yes, Ma’am. Everything.”

    Customer: *sighs, resigned* “I’ll have the full warranty. Something tells me I’ll need it!”

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