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    No Taxation Without Misinterpretation

    | Long Island, NY, USA | At The Checkout

    (A customer and her adult son come to my register with a case of water. Since some people forget, I explain that it’s the price shown plus five cents per plastic bottle per NY state law.)

    Customer: “There’s no tax on water in New York state!”

    Me: “It’s a tax on the plastic bottles, not the water.”

    Customer: “That’s only for soda.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but it’s all plastic bottles. Since you’re buying 24 bottles, it adds another $1.20.”

    Customer’s son: “I work in a supermarket. There’s no tax.”

    Customer: “Exactly! It’s only on soda because of the corn syrup!”

    Me: “I honestly don’t know what to tell you, except that I’m 100% positive it’s on the plastic. I can’t remove the tax.”

    Customer: “Fine! I won’t buy any, then!”

    A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Books

    | Texas, USA |

    Patron: “Do you have any magazines with pictures in them?”

    Me: “All of our magazines are against the back wall.”

    Patron: “No, the magazines that have the pictures and you have to figure out what it is.”

    Me: “Well, you can look on the back wall and see if—”

    Patron: “Just tell me where the books are, then.”

    (I point to the books, which take up the whole right side of the building.)

    Me: “The books are all in that side of the building.”

    Patron: “Well, just tell me where the books with pictures are.”

    Me: “Many books have pictures. You’re going to need a title.”

    Patron: “Never mind!” *walks away*

    Pretty Poor Flirting

    | Australia |

    Me: “I’m really sorry, but you’ve come through to the wrong area. This is grounds maintenance.”

    Customer: “But you’re too pretty to work in grounds maintenance.”

    Me: “Thank you. You’ll still need to go to the central building, on the other side of campus.”

    Customer: “But you’re too pretty! I should be doing your job; I’m much better suited.”

    Me: “I, um—”

    Customer: “You’re too PRETTY!”

    A Glitch In The Matrix

    | Somerville, MA, USA | At The Checkout

    Customer: “This is such a nice store you have here!”

    Me: “Why, thank you. We do our best to keep it neat.”

    (The customer places one of our reusable bags on the counter to purchase it. The bag she is holding has my store’s name on it, along with motifs associated with our name.)

    Customer: “These bags remind me so much of [my store's name].”

    Me: “That’s because—”

    Customer: “These bags are so cute, too! I wish I could get one from [my store's name]…”

    Ph.Duh

    | Nebraska, USA | Technology

    (Note: I’m doing tech support for a college professor.)

    Me: “Can I have you look at the lights on the modem?”

    Professor: “Yep, looking now.”

    (There’s a lengthy pause while I wait for him to look. After he doesn’t say anything for awhile, I decide to ask.)

    Me: “So, what are they doing?”

    Professor: “Oh! Let me go look…”

    (This goes on for another 15 minutes, where he doesn’t answer a single question I ask. I eventually manage to get him to plug a ethernet cable in, but it is still saying a cable is unplugged. He still will not not listen to me and goes on doing his own thing. Five minutes later…)

    Me: “What port is the ethernet cable plugged into?”

    Professor: “The only one it goes into.”

    Me: “And what is the other end plugged into?”

    Professor: “The computer…”

    Me: “And the other end?”

    Professor: “Well, it’s not plugged into anything.”

    (I try to keep my calm, despite being exasperated.)

    Me: “Can you plug that into the modem please?”

    Professor: “Well, now it works. So what did we do?”

    Me: “We plugged it in…”

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