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    The Power Of One

    | Boston, MA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

    (I work as front of house staff at a theater with multiple performance spaces. On this night we have three sold out shows in our building and an incredibly high volume of patrons in line for the box office and in line to get their tickets scanned. I am the only person scanning tickets at this point and I have developed a cluster of patrons around me, plus many more behind them. I realize that to proceed efficiently, I need more organization. I address my patron cluster:)

    Me: “It will really help me out if everyone can form one line please!”

    Woman In The Cluster: *as though this never would have occurred to her* “OH! Because you’re only one person!”

    Me: “…exactly.”

    Knocking The Wind Out Of Your Sails

    | Boston, MA, USA | Bizarre, History

    (I work in a museum that focuses on the history of a particular ship. One day, a visitor approaches me and asks me this question:)

    Visitor: “Excuse me, I have a question.”

    Me: “Sure!”

    Visitor: “When was the last time [Ship] had all of her sails out?”

    Me: “The last time she sailed under her own power was in August 2012 on the 200th anniversary of her victory with—”

    Visitor: “Yeah, but were ALL of her sails out?”

    Me: “Well, no, only a few of the main ones necessary for—”

    Visitor: “But I want to know when she had ALL her sails out like in this painting.” *gestures to nautical painting*

    Me: “Ah! I see. Actually, artists painted ships with full sails to heighten the drama of the painting. There would be very few occasions when a ship would literally have all of her sails out at once because different sails are used in different situations and angles of wind and—”

    Visitor: “Yeah, but WHEN was the LAST TIME she had ALL of her sails out?”

    Me: *pause* “I guess I don’t know exactly.”

    Visitor: *to his family* “Oh, she doesn’t know.”

    Half Agreeing To Half And Half

    | Seaside, FL, USA | Food & Drink, Spouses & Partners

    (I am joining my family for dinner when I overhear this exchange between my mother and our waiter:)

    Mom: “Can I have a cappuccino?”

    Waiter: “I am sorry, We do not have any.”

    Mom: “Do you have any green tea?”

    Waiter: “Yes, ma’am.”

    Mom: “Can I have that with vanilla?”

    Waiter: “We do not have any vanilla.”

    Mom: “Nothing vanilla.”

    Waiter: “Vanilla vodka.”

    Mom: “Peppermint? Gingerbread?”

    Waiter: “We do not have any flavorings.”

    Mom: “Any [Flavored Creamers]?”

    Waiter: “We have half and half.”

    Mom: “See, I did not want half and half.”

    (My father breaks his silence and speaks up and says to the waiter.)

    Dad: “Just say yes to whatever she says and bring her half and half.”

    Mom: “That works for me.”

    Those Books Can Be Killer To Finish

    | KY, USA | Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers, Books & Reading, History

    (I’m the customer in this situation:)

    Me: “I’m looking for a copy of Les Mis and I found several different copies from different publishers. What do you recommend?”

    Staff Member: “Well, it depends. Do you want a smaller-size copy that’d fit in your purse so you can take it anywhere?”

    Me: “Well… the print in those can get pretty tiny… Actually, I’m looking for a book hefty enough to kill someone with.”

    Staff Member: “…”

    Me: “Sorry.”

    Staff Member: “In that case, I suggest Tolstoy or Proust.”

    Unable To Make Contact

    | MD, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, School, Technology

    (I work in the IT Help Desk of a university.)

    Caller: “I’m calling about the homepage for the university.”

    Me: “Okay…”

    Caller: “It’s terrible! I can’t see any contact information on the page at all!”

    Me: “Is it [website URL]?”

    Caller: “I don’t know! I’m not on that site now!”

    Me: “Okay, can you tell me the URL to the site you’re having this issue with?”

    Caller: “No! Your homepage doesn’t have any contact information! It’s terrible!”

    Me: “Well, I’m on the [website URL], which is what our homepage is, and there is contact information at the bottom of the page.”

    Caller: “That’s not good enough! You don’t have contact information on the page!”

    Me: “Yes, we do. It’s at the bottom of the page.”

    Caller: “Well, I’m a Harvard graduate and as an educated person, I didn’t think to look down there, so obviously the page is terrible.”

    Me: “Okay, well, at the bottom of the page-”

    Caller: “You’re telling me there’s the information there but I didn’t see it?!”

    Me: “What I’m trying to say is that it has a place to comment on the page. If you click-”

    Caller: “I’m telling you about this!”

    Me: “Okay, but I don’t run the website. So, if you click-”

    Caller: “This is a business call! I will never call again! I’m just trying to tell you the website sucks!”

    Me: “Well, thanks for letting us know. Have a great day.”


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