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  • Talking At-At Cross Purposes
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    There’s No Time Like The Present

    | Raleigh, NC, USA |

    (I’m finishing a transaction for a supermarket customer; she’s just handed me her check but I notice an error.)

    Me: “Um, ma’am, if I could just have you fix this part right here–”

    Customer: “What’s wrong with it?”

    Me: “Well, this is 2009, ma’am.”

    Customer: “So what?”

    Me: “Well, you wrote the date as August 29, 3009, ma’am.”

    Customer: “I don’t understand what you’re telling me! I didn’t do anything wrong!”

    Me: “No, of course you didn’t. It was an honest mistake. If you just cross out the ’3′ in ’3009′ and write a ’2′ over it, that’ll do just fine.”

    Customer: “You know, every time I come in here I do EVERYTHING right! Every time! You’re the new girl! You think it’s coincidence that I suddenly start getting the year wrong?! Every time!”

    Not Thinking Outside The Box – Part 2

    | Ireland |

    (I’m on the phone with a customer who had returned an empty box with no tape to our video rental store.)

    Customer: “…I f***ing DID return that tape this morning!”

    Me: “Sorry, but you actually only returned an empty box.”

    (The customer continues yelling at me and calling me names. I patiently wait until he stops.

    Me: “Could you do me a small favour? Go over to your VCR and press the eject button.”

    (The customer curses me out again, but I hear him rest the phone down and then hear a VCR ejecting a tape. There is a silence, then the phone is picked up.)

    Customer: “Um…I’ll be round in ten minutes.”

    Not Thinking Outside The Box

    A Wing And A Praline Conveyor

    | Evans, GA, USA |

    Me: “Hello, how can I help you?”

    Caller: “Yes, my daughter is right outside her flight but they won’t let her on. She has a pet bird she’s taking with her as her carry-on, and I KNOW we have it cleared so she can do that!”

    Me: “Okay, ma’am, one moment while I pull up your daughter’s flight information.”

    (I look through the information, and it’s all there. She has permission to take the little pet bird onto the plane as long as she keeps it in her lap. Curious about what the issue could be, I call up the person at the desk at her flight. After a moment of talking, I return to the caller on the phone.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I found out what the problem is.”

    Caller: “There shouldn’t be a problem! My daughter has permission to take her bird on the plane with her!”

    Me: “Ma’am, you can’t take a pet bird on a plane in a cookie jar…”

    Age Is But A (Phone) Number

    | Reynoldsburg, OH, USA |

    (Note: I’m dealing with a male customer in his forties or fifties at the checkout stand.)

    Me: “Do you have a rewards card?”

    Customer: “Yeah, but I don’t have it with me.”

    Me: “That’s perfectly fine. Can I have your phone number?”

    Customer: “Uh…can I ask you a personal question?”

    Me: “Sure?”

    Customer: “How old are you?”

    Me: “I’m seventeen.”

    Customer: “Awesome! I’m gonna go home and tell my wife a seventeen year old asked for my number. Thanks!”

    Also seen on: Not Always Romantic

    Not Responsible For Lost Or Eaten Children

    | Brookfield, IL, USA |

    (Our zoo recently put several robotic dinosaurs in the park to help boost attendance. While working a snack stand, a family of three walks up to me.)

    Father: “Excuse me, sir?”

    Me: “Yes, how can I help you?”

    Father: “Are the dinosaurs real?”

    Me: “No, sir. They are not.”

    Father: “But we saw them move…”

    Me: “They are robotic dinosaurs. They have parts to make them move a little.”

    Father: “Then why are they in the zoo if they are not real?”

    Me: “It’s to teach our guests about dinosaurs.”

    Son: “So are they real, dad?”

    Father: *suddenly angry* “No, they are not! These f***ing people have fake animals!”

    (As the father and son begin to walk away, the mother stays behind to tell me one last thing.)

    Mother: “You know dear, maybe you should get real dinosaurs. That way, you won’t have problems like this.”

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