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  • De-Engineering Stereotypes
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    Crimes Of (Extremely Long) Premeditation

    | Victoria, BC, Canada |

    Me: “That’ll be $23.44, ma’am.”

    Customer: *stares off into space*

    Me: “…Ma’am?”

    Customer: “What?”

    Me: “How would you like to pay for this?”

    Customer: “Oh right, I guess I have to give you money…”

    Me: “I’d appreciate it.”

    Customer: “…or, I could always steal it.”

    (At first I think she’s kidding; but, after a long pause, I realize she is actually contemplating this.)

    Me: “I’d go with the former, ma’am.”

    What You [Don't] See Is What You Get

    | Boston, MA, USA |

    Customer: “Hi, can you help me find invisible wire?”

    Me: “Oh, fish wire?”

    Customer: “Yes, invisible wire.”

    Me: “Yup, that’s right over here.”

    (I take the customer over, pull one off the hook and hand it to him.)

    Customer: “Is this a joke?!”

    Me: “Um…”

    Customer: “This isn’t invisible wire! I can see it!”

    It Just Jumps Off The Page

    | Des Moines, IA, USA |

    Me: *on the phone* “Hello, **** Printing.”

    Woman: “Yeah, I need to get something printed, and I just need to know if you can do it or not.”

    Me: “That’s entirely possible, what is it you want to print?”

    Woman: “Well, it’s something on a website.”

    Me: “Hmm. Web-res graphics tend not to print well. You’ll want something at least 300 dpi. And web graphics are in RGB color, and we would need CMYK.”

    Woman: “Oh. Well, if I show you the website, can you check?”

    Me: “Sure, no problem.”

    (She sends me to this website and directs me to a banner ad.)

    Me: “Uh, you mean this advertisement that’s flashing at the top of the screen?”

    Woman: “Yeah, can you print that? Like 1,000 of them so I can hand them out?”

    Me: “But it’s animated. Even if the quality was good enough to print, I could only print one still frame…it wouldn’t be moving.”

    Woman: “Darn it! That’s what my boyfriend told me too! I just wanted to be sure.”

    Some People Can’t Handle The Power

    | Melbourne, Australia | Top

    Me: *on the phone* “Hello, how can I help you?”

    Customer: “My cable won’t stop changing channels.”

    (I walk the customer through a basic re-set.)

    Me: “Has that resolved the issue?”

    Customer: “No, it’s still changing channels.”

    Me: “OK, you’re just watching it and it’s just randomly changing channels by itself?”

    Customer: “Yes, when I press the channel up and down buttons on the remote, it keeps changing channels.”

    Me: “…that’s the purpose of the channel buttons.”

    Customer: “Well, how do I get it to stop changing channels?”

    Me: “Stop pressing the channel buttons.”

    Customer: *getting irritated* “But I want to press the channel buttons, but it won’t stop changing.”

    Me: “If you don’t want it to change, stop pressing the buttons.”

    Customer: “Oh…but how do I get it to stop?”

    Me: “Put your remote down and don’t touch it.”

    Customer: “That’s ridiculous, why would you have that button if it’s just going to change the channels?!”

    Och, A Communal Kilt

    | Toronto, ON, Canada | Top

    (I work at a Scottish import store that specializes in kilts. We mostly rent them out for weddings.)

    Me: “Okay, guys, you’re all fitted up. Everything will be ready for pick-up the Thursday before the wedding.”

    Customer: “Guys, you know what we have to do, right? We have to go commando! No wearing anything under the kilt!” *to me* “That’s the way to do it, right?”

    Me: “Well, gentlemen, we don’t have a policy on that one way or the other. Personally, though, before you decide, I’d advise you to take a moment and consider ALL the implications of the word…’rental.’”

    Customer: “What? But…oh…oh! Ewww!”

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