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    Misunderstanding Headwind

    | Dallas, TX, USA |

    (I am selling an elderly woman an airline ticket for her first trip on a plane.)

    Me: “Would you prefer a window seat or an aisle seat on the plane?”

    Customer: “Oh I think I’ll take an aisle seat. I plan on getting my hair done before the trip and I don’t want it blowing around.”

    Bad Data, Good Outcome

    | Seattle, WA, USA | Top

    Client: “My printer keeps printing junk.”

    Me: “You have to turn off the computer and the printer, then turn on the computer first.”

    Client: “Okay.”

    *pause*

    Client: “It’s still wrong.”

    Me: “Did you restart the computer first?”

    Client: “No.”

    Me: “Why not?”

    Client: “The computer is too far away. It saves time if I just turn the printer off and on.”

    Me: “That won’t fix the problem.”

    Client: “I don’t see why not. I don’t have time to go back and forth.”

    (We go through the procedure several times, with the client short cutting the directions each time.)

    Me: “Okay, I think I know what to do. There is bad data in your cable.”

    Client: “Oh. How do I get it out?”

    Me: “First, turn everything off. Then disconnect the cable.”

    Client: “Okay.”

    Me: “Lay the cable out in the hall. Then pick up one end and shake the cable two or three times. Shake it very hard.”

    Client: “Just a minute.”

    (Time passes with strange noises coming through the phone. The client comes back on out of breath.)

    Client: “OK, I did it.”

    Me: “Good. Now reconnect the cable to the printer and then connect it to the computer. Then turn everything on.”

    Client: “That did it! Thanks!”

    (About a year later, one of our trainers called to tell a funny story about the client who insisted on shaking the cable whenever the printer messed up. She said it was, ‘To get rid of the bad data’. I kept my mouth shut.)

    Just Blew In From The Windy City

    | Central Coast, Australia |

    (It is an extremely windy day so we have to keep the double doors closed. A customer and her 9 yr old daughter walks up to the doors, and walks away. They don’t go very far. A coworker goes outside to start cleaning tables.)

    Customer: “Excuse me, are you open?”

    Coworker: “Yes, we are.”

    Customer: “But I stood in front of the doors and they didn’t open.”

    Coworker: “No, ma’am. You have to push them.”

    (The customer and her daughter opens the door and walks in. The daughter goes off to the bathroom. We are an old west themed restaurant, so everything, even the toilet door signs are changed to suit. The daughter comes back a few seconds later.)

    Customer: “What’s wrong, honey? Couldn’t you find them?”

    Daughter: “I’m not sure if I’m a cowboy or a cowgirl.”

    Don’t Knock It Until You’ve Pried It

    | Toronto, ON, Canada |

    (We are closed and counting money from the register, when a customer approaches the locked door and tries to open it. She notices the closed sign and tries the door again, then knocks on the door loudly and pulls hard on the door. So hard in fact, that she manages to fit her shoe through the crack. Worried about a broken door, I open the door quickly.)

    Customer: “Are you open?”

    Me: “No, we are closed.”

    Customer: “Then why did you open the door?!”

    Separates The Men From The Boys

    | Queensland, Australia | Top

    (Two customers come into the store wearing a uniform from the same company. Often when this happens, people generally get separate items, then pay for them together, so I always ask to make sure before ringing the items up. They are both male.)

    Me: “Hello, are you two paying together?”

    Customer #1: “No! We are definitely not together! I’m not gay! We work together. That’s all OK! We aren’t gay together! He’s not my boyfriend and we are not a couple! Not that I’m against… You know… I’m not prejudiced! BUT WE AREN’T TOGETHER!”

    Me: “Sir, I asked if you are paying together.”

    Customer #1: “Oh…No. Separately. Which is what we are. Separate. Not a couple.”

    Customer #2: *trying not to laugh* “Sorry about him.”

    Me: “Don’t apologise! You guys just made my day. But you know…separately.”

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