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    The Building Block(heads) Of Life

    | Durham, NC, USA |

    Customer: “I’m looking for some school books.”

    Me: “Alright, what sort of books are you looking for?”

    Customer: *sigh* “Some chemistry guides, I guess.”

    Me: “Alright, let’s head over and look at a few different guides.”

    (I take her to the chemistry section of the bookstore.)

    Customer: “I’m just not excited to be taking this course.”

    Me: “Are you’re worried that it will be too difficult?”

    Customer: “Oh, no! I just don’t want to be forced to learn about something I don’t believe in.”

    Me: “Er…sorry? What’s your degree program?”

    Customer: “I’m in vet school. I’ve already done all of my bio classes, and i really loved them, but I’m really not interested in learning about chemicals and how they harm the Earth and stuff.”

    Me: “That’s not really what chemistry is about, you know.”

    Customer: “What do you mean? Just look at the name: CHEM-istry. Like, CHEM-ical. As in, harmful to all life!”

    Me: “But you said you enjoyed your biology courses, so why not your chemistry? They’re both really important sciences, especially for your major.”

    Customer: “I just don’t get why I have to learn about chemicals and stuff! biology is different – that’s Mother Nature! Not some science that was made up in a lab.”

    Me: “Well, think about what life is, when you break it down. What helps build life?”

    Customer: “Biology.”

    Me:” Right! Back up some now.”

    Customer: “…Atoms?”

    Me: “Now come back up a bit. After atoms, but before biology.”

    Customer: *blank stare*

    Me: “Chemistry! What happens when different atoms come together? Chemical reactions. That’s all part of chemistry. You can’t have biology without chemistry – it’s a natural part of life.”

    Customer: *brightens up* “I had no idea! Now I can’t wait to take chemistry!”

    Cute Question, Catastrophic Consequences

    | Toronto, ON, Canada |

    (I am of Eastern European descent and many languages from that area have similarities. Two women come to my counter speaking a language I can somewhat understand.)

    Me: “Good day! Can I ask where you’re from? I can understand a few of the words you were saying.”

    Customer: “Where are you from?”

    Me: “I’m from ***, part of former Yugoslavia.”

    Customer: “Guess where I’m from!”

    Me: “Oh no, I can’t.¬†I’m pretty bad at guessing that sort of thing.”

    Customer: “Guess!”

    Me: “No, no.¬†I’ll get it wrong. Nevermind.”

    Customer: “Just guess! Who cares if you get it wrong?”

    Me: “I don’t want to insult you if I’m really off in guessing.”

    Customer: “Just try!¬†I’m not going to get mad!”

    Me: “Okay, are you from Serbia?”

    Customer: ¬†angrily* “Serbia?! I should beat you for such an insult!”

    The Great Melting Plot

    | New York, USA |

    Customer: “Miss! Miss! You need to see this!”

    Me: “What seems to be the problem, ma’am?”

    (The customer takes a coffee creamer, opens it, and pours it onto a plate.)

    Customer: “It’s melted! It’s all like this!” *points to pile of empty creamers*

    Me: “Ma’am, those are creamers. The butter is in the other dish.”

    Customer: “Well, those ones had better not be melted, too!”

    Medical Wonders Of The After-Hours

    | New York, USA |

    (I work at a drugstore where the pharmacy closes a few hours sooner than the rest of the store. A customer bursts in holding a script from a doctor’s office, and yells at me from across the store.)

    Customer: “OH, NO! WHEN DOES THE PHARMACY CLOSE?!”

    Me: *glances at clock which reads 8:30pm* “Six. Sorry.”

    Customer: “Oh no. Oh God! What do I do?!”

    Me: “The pharmacy opens at nine in the morning, and closes at six, again. You can come back then and–”

    Customer: “Is there a number I can call?! There has to be, for this sort of thing?”

    Me: “No. I’m sorry. If you just–”

    Customer: “But what does this town do in case of an emergency?!”

    Me: “…we go to the hospital, ma’am.”

    Customer: “The hospital? Thank you!” *leaves still clutching script tightly*

    The Karma Of Capitalism

    | Ontario, Canada |

    Me: “Can I help you sir?”

    Customer: “Can you…do…this coupon?” *holds out coupon*

    Me: “Yes, our two-for-one special. What flavors would you like?”

    (The customer then dictates two particularly long and complicated orders.)

    Customer: “I don’t like the energy you gave off while making those ice creams. Make them again.”

    Me: “Okay…I’ll try to change my energy, sir.”

    (Later, after I re-did the order.)

    Me: “That would be $3.66, please.”

    Customer: “But I have a coupon.”

    Me: “A two-for-one means you have to pay for one of the two ice creams.”

    Customer: “Pay…? But…free?”

    Me: “You have to pay, yes.”

    Customer: “But I just wanted free ice-cream…”

    Me: “Do you even have any money?”

    Customer: “What the h*** do I need money for? I have a coupon!”

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