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  • Today, We Are All From Toronto

    | Cape Cod, MA, USA |

    (The parking lot is full at a popular beach and the area is residential, so I have the job of turning cars away.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but the lot is full and you’re blocking traffic so you’ll have to move your car.”

    Customer: “But we are from Toronto!”

    Me: “Um…I’m glad you drove all this way, but the lot is full. Maybe you can get some lunch and check back in a half hour?”

    Customer: “But we are from Toronto.”

    Me: “I know, I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do, I have to keep this road clear.”

    Customer: “Have you ever been to Toronto?”

    Me: “No. But please, sir, you have to move. Perhaps you can drop your family off and rejoin them later when we have spaces.”

    Customer: *angrily* “We are going back to Toronto!”

    The Next Bachelorette

    | New York NY, USA |

    (An elderly lady walks into a clothes store. She is wearing an exceedingly bright hat with a large, floppy flower on it. She obviously likes the hat very much because she looks at herself in every mirror she walks by.)

    Employee: “You sure look spiffy today, ma’am!”

    Elderly lady: “Young man, I look spiffy EVERY day!”

    When Customers Shop Past Their Naptime

    | Toronto, ON, Canada |

    Customer: “I can’t believe I had to open the door on my way in! It opens for me on the way out. Customers shouldn’t have to open doors.”

    Me: “But sir, if the ‘In’ door was automatic, it would smack you in the face.”

    Customer: “I don’t care! I shouldn’t be expected to open my own doors.”

    Me: “Well, you could always use the handicapped button. That will open the door for you.”

    Customer: *stomps his foot* “No! No! No! No!”

    (The customer leaves looking at me expectantly and pointing at the automatic door on his way out.)

    Wild Creatures Of The Stupid Kingdom

    | New Jersey, USA |

    (I was shopping in a comic book store with my brother when a female customer approached me.)

    Girl: “You know what I’m going to do in college?”

    Me: “Er, what?”

    Girl: “I’m going to bark after every word when talking to the first person I see! Then they’ll go to my friends and say ‘Hey, where’s ****, the girl who barks?’, and nobody will know what they mean!”

    Me: “Uh…okay. Good idea.”

    Always Right, Even From Beyond The Grave

    | United Kingdom |

    Me: *on the phone* “Hello, welcome to [magazine company]. How can I help?”

    Caller: “I want to cancel my husband’s subscription.”

    Me: “Okay. Could I speak to your husband, as he is the account holder?”

    Caller: “I’m sorry, he passed away last week. That’s why I’m calling. I won’t have to pay what he owes, will I?”

    Me: “I’m sorry to hear that madam. I’ll cancel that and you are correct; you won’t be charged.”

    (I took the details. At the end, I said she could receive one more copy free.)

    Caller: “I’m sorry, I’m not following. I’ve had a lot to deal with since my husband died. We only buried him yesterday.”

    Me: *feeling dreadful for her* “Of course. I’ll go through it again.”

    (I ran through it, stopping at intervals to check she understood. She said she did.)

    Me: “Would you like the free copy? This month you get money off vouchers for books.”

    (15 seconds of silence.)

    Me: “Madam, are you there?”

    Caller: “I still don’t understand, dear. I’m not good with this stuff. Let me get my husband; he usually deals with this.”

    Me: “Madam, you told me your husband died.”

    Caller: *flustered* “I didn’t.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but you did. You told me your husband died, his funeral was yesterday, and you asked me to cancel his contract and not charge you.”

    Caller: *now getting agitated* “I didn’t. You misunderstood.”

    Me: “Madam, we record calls. I can arrange for you to speak to a manager once the called has been reviewed, if you wish.”

    (Another 15 seconds of silence.)

    Me: “Madam, are you still there?”

    Caller: *click*

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