Putting The Dumb In Random

| Pittsburgh, PA, USA | At The Checkout, Uncategorized

(I am checking out a customer and realize that one of the shirts he’s buying doesn’t have a barcode, so I ask a co-worker to find a similar shirt.)

Me: “Do you remember where you found this shirt?”

Customer: “It was on the clearance rack in the men’s department.”

Me: “Alright, my co-worker is looking for it, but it could take a while.”

Customer: “I don’t have time for that.”

Me: “Sorry, do you not want the shirt then?”

Customer: “I want the shirt.  I just don’t have time for her to find the dumb thing.”

Me: “Well, there’s really nothing I can do without a number.”

Customer: “Just type some random numbers in.”

Me: “That won’t work.”

Customer: “How do you know? You didn’t even try it.”

Me: “Because I know it won’t work.”

Customer: “Just try.”

(I type in twelve random numbers and press enter, then turn the screen toward him to show a bright red “not a valid number” message.)

Customer: “That’s because you didn’t type the right numbers!”

Charge Me Once, Shame On You

| Bangor, MN, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Uncategorized

Me: “Okay, that’ll be $85.49, ma’am.”

Customer: “I’ll be paying by cash, please.”

(I press cash and wait for her. Instead, the customer picks up the stylus attached to my card signature pad and taps it against the screen.)

Me: “Ma’am?”

Customer: “Just a moment. I’m waiting for the relevant screen to come up so I can sign my name.”

(The customer proceeds to viciously stab the stylus into the screen, then smacks the side of it with her hand.)

Me: “Umm, a signature isn’t required if you’re paying cash.”

Customer: “What? Oh, well then.”

(She fishes out her wallet and hands me a $100. I finish the transaction and am counting out her change when she picks up the stylus and begins stabbing the signature pad again.)

Customer: “Now it’s just gone back to displaying the store logo. Where’s the option for me to authorize the amount?”

Me: “A customer authorization is only required if you’re paying by debit, ma’am. You’ve already paid with cash so the transaction is finished.”

(As I hand over her change, she looks down at the signature pad again.)

Customer: “Well, can I still sign just to be sure you don’t charge me twice for this?”

American’t

| British Columbia, Canada | Geography, Technology, Tourists/Travel

Me: “Alright in order for me to see your screen, you have to select your region.”

Caller: “What does that mean?”

Me: “You need to select the United States on the map.”

Caller: “Why would you think I would know where that was on a map?!”

Me: “It’s just a standard world map.”

(The caller reads places’ names aloud as they hover their mouse over the map.)

Caller: “Asia…Africa…Russia…China…I don’t think it’s here.”

Mountainous Gaps Of Knowledge

| Brighton, UK | Tourists/Travel, Uncategorized

Me: “Hello, can I help you?”

Customer: “Hello. I want to go on holiday this summer. I’d like to visit somewhere a bit different.”

Me: “Would you be interested in visiting mountains or skiing at all?”

Customer: “That could be fun. Except I don’t like the cold.”

Me: “Well places like the Pyrenees are in Spain, so it’s very hot at ground level and there’s lots to see.”

Customer: “What? No, mountains are cold. They have snow on.”

Me: “Yes, the peaks are colder because they are at a higher altitude.”

Customer: “The bottom bit is hot?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “…but I thought mountains only grew in cold places?”

Shogun The Way To Go Home

| Tokyo, Japan | Language & Words, Tourists/Travel, Uncategorized

(I work at the local train station. Having spent half my life living in Los Angeles, and the other living in Tokyo, I speak both English and Japanese. The other station masters tend to bring tourists to me, since their English isn’t as good as mine. A tourist approaches me and speaks loudly, slowly, and with very large hand gestures)

Tourist: “I’m trying to get to [station]! Can you help me?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. I actually grew up in Los Angeles, so I can speak English.”

Tourist: *still speaking in the same way* “No, I’m not from Los Angeles! I’m trying to get to [station]!”

Me: “No, ma’am, I just meant that I spent a lot of time in Los Angeles.”

Tourist: “No! Not Los Angeles! [Station]!”

(The woman’s husband, hearing his wife shouting, joins us.)

Tourist’s Husband: *to his wife* “What’s going on?”

Tourist: “This dumb guy keeps asking if we’re from Los Angeles!”

Tourist’s Husband: “Why would he think that?”

Tourist: “I don’t know!”

Tourist’s Husband: *to me, speaking clearly, but not extremely slowly* “We’re trying to get to [station].”

(I provide directions to the station.)

Tourist’s Husband: “You speak English very well!”

Me: “Thank you sir. As I tried to explain to your wife, I grew up in Los Angeles, so I speak English.”

Tourist’s Husband: *sighs* “I’m sorry you had to put up with her. Thanks for the directions.”

(As they are walking away, I hear the woman proudly tell her husband, “I told you those Japanese lessons we took would pay off!”)

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