Hideously Illuminating

| Ottawa, ON, Canada | Bad Behavior, Home Improvement

Customer: “I’m looking for a light for over my dining table. Can you help me?”

Me: “Sure!” *we determine how big her table and room are, and set off to look at our stock* “Did you have a particular style in mind?”

Customer: “Well, what are people buying these days?”

Me: “It varies with personal taste, but…” *I gesture to one particularly popular modern chandelier* “…this one has been a good seller for us recently.”

Customer: “That’s awful! Who would buy that?”

Me: “Okay, well, did you have something more like this in mind?” *I lead her to another very popular piece, this one quite classic*

Customer: “It’s so ugly. I’d never have that in my house!”

Me: “Would you mind if I asked what in particular is turning you off? I’d like to get a better feel for your style.”

Customer: “I don’t know. I just hate it!”

Me: “Okay, how about this one?” *this goes on for a while, with me pointing out lights of various styles and colours, and her harshly vetoing all of them without giving any reasons*

Customer: “These are all hideous! I don’t understand why you’re showing these to me. Where are your nice ones? Do they only make ugly chandeliers these days?”

Me: “Well, it seems like the best idea would be to let you browse, and see if anything catches your eye. Even if something is close to what you’re looking for, it will give us a jumping-off point. We also have lots of catalogues too, if you’d like to take a look there.”

Customer: “But you’re supposed to be helping me! What kind of salesperson are you? I didn’t come here to look at some stupid catalogues. I don’t know what to pick! You’re supposed to tell me! What would you pick for your house?”

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, but I only like ‘hideous’ things, so I doubt my advice would be helpful. I have other things to attend to, but I’ll be just over here if you need me.”

Customer: *storms out*

Is It Plugged In?

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At Least It Rules Out ‘Twilight’

| ID, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

(I work at the reference desk, and I often help patrons find books. The following exchange happens one morning:)

Patron: “Hi, I’m looking to see if you have a book.”

Me: “I can help you, then! Can you give me the name of the book?”

Patron: “I don’t remember it.”

Me: “Well, do you remember the author’s name?”

Patron: “No… but it was about vampires and it had the word ‘blood” in the title.”

Me: “…That doesn’t narrow it down nearly as much as you think it does.”

Entitled And Newly Titled

, | Mankato, MN, USA | Bad Behavior, Funny Names

(My mother and I are deciding on a gift to buy for a sick relative. I wander away so she can check out but a few minutes later she comes over to me, empty handed and confused.)

Mother: “I was at the register about to buy it, but a woman standing next to me looked over and grabbed it out of my hands!”

Me: “You’re kidding! Did she ask for it?”

Mother: “No! She just grabbed it and handed it to the cashier. And the cashier rang her up!”

Me: “Mom, there’s a phrase that my friends and I use. It makes you feel a bit better sometimes.”

Mother: “Okay…” *keep in mind, she is an older and very mild mannered woman*

Me: “Entitlement b****!”

Mother: *happily and with great diction* “Entitlement b****!”

Fluid Memory; Difficult To Grasp

| Tucson, AZ, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

(I sometimes eat in at a pizza joint about a block or so down the road from work when my shift is over and I’m hungry enough to eat a rhinoceros.  I’m doing so after a very busy Christmas week shift I hadn’t been prepared for. Needless to say, I’m a bit out of it, and I usually order the same thing, so I hardly ever look at the menu. The drink order goes a bit like this.)

Employee: “Hi, welcome to [Restaurant]. What can I get you to drink?”

(At this point, I recall a half-and-half mix of root beer and Dr Pepper I grew fond of during a recent dinner party, and decide that’s my drink order for the evening.)

Me: “Could I get a half-and-half of root beer and Dr Pepper?”

Employee: “We don’t have Dr Pepper. Would you like something else in that half-and-half?”

Me: “Well, could you please tell me what you do have?”

Employee: *lists several sodas, including root beer – which I somehow mishear as Dr Pepper*

Me: “Dr Pepper.”

(The waitress repeats that Dr Pepper is unavailable at least three more times before I pause for about three seconds. I face-palm and start chuckling once I realize I’ve momentarily become that customer who never seems to understand something spoken to him, clear as day, regardless of how many times it’s mentioned.)

Me: “Oh, my God. Ah, I’ll have a cola-root beer half-and-half, please.”

Employee: “All right, a cola-root beer half-and-half. Anything else to drink?”

Me: “No. Thanks for being so patient with me, by the way!”

(I still visit that particular pizza joint. But every so often, as I’m eating my pizza, I still remember how I once somehow failed to understand what “We don’t have Dr Pepper” means.)

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