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  • Talking At-At Cross Purposes
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    Stupidity Is The Mother of Repetition

    | Lexington, MA, USA | Top

    (There is a huge line of customers waiting on their drinks. An impatient customer who just placed his order assumes the next drink is his and takes it, after I call someone else’s name.)

    Customer: “This isn’t hot chocolate.”

    Me: “That’s because you grabbed someone else’s drink.”

    Customer: “But it isn’t hot chocolate!”

    Me: “There are nine people in front of you waiting for drinks. You grabbed the wrong drink.”

    Customer: “But it isn’t hot chocolate.”

    (I look at the order screen for the name on the drink he took.)

    Me: “Is your name ***?”

    Customer: “No, and this isn’t hot chocolate!”

    Me: “That’s because you took ****’s drink!”

    Customer: “It’s not hot chocolate!”

    Me: “Hand me the drink and I will remake the person who’s drink you took. I’ll make your hot chocolate, but it will take a few minutes!!”

    (Customer hands the drink back to me.)

    Customer: “It’s not hot chocolate!”


    | Oklahoma City, OK, USA | Top

    (We’re selling tons of over-the-counter, store-brand medications at buy one, get one free. I ring up a lady who has two bottles of cough syrup with her. She keeps a stern eye on the cash register monitor as I check them through.)

    Lady: “That’s not right.”

    Me: “What isn’t?”

    Lady: “The coupon says buy one at $6.99, get the other one free.”

    Me: “Precisely. You’re getting both of these for $6.99.”

    Lady: “But one’s ringing up as $3.50 and the other at $3.49.”

    Me: “That’s correct. The register divides these differences automatically.”

    Lady, growing fidgety: “But that’s not what the COUPON says.”

    Me: *after a pause* “Well, $3.50 plus $3.49 is $6.99.”

    Lady: “So this is how you scam customers!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m pretty certain that we here at [drugstore chain] do not scam our customers when even basic math can rule out any differences.”

    Lady: “I only want one. Put this other one back, I don’t want it. I’m not paying an extra $3.49 for this. The ad said buy one, get one free, and I’m not getting that one for free.”

    Me: *head-desk*

    This Is Why Math Is Your Friend

    Entropy Strikes Again

    | Illinois, USA |

    (A woman came up to the concession counter with a tub of popcorn.)

    Me: “Yes, can I help you?”


    Me: “It is? That’s weird, it shouldn’t be. I just made several batches, so I can get you another one.”

    (The popcorn was ice cold, which was odd considering it usually stayed warm for a few hours.)

    Me: “Just wondering, when did you buy this popcorn?”

    Woman: “Yesterday.”

    Me: “…”

    A Simple Hello Would Have Sufficed

    | Amherst, MA, USA |

    (I had just taken the client’s information and asked him what kind of issue he was having.)

    Him: “Well, I’ve been having some problems with my emai–”

    (I hear the guy pull the phone away from his mouth.)

    Him, yelling: “HEY, SHUT THE F*CK UP MOTHERF*CKER!”

    Someone else in the background: “NO, YOU’RE THE MOTHERF*CKER A**HOLE! YOU SHUT THE F*CK UP!”

    (After about ten seconds of silence the guy comes back on the line and continues describing his problem like nothing ever happened.)

    A Hold Day In Hell

    | Chicago, IL, USA |

    (An extremely difficult older customer was waiting on hold to speak to me while I was on the line with another customer. He impatiently hung up several times and called back as though terrorizing the receptionists would get him on the phone with me any faster.)

    Me: “Sorry to keep you holding, how can I help you?”

    Older male customer: “I demand that you remove that hold music immediately because I refuse to listen to it! I also don’t appreciate waiting! I’m very busy and don’t have the time to waste to talk to you!”

    Me: “I’m apologize for the inconvenience, but I was on the line with another customer.”

    Him: “Now I’m going to waste your time by staying on the line so you can’t take any other calls!”

    Me: “Okay…”

    Him: “…”

    Me: “…”

    (The silence continues for another pointless several seconds.)

    Him: “Let me speak to the owner!”

    Me: “Alright, he’s on the other line so it’ll just be a moment.”

    Him: “NO, I don’t want to be put on hold! I want to speak to him NOW! Just write on a piece of paper that LEONARD ***** is on the phone and go in his office and wave it in front of his face.”

    (I put him on hold and he immediately hangs up and calls back screaming about having to wait. I try to transfer the call to the owner but he hangs up as soon as he’s put on hold and the cycle repeats itself.)

    Me: “Sir, I -have- to put you on hold in order to transfer the call.”

    Him: “No, just transfer the call without putting me on hold!”

    Me: “I’m sorry but that’s physically impossible…”

    Him: “I don’t care! Do it anyway!”

    Me: *sigh*

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