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    Heed The Words Of Wisdom

    | WA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (Our libraries offer self-checkout stations in addition to staff-assisted checkout. The self-check consists of a touch-screen monitor and barcode scanner. Using the scanner can take some practice. If it doesn’t get the entire item barcode an error message appears on the monitor. There are also several other error messages a customer can get regarding late fees, exceeding the checkout limit, etc. Because the monitors face customers and not the staff, we don’t know what error someone has unless we run around the counter to look. Some customers aren’t great at articulating which error message they’ve received or for asking for assistance at all.)

    Customer: *scans an item* “There. Are. Words.”

    Me: “I’m sorry? Did you get an err—”

    Customer: “THERE ARE WORDS ON THE SCREEN!”

    Me: “Let’s take a look. It’s asking you to tap the ‘OK’ button and scan the item again because it misread the barcode.”

    Customer: *she jabs at the screen and re-scans the item aggressively*

    Me: “Yay, it worked!”

    Customer: *grunts and walks away*

    Coworker: “If she couldn’t handle reading the screen, how will she manage with the book she’s checked out?”

    Hard Of Hearing For Hard Customers

    | Wichita Falls, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Health & Body

    (I’m deaf in one ear and hard of hearing in the other. Since I’ve been like this all my life, I’ve learned to adjust as well as I could. I have a habit of tilting my head and leaning in with my good ear. Most people don’t say anything or don’t even notice. I was serving this customer when this happened.)

    Me: “Welcome to [Store]. How can I help you?”

    Customer: “I want a…” *mumbles while looking down*

    Me: “I’m so sorry. I didn’t catch that.”

    Customer: *looks annoyed and mumbles it again*

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry. I’m hard of hearing, and I just can’t catch what you’re saying. Would you speak up just a bit, again I’m sorry.”

    (She finally looks up and rolls her eyes.)

    Customer: “What, they actually hire you people now?”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Customer: “If you can’t hear like a normal person then you shouldn’t be working!”

    Me: *starting to get upset* “I’m sorry you feel that way, but I like working, and since I can work, I’d rather do that than go on disability.”

    Customer: “Well since you can work just soooo well, then I guess you heard my order. And I’m not repeating it.”

    Me: “I didn’t hear it ma’am, and I don’t really want to just take a guess at your order.”

    Customer: *very loudly* “Then get me another server, you freak!”

    (Luckily my manager overheard and escorted her out, telling her not to come back. Thankfully, most people are actually really nice about it, and will just speak up.)

    In A Muddle Over The Mobble

    | Wales | Extra Stupid, Funny Names, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

    (Most of our visitors are from England, and although we’re familiar with the ‘tourist’ pronunciations of a lot of town names, sometimes they manage to pronounce something so crazy that we have to ask them to spell it, which for us, usually spells trouble…)

    Customer: *a smartly-dressed older lady* “Hi. I want to get to Mobblegarnith.”

    Me: “Mobblegarnith? I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of it. Did you perhaps mean [Town Name In Cheshire]? It’s a good two-and-a-half hours from here.”

    Customer: “It must be near here; I think we passed a sign for it on our way in.”

    Me: “Well, the nearest town to here that begins with ‘M’ is [Town Name].”

    Customer: “No. Not there.”

    Me: “Well, how about [another nearby town name that begins with 'M']?”

    Customer: “No. Not there either.”

    Me: “What about [town that doesn't begin with 'M' but roughly rhymes with the 'garnith' part]?”

    Customer: “No, no, NO, stupid! It’s not there. It’s Mobblegarnith!” *slowly and louder* “MOBBLE. GARNITH!”

    Me: “I’m ever so sorry, but could you spell it for me? Or perhaps tell me a name of another town you passed by where you saw the signs?”

    Customer: “Oh for crying out loud. M. A. C. H. Y—”

    Me: “Oh! You mean Machynlleth?! That’s a good hour from us, and it’s back the way you came from [Their Hometown].”

    Customer: “Yes, finally! Mobblegarnith. I don’t get why you Welsh people have to pronounce it differently just to wind us English up. It’s CLEARLY Mobblegarnith.”

    Me: “I assure you it’s not deliberate. The Welsh alphabet is just a tiny bit bigger than the English one. We actually have 28 letters versus your 26, so we have to combine some of the letters in the alphabet to finish making up our alphabet. The pronunciations are all right once you get used to them, though.”

    Customer: “Don’t lecture me, young lady! Your alphabet is nothing more than silly lies; if you’d been properly educated you’d know how to pronounce all these places. Now, could you please, very kindly, if it is not too much trouble, tell me how to get to Mobblegarnith?”

    Me: “Right, okay. I can print you some map directions if you like?”

    Customer: *sarcastically* “Thank you, you are most kind.”

    Me: *prints maps and hands them to customer* “Here you go! Road directions to Machynlleth. Since you had such trouble getting here, I’ll waive the printing fee.”

    Customer: “For goodness sakes, girl, say it PROPERLY.”

    Me: *dying a bit inside* “I hope you have a safe journey to Mobblegarnith.”

    Customer: *gives a satisfied nod, and turns on her heels to leave*

    Two Can Whine For Ten Dollars

    , | Peterborough, ON, Canada | Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Money, Theme Of The Month

    (I’m taking orders for front counter. A customer walks up and hands me one of our “2 can dine for $9.99″ coupons.)

    Customer: “I’ll have this, please.”

    Me: “No problem. Would you like to add anything else?”

    Customer: “No, thank you. Just the two meals.”

    Me: “All right, your total is $11.70.”

    Customer: “How much is it after the coupon?”

    Me: “That is the price with the coupon. You wanted to use the two can dine, right?”

    Customer: “Yes, but why is it that price? The coupon says $10 on it.”

    Me: “Oh, the $10 is the price before tax, so that makes the difference.”

    Customer: “No, you’re supposed to take $10 off, that’s what the coupon means.”

    Me: “Sorry, it doesn’t actually work like that. It means that you pay $10 for the two meals. They would normally be over $15 for both without the coupon.”

    Customer: “But it says $10 here. So I only owe you the tax.”

    Me: “Again, I’m sorry but the coupon isn’t for $10 off. You are still saving a good amount off the regular combo prices.”

    Customer: “Fine. I don’t want it then. The idiots at [our other location] wouldn’t do it right either.”

    (He stormed off muttering about how we were too dumb to honour our own coupon.)

    I’m Not Even Here Right Now

    | The Netherlands | At The Checkout, Money, Theme Of The Month

    (I’ve just found the piece of underwear I was looking for, from the mall’s own brand. The closest check-out happens to be their shop-in-shop lingerie store, so I go there to let the cashier ring up my item.)

    Cashier: “That’ll be [total]. Would you like to get a savings card?”

    Me: “Perhaps. What does it get me?”

    Cashier: “€5 off on your next purchase at [Lingerie Store], over €25 and up.”

    Me: “Oh, no thanks. I never shop here.”

    Cashier: *gives me a strange look*

    Me: “I mean, I never shop for €25 here at [Lingerie Store].”

    Cashier: “Oh…” *hands me the receipt* “Well, have a nice day, then.”

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