November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

The Problem Is The Problem

| NY, USA | Crazy Requests, Home Improvement

Customer: “Hello, I own a house I’m trying to sell. The potential buyer had an engineering inspection done, and the inspector told me to call you to come out.”

Me: “Okay, what seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Well, we need something to go on here. Do you know what we’re looking for, or where we should look?”

Customer: “All I know is the inspector told me to call [Utility Name], and have them come out.”

Me: “Did they say what was wrong?”

Customer: “No! Why are you making this so hard?”

Me: “In order to send a crew out to potentially fix something, we have to have some idea what is broken. Also, whatever is broken might turn out to be customer owned, and not our equipment. In that case we will not be able to. Lastly, we need to send different crews for different issues. In order to send the correct people, we need to know what we’re dealing with.”

Customer: “I don’t understand why this has to be difficult! I’m reporting an issue to you, and I need you to come out and fix it. Why can’t you just send somebody out! I don’t understand why this is so hard!”

Me: “So, let me get this straight. You want me to send out a crew to repair something, but you don’t know what is broken, why you need us to come out, or if it is even an issue on our end, or our responsibility at all?”

Customer: “Yes.”

The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 13

| CO, USA | Books & Reading, Movies & TV

(An older customer approaches me. I’m in the demographic the ‘Twilight Saga’ is marketed towards.)

Customer: “Have you seen that movie all the girls your age are excited about?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “That big movie, Eclipse I think?”

Me: “Oh, I never got into Twilight.”

Customer: “Good! Read some real books, and hope they get made into movies that are actually good!”

The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 12
The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 11
The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 10
The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 9
The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 8
The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 7
The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 6
The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 5
The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 4
The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 3
The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 2
The Twilight Of Our Literacy

Hard Cash That Isn’t Cold

| Namibia | Money

(I have just finished withdrawing some money at the ATM. A clearly poor man approaches me from behind. Usually, I would expect someone to come up to me to beg for money.)

Man: “I do not know how to use the machine. Can you help me?”

Me: “Sure!”

(The man hands me his card, and I insert it into the machine.)

Man: “Can you check how much I have on my account?”

Me: “Okay. It is asking for your pin.”

Man: *without even thinking about it* “It is 1234.”

Me: “It says you have 20 Namibian Dollars.”

(Note: A loaf of bread cost N$ 5.)

Man: “I’d like all of it.”

(I withdraw the money, and give him back his card and the money. He immediately hands me back N$ 10.)

Man: “This is for you, because you helped me.”

(I hand it back to him.)

Me: “Please, keep it!”

(It is one of the most touching things to ever happen to me.)

The Race(ist) For The Last Chicken

| Preston, England, UK | Bigotry, Food & Drink

(I work late shifts, and mark down items to their final reduction.)

Customer: “Have you not got any more cheap chicken?”

Me: “No, sir, the lady just over there took our last pack, unfortunately.”

(I gesture towards a small, lovely, Indian lady, who had come by and picked up some chicken breasts I just marked down.)

Customer: “I’m not racist, but f****** p**** are always turning up and taking all the good stuff early! You can never stay one step ahead of them d*** foreigners!”

Me: “Well, we have a first come, first served policy. Regardless of who she is, she was here first.”

Customer: “Yeah, but you know what I mean! They come over here, and take everything for granted. They do what they f****** like, and take our cheap food! You follow me, don’t ya’?”

Me: “Well, no, I don’t. Like I said, we have a first come, first served policy. We also have a policy against incendiary language, and I’m going to have to ask you to leave. Here’s a little hint for you; when you say “I’m not racist, but—”, it usually means you’re about to be racist. The exit’s third on the left.”

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Diplomacy

| Liverpool, England, UK | Awesome Customers, Books & Reading, Geeks Rule, Language & Words, One-Liners, Top

(A customer in his early 20’s is ranting at the front of the bookstore. He’s speaking as if he’s much older than he is. His rant is about kids nowadays not reading as much. There are no other customers, so it’s policy to let him vent. I smile politely to everything he’s saying, since he’s not being a bother.)

Male Customer: “…they just don’t understand the beauty of holding a book in their hands, smelling the pages and reading tales of epic proportion! Kids these days just want to stand around listening to crap music. No wonder they’re getting dumber.”

Me: “We get a few teenagers coming in the store, though.”

Male Customer: “I bet they’re just picking up crap like Twilight. They’d never read proper books.”

(A customer walks in as he’s saying this. I recognise her from a few days ago, when she ordered a book. She’s about 16, very blonde, and very clearly one of the popular girls.)

Female Customer: “Hi, I ordered a book. I just want to check if it has come in? It’s under [name].”

Male Customer: *mutters* “This is exactly what I was talking about.”

Female Customer: “Excuse me? What is that supposed to mean?”

Male Customer: “I was just saying that kids like you have no interest in reading. If you do, it’s all crap.”

Female Customer: “If I had no interest in reading, why would I be in a bookstore? And who cares what others think of a book, so long as you enjoy it? That’s all that matters, right?”

Male Customer: “Whatever, go on, pick up your crappy little Twilight.”

Female Customer: “For your information, I ordered John Green’s Looking for Alaska. I did not like Twilight at all.”

Male Customer: “Yeah, as if.”

Female Customer: “”War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” George Orwell, 1984. That last line is something you ought to think about before opening your rude mouth!”

Me: “She certainly knows her stuff.”

(I hand her the book she ordered, making sure the male customer sees the cover. She pays and walks away, but turns back around before she leaves.)

Female Customer: “So long, and thanks for all the fish!”