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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    Long Distance Phoney Call

    | New York, NY, USA | Hotels & Lodging, Liars & Scammers

    (A guest comes up to the front desk with a copy of her room charges that was placed under her door. For various reasons, the list of charges gives little detail. Detailed receipts can be acquired upon request.)

    Guest: “I’d like to know why I was charged for these phone calls!”

    (I look at her receipt and it lists two calls stating only ‘Long Distance Call’ and the rate she was charged for each.)

    Me: “The charges are for the long distance calls you made from the room.”

    Guest: “I didn’t make the second call! Someone must have snuck into my room and made a call from my phone!”

    Me: “Okay, no problem; what is the phone number for the call you are disputing?”

    (I pull up her detailed bill in my computer. She rattles off the correct phone number for the call she ‘didn’t make’.)

    Me: “And since a stranger came into your room and made that call while you were out, how did you come to know the number called?”

    Guest: *turns red and quickly leaves*

    (Lucky for me I left detailed notes about the encounter. I came back the next day to additional notes from a coworker saying she had tried the same tactic again!)

    Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 4

    | Cedar Rapids, IA, USA | Bad Behavior

    (I am sweeping, cleaning off all the phones and in the process of shutting the lights off. Two minutes before we close, someone decides to walk in. They want to do an upgrade and sign a new 2 year contract; this is a process that takes up to 30 minutes.)

    Customer: “…I’m also looking to get a new phone on my plan.”

    Me: “Great! Looking to do an upgrade on a current line or adding a new one?”

    Customer: “Update or whatever you call it.”

    Me: “Sounds good. Are you eligible?”

    (I should have checked, but it’s late and I take his word for it.)

    Customer: “Yep, I know which one I want. This one!” *points to a brand new smartphone*

    Me: “Okay, let me get that phone from the back and I’ll ring you up right here.”

    (After getting the phone, getting it set up and ringing it up, it shows the phone is full retail price because he is currently still in contract.)

    Me: “Sir, it looks like you are not eligible. In fact, you’ve only had that phone for 3 months. If you’d like to purchase this new phone today, it will be $560.00 full retail.”

    Customer: “What!? I don’t have that kind of money. It says right on the sign that it’s only $50! I only want to pay that.”

    Me: “The $50 price is for customers who are eligible to upgrade their phones. They get a discounted price for signing a two year contract, like you did three months ago.”

    Customer: “I never signed no f***ing contract! Now, give me the new phone at that price. That’s false advertising.”

    Me: “Sir, my system won’t let me. You are not eligible.”

    Customer: “You are just as greedy at Satan himself. Liars! I am calling the [cellphone company] president tomorrow and getting you fired and your f***ing store shut down!” *storms out*

    Coworker: “Drinks on me tonight?”

    Me: “Thought you’d never ask.”

    Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 3

    Fuming Over Perfuming

    Robeline, LA, USA | Awesome Customers

    (A customer enters and I walk around to greet him.)

    Me: *wiping my eyes* “Good evening!” *sniffles* “How are you?”

    Customer: “Hey don’t cry! Who did it?! Who made you cry?” *he looks around for other customers*

    Me: *smiling* “Thanks for your concern, but it’s just my allergies. I’ve had several customers who had on too much cologne or perfume.”

    Customer: “Oh, I was worried there for a minute. I thought I was going to have to kick someone’s a** for you!”

    Good Employees Can Fill In The Blanks

    | Santa Clarita, CA, USA | Family & Kids

    (It is 2000. I am working in the electronics department at a well-known chain department store, when a boy of about 13 years old walks up to my counter.)

    Boy: “Um… like, uh… do you, like, uh… have any, uh… like, uh… they’re like, um… they’re like, uh, movies… uh… but, like… they, like… they don’t… they, like, don’t have anything on them?”

    Me: *after staring for a moment* “Do you mean blank videocassettes?”

    Boy: “Yeah!”

    Waaay Lost In Translation

    | Aurora, CO, USA | Language & Words

    (It is a pretty mild day, and most everyone is buzzing about the new Ikea that has opened up the month prior. I am chatting with a particularly effervescent woman with a full cart to scan. She has asked about my studies.)

    Me: “I’m just going to school downtown. I’m studying Spanish and German.”

    Customer: “Wow! That’s impressive! Pretty and smart!”

    Me: “Oh, well thank you! I actually pick up languages easily. I’ve also studied Chinese and French, and for the past year my best friend has been teaching me Swedish.”

    Customer: *scoffs* “Swedish? Ha! Like you could speak Swedish!”

    Me: “Yes, actually I can. He actually was born and raised in Stockholm… he’s still living there, actually. He’s Swedish, teaching me Swedish, so I can go to Sweden.”

    Customer: “Well, I know people who work at Ikea, and they know Swedish. So, tell me, what’s ‘Hello,’ then?”

    Me: “‘Hej,’ or ‘Hallo.’ That can be followed up with ‘Hur mår du’ and other various phrases.”

    Customer: “Ha! I knew you didn’t speak Swedish. That’s not how you say ‘Hello!'”

    Me: “Yes, it is, actually.”

    Customer: “No, it’s not! My friends work at Ikea! They would know! You’re not speaking Swedish. That’s not Swedish!”

    Me: “Okay, then apparently my Swedish friend doesn’t know how to speak his native tongue. How do you say, ‘Hello’, in Swedish?”

    (The customer looks proud in her win and straightens herself.)

    Customer: “It’s f*******e.”

    (My jaw drops. The translation of this is roughly ‘c***face’.)

    Me: “Yes… yes sweetie, that’s exactly how you say that. You’re right. Have a nice day.”

    (She left looking incredibly satisfied. The moment I got off of work, I texted my friend. He and I still laugh about this over a year later.)

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