July Theme Of The Month: Great Timing!

Suddenly Got Personal

| OK, USA | Money, Technology

(A customer calls our copy shop with an order for several large format color copies. The problem is that she absolutely refuses to set foot in the store to submit, pay for, or pick up the order, and she claims that our submission website is not working for her.)

Me: “Well, ma’am, do you have a [Store Name] credit card?”

Customer: “Yes, I do.”

Me: “Perfect! That’s the one type of card I am authorized to take over the phone, so we’ll just have you pay with that. I’ll set up your order from here with the files you emailed, and then give you a call when I’m ready to start the payment process.”

Customer: “Sounds great!”

(I spend two hours and miss my lunch setting up her order with our third-party vendor, which requires me to upload 24 images separately and keep their sizes consistent. Normally I wouldn’t go through the trouble, but the profit on this order was sizeable.)

Me: “Ma’am? We’re ready to start the payment process, all right?”

Customer: “All right, the card number is [number].”

Me: “Okay, the machine is asking for a driver’s license number to verify your identity.”

Customer: “Oh, well, I don’t want to do that. This is a corporate account and I don’t just want to give out my personal information.”

Me: “…I, uh… I don’t really have any other option here, ma’am.”

Customer: “Oh, well, just cancel the whole order, then! Goodbye!” *click*

Needs A Repeat Lesson

| ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(A customer asks for help in the self serve copy area, and as I’m trying to show him how to work the copier, he’s asking me questions.)

Customer: “How long have you worked here for?”

Me: *laughing* “Too long.”

Customer: “How long’s that?”

Me: “About four years.”

Customer: “Why don’t you go to school?”

Me: “I did go to school. It’s hard to find jobs in the career path you went to school for, especially in this area.”

Customer: “Why don’t you go back to school?”

Me: “I can’t afford it.”

Customer: “Well, are you a manager or something here?”

Me: “Nope, just full time.”

(I leave as soon as I’m done helping him, eager to stop talking about how I still work in retail. About six months later, I recognize the same man in line at my counter. He waits while I book in copy orders and ring through customers with items. Finally when it’s his turn, he doesn’t even have items or something to copy.)

Customer: “Hey, [My Name]! How’s it going?”

Me: “Fine, you?”

Customer: “Good! So you’re still here, eh? Have you been looking for other jobs?”

Me: “Kind of… I’m usually always looking for something that’s closer to my schooling.”

Customer: “Well, why don’t you get a job in [Nearby Large City]? There’s tons of jobs there!”

Me: “Because I don’t want to live in the city, or commute every day for work.”

Customer: “Well, that’s where the jobs are!”

Me: “I see.”

Customer: “Well, you should talk to a head-hunter! That’s their job, you know, finding other people jobs!”

Me: “That’s okay.”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “I’m fine. Thanks, though.”

Customer: “Oh…”

(After he leaves, my coworker comes up to me.)

Coworker: “What was that?”

Me: “A stranger who literally waited in line just to ask me why I’m still working here.”

The Machines Are Already More Intelligent Than Us

, | Paris, France | Extra Stupid, Money, Technology

(I work at a library’s copy store, a fairly large room within the main branch of the library. At the entrance of our store there are three huge copy-card dispensers – about the size of a cupboard – with a different slot for each way to pay: coins, banknotes, and credit cards. On every wall of our store, several A3-sized posters inform customers that they have buy cards to do their copies.)

Customer: “Excuse me, but I paid and I didn’t get my card.”

Colleague: “Did you pay with credit card, bill, or coins?”

Customer: “Bill.”

(My colleague goes to the card dispenser with the customer.)

Colleague: “I’m truly sorry, sir, but it seems I can’t find your bill.”

Customer: “Oh, that’s because I didn’t put it there.”

(Then he pointed at the coin slot. And indeed, there was a tiny piece of paper sticking out of it: the corner of his banknote, folded in four…)

Trying To Copyright The Wrong

| ON, Canada | Crazy Requests, Criminal/Illegal

(A customer comes to me a wallet sized photo of a baby that was clearly taken in a studio.)

Customer: “Can you enlarge this for me?”

Me: “Oh, was this taken by a professional?”

Customer: “Yes, of cour— No. No, it wasn’t.”

Me: “I’m sorry. Unfortunately, without written permission from the photographer, I can’t copy it.”

Customer: “I don’t care about copyright.”

Me: “I do. Company policy says that we can’t copy any professional photos.”

Customer: “No, it wasn’t professional. The mother took it. Can you just show me how to do it in self-serve?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but it looks professional, so I can’t assist you with it.”

Customer: “It’s not professional!”

Me: “It looks professional to me, so unfortunately, I can’t copy it.”

Customer: “Are you serious?”

Me: “Yes. I’m serious.”

Customer: *rudely* “Fine. Are you working tomorrow?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “UGH! Fine, I’ll just buy this then.”

(I meet her at the register to ring up her item.)

Customer: *in a snotty, ‘I’m better than you’ tone* “Life is too short to follow the rules.”

Me: “It’s also too short to get fired.”

A Professional Approach To Professional Photography

| ON, Canada | Crazy Requests, Criminal/Illegal

Customer: “I want to get these photos copied.”

Me: “Okay, I can copy these, but these ones here I can’t unfortunately, due to company copyright policy.”

Customer: “What does that mean?”

Me: “This is a professional photo, so I can’t copy it without permission from the photographer.”

Customer: “Oh, no, you can copy it.”

Me: “I’m sorry; I can’t.”

Customer: “But one of the people in that picture is dead now!”

Me: “I’m really sorry about that, but our company’s copyright policy is actually pretty strict; it goes until 50 years after the death of the photographer. I honestly don’t feel comfortable copying professional photos until they are at least 65 years old.”

Customer: “Well, this photo is 65 years old.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but this picture isn’t that old. I can do these photos for you, though.”

(I go through the stack of pictures and find some school pictures, which I put aside.)

Me: “I can’t do these ones, though.”

Customer: “WHY NOT!”

Me: “Because these are also professional.”

Customer: “No! They’re school pictures!”

Me: “Yes, that would be professional.”

Customer: “But these people died in 1992!”

Me: “Um, I’m sorry about that, but that doesn’t mean I can copy the picture.”

Customer: “YES, IT DOES!”

Me: “Maybe you didn’t understand me earlier when I said—”

Customer: “YES, I DID UNDERSTAND YOU!”

Me: “Then why are you telling me this person died in 1992? That doesn’t change the fact that the photographer has to be dead for 50 years before I can copy it.”

Customer: “THE PHOTOGRAPHER IS DEAD!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t copy it.”

Customer: “Then why are you copying this one?” *points to a photo that looks like it was taken with a point and shoot*

Me: “Because it’s not professional.”

Customer: “Yes, it is! A photographer took that!”

Me: “Well, it didn’t look professional to me, but since you’ve told me that it is, I can’t copy it now.”

Customer: “WHAT?!”

Me: “I’m sorry.”

Customer: “NO! YOU CAN COPY IT!”

Me: “You JUST told me it was professional, after I JUST told you that I couldn’t copy professional photos.”

Customer: “I want to see a manager, then!”

Me: “Okay.”

(My manager proceeded to tell the customer EVERYTHING I had already said, and the customer yelled back at him everything he had yelled at me. He left in a huff.)

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