• A Pain In The Nugget
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  • October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

    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.”


    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.)

    A Seedy CD

    | CT, USA | Crazy Requests, Rude & Risque, Technology

    (Part of the territory of working in a copy and print shop is you are going to see some ‘private’ photos sometimes. While you are allowed to refuse to print something you are uncomfortable with, most of us don’t care and just turn the print upside-down once done to avoid offending other customers. On this particular day, a regular customer comes in, who we all know manages a ‘gentleman’s club’ in town.)

    Customer: “Okay, the image is on this CD, it should be the only one there.”

    Me: “Okay. Let me just look at it on the computer before you go, so I know it’s the right one and it copied to the disk properly.”

    Customer: “Okay.”

    Me: *realizing immediately that I can’t describe this image in front of other customers* “Er… sir, do you want to come around the counter and look to make sure the image is correct?”

    Customer: *very loudly* “IS IT A MIDGET STRIPPING?”

    Me: “…  Yes. Yes, in fact, it is…”

    They Just Can’t Cut the Mustard

    | FL, USA | Bizarre, Health & Body, Rude & Risque, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (I’m working the copy desk when a customer walks in.)

    Me: “Can I help you, ma’am?”

    Customer: “Yes, I’d like to print some photos on my flash drive.”

    (She hands it to me.)

    Me: “Alrighty. I’ll just hook it up and we can go from there.”

    (I connect the flash drive to my computer and open the folder for it, to find that there is only one photo on it: a photo of the customer naked and rubbing ketchup and mustard on her large belly.)

    Me: “Uh…”

    Customer: “Yes, that one. I want it blown up to poster size, and I want 100 copies of that.”

    Me: “I’m afraid it’s against our company policy to print, er, photos of an explicit nature, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Really? Oh, darn. Well, do you at least like the picture?”

    Me: “Uh…”

    Customer: “Then it was worth it to come here after all!”

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