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    E Pluribus Dumbum

    | Pennsylvania, USA | Language & Words

    (We have a regular customer who always brings in his latest metal detector find for me to see, knowing that I’m a fan of antiques and history.)

    Customer: “See this ring my metal detector found this morning?”

    Me: *looks at the ring* “It looks like an old military officer’s ring. See the rank insignia on one side, the army seal on the other, and ‘E pluribus unum’ around where there used to be a gem/stone?”

    Customer: “‘In God we trust.'”

    Me: “What?”

    Customer: “‘E pluribus unum’ means ‘In God we trust.'”

    Me: “Actually, it is Latin for ‘Out of many, one.’ It’s the nation’s motto, meaning we are many states and people, but one country.”

    Customer: *suddenly angry* “NO! It means ‘In God we trust’, like on money! WHY DO YOU HATE AMERICA?!” *storms out*

    That’ll Be One Rippled Rear

    | USA | Health & Body, Language & Words

    (A woman walks into the video section of the department store.)

    Customer: “I’ve been looking all over this d*** store, and I can’t find the new Buns of Abs workout video!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I’ll try to find it for you. Were you looking for Buns of Steel or Abs of Steel?”

    Customer: “It’s called BUNS OF ABS! BUNS OF ABS! BUNS OF ABS! BUNS OF ABS! Don’t you think I know what I’m talking about?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am. I’m sorry, but it looks like we only have Buns of Steel and Abs of Steel at this moment. Would you like either of these two?”

    Customer: “No, I want Buns of Abs!”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am. I’m afraid we simply don’t have your video in stock. Is there anything else I can do to assist you?”

    (The customer lumbers off, grumbling. Thankfully, at the insistence of her daughter, she came back two minutes later to purchase Abs of Steel and Buns of Steel.)

    A Light In The Darkness

    | Canberra, Australia | Awesome Customers, Top

    (Our lighting store is very hands-on with service. On a slow day, I see a customer standing near our counter. She is looking at some lights displayed on the roof.)

    Me: “Hi, can I give you a hand today?”

    Customer: *angry* “NO! You know, you’re the fourth person in ten minutes to ask me for help! I just want to look at the lights. I don’t need any help. I just want to be left alone!”

    Me: “Okay, then.”

    (I walk away, rather surprised by her reaction. I see another customer, an elderly man, and decide to approach him.)

    Me: “Can I give you a hand, or were you just having a look?”

    Elderly Customer: “Just having a look, thank you. You know, you’re the third person to ask me that. What great service you guys have!”

    When Intelligences Cancel Out, Part 2

    | Lawrence, KS, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

    (I work as a cashier. At the checkout, the display on the cash back screen shows the amounts. Underneath is a large “No Cash Back” button, and below that in the corner is a small “Cancel” button.)

    Me: “Your total is $25.88.”

    Customer: “This will be debit.” *swipes card* “Oh, I hit the ‘Cancel’ button.”

    Me: “That’s okay. You’ll need to swipe it again.”

    Customer: “I don’t get why you can’t make this clearer! I don’t want cash back.”

    Me: “Then you need to hit the button that says ‘No Cash Back’, not the ‘Cancel’ button.”

    Customer: “That’s just dumb! Why don’t you make a button that just says ‘Cancel’ if you don’t want cash back?!”

    Related:
    When Intelligences Cancel Out

    Animal, Mineral, Debatable

    | Boston, MA, USA | Math & Science

    (The store I worked at sells rock and mineral specimens, so it’s quite common that customers don’t know much about what they are buying. Luckily, I have a geology background, so I can explain in detail what things are.)

    Customer: *points up at a piece* “What is that?”

    Me: “It’s a chrysanthemum stone.”

    Customer: “Well, what is that?”

    Me: “It’s strontium sulfate that forms on top of a black limestone.”

    Customer: “But what IS that?”

    Me: “Strontium sulfate is Celestite. This is just a different form of it, but deposited on a limestone; it looks like a flower.”

    Customer: “But what is THAT though? It’s not a fossil of a flower, is it?”

    Me: “No, it’s a mineral on top of a limestone. Limestones are a fine-grained sedimentary rock. The crystallization just makes it looks like a flower.”

    Customer: “So it’s a rock on top of another rock?”

    Me: “Not technically, but sort of…I don’t know how to explain it simpler than that.”

    Customer: “So, it’s two rocks in one! I’ll take it.”

    Me: “Okay, great. I’ll assume you want an info card on it?”

    Customer: “Nah, it’s just a rock on a rock. That’s all I need to know!”

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