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    Giving Them A Spanish Inquisition

    , | Spain | Language & Words

    (I’m a teenager, although I look younger. My father owns a small, English-run shop, and I work some shifts there if I want some extra cash. My father can’t speak a word of Spanish, although I can since I go to school in Spain. Two customers walk in, talking in Spanish.)

    Customer #1: “I hate this shop! It’s stupid, and they don’t even speak Spanish.”

    Customer #2: “I know, right? I only come in here so I can mentally mock everything.”

    (I’ve been listening the whole time, but they’ve only just spotted me.)

    Customer #1: “Look! They’ve hired some low-life kid to help them out. I swear that’s illegal; I’m going to report it because it will be funny.”

    (I’ve been keeping quiet, but now I get angry. I twist around, facing the men, and start talking to them in Spanish.)

    Me: “Okay, listen up: I’m a teenager, and my dad owns this shop. In case you haven’t noticed already, I do speak Spanish, and I’ve heard everything you just said. So if you hate this shop so much, why don’t you get out?”

    (We never see them again, which my father appreciates, since they were always coming in without buying anything and he didn’t know how to say anything!)

    Sold A Game, Bought A Life-Lesson

    | Helsinki, Finland | Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Top

    (I work in a store that sells and buys used games, consoles and computers. We require that everyone who sells us something shows an ID. A young customer comes to the store to sell PS3 games.)

    Me: “Hey there. What have you got for us?”

    Customer: “Some games.”

    (He puts the games on the counter. I check them and we agree on the price.)

    Me: “Okay, I’ll need your ID please.”

    Customer: “What! No! Why?”

    Me: “It’s store policy, and it really helps with cutting down the amount of people trying to sell us stolen items. I know it’s a bit of drag when selling just games, but we buy a lot of expensive electronics as well. There’s no way around it I’m afraid.”

    Customer: “No one is required to carry around an ID in Finland! That is the law! We are free here.”

    Me: “Sure, but I’m not required to buy these games from you either.”

    Customer: “But I don’t have to have my ID with me. It’s the f***** law. Check it, you ignorant dumb-a**!”

    Me: “What that law means is that you can’t get arrested for being without an ID, but there is still a whole bunch of stuff that you can’t do. You can’t get a loan from the bank, make a phone contract etc… I’m done arguing about this. Show me an ID, or I won’t buy these games. It’s as simple as that.”

    Customer: “Fine! Whatever!”

    (The customer throws his ID on the counter, fuming. We get the transaction done, and he goes to the shopping area to look at the games on sale. After awhile the alarm at the door goes off. I look up and see the same customer bolting from the store. A coworker starts to run after him. I stop him.)

    Me: “Don’t bother. That guy just sold us some games.”

    (My coworker laughs so hard he has to go to the office. I look up the customer’s info and call the number services to get his phone number. I call him and he answers.)

    Customer: “Yeah?”

    Me: “Hey, this is [me] from [store].”

    (There is a long silence.)

    Me: “Yeah, if you could just bring back the games you stole, that would be great.”

    Customer: “I, uh…”

    Me: “Otherwise we will be forced to contact the police. Come now and we can settle this.”

    Customer: *sheepishly* “Okay. Don’t call the police, please.”

    Me: “Be here in five minutes.”

    (After about two minutes he comes running through the door. I take him to the office, and he gives me back the stolen game. I look at him closely and can see that he is really scared.)

    Customer: “I’m so sorry! I’m not a thief. I just got pissed because of the whole ID argument, and wasn’t thinking straight. My dad is a lawyer, and I guess I thought I knew about this stuff. I was stupid and wrong. Please don’t call the police; I’m not a criminal.”

    (I believe him, and actually feel kind of sorry for him. He is only 18 after all, and everyone makes mistakes.)

    Me: “Okay, I believe you have learned a lesson. We forgive you, and the matter is settled.”

    (He thanks me profusely and leaves. The next day he shows up to the store with some candy and pastries for the whole staff. Over the next months he has become a regular of the store. He is always very polite and nice and has even been seen arranging the games after other customers have messed up the shelves. He is a far cry from the arrogant brat that came to the store the first time. Everyone deserves a break.)

    Slanged Up Gets You Banged Up

    | Norfolk, VA, USA | Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Money, Top

    (I work in a second-hand store. We are similar to a pawn store, but we don’t offer loans. It’s been a really hectic day, and my patience is starting to wear a little thin. A wannabe ‘thug-gangsta’ comes in, and throws a few PS3 games at me.)

    Thug: “I wanna pawn deez.”

    Me: “Sorry man, we don’t pawn. If you’d like to sell them, I’ll take a look for you.”

    (The thug nods, and I check the games for condition, and then look up the games for their value.)

    Me: “Alright man, given how these games have been marked down, you’re looking at about $27.”

    Thug: “H*** no! You know how much I paid for dem?!”

    Me: “Yeah, I’m a gamer. I understand what price the games were, but given how old these games are, they’re not worth as much now.”

    Thug: “F*** you! They ain’ worf nothin’!”

    Me: “Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to keep the language down, or take your things and leave.”

    Thug: “Who the f*** is you?! You can’t tell me what to do; matter of fact I got the ratchet in the car!”

    (Ratchet is slang for a gun. I decide to act stupid.)

    Me: “A Ratchet? What kind is it? Snap-On, Mac-Tools? What? Bring it in I’ll see if I can’t get you anything for it.”

    (The thug starts to get louder. A regular of mine walks in. He’s a cop, and off duty. He’s watching the thug with an arched eyebrow.)

    Thug: “No you fat mother-f*****. I got a gun in the car, and I will shoot you!”

    Me: “Sir, do you realize you’re threatening me in front of an off-duty police officer?”

    Thug: “Ain’t no mother-f****** police in here!”

    (I see the cop behind him pull out his wallet to show his badge, and I just smirk.)

    Me: “Turn around.”

    (The thug turns around, and sees the badge. He snatches his games off the table, and runs out of the door. The police officer gives me his cell phone number, telling me to call him if that thug comes back.)

    Scanning Ahead

    | Helsinki, Finland | Extra Stupid, Technology, Themed Giveaway, Wild & Unruly

    (I work at a second-hand store that mainly sells games and consoles, but also some computers and computer accessories. A customer is standing near the scanners, so I go to help him.)

    Me: “Hi there, how can I help you?”

    Customer: “I need a copier.”

    Me: “Unfortunately we don’t carry those.”

    Customer: “What about these?”

    Me: “Those are scanners.”

    Customer: “You can make copies with those?”

    Me: “In a way, yes. You can scan an image, print it and you’ll have a copy. It’s an okay method if you only need a few copies once in a while. For big volumes it’s not really that great unless you have a really good printer.”

    Customer: “I don’t have a printer.”

    Me: “Well a scanner won’t be a good solution as a copier then, unless you buy a printer also. We don’t carry printers unfortunately, since used printers are very unreliable.”

    Customer: “That is just stupid! What is the point of this copy machine if you need other machines with it also?”

    Me: “That is a scanner. Its purpose is to convert documents and images to a form that a computer can—”

    Customer: “Wait! Why are you talking about computers? I don’t have a computer and I don’t want one! I see what you’re doing. You just want to make me buy useless stuff I don’t need!”

    Me: “I can assure you—”

    Customer: “You can assure me of nothing! I’ll take that one.”

    (The customer points to the cheapest scanner, smiling smugly.)

    Me: “You will have absolutely no use for that without a computer. And I must point out that we are not required to give refunds on functioning products. You really should not buy that.”

    Customer: “I’ll take it!”

    (The customer grabs the scanner and walks towards the check out. I follow him, and before the cashier rings him through I stop him for a moment.)

    Me: “Sir, again I advise you not to buy the scanner, and again I’m informing you we will not be taking it back unless it’s broken. It’s a lot of extra work for taking back functioning products. We need to do some paperwork and test the product again before reselling it. So please, for all our sakes, don’t buy it.”

    Customer: “Here’s the money!”

    (The customer pays and leaves. I put a notice in our system not to take the scanner back unless it’s really broken. A few days later, I’m called from the office to the cash registers, and there he is; the same customer.)

    Customer: “This here piece of s*** you sold me doesn’t work! I want my money back.”

    Me: “How is it broken?”

    Customer: “Completely! It doesn’t do anything!”

    Me: “So I won’t be able to scan anything with it?”

    Customer: “No you won’t!”

    (We have a testing computer set up on the buy-in counter. I go through the process of hooking up the scanner while the customer watches. With a pen I write something on a blank paper, scan it and print out the scan. I hand the two papers to the customer. It says “No refund” on both papers.)

    Me: “Seems to be working fine.”

    (The customer grabs the scanner and storms out. We watch him as he throws the scanner to the pavement and shatters it, jumps into his car, and speeds off.)