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    Customer Service Does (Not) Speak Your Language

    | Topeka, Kansas, USA | Language & Words

    Me: “[Store Name], this is Grace. How can I help you?”

    Caller: “What’s on the down low?”

    Me: *thinking I heard her wrong* “Excuse me, ma’am?”

    Caller: “What’s on the down low?”

    Me: “Um, not a lot.”

    Caller: *angrily* “What’s on the down low?”

    Me: “I’m really sorry. I just don’t think I’m understanding you.”

    Caller: “WHAT’S ON THE DOWN LOW?!”

    Me: “What?”

    Caller: “WHAT TIME Y’ALL CLOSE?!”

    Me: “Oh, we close at 9 PM.”

    Ethnically Ethical

    , | Wichita, KS, USA |

    (An older lady is asking me for help with her shopping list.)

    Customer: “Sir, do you…well, I don’t really know if I can say this out loud, but do you have this video game?”

    (The customer points at her list to the game title, “Ethnic Mickey”, which doesn’t exist. We sell “Epic Mickey”.)

    Me: “Um, ma’am…we have Epic Mickey, if that helps.”

    Customer: “Oh, my goodness. Here I was, worried about the title and if it was appropriate. We spoke over the phone, so I guess I misheard.”

    With Great Money Comes Fiscal Responsibility

    | Quebec, Canada |

    Customer: “Excuse me? My 13-year-old son went to your store last night and spent over $200.”

    Me: “Okay, and what is the problem?”

    Customer: “Well, no one asked him for ID.”

    Me: *confused* “Well, did he buy anything that requires him to be a certain age?”

    Customer: “No, but he spent $200 and he’s only 13 years old. No one asked him for his ID!”

    Me: “So, I should have asked him for ID and then declined to sell something to him because he’s a teenager?”

    Customer: “Exactly. I’m shocked that your store doesn’t seem to have a policy about this.”

    Me: “Ma’am, how did your son pay for what he bought?”

    Customer: “Cash, of course. He’s way too young to have a debit or credit card.”

    Me: “So you allowed your son to spend a Friday evening at the mall with $200 cash on him, but you’re blaming our store because he spent it?”

    Customer: “Pretty much, yes.”

    Me: “Ma’am, if he wasn’t buying anything he was too young to buy, I couldn’t decline the sale because of his age, as that would be discrimination.”

    Customer: “Well, I’m pretty sure there are laws against it. I’ll be getting back to you.”

    It’s Funnier When The Parents Do It

    | Buffalo, NY, USA | Family & Kids

    (I work at a major gaming retailer. A customer walks in with her son and wants to trade games in for another game. I have a running joke I state to customers: when signing over games, I verify that they are their games and not games from some kids they beat up.)

    Me: “Alright, ma’am. Please sign on the pad stating these are your games, that you are voluntarily selling them to us, and that you didn’t beat up some kid and leave him in a snow drift somewhere.”

    (The customer’s 14 year old son cracks up laughing.)

    Customer: “How can you say that?! That is a rude and despicable thing to accuse me of!”

    Son: “Mom, he’s kidding!”

    (The customers behind her start laughing as well.)

    Customer: “Ah, okay. I’d like [game] in exchange, please.”

    Grand Theft Innocence

    | Georgia, USA | Family & Kids

    (Note: it’s illegal to sell games rated M to small children without parental consent. A young boy and girl, both about ten years old, bring a game well-known for violence, sex, and other child-inappropriate behavior to the counter.)

    Me: “I’m sorry. I need your parent’s permission before I can sell you this.”

    Kid #1: “Why? He said we can have it. We have the other ones. Just sell it to me.”

    Me: “I’m sorry. I’ll have to get your parent’s permission first.”

    Kid #2: “Fine. I’ll go get him. Daddy is in the car.”

    (The kid returns, followed by her irate dad.)

    Dad: “Why won’t you sell them this stupid game? I had to get out of the car because you can’t trust my children not to buy something they shouldn’t? I have good kids!”

    Me: “I’m sure you do, sir. It’s a law, though. I can get fired if I don’t make sure to get your permission.”

    Dad: “There’s nothing wrong with this game! I want to see your manager!”

    Me: “Sure.”

    (My manager comes over and gets and ear-full from the guy. He explains how I’ve insulted him and his children by making him come inside.)

    Manager: “Well, sir, she’s absolutely right. This game is rated mature and has some pretty rough language and sexual content.”

    Dad: “Don’t you think I know what the game is? They have the other ones.”

    Manager: “I’m a little surprised, sir. I don’t allow my kids to play this game. It’s pretty violent.”

    Dad: “I turn the volume down! What kind of parent do you think I am?”

    Manager: “Well, sir, you can’t turn the volume down on beating a hooker with a baseball bat.”

    (The dad storms out of the store with his kids, all the while asking if they knew about the hookers and baseball bats.)

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