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    Avoiding A Bioshock

    | Dublin, Ireland | Crazy Requests, Technology

    (A customer approaches the cash desk with a console in a box.)

    Customer: “Hi, I’m looking to trade this in?”

    Me: “Sure, let me just make sure it works!”

    (I open the box, only to find the entire console, wires, and control pads are covered in heavy condensation. It’s so heavy, that there are drops of water pouring down the system.)

    Me: “Umm …I don’t think I can plug this in to check it.”

    Customer: “Why not?”

    Me: “Well, it’s soaking wet. Generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to combine water and electricity.”

    Customer: “Ah, it’s just a tiny bit of condensation. I had it in the car overnight; that’s why.”

    Me: “I still don’t think it’s safe, sir.”

    Customer: “Go ask your manager; he’ll tell you it’s fine!”

    (I decide to humor him, and take the console out back to the manager.)

    Me: “So I’ve got this customer for trade in, and he wants me to plug this thing in and check it.”

    Manager: *not looking up* “So what’s the problem?”

    Me: “I think you should have a look and see what the problem is!”

    Manager: *looks at the console* “Is he for real?!”

    (The manager picks up the console, and it almost slips out of his hands from the liquid on the surface. He heads out to the customer and deals with him.)

    Manager: “We can’t accept this for trade in. Sorry about that.”

    Customer: “Ah, why not!? It’s only a tiny bit of condensation; I don’t know what the problem is!”

    Manager: “Well, if you’re happy to plug in electronics that are dripping with water, be my guest, but you’ll be a candidate for the Darwin Awards if you do. I’m not happy to risk the personal safety of my employees just for a trade in.”

    (The customer looks at the console again.)

    Customer: “And what if I come back in 10 minutes, and it’s dry?”

    Manager: “I think that’d be something of a miracle, don’t you?”

    Little Console-ation In This Situation

    | Baltimore, MD, USA | Liars & Scammers, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (Two customers stumble in the doors a bit drunk. They proceed to knock display cases off of a few shelves and even disrupt a display stand. It all seems to be accidental, so I let them be. My coworker just cleans up behind them. Finally, they come up to the counter.)

    Customer #1: “Hey, we were looking to buy a Playstation 3, an Xbox, and an extra controller for each, and all new.”

    Me: “Ooh, lots of games to catch up on, huh?”

    Customer #2: “No, we’re just gonna—”

    Customer #1: “DUDE! It’s a secret man; you can’t blow it!”

    Customer #2: “OH DUDE! Sorry, man!”

    (I’m a little confused, but I ring them up and see them off. An hour later, they come back in with the torn, destroyed boxes.)

    Customer #1: “Hey man, these don’t work. We want our money back.”

    Me: “Oh, that’s unfortunate. Let me open everything up and see if I can figure out why they didn’t work.”

    (The objects inside are CLEARLY not the systems I just sold them. They are older versions of each console, beaten up and broken. One is even missing the wires that come with it.)

    Me: “These are not the ones I sold you. I couldn’t even take these as trade-in; they’re in terrible condition.”

    Customer #2: “S***! AND WE ALREADY SOLD THE OTHER ONES TO—”

    Customer #1: “Uh… well our new ones were just stolen from our car, actually. So we’d like a refund or like, a free game.”

    Customer #2: “That’s not gonna WORK, man! We should just go, man. Before they call somebody!

    Customer #1: “UH… Well we’re gonna file a report with the police and we’ll be RIGHT back!”

    (They walk out the door, leaving me and my coworker stunned.)

    Coworker: “There is no way that just happened…”

    Me: “Is there a hidden camera here? This can’t be real life…”

    Can’t Help Those Who Won’t Help Themselves

    | CA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Technology

    (The entire network for my store and the stores in my district have gone down, preventing us from looking up customer accounts and values for electronic devices. A customer comes in to have an estimate for selling an iPhone.)

    Customer: “How much can I get for this?”

    Coworker: “Our system is down right now, so unfortunately we cannot look it up.”

    Customer: “You can’t even try?”

    Coworker: “Well, let’s give it a shot.”

    (My coworker starts loading the screen, and the system only loads about halfway before failing.)

    Coworker: “Since it’s still not working, I can give you the number of another store that does have their system functioning so they can give you an estimate.”

    Customer: “So you mean I have to call them, and you can’t tell me here?”

    Coworker: “We cannot.”

    Customer: “Why not?”

    (I have just clocked off, but decide to interject to help explain the situation.)

    Me: “Our system is down, preventing us from looking up the estimate. However, this store can give you an estimate. Additionally, you can go onto our store website and find an estimate there.”

    Customer: “So you’re telling me you can’t help me?”

    Me: “Through our system we cannot, but I have provided you two alternatives to help you out.”

    Customer: *starts leaving* “Dumb-a** b****, won’t even help me out and look it up for me.”

    Another Customer: “Their system is down lady! Gosh, what is her problem?”

    Grand Theft Promises

    | Oxford, MS, USA | Family & Kids, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (I am a customer at a video game store, when a mother and her child, who can’t be more than seven, walk in.)

    Kid: “I want these games, Mom!” *hands her several sports games*

    Mom: “Okay, well, we’re gonna get them used because they’re cheaper.”

    Kid: “I also want this game!” *hands her ‘Grand Theft Auto IV’*

    Mom: “Well, here’s a used copy, so I guess it’s okay.”

    Me: *quietly, so the kid doesn’t hear* “Ma’am, I hate to interrupt, but Grand Theft Auto isn’t a game for children. In that game, you can buy a hooker, beat her up with a baseball bat, and steal her money.”

    Mom: “You can do what now? What’s this game about?”

    Me: “It’s about stealing cars and killing people. It’s not a game for children.”

    Mom: *to kid* “Hey! You promise you ain’t gonna do none o’ that?”

    Kid: “YEAH!”

    Mom: “Well, okay then!”

    Mass Defect

    | Copenhagen, Denmark | Bigotry, Technology

    (I’m a female employee in a video game store. The latest edition to the ‘Mass Effect’ series has just come out, which I happen to be a great fan of. A customer approaches my coworker.)

    Customer: “Hello, I’d like to get this game for my son. I heard it is the new one?”

    (The customer holds out a copy of ‘Mass Effect 2′ for PC, which is not the newest one.)

    Coworker: “Yeah, I think so, I am not sure. Let me ask my coworker.” *refers to me* “Is that the right one?”

    Me: “No, that’s the previous one. Please follow me, and I’ll show you where they are.”

    Customer: *snorts* “That’s alright missy; I’ll take your coworkers word for it. Why don’t you go back to your Pokémon?”

    Me: “I promise you, sir, that’s not the game your son wants. If I can just—”

    Customer: *to my coworker* “Can you ring this up for me, please?”

    (My coworker seems a bit unsure at this point, but decides to ring it up for him anyway. The customer walks away happily with his purchase, and I make nothing more out of it. A few hours later, the customer comes storming back in, literally SLAMMING the game on the desk.)

    Customer: “What the f*** is wrong with you people? Have you NO knowledge whatsoever about what you’re selling?! You got me the wrong game! My son already has this! Talk about a f****** rip off!”

    (I quickly snatch a copy of ‘Mass Effect 3,’ and join them at the desk.)

    Me: “Excuse me, sir, but I believe this is the game you were looking for.”

    (The customer stares at the game case, clearly getting more angry.)

    Customer: “Well, why the h*** couldn’t you have showed it to me earlier?!”

    Me: “Because you wouldn’t allow me to. You told me to go back to my Pokémon.”

    (At this point, the customer blushes greatly, but before he can say anything else my coworker intervenes.)

    Coworker: “Let’s just make a return on that game and ring you up the right one.”

    (The customer agrees, and is acting much calmer during the transaction. I’ve gotten quite used to prejudices at this store because of my gender, but at this point I was just happy his son could finally enjoy the right game!)

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