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    User Has Exceeded Maximum Cognitive Power

    | Australia | Extra Stupid

    (We have two separate check-out counters on opposite ends of our store. One counter has a self-serve photocopier next to it. I am working on the side with the copier when a middle-aged woman approaches me.)

    Customer: *blank expression* “I need some photocopies.”

    Me: “Sure. The copier is just around the side there.”

    Customer: “But I don’t know how to use it.”

    Me: “All right, no problem. I’ll teach you.”

    (I lead her around to the photocopier. Before I can instruct her, she interrupts me, looking bewildered.)

    Customer: “Oh, no…it’s too complicated for me. I can’t do it. You’ll have to do it for me. I just don’t know how to work these things!”

    Me: “Well, you put what you want to copy face down in the top left corner.”

    (The customer puts it in the middle.)

    Me: “No, the top left.”

    Customer: *blank stare*

    Me: “Left.”

    Customer: *blank stare*

    (I move the original to the correct spot and press copy.)

    Me: “Okay, so, was it just one copy? That’ll be 20 cents.”

    (The customer stares at her hand. She is holding a 10 cent piece and a 20 cent piece. She looks at each of them for about ten seconds.)

    Customer: “How much?”

    Me: “20 cents.”

    (The customer turns to stare at the coins in her hand some more. Finally, she decides to pay with the 20 cent coin and leaves. About half an hour later, I am working on the opposite counter by myself when she finds me again.)

    Customer: “I need some more photocopies.”

    Me: “Sure. Well, the copier is just over the other side.”

    Customer: *blank stare*

    Me: “Over there. Where it was before.”

    Customer: *blank stare*

    Me: “Just next to the other counter. Someone over there will be able to help.”

    Customer: *blank stare*

    Me: “I can’t help you from here as I have to stay on this counter. You’ll have to go over the other side where the copier is if you want photocopies.”

    Customer: *blank stare*

    (At this point I am certain her brain has actually come to a complete stand-still and she has ceased to function entirely. I call someone to temporarily watch my counter while I take her to finish her copies.)