Category: Home Improvement

Stupid customers still have to live somewhere. While we applaud them for sometimes wanting to make the place look nice, please don’t assume flat-pack furniture comes ready out of the box, or that power-tools are named as such because they need power! They make Tim The Toolman Taylor look like Frank Gehry!

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Legal Tax Is Illegally Taxing

| MN, USA | Home Improvement

(I work in building materials at a large hardware chain where I commonly do estimates for all sorts of projects. On a slow night, a customer with a fairly thick accent comes up and we work up a drywall estimate for his basement.)

Me: “Alright, so, your total is [amount] before tax. Is this something you would like us to deliver or are you picking it up yourself?”

Customer: “How much is delivery?”

Me: “For a driveway drop off it would be [amount].”

Customer: “Really? I guess I’ll pick it up tomorrow.”

(The customer leaves and returns within a few minutes and hands me the paper.)

Customer: “The girl at the register tried to charge me more than what is on this sheet! I want you to come with me to make sure I only pay this.”

Me: “I’m sorry about that, sir, but the system is set up to only charge you this number on the paper. How much was the bill?”

Customer: *slightly higher than ticket amount*

Me: “Okay, but this ticket is just for the pre-tax total. Tax is applied at the register.”

Customer: “Taxes?! Why should I have to pay taxes? I’m an illegal!”

Me: *stunned* I’m sorry, sir, everyone pays taxes. It’s the law.”

Customer: “Then I guess I will have to buy my products from people who don’t charge tax!”

(He stormed off and left his purchase ticket with me.)

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Caught Red-Painted

| USA | Home Improvement, Liars & Scammers, Popular

(I work in the paint department. We have a policy of changing the color of left-behind paint or stain after closing, since it gets marked down in price. A contractor orders several five-gallon tubs of wood stain in a natural color, but never comes to get it. I have a hunch, and dye each five-gallon a vastly different, but still usable color. Sure enough the next day he comes in, goes straight for the marked down stain, and begins loading them onto his cart before he notices the colors are all different. He angrily storms over to the desk.)

Contractor: “Why are these all different colors?”

(Knowing full well he had ordered them and left them on purpose, I smile.)

Me: “Well, when paint or stain is left over a day, we change the color so would-be thieves don’t come back the next day and try to get their paint for a fraction of the cost.”

(He sputtered at me angrily, and left in a huff with only two of the closest-matching colors he could find. The rest were bought throughout the day by other people.)

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Lumbering Around And Around

| Vidalia, GA, USA | Extra Stupid, Home Improvement, Popular

(While working in the building materials end of a home improvement store, I have two customers back to back ask me probably the stupidest question I’ve ever been asked.)

Customer #1: “Excuse me, do you sell lumber?”

(I look around at all the plywood, two by fours, and trusses before looking back to him with a deadpan look.)

Me: “Nope.”

Customer #1: *nods* “Thanks, I wasn’t sure. Thanks for your help.”

(Not twenty minutes later, another customer comes in and looks me dead in the eye and says:)

Customer #2: “Where would your lumber be?”

(I point silently up at the sign above us that reads “Lumber.” The customer looks up, then back down at me, before looking up again. After a moment he starts to laugh.)

Customer #2: “My mistake.”

(Later when I’m checking him out, he adds:)

Customer #2: “You know… if it had been me, and someone asked me a dumb question like that, I’d have been sorely tempted to send them on a wild goose chase around the store before bringing them back here.”

Me: “I’ve tried that. It gets old after the fourth or fifth time.”

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I’ve Just Been Planted Here

| Tucson, AZ, USA | Crazy Requests, Home Improvement

(I’ve been working at my job for about a week now. I’m in the garden section of our store, something I know next to nothing about, and generally only cash people out. This happens while I’m watering the plants before we close down the section.)

Customer: “Miss, can you tell me about the differences between these two types of cacti?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I’m a recent hire, and I don’t know much about our plants yet.”

Customer: “Well, you’re here, so you need to answer my question.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m still learning this section. I did not expect to be placed here when I was hired, and I’m usually only a cashier.”

Customer: “But I have a question; you have to answer it! You can’t work in a section you don’t know anything about!”

Me: “Well, seeing as how my boss put me here, yes, I can. I really know nothing about the plants. I don’t even know where everything is yet, and I’m only watering tonight because our usual guy called out.”

Customer: “They wouldn’t make you do a job you don’t know! You just don’t want to help me!”

Me: “Ma’am, I can call someone who knows more about these things, but I assure you, I do not.”

Customer: “BUT YOU’RE WATERING! YOU MUST BE A GARDEN EXPERT!”

Me: “Ma’am, I can’t even be trusted to keep a goldfish alive; I promise you, this is not a normal part of my job.”

Customer: “BUT YOU HAVE TO KNOW! YOU ARE IN THE PLANTS! YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT THEM!”

Me: “Ma’am, honestly, it took me twenty minutes to figure out the hose. I assure you, you do not want my advice on plant-related things.”

Customer: “Oh. Well, I saw a rat in the corner; can you get rid of it?”

Me: *thinking nowhere in my job description does it say I am in charge of getting rid of rats* “Ma’am, we’re outdoors. The rat has as much right to be here as we do. If it gets into the store, I’ll be happy to call maintenance, but otherwise, rats are not included in my job.”

(She walked away after that, still muttering about the rat and how I “must know about these things”!)

Give Them An Inch And They’ll Take A While

| New Zealand | Extra Stupid, Home Improvement, Math & Science

(I am serving a customer with curtain fabric.)

Me: “Do you know how much you need?”

Customer: “Yes, I measured it.” *peers at our set into the counter ruler* “But I didn’t use one like that; mine was different. That’s hard; mine was soft.”

Me: “You would have used a t—”

Customer: *talking over the top of me* “Yes, mine was different. It was longer, too. Will there be a difference because yours is shorter than mine? I’m sure it was longer. I think it was longer. Do you think it will make difference?”

Me: “Did you use a tape measure?”

Customer: “A what? I’m not sure what you mean”

Me: *holding up a tape measure* “Did you use something like this?”

Customer: “Yes, that was it, but mine was longer than this ruler. I’m sure it was longer”

Me: “Tape measures are a metre and a half long. Our ruler is only a metre.”

Customer: “Oh, that’s why. I was worried.”

Me: “So what was the measurement?”

Customer: “It was [measurement].”

Me: “Is that in centimetres or inches?”

Customer: “Is there a difference?”

Me: *mental face palm, holding tape measure* “This side is centimetres and the other is inches. Which side did you use?”

Customer: “Oh, the smaller one. I am sure I used the smaller one…”

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