Category: Math & Science

Everyone needs basic math and science skills to survive. However, these customers were definitely sleeping their way through class!

Need To Sit Down For This Math

| Highlands Ranch, CO, USA | Math & Science, Movies & TV

(I work at a large movie theater company and on this particular occasion, I am working Guest Services. This conversation takes place over the phone.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Movie Theater]. This is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Guest: “Hi, um, I was wondering about the 7:40 showing of Mockingjay. Is it sold out or are there seats available?”

Me: “Well, that showing is in a larger movie house. So, we still have 516 seats left out of 520 seats.”

Guest: “Oh, um, okay. Are there enough seats for five of us to sit together?”

Me: “Uh… Yes, there are enough seats for five of you.”

They Are In The Lower Percentile, Part 3

| Ft. Worth, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Math & Science, Money

(A craft store I frequent is notorious for long lines. This incident finally showed me why.)

Cashier: “Ma’am. The discount was applied. It is 40% off one item at full price.”

Customer: “No! You’re cheating me! You didn’t do it right! I should only pay 50 cents!”

Cashier: “The item was $1.00. 40% off of $1.00 is 40 cents. You would only pay 50 cents if it was a 50% off coupon, which we do not have.”

Customer: “F*** you! You’re just stealing from a hard working mother. And what’s this extra money you’re charging me?”

Cashier: “That’s the sales tax, ma’am. It’s applied to every purchase, wherever you go in Texas.”

Customer: “Tax? I never have to pay tax. And now you’re taking money from me! How am I going to buy milk for my kids?”

Customer #2: “Lady… are you seriously arguing about 13 cents? If it’s that big of a deal, I’ll give it to you. And if you really care about your kids, you wouldn’t waste your money on a bubble wand. You’d buy your kids the milk first.”

Customer: “It’s the principle! I should only pay 50 cents on—”

Customer #2: “No. You are not only a terrible parent, but fail at math. 40% off a dollar is 40 cents. Not a single penny more. 50% is 50 cents off of a buck. Coupons here only go as high as 40%. Quit holding up the line, pay for your item, and get the h*** out of the store. And don’t help your kids with their homework. We don’t need more of you in our lines.”

(The first customer ended up swearing and holding up the line even more, but Customer #2 seemed pretty content after that. He’s probably dealt with customers like her before.)

They Are In The Lower Percentile, Part 2
They Are In The Lower Percentile

Math Is Usually To Blame

| ME, USA | Crazy Requests, Math & Science

Customer: “What is 25 multiplied by 24?”

Me: “That comes to 600.”

Customer: “WHY?!”

Me: “I’m sorry… Are you asking me why it comes to 600?”

Customer: “Yeah!”

Me: “Because of math?”

Millionth Of A Meter Will Cost You Millions

| England, UK | Crazy Requests, Math & Science, Money, Technology

(We specialize in high-value engineering equipment. It is well-known that these items cost tens if not hundreds of thousands of pounds. Just looking at them it is obvious as they are made from carbon fibre and granite.)

Me: “Good morning, this is [My Name] at [Company #1]; how can I assist?”

Caller: “Yes, my name is [Caller], the director of [Company #2]. I need a [specific] measurement device.”

Me: “Not a problem. Can I just get a few details to narrow your search?”

Caller: “Yes. I was only interested in the most accurate [Expensive Type] units you have.”

Me: “Okay, great. Well, we have a range of equipment. Our top end system is accurate up to 0.015mm.”

Caller: “No, that’s nowhere good enough; I need something better than 0.001mm.”

Me: “Erm, well anything that accurate is pretty specialised. Maybe I can refer you to one of our partners. What sort of budget do you have?”

Caller: “£10,000.”

Me: “£10,000?”

Caller: “Well, yes.”

Me: “Sir, our most basic system costs five times that amount, You are asking for the most scientific piece of equipment on the planet. I would have to guess but for something like that would cost you at least a million.”

Caller: “What? I don’t have that sort of money; that’s not good enough. Who can I speak to? I want something for £10,000!”

Me: “I would be happy to show you what we have, but from what you have told me today, it isn’t going to be possible in your budget.”

Caller: “What?! This is ridiculous!”

Me: “Sorry, sir. You can of course try other companies, but I am sure that they will tell you the same.”

(I found out that he had again called but spoke to a different employee, telling them that a competitor promised them this magical unit and he wanted us to match the price. Obviously lying, he was politely told not to ring back.)

They Are In The Lower Percentile, Part 2

| London, England, UK | Extra Stupid, Math & Science, Money

(I work in a well-known department store which is famous for having frequent sales.)

Customer: *holding up two dresses from the sale rack* “Are these the same price?”

(I look at the labels which she too would have seen, both are reduced by 50%, Dress A was £10 and is now £5, and Dress B was £16 and is now £8. I point at the labels and say the prices.)

Customer: *smiles* “I only want these if they’re the same price. Can you check and see if they’re the same price?”

(I scan them and repeat what it says on the labels.)

Me: “You see, they were different prices to start with, and they’re still different prices.”

Customer: *still not understanding what I am saying* “I only wanted them if they were the same price…”

Me: “They’re not the same price.”

(I realise now that she thinks them both being the same percentage off makes them the same price. I don’t know what to tell her. I want to tell her how stupid she is but I’d lose my job.)

Customer: “Can you check?”

Me: “I just checked. Look, their current price is on the labels, and that’s exactly what the scanner is telling me. 50% off 10 is 5 and 50% off 16 is 8.”

(I know checking them again won’t change their price but she is just smiling at me, still confused.)

Customer: “I only want them if they’re the same price?”

(I feel like screaming. I don’t know what she wants me to do.)

Me: “Sorry, they’re not the same price. They’re different prices. They’re different dresses and different brands and differently priced, even in the sale. It’s the same percentage but different price.”

Customer: “I only wanted them if they are the same price…” *walks off smiling, but looking very confused*

(I was so frustrated I ran to the break room so that I could calm myself down.)

They Are In The Lower Percentile

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