Category: Math & Science

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

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Now Recruiting Eight Year Olds

USA | Bizarre, Math & Science

Customer: “Can you tell me what used to be in this building?”

Me: “It was a museum.”

Customer: “Oh, okay.”

Me: “Yeah, that was almost six years ago.”

Customer: *gesturing toward the main seating area* “Was there a big tractor in this area?”

Me: “I don’t know. I wasn’t around then.”

Customer: “Yeah, you were probably a baby!” *walks away*

Me: “…”

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Some Use Slightly Less Than Others…

| USA | Math & Science, Pets & Animals

(I work in a dolphin education facility and it’s my job to answer any questions that guests have about our animals or about dolphins in general. Since the movie “Lucy” has come into theaters, I have been getting a lot of the following:)

Guest: “Is it true that dolphins use 20% of their brain? Humans only use 10%!”

Me: “That is a common myth, but actually both species use 100% of our brains. They are comprised of different areas for different functions so it’s hard to compare them anyhow.”

Guest: “But they are so much smarter; they must use 20%!”

Me: “While intelligence can be debated, I assure you that all animals use 100% of their brains.”

Guest: “Well, how can you know?”

Me: “If we only used 10 or even 20% of our brains we’d be completely non-responsive… or dead…”

(Because if you heard it in a movie it MUST be true!)

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Refunder Blunder, Part 23

| England, UK | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Math & Science, Popular

(Customer comes in to return a lipstick that is faulty. She takes a replacement lipstick and some other items.)

Me: “So, your total £8.50.”

Customer: “Well, that’s not right.”

Me: “Yep, the total of your items comes to £8.50.”

Customer: “What about my £6 return for the lipstick?”

Me: “Oh, well, you took another in replacement, so you won’t technically get your money back.”

Customer: “Why not? I wanted a refund. Where’s my £6?”

Me: “Sorry, I’m confused. Did you not want a new lipstick in return for your damaged one?”

Customer: “Yes, but I don’t understand where my £6 has gone?”

Me: “Well, you used it to pay for your replacement lipstick.”

Customer: *getting annoyed* “But I already paid for it? So why don’t I get my £6 back? It was faulty!“

Me: “Yes, madam, if you just take a look at the receipt, you’ll see that I’ve returned your faulty lipstick at £6, and then sold you back a new one, also at £6, so there’s no refund to give, you just have to pay for your additional items, which come to £8.50.”

Customer: “That’s so confusing. I don’t know why you’ve done it like that.”

(The customer reluctantly paid the £8.50, while muttering that it should definitely be £2.50 because of her £6 refund. She left telling me that she was going to be in contact with customer services. I wished her the best of luck.)

Related:
Refunder Blunder, Part 22
Refunder Blunder, Part 21
Refunder Blunder, Part 20

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Too Much Meth, Not Enough Math

| NY, USA | Extra Stupid, Math & Science, Money, Popular

Me: “Okay, just so you know, sir, a three-month supply of this medication is going to cost you about $400.”

Customer: “What?! No. You’re wrong. When I picked it up last it was a third of that!”

(I look up his payment and pick up history in the system.)

Me: “It looks like this new prescription is the same medication as the last but you’re allowed to pick up three months at a time instead of just one. Is that correct?”

Customer: “Yes! But it’s never this expensive!”

Me: “Well, you’re picking up more at one time which is why it is a higher cost.”

Customer: “No! You’re wrong. It’s not supposed to be this expensive!”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t set the prices. Your insurance company tells us what to charge you based on your plan.”

(This commences a 10 minute rant about how this medication is too expensive and he KNOWS he shouldn’t owe this much because he has been in the industry for 20 years and has a PhD.)

Customer: “When I picked it up last month it was only $133! It shouldn’t be $400!”

Me: “So… you previously picked up a one month supply for $133? And you’re upset because this three-month supply is three times the cost of the one-month supply?”

Customer: “YES!”

(Sadly this man did not see the math and proceeded to stay for the next 45 minutes and tell me exactly what was wrong with the entire industry and why it was my fault. Unfortunately, I have more stories about this guy from this 45 minute encounter alone.)

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Immeasurable Confusion, Part 2

| Wales, UK | Crazy Requests, Math & Science

(A posh, seemingly well-educated older man comes into our shop. He’d been in several times before and was always very pleasant so I didn’t mind taking some extra time to help him out. He told me he’d broken his ruler and wanted a new one so I took him to the right aisle.)

Me: “What size were you after?”

Customer: *picking up a six inch ruler* “This is it. This is the size of the old one.”

Me: “Okay, no problem.”

Customer: “Only… my old one had metric on one side and imperial on the other.”

Me: *pointing it out to him* “Yes, this one has that too. That side’s centimetres; that’s inches.”

Customer: “No, no. That’s not like my old one.”

Me: “How was yours different?”

Customer: “Well, it was almost exactly like this only the lines on this side matched up with the lines on that side.”

Me: “Sorry, do you mean the first line on the metric side was level with the first line on the imperial side?”

Customer: “Yes, but they matched up all the way along.”

Me: “As in… no, I think I’ve misunderstood you here.”

Customer: “As in the one centimetre line was level with the one inch line, the two centimetre with the two inch line and so on.”

Me: “Ah, I think what you had there was centimetres on one side, millimetres on the other. They’re both metric, ten millimetres to every centimetre so the lines would match up on every centimetre.”

Customer: “No, I assure you; it’s centimetres one side, inches on the other and they match.”

Me: “I don’t see how that could be possible. They’re completely different units of measurement.”

(I point out the difference in size between the two but he’s very confident that he’s right. I start to think maybe I’ve missed something.)

Customer: “I’ve been using that ruler for years and I can absolutely assure you that it’s what I just described.”

Me: “Erm… the ruler wasn’t curved or something was it? Like a protractor?”

Customer: “No, no, no. I tell you what, I’ll buy this one now and I’ll send you the old one through the post so you can have a look at it and see what I mean.”

Me: *quite curious now* “Okay, I’d quite like to see this.”

(I make the sale and true to his word, a few days later an envelope arrives with a friendly note, suggesting that perhaps it’s an old fashioned style of ruler which is why I’ve never seen it before as he’d been using it in his office for many years. I take the broken ruler out of the envelope and discover that it’s metric both sides. I show my colleague and she tells me he’s been in charge of a large estate for years which by now he may well have turned into a tiny model village due to a miscalculation of scale.)

Related:
Immeasurable Confusion

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