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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Hexed The Decimal

| Foley, AL, USA | At The Checkout, Math & Science, Money, Popular

(A woman approaches my counter to purchase a washer. I ring her up with no problems, until we reach the very end.)

Woman: “Hey, did you take off my 10% discount? This is on sale.”

(I’m somewhat baffled, as this is the first time she’s mentioned a discount, but I look anyway.)

Me: “Yes, ma’am. The computer does it automatically.”

Woman: “Okay.”

(The customer then pays with a gift card, three credit cards, and $50 in cash. I finish the transaction and send her on her way. Ten minutes later, an angry gentleman approaches my counter.)

Man: “Hey, girl! You ripped my wife off! There’s no way this cost that much!”

Me: “Sir, I’ll happily look, though I’m fairly sure this is correct.”

Man: “No! It isn’t! You didn’t take off my discount.”

Me: “Okay. Do you want me to break this down, so you can see?”

Man: “Yeah, if you CAN. You cashiers use the computer so much that I doubt you’re capable of basic math!”

(I’m annoyed, but instead of remarking on it, I write down the original price of the item on a piece of paper and, by hand, multiply it by 0.9. )

Man: “Wait! Why are you doing that? It’s a ten-percent discount!”

Me: “Yes, sir. Which means you’re still paying 90%, right?”

Man: “Duh! I’m not stupid! But you multiplied that by a decimal! Not a percent!”

Me: “Well, sir, they’re the same thing. 90% is the same as 0.9.”

Man: “No, it isn’t! God, why does [Store] hire such stupid people?”

Me: “Sir, if you let me finish, I assure you that we’ll know if this receipt is correct.”

(The customer huffs but says nothing. I calculate out the rest of his purchase, with tax, and subtract his payment methods. My result is exactly the same as the one on his receipt.)

Me: “See, sir? I assure you it’s correct.”

Man: “No! I don’t think you know what you’re doing! That math is just insane! I want to speak to a manager!”

(To my surprise, my manager doesn’t understand it either, so I have to repeat myself to him. The customer still claims we’ve cheated him.)

Me: “Sir, I assure you that this is correct.”

Man: “Well, it’s clearly not, if your manager can’t figure it out!”

New Customer: “For God’s sake, I’m a math professor! Let me look at this!”

(The new customer comes around and looks at it.)

New Customer: *to Man* “Well, sir, I regret to inform you that this ‘stupid cashier’ is absolutely correct. If there’s something wrong with the math, it’s definitely yours.”

Man: “Well, I… well, she didn’t explain it right!”

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Making A Very Tricky Point(s)

| USA | Books & Reading, Math & Science, Money, Popular

Customer: “I need to renew my platinum rewards membership.”

Me: “Great! That’ll be an extra $25, and it will take 10% off of your purchase today and give you 10% back on every purchase in the future.”

Customer: “Okay. Wait, then let me pay for the rewards membership first, and THEN ring everything else up in a separate transaction. I know how tricky you guys are. I know what I’m doing.”

(I figure that he wants to build up his points rather than get the 10% off right away, and he’s so adamant about doing it this way that I just shrug and do as he says. Ten minutes after this transaction, he comes shoving his way to the front of the line, looking very upset.)

Customer: “You didn’t give me the 10% off!”

Me: “As I explained, the 10% off is automatically applied when you renew a platinum rewards membership in the same transaction. You insisted on doing them separately. Now, you’re still going to get the 10% in rewards points to spend later, so in the end you’re saving just as much.”

Customer: *sputters* “But… but… you tricked me!”

Me: “You kind of tricked yourself…”

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Don’t Count On It

| ON, Canada | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Math & Science

(We have school contracts at our restaurant that allows schools to buy pizza at a reduced price for resale. One such school has been calling every single order to complain, and giving us trouble every week, usually about them missing pizza. Finally, our district manager decides to deliver the pizzas personally, to make sure everything is right this time. Soon, we get this call.)

School: “Hi, I was calling because your driver left the pizza bags here. Were you going to pick them up?”

(Curious about why our manager would leave the expensive bags there, we wait for her to come back to ask.)

District Manager: “Oh, that? They asked me if I had an hour to wait for them to count the pizzas. I said ‘nope’ and walked out.”

Assistant Manager: “Why would it take them an hour to count 40 pizzas?”

District Manager: “Honestly? I don’t think they can count…”

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…”

Doesn’t Understand Your Conversion Metric

| Home Improvement, Math & Science

(Our store usually prints dimensions on the packaging in centimetres and so the staff are used to older customers having trouble converting to inches. A customer approaches myself and another staff member.)

Customer: “Excuse me, could you help me work out this curtain size?”

Me: “Sure, what do you need?”

Customer: “Well, I need a length 2.28 metres but this one says 228 centimetres. How do I convert that?”

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