Category: Movies & TV

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Beware The Cable Guy

| USA | Bad Behavior, Movies & TV, Technology

(I work at a well-known electronics retailer, and have just finished my shift with another coworker. I clock out as two men come in to the store. One is an elderly man looking to get a TV antenna so he can drop his cable provider, and the other is the man’s middle-aged neighbor. The neighbor has no concept of an “inside voice,” and this whole exchange is done in an aggressive, vaguely Australian shout. Taken aback by the intensity of the neighbor’s voice, I wind up staying past my shift.)

Neighbor: “We’re looking for TV antennas. Do you have those here?”

Coworker: “Yes, sir. What kind were you looking for—”

Neighbor: “Good, good! We want one of those boxes you put on the TV. See, my neighbor here just got a $190 bill from his provider and he wants to drop them.”

Coworker: “Well, we do have indoor antennas, but they may not work well depending on your location. This area is bad for FM TV reception because of the landscape—”

Neighbor: “Yeah, his cable provider charged him $190 and he wants to drop them, but he only watches a few channels.”

(He proceeds to rattle off several cable-only channels.)

Coworker: “Well, those channels are only through cable, so he will not receive those through an antenna.”

Neighbor: “What channels will he get? See, he only watches [repeats list of cable-only channels].”

Coworker: “How many channels he gets really depends on his location, what kind of antenna he has, and where he—”

Neighbor: “Do you have any of the big outdoor antennas?”

Coworker: “Not in-store, but I can check online.”

(At this point I have drawn the old man aside and made him aware of streaming media devices and companies that stream shows over the internet for a small fee. He seems content with that solution, but the neighbor is not.)

Neighbor: “Now wait a minute. How many channels will he get?”

Coworker: “Like I said before, it depends on where you are. These large antennas can pull stations from forty miles away and—”

Neighbor: “What about those things you use to rotate them? And do you have someone to install it?”

Coworker: “We do sell the rotating mounts separately, but we do not have our own installers. You will have to—”

Neighbor: “Why don’t you have your own installers? Will he be able to watch his shows from [Cable TV Network]?”

(This went on for twenty minutes, with the neighbor repeatedly asking how many channels his elderly friend would get, interrupting and misunderstanding our explanations, more comments about the cable bill, giving us unprofitable business advice, and making off-color jokes about a recently deceased comedian that were in very poor taste. They ultimately left without buying anything, leaving us bobbing awkwardly in the eddies left by the man’s strange intensity.)

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Just Bladerun With It

| AZ, USA | Geeks Rule, Movies & TV, Popular, Technology

(I am working the reception desk. I am often told that I should be a radio announcer or a voice actor, because my ‘phone voice’ is so nice. I am also known as the office nerd, able to recite lines from a plethora of geeky films and shows.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Store]. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Oh, is this a machine? Or are you a person?”

Me: “No, ma’am. I am a Nexus-series Replicant made by the Tyrell corporation. More human than human is our motto.”

(Fortunately, the caller had seen Blade Runner and got a good laugh from it. My normal coworkers rolled their eyes so hard their retinas detached.)

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Not Playing With Phrasing

| Hays, KS, USA | Movies & TV, Popular, Rude & Risque

(I am working for a third party that provides customer service for a very popular TV/Internet/phone company. During the evening shift we get a lot of interesting calls. In this case, I am the one who says something I wish I could take back. When we send a signal to a cable box to try to reboot it, we call it “hitting the box.”)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Cable Company]. My name is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “I’m trying to watch a show and it’s giving me an error.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I know that’s frustrating. Can you tell me what the error says so I can see how we can fix it?”

Customer: *reads me the error code; it’s for a premium channel*

Me: “Okay, I can see this is for a premium channel. Let me make sure we’ve got the channel active on your account.”

(I verify his account info, and see that he has subscribed to the Playboy channel, and nothing else.)

Me: “I can see that you’re currently subscribed to the Playboy channel. Is that the channel you’re seeing the error code on?”

Customer: “Yes. I really need it to work.”

Me: “No problem; let me hit your box and see if I can get it up for you.”

Customer: “…”

Me: *mortified*

Customer: “…”

Me: “I… I mean… um…”

Customer: *bursts into laughter*

Me: *trying to control my laughter* “I mean… let me… send a signal… to your cable box… and see if I can get your… channel… working again.”

(I got it fixed. He was able to… enjoy… his evening.)

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The Name Game(show)

| USA | Crazy Requests, Movies & TV, Popular

(I take complaints and record feedback for a well-known TV channel.)

Me: “Thank you for calling. How may I help you?”

Caller: “This is unacceptable! Your game show last night was incredibly racist!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, I appreciate your call. What show are you talking about and what seems to be the problem!”

Caller: “Last night on [Game Show], an African-American woman was named Ebony! That’s racist! Just because she’s black doesn’t mean you can name her Ebony!”

Me: “Uh… what?”

Caller: “You heard me!”

Me: “Ma’am, let me get this straight; you are complaining about a contestant’s name?”

Caller: “Yes! On [Game Show] last night!”

Me: “[Game Show]? You mean on [Competitor’s Channel]?”

Caller: “Of course! Are you an idiot!”

Me: “You do realize this is [Other Channel], and we don’t play episodes of [Game Show]?”

Caller: “Do something! Her name is completely racist! Think of all of the children that were watching! How could you name someone that?”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m going to say this once. You have called the wrong channel, complained about a show we don’t even host, and want us to do something about a contestant’s name, which is given to them by their parents?”

Caller: “Yes! Why aren’t you doing anything?”

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I Find Your Lack Of Concessions… Disturbing

| NY, USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Movies & TV, Popular

(It’s a few days after “Star Wars” has opened, and it’s been playing to all-day sold-out screenings since it opened. We’ve had such huge, record-numbers of guests, that we’ve actually started to run out of many of our concessions. It’s a Monday night, my shift ends in ten minutes, and I’m dealing with my last round of customers, who are of course there to see “Star Wars.” We have a large group of people in the stand because we’ve had to bring in the new hires for emergency training to deal with the record-number of guests. However, as they are all training, they can’t really help me.)

Customer: “Pretzels, please.”

Me: “I’m terribly sorry, but we’ve actually sold out of pretzels.”

Customer: “But it’s a MONDAY!”

Me: “Unfortunately, Saturday was the busiest day we’ve ever had in the theater’s history, and all of our pretzels sold out by that afternoon.”

Customer: “Ugh, fine. Pepperoni pizza, then.”

Me: “We also sold out of all of our pizzas Saturday. I really apologize. We’ve been dealing with record-numbers of guests the past few weeks and we’ve been selling out of much of our stock.”

Customer: *fuming* “You’ve gotta be kidding me! Nachos?”

Me: *wincing* “Sold out as well. I’m so sorry.”

Customer: “FINE! HOT DOGS!”

Me: “We do have hot dogs, but there’s none prepared at the moment. We could have some ready in about fifteen minutes, if you’d like.”

Customer: *screaming; pointing to the trainees around the stand* “What the f*** are you all good for, then?! So many people around you and you’re too STUPID to make f****** hot dogs?!”

Me: “We actually sold all of the hot dogs we had prepared on the guests before you. I really apologize.”

Customer: *pulling phone out* “POPCORN! MEDIUM! AND I WANT COURTESY TRAYS TO SPLIT IT WITH MY BOYFRIEND!”

Me: “We’re out of courtesy trays.”

Customer: “F*** YOU!”

(The customer storms off.)

Next Customer: “Wow, she was dramatic…”

Me: “Yeah, I apologize. We’ve sold out of a lot of inventory and it’s been ugly here the past few weeks as a result. How can I help you?”

Next Customer: “Can I get some nachos?”

Me: “Sorry, but we sold out of them.”

Next Customer: *instantly furious* “WHAT?! THIS IS BULL-S***!”

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