Category: Transportation

Something Is Out Of Places

| Wales, UK | Extra Stupid, Popular, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

(Our tourist information centre is located within a mainline train station. As such, we have timetables for the railway line that we can give out to patrons. Most people just take them away to browse at their leisure.)

Customer #1: “Hi!”

Me: “Bore da, good morning! How can I help you today?”

Customer #1: “Hi, yeah. We want to go on the train.”

Me: “Okay, well, you’re in luck as we sell tickets here! Were you wanting to travel today, or later in the week?”

Customer #1: “We don’t know. Can you tell us what times the trains are going?”

Me: “Well, trains run roughly every two hours. Northbound trains run at converse hours to southbound trains.”

Customer #2: “Slow down a minute. Opposite hours?”

Me: “Yeah, so if the trains run roughly two-hourly – give or take ten minutes. One way is on the odd hours, so 9, 11, 1, 3, and 5 – the other way it’s 8, 10, 12, 2, 4, and 6.”

Customer #1: “I don’t get it. Can you write it down?”

Me: “I’ve got a printed timetable. Would you like that?”

Customer #1: “Sure, that’d be great. Thanks!”

Me: *hands customer a timetable*

Customer: *squints at timetable for a minute* “What does all this stuff MEAN?”

Me: “Well, this page is northbound trains, we’re here at [Town], and this page is southbound trains, and [Town] is here. So you just pick where you want to go from there really.”

Customer #2: “Sorry, but how does this help us find the train times?”

Me: “Well, the rows running directly to the destinations have times printed, so if you see here –” *pointing at [Town] again and moving my finger along the row* “– you’ve got 08:50, 10:05, 12:00, 13:55, 15:57, and 17:59.”

Customer #1: “So those numbers are times when trains go?”

Me: “Yep! You got it!” *beams widely*

Customer #2: “But what are all the words?”

Me: “These? These are destinations at which the trains may stop on their way to their destinations.”

Customer #2: “So are those like… train stations?”

Me: “They certainly are, sir!”

Customer #2: “In, like, towns or something?”

Me: “Towns or villages, yes.”

Customer #2: “Whoah! So the trains can, like, STOP there?”

Me: “Yes indeedy!”

Customer #1: “So if we wanted to, we could go on the train from [Town where we are] to [Random Other Town]?”

Me: “Certainly you could! You’d just need to hop on the next southbound train and you’ll be there in 35 minutes!”

Customer #2: “But how do you know how long it will take to get there?”

Me: “Well, on the timetable, the rows designate stops, and the columns represent the journey, so from [Town] to [Next Station Down] is seven minutes. If you follow this column  then you can see the times for the journey. [Other Town] that you asked about is six stops after [Town] on here, and the arrival time on this row here is 35 minutes after the departure time on this row here.”

Customer #2: “We don’t really get it.”

Me: “It might be easier if you decide when and where you want to travel, and we can print you a sheet with just your personal journey details on. That way you won’t have to worry about other times or destinations.”

Customer #1: “But we want to know about those other places. They’re all, like, PLACES places?”

Me: *not even sure at this point what ‘places places’ might mean to them* “Yes, sure they are!”

Customer #2: “Well, we’ll take this and see if we can get to grips with it later.” *waves timetable at me*

Me: “Okay, then. Well, I hope you have a pleasant holiday, and remember you can always pop in and see us during [opening hours] if you need more assistance!”

(They left. I went into the back to make a STRONG cup of tea.)

Trying To Backtrack The Conversation

| Brisbane, QLD, Australia | Extra Stupid, Transportation

(During peak hour traffic, it’s very slow on the highway, which also slows the number of cars trying to get out of our car park as our centre is right alongside the highway. There’s often a long queue of cars trying to leave the carpark.)

Customer: “Excuse me, how do I get back onto the highway?”

Me: “The exit is that way.” *points*

Customer: “Do I have to get behind that long line of cars?”

Me: “Yes, there’s only one exit.”

Customer: “Where’s the back way?”

Me: “There is no back way. That’s the only exit.”

Customer: “But there’s too many cars there! How do I avoid them?”

Me: “You don’t. There’s one exit. That’s why all the cars are lined up there.”

Customer: “…So, there’s no back way?”

Seat Location Scores A ‘D’

| London, England, UK | Extra Stupid, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

(I am a flight attendant and covering the rear doors on a large aircraft during boarding to help customers settle in. Seats are fairly simply set out using ABC-DEFG-HJK layout. A customer calls me from the far aisle.)

Customer: “Hey! Where’s 38E?”

Me: “The seats are in alphabetical, so ‘E’ would be that one.”

(I point and smile, counting through the alphabet so he can see exactly which seats are which.)

Customer: *pointing to 38D* “so is it this one?”

Me: “Sorry, sir, no. It’s the one next to it. There’s also a diagram of the row on the overhead locker with the seats’ letters.”

(The customer nods and begins to sit in the wrong seat so I help him by patting the correct seat over the aisle, by the time I get back to my door at the rear of the aircraft two gentlemen are laughing between themselves.)

Gentleman #1: “I think your explanation was idiot proof…”

Gentleman #2: “But obviously people check their brains with their luggage!”

Me: “I’m so glad I’m not the only one that sometimes thinks that!”

(Those gents made my flight and I made sure they got some extra bits for making a painful flight bearable!)

The Day Has Taken An Upward Curve

, | Carson City, NV, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology, Transportation

(I work in the DMV phone room. A customer calls regarding a form she wants to fill out so she can get a duplicate copy of her registration certificate and decal. One of the lines on the form has blank spaces for the vehicle’s “Make”, “Model”, and “Body Type”, such as LS, LX, SE, Sport, etc. )

Customer: “I didn’t know what to put in the space for “Body Type.” I was tempted to write, ‘Curvy.'”

(I wish I had more customers like that!)

Has A License To Be An Idiot

| San Jose, CA, USA | Criminal & Illegal, Transportation

(I work in the service department of a car dealership. We are sometimes able to provide loaner vehicles to customers if the repairs needed on their vehicle fulfill certain requirements. If a customer uses a loaner vehicle they complete a contract similar to if they rent a car which requires us to see their driver’s license, proof of insurance, and a credit card. A customer has been told they qualify for a loaner vehicle needed after their vehicle was towed in for repairs and diagnosed. She barges in, looking grumpy.)

Customer: “I’m [Customer]; I’m here to pick up a loaner car.”

Receptionist: “No problem! We were expecting you so your advisor has already pulled up the vehicle; we’ll be able to get you on the road soon.”

Customer: *impatiently* “GOOD! I’m in a hurry. It is SO inconvenient that I had to come ALL the way here to pick up a car. I have things to do, you know!”

Receptionist: “We definitely understand; it’s tough when your car breaks down. We’re glad we can get you this loaner so at least you can get around again while your car is being fixed. I just need to see your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and a credit card so we can do your paperwork.”

Customer: “WHAT?! What do you mean you need to see that stuff?”

Receptionist: “…Are your documents in your car? We can have one of our porters get whatever is needed out of your vehicle.”

Customer: “NO! I didn’t bring any of those things because NOBODY TOLD ME I would need them! SOMEBODY SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME! THIS IS TOTALLY UNPROFESSIONAL!”

(One of my coworkers finishes with his customer and is tired of hearing her berate our receptionist, who has done nothing wrong. He approaches the desk.)

Coworker: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I couldn’t help but overhearing. It sounds like you were here to pick up our loaner vehicle but you don’t have your driver’s license or insurance information?”

Customer: “YES! NOBODY TOLD ME I NEEDED THEM! SOMEONE SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME!”

Coworker: “Was someone else going to drive the loaner car?”

Customer: “What kind of stupid question is THAT? I HAVE TO GO TO WORK! STOP WASTING MY TIME AND GIVE ME THE CAR! NOBODY TOLD ME I NEEDED TO BRING THAT STUFF TO GET THE CAR!”

Coworker: “Ma’am… I’m pretty sure the State of California told you to bring your license and insurance with you EVERY time you plan to drive a car.”

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