Category: Transportation

The Landing Went Down The Toilet

| Singapore | Bad Behavior, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

(I am a cabin crew member in economy class, preparing for landing. We are all set and waiting for the captain to announce our landing position, when suddenly an elderly passenger, in the last row, gets up to use the lavatory.)

Me: “I am so sorry, sir, we will be landing soon. The lavatory can no longer be used at this moment.”

Passenger: “I need to use the toilet now!” *shoves his way past me and into the lavatory*

(I have to inform the crew in charge about the situation so that the captain will not make the landing. After the passenger comes out from the lavatory and quietly goes back to his seat, the captain proceeds to make a safe landing. When the aircraft is on ground and passengers are getting up to exit the aircraft, the same passenger comes up to my face.)

Passenger: “You are very rude! No one had ever done that to me. Do you know I have the contact to your company’s president? I have his number right here on my mobile!”

Me: “Sir, it was for your own safety. And if you like to report me to the president, please go ahead. This is my name.”

Passenger: “What if I peed right here in the aircraft?”

Me: “Sir, it was for your safety. You could have gone before we were ready for landing or after landing.”

Passenger: “Kamu orang China bodoh!” *speaking in Bahasa Indonesia, translation: “You stupid China people.”*

Me: “Saya bukan orang China. Saya orang Indonesia. Ini untuk keselamatan bapak.” *me replying to him in Bahasa Indonesia, translation: “I am not from China. I am from Indonesia. I am doing so for your safety, sir”*

(Stumped at my reply, he quickly tried to exit the aircraft while at the same time yelling in Bahasa Indonesia: “Rude, stupid people!”)

Heavy Drinking Is Not In His Jeans

| UK | Bad Behavior, Transportation

(My friend gets on a train to somewhere in London one evening, while a bit drunk. He doesn’t remember what happens next. The next day, he’s woken up by a ticket attendant. Note that there are several families on the train by this time, including young children.)

Friend: “Where am I?”

Attendant: “You’re in Bognor Regis, sir. And it’s ten in the morning.”

Friend: “Sorry, I must have fallen asleep. Would it be okay if I stayed on the train?”

Attendant: *casually* “You’re welcome to do so. Just as long as you put your jeans back on.”

The Wheel Always Comes Back Around

| Charleston, SC, USA | Bad Behavior, Transportation

(I’ve been a bicycle mechanic for over 10 years and have heard my share of JRAs (I was Just Riding Along when my frame broke in two… etc), but this customer stands out for some reason. He enters the service door with a bike he has purchased from us, clearly agitated.)

Me: “Yes, sir, how can we help you?”

Customer: *mumble* “Warranty work…” *mumbles* “…shoddy workmanship…”

(He kind of mumbles this under his breath as he keeps striding up to the service area, and then actually pushes the bike into me, physically. It doesn’t hurt, but it’s pretty aggressive.)

Me: “I’m sorry; you’re having an issue with the bike? What’s going on?”

Customer: *grunts and points toward the rear wheel*

(I kneel down and notice that both the brake arm and the housing for the three-speed hub are disconnected, meaning the bike cannot shift or brake. These are the two things you would need to unfasten to remove the rear wheel, by the way.)

Customer: *scowling and standing over me as I kneel* “You ever hear of Loctite?”

Me: “Yes, sir, I have heard of Loctite.”

Customer: “Well, maybe you should USE some.”

Me: *incredulous* “Sir, I’ve been doing this for 10 years. This is my job. The brake arm already uses a nylock nut. Anyway, it looks like the shift pin’s fallen out, too. Let me see if I have a spare.”

(This gives me a chance to go in the back and look for the part, and for him to get out of my face and cool down. Since I was 99% sure this was a case of him (or someone else) removing the rear wheel and then being unable to reinstall it, I thought I’d offer him some tips.)

Me: *wheeling the bike out of the service area* “Well, I got it all hooked back up. Thank goodness I did have one of those pins.”

Customer: *silent, pensive, already looking a bit sheepish*

Me: “It’s the darndest thing, really, for both that housing bolt and the brake arm to have loosened up at the same time, but they’re both up to proper torque now. I can’t imagine that happening again. If for some crazy reason that housing does loosen up, or if you’re removing the wheel, take care not to lose or bend that shift pin though. Anyway, I’m sorry you had to deal with this, but of course that’s why we offer a warranty on all new bikes for the first year. If there’s anything else you need or if something goes out of adjustment, don’t hesitate to bring it back.”

Customer: *mumbled thanks*

Me: *cheerily* “…and have fun out there!

We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat Insurance

| Columbia, SC, USA | Extra Stupid, Family & Kids, Transportation

(I answer phones at a boat repair shop. We live in an area where bass fishing is BIG business and have a mobile repair truck that we dispatch to docks and people’s backyards.)

Me: “Good morning. Thank you for calling—”

Caller #1: *interrupts me* “Oh, thank god you are there. I really need your need help!”

(The caller sounds like a teenager.)

Me: “Okay, how can I help—”

Caller #1: “I really need you to get out here and fix a [type & size of] motor. TODAY!”

Me: “We are booked up right now. We won’t have time to come see it until next week.”

Caller #1: “NO, NO, PLEASE! You have to come TODAY! My dad is going to kill me!”

Me: “Okay, calm down. I can send someone out but it will be a $100 charge to even come see it.”

Caller #1: “$100! I don’t have that kind of money! I… I…”

Me: *in a motherly tone* “Hon, how old are you?”

Caller #1: “I’m sixteen.”

Me: “What happened?”

Caller #1: “My dad went out of town for the weekend. He told me not to touch his boat but I had some friends over and—”

Me: “…and you wanted to show off and you did something?”

Caller #1: “Yeah.”

Me: “Okay, what did you do; maybe I can help you?”

Caller #1: “Well, we were in the backyard and I got up on the boat and started it and it ran great for a few minutes and then when I tried to rev it, it made a clunk sound, smoke poured out, and now it won’t start.”

Me: “Wait, you ran it on a trailer in the backyard? It wasn’t in water?”

Caller #1: “Yeah. What do I do? My dad is going to be furious.”

Me: “You need to call an adult relative and get them to come over with you.”

Caller #1: “Why?”

Me: “Because you are dead meat. Your father is going to kill you. You blew the motor.”

Caller #1: “What?! Can’t you fix it?”

Me: “NO. You overheated it. The reason boats need to be in the water is because it sucks in water to use to cool the engine. You ran it OUT of water so there was nothing to cool the engine. You overheated it and blew it.”

Caller #1: “But you can fix it, right?”

Me: “No, you will have to buy a new motor.”

Caller #1: “How much? I have a bank account.”

Me: “The motor you described will cost $6,000.”

(At this point he starts crying and begging me to help him and fix the motor. I tell him I am sorry; there is nothing to be done except call a relative and be a man and tell his father the truth, and next time listen to his father. Two days later I get a call:)

Me: “Good morning; how may I help you?”

Caller #2: “Yeah, my dumb-a** son ran my boat in the yard, and overheated and blew the motor. I need to know the cost of a new motor so I can let him know how long he is going to have to work to pay it off.”

(I was glad to hear the kid would live.)

All Pumped Up For The Wrong Reasons

| MN, USA | Crazy Requests, Money, Transportation

(I work as a cashier at a pre-pay only gas station. Many customers don’t know we’re a pre-pay only station and frequently insert the nozzle into their car expecting us to turn on the gas for them, which we cannot do. The customer in this story has just tried to pump without paying and we’ve informed him over the intercom that he needs to come inside to pre-pay. He comes in moments later looking annoyed.)

Customer: “Why do I have to pre-pay?”

Me: “Sorry about the inconvenience; it’s store policy. How much would you like to pump?”

Customer: “I just want to fill it.”

Me: “In order to pre-pay we need a dollar amount of gas that you want to pay.”

Customer: “I don’t know how much I need; I just want to fill it.”

Me: “Yeah, but we don’t know how much it will take to fill your car. Just guess how much gas you need and if you don’t end up pumping it all into the tank you can come back in and get your change.”

Customer: “I don’t want to have to come back in. I just don’t see why I have to pre-pay. Is this such a bad neighbourhood that you get people driving off a lot?”

(I start to try and tell him the policy has to do with how our store is arranged, we can’t see the pumps well enough from the store to determine if someone drove off without paying, but before I can say that he interrupts.)

Customer: “Can’t I just give you my keys and you turn on the pump for me?”

(At this point my manager who is close by steps in to tell him we can’t do that and that he needs to pre-pay an amount before we can turn on the pumps, which he does but as he’s leaving he says:)

Customer: “This is ridiculous, I don’t want to have to come back in for my change. It’s supposed to be a convenience store; this isn’t convenient.”

(He starts pumping his gas, and as he’s doing so my manager comments on how annoying it is when customers do this.)

Manager: “And you know the ironic thing is that if he left his keys in here, he would still have to come back in to get them.”

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