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The Less-Errant Of Two Evils

| The Netherlands | Right | December 29, 2012

(I’m a cashier at a supermarket and am checking out a customer. All cigarette packages have a warning on them.)

Customer: “I’d like [brand] cigarettes please.”

(I grab a package.)

Customer: “Oh no, not that one. I don’t like the text on it.”

Me: “Oh, you mean the, ‘Smoking is deadly’ text?

Customer: “Yes, get me one with a different text.”

(I grab another package.)

Me: “Okay… how about, ‘Smoking leads to a slow painful death’?”

Customer: “No, I don’t like that one either.”

Me: “Is, ‘Smoking increases the chance to get lung cancer’ fine, then?”

Customer: “Ah yes, that one is good!”

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Not In The Right Frame Of Mind

| USA | Right | December 29, 2012

(Our picture framing shop sells sheets of glass pre-cut to various sizes. An older customer comes up to the counter with an 11×14 inch piece.)

Customer: “Which side is 11, and which side is 14?”

Customer Service Can Be A Stumbling Block

| Canada | Working | December 29, 2012

(I’ve lost my wallet. I spend an entire week frantically re-tracing my steps on foot—over 40 city blocks—checking my university’s lost and found, and looking in my mailbox to see if someone had returned it. Finally, I give up hope. I pay for new IDs and cancel my cards. But several days later, someone from university calls to report it has been found. I am on the phone to reactivate my credit card.)

Me: “Hi, I reported my card lost, but now I have it and would like to reactivate.”

Representative: “Why did you report it lost if you have it?”

Me: “I lost my wallet and didn’t expect to get it back. But I have it now. Can you reactivate my card?”

Representative: *sighs* “Okay, but I have to verify some info from your account.”

Me: *answers*

Representative: “…and where was your last purchase made?”

Me: *answers*

Representative: *rudely* “Do you recognize charge from [other store]?”

Me: “Yes, but that was purchased earlier in the same day. You asked for the last purchase. Now can you reactivate my card? I’ve given you plenty of info.”

Representative: “Okay, I’ll reactivate your account, but just so you know, you should never report your card stolen if it’s not serious. That feature is for emergency use only!”

Me: “I never said it was stolen; it was lost. I didn’t want anyone finding and using my card.”

Representative: “Well, you still shouldn’t have done that. Obviously it was in your house all along and you just couldn’t figure out where.”

Me: *click*

Time To Teach Time Travel

| Indiana, USA | Working | December 29, 2012

(I am a substitute teacher. This takes place on Picture Day, where all the kids go with their homeroom teachers to have school pictures taken. After about a quarter of my students have sat for their portraits and are sitting quietly near me while they wait for their classmates to finish, the principal comes in to the room.)

Principal: “You need to take the students who are finished back to your classroom. They can’t just loiter in here.”

Me: “But, I thought I wasn’t supposed to leave any student unattended.”

Principal: “That’s right.”

Me: “So, I have to walk each student, as they are finished, back to my classroom?”

Principal: “Yes.”

Me: “And, then, return here to escort the next student?”

Principal: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll do that.”

(I proceed to escort the 6-8 students who were finished back to my classroom. I then return to the cafeteria, where portraits are being taken. Just then, the principal walks in, seemingly livid.)

Principal: “What did I tell you about leaving students unattended?”

Me: “I’m confused. I thought I was supposed to escort each student back to my classroom, and then return here for the next student.”

Principal: “Yes! That’s right!”

Me: “But, to do that, the students in the classroom would be left unattended.”

Principal: “Students should NEVER be unattended!”

Me: “Then, should I stay in the classroom and tell students to just return to my room when the portraits are done?”

Principal: “What are you thinking?! Students should never be left unattended in the classroom, in the cafeteria, or in the hallways.”

Me: “Let me see if I am getting this right: I am supposed to be in the cafeteria throughout the time the portraits are being taken so the kids aren’t unattended in the cafeteria. I am also supposed to escort each and every student back to my classroom so they aren’t unattended in the hallways. Once I take a student back to the classroom, I’m supposed to stay there so that they aren’t left unattended in my room. Is that right?”

Principal: “YES! God, why is that so hard to figure out? At this rate, it’ll be a miracle if you don’t flunk out of your master’s program.”

Me: “So, tell me, how am I supposed to be in the cafeteria, in my classroom, and escorting students in the hallway all at the same time?”

Principal: “You are the teacher. That is your job to figure out. Now, get it done!” *storms off*

(I did my best to bend the laws of physics and reality to accomplish his directive, but it didn’t work. In the end, I ended up having to leave the students unattended in the cafeteria, where at least the adult photographer and school secretary were present. At the end of the day, I was relieved from my position as a long-term substitute teacher for “Endangering the safety of students by leaving them unattended.”)

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Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Bro

| Scotland, UK | Related | December 29, 2012

(I have two grown sons, identical twins, who are both married with kids. They have both come back home for Christmas. Living in the highlands in Scotland, the snow can be quite thick, and we have been snowed in. It is time to open the Christmas presents. Both sons have presents for each other, in identical-sized boxes.)

Son #1: “Here’s a present for you.”

Son #2: “And here is a present for you!”

Son #1: “How kind!”

Son #2: “And you!”

(They both proceed to open each others present, which is the exact same thing, a PlayStation console. Even the bundled games are identical.)

Son #1: “Well, brother! You absolutely shouldn’t have!”

(The wives of each of my sons share a knowing look of disdain.)

Me: “What’s the matter?”

Wife #1: “I told my husband that he could not buy himself a games console. It would be a bad influence on the children.”

Wife #2: “I told mine pretty much the same thing.”

Son #1: *chiming in* “But I didn’t buy myself one! My kind brother bought one for me! I can’t be penalised!”

Son #2: “Now, lets get these bad boys set up. I’ll take the TV upstairs, you take the one in the living room.”

Son #1: “And you have my PlayStation network account name?”

(The wives glare at them.)

Son #2: *noticing* “Why, yes, I do indeed happen to have the PlayStation network account details that you HAVE NOT YET CREATED, because how could you? You had no idea you would be getting a PlayStation today! I trust you also have my NOT YET CREATED network name?”

(Both of my sons and their children were hooked on the games for the rest of the time we were snowed in, a good three days. I just told each of the wives to buy themselves expensive jewellery for each other next Christmas.)

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