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The Internot, Part 2

| Las Vegas, NV, USA | Learning | December 11, 2013

(I work as an assistant at the community college computer lab. Most of our jobs are helping students with simple things like printing papers, checking email, and logging in for classes. A student, who looks to be in her mid 20s, walks up. She is carrying a brand purse, wearing lots of large jewelry, and hot pink clothes with tiger stripes.)

Me: “Hello. Welcome to the computer lab. May I help you with anything?”

Student: “Yeah. I need to type up an essay for my English class. Do I do that here?”

Me: “Sure! Do you have a log-in for the computers?”

Student: “I’ve never been here before.”

Me: “That’s no problem! Come over here to this station and we’ll set you up.”

(I help her set up her log-in. She seems comfortable with computers.)

Me: “Now, we’ll just set you up on a computer and you can get started. You can print your paper here, too.”

Student: “Cool! Can you show me how to print?”

Me: “Yeah. As soon as you are done, come get one of the lab techs and we’ll help.”

(I set her down at a computer and she logs in with no problems. She immediately opens the web browser.)

Student: “Okay. Where do I go to do my paper? How do I print?”

Me: “Actually, you can just open up the word processor.”

Student: “Do I just Google that?”

Me: “Er… no. It’s on the computer. You don’t need the internet. Just go to ‘start’ and click on ‘[Program Name].'”

(She closes the web browser. Then she clicks on ‘start’, and opens the web browser again.)

Student: “Do I search for it here?”

Me: “Um, no. You don’t need the internet. It’s just on the computer. Here, let me show you.”

(I click on ‘start’ and open the word processor. It pops open. The student lets out a gasp.)

Student: “How did you do that without the internet?”

Me: “It’s just on the computer.”

Student: “You can put things on a computer besides the internet?!”

Me: “Uh, yes. Yes, you can.”

Student: “So now what do I do?”

Me: “Just go ahead and type your paper. Let us know when you are done and we’ll help you print it.”

Student: “Okay. How do I do that?”

Me: “Type your paper? Just start typing?”

Student: “With this thing?”

(The student points at the keyboard that she had just used to enter her log-in information. I nod approval. She slowly hits a key and looks up at the screen. The letter she hit appears in the document. She hits another a little faster, then a few more.)

Student: “Oh my gosh! This is so cool! How does it make my letters appear on the screen?”

Me: “That’s just how keyboards work. They are designed to put letters on the screen. Do you need me to set up your essay’s dimensions?”

Student: “Yeah. Could you?”

(I begin setting up the margins and line spacing to meet her teacher’s requirements.)

Student: “Is that how you print?”

Me: “No. I’m just telling it to match your teacher’s requirements so it comes out correctly.”

Student: “Oh. So, is that how you print?”

Me: “You know what? Why don’t you type your essay first. Then I’ll show you how to print.”

Student: “Okay!”

(She begins typing slowly. I leave her at the computer to do rounds. About an hour later she comes up to the desk looking irritated.)

Student: “The stupid computer keeps eating my paper!”

Me: “Oh? Let me come take a look. I’m sure we can figure it out.”

(I go to the computer. Her essay is on the screen. It looks edited and finished.)

Me: “What are you trying to do with your paper?”

Student: “Let me show you.”

(She sits down at the desk. After a few moments of clicking on random menus she finds the ‘print’ button and selects it. It brings up the print menu. She hits ‘print’. She then stares intently at the computer tower.)

Student: “See?! I want it to print, but it’s greedy and just eats the paper instead of giving it to me!”

Me: “Actually when you hit print, it prints out of the printers at the main desk.”

Student: “Isn’t that what this thing is?”

(She points at the computer tower that is sitting next to the monitor.)

Me: “No. That’s the computer. The printers are much bigger. I can show you where to pick up your paper.”

Student: “Is that where the word processor is kept? Inside the big box?”

Me: “Yup. That’s what it is there for. It holds programs until you need to use them. Now, follow me and we’ll get your printout.”

(The student follows me up to the main desk. I hand her the paper and she takes it. She pulls out her phone to send a message to her friend.)

Student: “[Friend] is never gonna believe your computers can hold things besides the internet! And in a big box too! Thanks for helping me!”

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They Stole Her Precious

, , , | Right | December 10, 2013

(Having been married just one month, I am very precious and careful with my wedding ring. I take it off only to wash my hands. I’m in a shopping mall bathroom and have just taken my ring off and set it on top of my bag next to me. At the sink next to me is a girl about the age of 12.)

Girl: “Hey, mum! Look what I found!”

Mum: *in a loud whisper* “Put that in your pocket! Show me later!”

(They begin to leave. I reach for my ring and find it gone! I see the girl just shoving my ring into her pocket with a big smile on her face.)

Me: “Hey! Excuse me! I think you have something of mine!”

Mum: “Mind your own business!” *to her daughter* “Keep walking, honey.”

(They both flee the bathroom, but I follow and yell.)

Me: “Stop! Hey! Give it back!”

Girl: “No! It’s mine, b****!”

Mum: “You leave my baby alone!”

(I start to cry. With the mum yelling at me, the chaos brings a security guard running over.)

Mum: “Thank God! This b**** is trying to steal my baby girl’s ring!”

Me: “No, no, it’s my wedding ring. I took it off for a moment and she took it!”

Girl: “She’s lying! It’s mine!”

Guard: “Enough!” *to me* Do you have any proof it’s yours?”

(I’m still crying and try to describe it, but the girl and her mum keep screaming over me. The guard has to yell at them to get them to quiet down. At last, he looks at my long thin fingers, and the girl’s very short chubby ones, and he winks at me.)

Guard: “Okay, tell you what. Whoever the ring fits, that’s who it belongs to.”

(The guard forced the girl to hand it over, with the mum screaming the whole time. Of course, the ring didn’t get anywhere near fitting her, and was a perfect fit on me. The guard called the police and they both got banned from the store. My husband and I are still very good friends with the guard; in fact, he’s marrying my husband’s sister next year!)

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The Sausages Of Society

| New York, NY, USA | Right | December 10, 2013

(I work in an Italian deli in Brooklyn that sells high quality cured meats. Because of its location, we have recently seen an upsurge in customers from Williamsburg’s gentrified neighborhoods. Two customers walk in.)

Customer #1: “Yes. I wanted to know if you stocked any vegan sausages.”

Me: *thinking they’re joking* “Sir, this is [deli]. Our specialty is aged and cured meats. We don’t sell vegan food.”

Customer #2: *to his friend* “What did you expect from this place? Their vibes are totally off. It’s obvious this isn’t the right deli for us, man.” *turns to me* “Listen, you see?m like a pretty smart guy. You shouldn’t buy into the corporate lies they feed you. You know the sausages you sell are just pumped full of water and corn syrup right?”

(I decide to have some fun with this.)

Me: “Yeah. Right on, man. That must mean those giant storage lockers in the back where we hang the freshly grounded and mixed meat is just an illusion created by the corporate industrialists in order to fool the proletariat.”

(Amazingly, they actually nod in agreement for a few second before realizing I’m making fun of them. Scowling, they finally leave.)

Customer #2: “I’m going to tell my friends about all of the ‘negative vibes’ your deli gives off!”

(To this day I’m not sure if they were serious or trying to prank us.)

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Can’t Pin Him Down To A Number, Part 2

| QC, Canada | Right | December 10, 2013

(It’s Friday afternoon, and I am a customer waiting for my prescriptions in the waiting area of my pharmacy. The customer ahead of me, a gruff older man, is getting upset with the cashier over a problem with the card reader.)

Customer: “I’m telling you, it’s not my card. It’s your machine!”

Cashier: “Sir, you have to enter your PIN correctly—”

Customer: “I KNOW how to enter my PIN! Your machines are wrong! This doesn’t happen to me anywhere else.”

Cashier: “I don’t know what to tell you, sir. My machine has been functioning properly all day. Your transaction failed after you entered your PIN. Would you like to try it again?”

Customer: “If I try it again, you better MAKE it work right! [Financial Institution] is going to freeze my card if I keep trying. I’m going away for the weekend so I NEED my card to work!”

Cashier: “Well, I can’t put in your PIN for you, sir. So I can’t guarantee you it will work.”

Customer: “This has happened the last two times I’ve been in here! I’ve been a customer here for 30 years and you’re saying it’s MY fault? Your machines are wrong! And now my card is going to be frozen until Monday!”

Cashier: “I don’t know what else to tell you, sir. Let me get my manager.”

(The cashier pages the manager, who arrives promptly.)

Manager: “I understand there’s some trouble with your card, sir?”

Customer: “The machine is messing up. It’s NOT my PIN. My card is going to be frozen and I’m going away this weekend!”

Manager: “I understand, sir. If you have time to wait, I’ll call [Financial Institution, which is also responsible for card reader] and try to find out what’s going on.”

(My manager dials the phone and explains the situation to tech support.)

Manager: *on phone* “Uh-huh. I see.”

Customer: “Ask them if my card is frozen!”

Manager: *on phone* “So there’s no problem with our system? Alright. Thank you.”

Customer: “Oh, wait. My PIN on this card is five digits. I only entered four!”


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Not Just The Cream Turning Sour

| Wichita, KS, USA | Right | December 10, 2013

(This week, we’re running a deal on a certain brand of sour cream. A customer starts loading her groceries onto the belt.)

Me: “Hi! Is that it for you today?”

Customer: “Yes, dear! That’s all.”

(I make small talk with her while I’m ringing her out. Then I notice that she has two tubs of the sour cream on sale.)

Me: “I have some good news! We’re running an awesome special on this sour cream right now. If you want to grab another one, it’ll be free.”

(The customer freezes and stares at me, her eyes wide.)

Customer: “…excuse me?”

Me: “Er, it’s three-for-two? We have a refurbi—”


(I ring my manager immediately, because her transformation was, frankly, terrifying.)

Manager: “Can I help you?”

Customer: “This little c*** tried to charge me for three tubs of sour cream! Do you treat all of your customers this way? Do you ENJOY ripping people OFF and GUTTING THEM of their HARD-EARNED MONEY?”

Manager: *turns to me* “What?”

Me: “The three-for-two!” *I turn to the customer again* “Ma’am, I was trying to explain that you can get three for the price of two.”

Customer: “C***! You just enjoy watching other people’s money get snatched away. You don’t care.”

Me: “Ma’am, I promise. I wasn’t—”

Manager: “Okay, okay. Everyone calm down.”

(My manager nudges me toward the break room.)

Manager: “I’ll finish up here.”

(The customer shrieks as I make my way to the break room, demanding that I be prosecuted for larceny and threatening to call the police. Even when I am in the break room, I can still hear her. I call my girlfriend, hoping she can calm me down. My girlfriend also works in the store.)

Girlfriend: “Wait. Wait. Does this woman have purple glasses?”

Me: “…yes.”

Girlfriend: “Oh, my God. Yeah, babe. I’m gonna go out and buy you a nice bottle of wine; how’s that?”

(As it turns out, that woman had gone off on three other employees, including my girlfriend, on our old manager’s watch. She had been banned from the store until our new manager was hired. She actually tried to sue one of the cashiers for larceny!)

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